We know this constant as “doing one’s duty to God.” Doing one’s duty to God in the Church is not a “program” with check-offs and specific tasks; it is a constant in the lives of all members of the Church. The methods, tools, and techniques that are used are as numerous as the sands of the sea. Each of us has a variety of skills that are unique to our situations; likewise, the inspiration that we receive related to our assignments is unique. I like to state it simply: The young men are taught the correct principles during Sunday meetings and lessons, and then they put these principles into practice in their daily lives through the Venturing program. LDS Venturing strives to do just that—to work on creating activities that will assist the Church to better achieve the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood. Again, it’s all about meeting customer needs and putting the youth first—before the program. This integration of Venturing and Church principles is accomplished through three simple words:Learn, Act, and Share.
In his commission to blog, Dave feels he has the job of “building stronger communication paths, strengthening relationships, and ‘building bridges’ between the Church and the Venturing program within the western region of the Boy Scouts of America.” As such a liaison, he is positioned to provide technical and subject matter expertise in many aspects of the Venturing program. He also relates to the Church’s Young Men program and purposes.
In his first post, he welcomes Venturing readers to his “musings, thoughts, opinions, or whatever you want to call it” on LDS Venturing. He goes on saying, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Scouting’s biggest customer in that [western] region and their interests, concerns, and desires should be given some attention.” He promises his blog will provide “a venue that can be used by all in some small way to work on strengthening the Venturing program within the Church, as well as help LDS Venturing leaders with some creative ideas and tools to enhance their program.”
In Adapting to Change, Dave reminds us of the nearly traumatic changes that occurred in BSA’s national offices 15 years ago and how “what most of us knew as Exploring became known as Venturing. And we had a new beginning.”
Back then, Venturing offered new awards, recognitions, handbooks and programs. He said, “Fresh ideas and the discontinuation of outdated (and in many ways inefficient) practices emerged to the benefit of the customer—the youth.” Then he reported this:
Just recently Venturing went through another “adjustment” in its program and general direction. Venturing had another “review” and reorganization of its entire program, with the ultimate goal to better meet the changing needs and desires of the youth. To put it in simple terms (these are the ones that I can relate to best), it was a re-emphasis on “people before programs.” New awards were introduced, old ones “retired,” and the printing presses went crazy with new handbooks, manuals, and support materials, not to mention a revision of almost all training courses! Change really is constant in the BSA. But, one thing remains the same—the desire to truly assist these young men as they develop into adults with a strong moral fiber. We need to give them ample opportunities to develop leadership skills and help them become better prepared to take their place as contributing adults in the Church, as well as in their communities and the world.
He promised that we will hear more about Learn, Act, and Share in his next blog. Until then, be sure to drop by LDS-BSA to read and comment on his posts.
Author:David Wilson has been actively involved in Venturing since its inception in 1998. He is dedicated to working on strengthening the bridges and removing the walls that occur between the Church and the BSA for the older young men in the Church through his involvement in multiple levels of Venturing (from national to the local council). He currently calls Orem, Utah, home.