Last year at the LDS Priesthood Leadership Conference on Scouting held at the Philmont Training Center, LDS Church leaders set out to help Stake Presidents learn how to better use the Venturing program. During the week, the General Young Mens Presidency helped leaders understand key principles for planning and implementing Venturing activities and explain how to prepare priest age young men for missionary work, priesthood service, and fatherhood.
They also learned how to use Venturing tools to discover young men’s interests and needs (Activity Interest Survey), identify ward and community resources (Program Capability Inventory), and plan and evaluate activities that both interest and prepare them for life. Church leaders explored how parents, families, and other individuals can be meaningfully involved in Venturing by assisting priest-age youth in fulfilling their duty to God, creating caring relationships, and preparing young men to be great missionaries, husbands, and fathers. Together the group, recognized the blessing and value of home teaching, bundling, and thematic planning in preparing young men for missionary service.
At the outset they asked stake leaders to think about the principal objective of the conference: strengthen the Aaronic Priesthood. As part of this introduction, each person was asked to individually consider these questions:
- How might Venturing help strengthen the priests and priest-age youth in your stakes and wards
- How might Venturing contribute to real growth?
- What do your shepherds know and how do they feel about Venturing?
Then they were assigned to work with learning partners to explore these questions:
- What do you know about the needs and interests of priest-age young men?
- What are the attributes of the best activity program for priest-age young men?
Learning about the Key Elements of Venturing
These Venturing elements were presented one at a time and each person was asked to comment on their potential value in use with the Priest aged youth:
- Program Capability Inventory
- Activity Interest Survey and the Church Talent and Interest Survey
- The Venturing Activity Planner and LDS activity plan (since this training the LDS Church has rolled out an on line planner) and Youth Activities website: Venturing Scouting.
- Thematic activities such as service, missionary work, future roles, Temple and Family History, communication/relationships, camping, high adventure, sports, arts, music, dance, physical fitness, spiritual strength, and stake/multi stake activities.
Staff asked all to think about their shepherds, especially their stake Young Men presidency “What do they need to know, feel, and do?,” was the next question. They finished the discussion with listin ways to use home teaching as a missionary preparation tool.
Act (Ponder, Plan, Perform)
Finally it was time to act on the spiritual impressions about these ideas and questions:
- Strengthening the Aaronic Priesthood through Venturing
- What are the challenges in establishing high-quality Venturing activities, and how will you address them?
- The role of Venturing in contributing to real growth
- Strengthening the shepherds in your stake and wards
- How are you utilizing home teaching as a missionary preparation tool?
As you read this outline of the LDS Philmont training on Venturing, what other spiritual impressions have you had? Share your impressions, feelings, and potential plans with others in the comment section