By Darryl Alder
Apr 08, 2016

Selecting and Retaining Crew Leaders

Crew Committee Challenge Part 5

The Crew Committee Challenge offers bishops and crew committee members a course that moves from one subject to another as listed here.

  1. Aims and Methods of Scouting and Venturing
  2. The Chartered Organization
  3. Crew Leadership
  4. Crew Committee Organization and Responsibilities
  5. Selecting and Retaining Adult Leaders

In our last post we covered the duties of the crew committee. This post considers the role they have in helping the bishop select and keep leaders by:

  • Listing qualities to look for when selecting a crew Advisor.
  • Describing ways to recruit and nominate new committee members to the bishop.
  • Understanding the purpose of the Program Capability Inventory and the committee’s role in it


Every crew committee has four basic responsibilities. These are:

  1. Provide adequate adult leadership.
  2. Complete and maintain the crew’s Program Capability Inventory.
  3. Secure equipment, facilities, and program resources.
  4. Review, support, and approve the crew’s program plans.

We have already discussed how the committee supports the crew program (the second two responsibilities); now let’s focus on the first two. In this post we will consider how we can help the bishop find the crew’s leaders.

Recruiting Adult Leadership

advisorIn most crews, perhaps the single most important responsibility of the committee is recruiting adult leaders and volunteers. This responsibility, of course, rests primarily with with bishopric, but they usually welcome the committee’s input.

Since the quality of the crew program rests on the quality of leadership, this is a major committee task. As you help make a prospect list for the bishop, you might consider these characteristics:

  • High moral standards
  • Commitment to the ideals of Scouting (the Oath and Law)
  • Ability to relate to youth of Venturing age
  • Ability to keep a cool head under pressure
  • Organization skills
  • Ability to interact with other adults
  • Flexibility and the ability to compromise
  • Planning skills
  • High energy level
  • Attention to details
  • Physical ability and interest in outdoor adventure

As you look at that list, you might be surprised to find the best prospects already serving in key ward positions, so you and the bishop will need to make a careful selection. Interestingly enough, in my past service I lost solid counselors to these kinds of selections, but soon found others to take their place. Your priest quorum may just need the very best person after the bishop to hold these young men’s interests until they are on missions.

Recruiting the Committee

committeeWe have just discussed the committee’s responsibility for recruiting adult leaders to support the crew’s program. However, we must also recruit adults to work on the support and administrative functions. These folks for the most part will come from the ward, but might include members who own or work at outdoor/sports stores, members of the military, school teachers that work with older teens, any outdoor adventurer, recently returned missionaries, members of service clubs, graduated Scout leaders from the boys’ past and of course, parents.

If the committee is small and the program seeks to have the youth perform many of the functions, these adults might get involved in the crew committee as consultants or become coaches for youth activity chairs. They could join in the annual Friends of Scouting campaign or arrange for or provide transportation. They might provide unique resources like cabins, boats, or access to professional or sporting associations.

The wide range of possibilities comes most often from the the Program Capability Inventory (PCI).

Program Capability Inventory (PCI)

In the days of the ward activity committee you may recall this as the Ward Talent and Interest Survey, which works just as well as the PCI. However, if you don’t have one use this fillable pdf or enlarge this form:PCI

The PCI is an inventory of the program potential of selected adults connected with a crew, the ward, and the community. It is the responsibility of the crew committee to maintain these forms in order to support the program. Data from completed Program Capability Inventory Information sheets (PCI) from parents and others who might offer resources is the very best way to build your Activity Interest Surveys  , which the youth leaders will take from each member when making the crew’s annual program plan.

Venturing Resources

What sets Venturing apart from other youth adventure programs and clubs is that it is part of a much larger organization, the Boy Scouts of America, which is led by volunteers like you and supported by a staff of professional Scouters.

Your council and district are there to promote Scouting and provide program, training, and resources to help guarantee your success. This training is only one example, but you can get more at and

The stake also provides each crew with a unit commissioner, usually a member of the stake young men presidency, who can give direct coaching and consultation to your committee as needed.

One of the best resources is the Venturing Advisor Guide. You can get a copy online at or at your nearest Scout Shop.

Summary and Final Reflection

“It’s far better to find 10 people who can do the work than it is to find one who can do the work of 10.”

The committee plays a very important role in the success of a crew’s program—it takes care of the supporting functions in order for the crew leadership to focus on the youth. For those parents who want to get involved, service on the crew committee may be a way to share their special expertise. Remember, everyone has something to contribute and may be waiting for you to ask for help. Please look carefully and plan for the future of your crew as well as its present.

Successful Venturing crew committees provide support to the Venturers who are planning and executing program, rather than provide program for them. Keep in mind that Venturers are older and are able to take on greater responsibility for the planning, organization, management, and leadership of their programs.

More importantly, though, Venturers want the responsibility for their activities and programs. For those with previous Scouting committee experience, the role of the crew committee may differ in execution but not in broad principles. Nor does this change the need for a strong Venturing crew committee regardless of the size of the crew.

Take a moment to reflect on this fifth session of training and comment in the section below and remember to call your district staff at the council service center to let them know you’ve completed the course.

Darryl head BW

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