Venturing Leader Specific Training
By Darryl Alder
Feb 12, 2016

Venturing Leader Specific Training Part 5: Program Emphasis and Awards

You can read other parts of this blog series here:

In this post we describe the Venturing areas of program emphasis and how they lead to a solid, balanced program. We will also define the opportunities for Venturing recognition and how these awards can be used in college portfolios. We will also list the Venturing skill-based and STEM awards and explain the purpose of the Advisor conference and board of review.

Introduction

program emphasis and awardsWhile recognition is one of the methods of Venturing, this method is best approached as an outcome of a balanced annual program plan developed by the members of the crew. This is supported by Venturing’s four areas of program emphasis, which are:

  1. Adventure
  2. Leadership
  3. Personal Growth
  4. Service

These Areas of Program Emphasis, known as ALPS,  are influenced by the aims and methods of Venturing and provide a framework for program and recognition.

As a Program Planning Tool As a Recognition Tool
  • Offers a structure for the Venturers to design their own program
    —Provide areas and levels of programming
  • Encourages a balanced program
    —Ensure that adventures are more than just fun outings
    —Means of developing leadership skills
  • Meets Venturers’ social needs
    —Opportunity to participate in and lead adventures
    —Way to provide service
  • Recognition becomes a natural outcome of the program
  • Encourage personal growth
  • Broaden experience
  • Appreciate efforts and accomplishments
  • Acknowledgment of competence and ability by others
  • Enhance job, scholarship, and college applications

Awards MatrixVenturing Awards Matrix

Venturing’s areas of program emphasis guide the recognition requirements. Within the four areas are four levels of increasing responsibility. Using the above Awards Matrix look at each of these questions and decide which award it aligns with:

  1. Focus on the new crew member (V)
  2. Includes adventure, leadership, personal growth, and service (V, D, P, S)
  3. Requires a crew board of review (D, P, S)
  4. Focus on setting and achieving goals (D, P, S)
  5. Participating in crew activities (D)
  6. Requires an Advisor conference (V, D, P, S)
  7. Leading crew activities (P)Key to Quiz
  8. Needs council approval (S)
  9. Mentoring others (S)
  10. Meant to be exciting and fun (V, D, P, S)

Venturing_Award_Designs (5)Venturing Recognition Awards

These were designed by youth to develop leadership for a college portfolio and job resumés, The Summit is the Eagle Scout Award equivalent but even more challenging.

Venturing Award

The first award is appropriately named the Venturing award. Its purpose is to introduce Venturers to the program and its values.Venturing_Award_Designs (5)

Venturing Award Requirements:
1. Participate in a crew activity outside of a crew meeting.
2. Participate in an interview conducted by your crew president and your Advisor.
3. Complete Personal Safety Awareness training.
4. State intention to join the crew during a crew induction ceremony The award encourages prospective members to become active and to participate in various crew events outside crew meetings. The first step in any journey is finding the courage to begin. At this level, the new crew member makes a commitment to join and move forward into the experience of Venturing. Bluesy SunsetExperienced and older Venturers can play a large part in recruiting and welcoming new members who are working toward this first step in the Venturing advancement program. For example, the crew president and crew Advisor will conduct a relaxed interview or conference with the candidate to provide guidance for joining. Once a new member officially joins, the crew puts together an investiture ceremony at which the Venturing award is presented. The ceremony may be formal or informal, depending on the culture of the crew. Venturers may then begin to discover the adventures that lie ahead as they work toward the next award in the sequence.

Discovery Award

The adventure of participating with the crew unfolds and each Venturer begins to discover his or her interests and talents. As the youth develop new skills and competencies, their eyes are opened and the world expands for them.

Discovery Award Requirements:
DiscoveryAwardAdventure
1. Participate in at least two Tier II or III adventures at the crew, district, council, area, regional, or national level.
2. Complete the following:

a. Complete a standard CPR course such as American Red Cross—First Aid/CPR/AED for Schools and the Community or the American Heart Association—Heartsaver Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED or an equivalent course. b. Complete a standard first aid course such as the American Red Cross Standard First Aid or equivalent course.

3. Complete the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews course (or an equivalent).seminar
4. Complete BSA goal setting–time management training course.
5. Complete Venturing Crew Officer Orientation. Service
6. Participate in service activities totaling at least 24 hours. Up to half of the service may be delivered personally; the rest must be delivered through crew service activities. Personal Growth
7. Complete a structured personal reflection, and use this reflection and what you learned from the process to prepare for goal setting and as part of your Level II Award Advisor conference. Explore one of the following realms: “Adventures of Faith,”* “Adventures of Self,” and “Adventures of Others.”
8. In consultation with your Advisor, establish at least one personal goal, and achieve it. The goal should be grounded in the realm you explored in Personal Growth requirement 7.
9. Since earning the Venturing Award, participate in a conference with your Advisor.
* As a part of this conference, discuss with your Advisor the challenges you faced and what you learned in fulfilling Personal Growth requirements 7 and 8.
10. After your Advisor conference, successfully complete a crew board of review.
*A Venturer is not required to share the personal reflection associated with “Adventures of Faith” with his or her Advisor, including the discussion that takes place at the Advisor conference, nor with members of a board of review.

Pathfinder Award

The Venturers develop abilities and skills, and take on increased responsibility for defining one’s own way forward in life; all the while, performing service to others, and planning and leading the crew toward its goals.pathfinder_award

Pathfinder Award Requirements:
Adventure

1. Participate in at least two additional (for a total of at least four) Tier II or III adventures at the crew, district, council, area, regional, or national level. Serve as a leader for one of the adventures. Leadership
2. Complete BSA Venturing Project Management Training.
3. Since earning the Discovery Award, plan and give leadership to a Tier II or Tier III adventure. Work with a youth mentor to ensure that you have organized the adventure in advance, that you are prepared for contingencies, and that you have prepared the members of your crew to take part. In some cases, you may need to confer with an external consultant to assure the adventure is feasible for your crew. The adventure must take place over at least two consecutive nights. If an event lasts more than four nights, an additional Venturer may share in planning and leading the adventure. venturerIf two Venturers plan the adventure, they should work with their mentor to ensure that the workload is divided fairly between the two leaders. At the close of the adventure, lead a reflection with the participants in the activity to determine what was learned and how it helped them to work together as a more effective team. An experienced Venturer should serve as your mentor for the adventure.
4. Complete one of the following:

a. Since earning the Discovery Award, serve actively as your crew president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, guide, historian, den chief, or quartermaster for a period of at least six months.
** At the beginning of your term, work with your crew president (or Advisor, if you are the president) to set performance goals for the position. Any number of different positions may be held as long as the total length of service equals at least six months. Holding simultaneous positions does not shorten the required number of months. Positions need not flow from one to the other; there may be gaps in time. Once during your term of office, discuss your successes and challenges with your crew president (or Advisor, if you are the president).
OR
b. Participate in or serve on staff for leadership training such as National Youth Leadership Training, Kodiak Challenge,  National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience,  Order of the Arrow National Leadership Seminar, Sea Scout SEAL Training, or Wood Badge (for Venturers 18 or older). You may also participate in non-BSA leadership training courses such as those delivered by the National Outdoor Leadership School, if approved by your Advisor.
**Venturers may substitute district, council, area, regional, or national Venturing officer or cabinet positions for the positions listed in this requirement

Service
5. Plan, organize, and give leadership to a project designed   to sustain and grow your crew. Submit the plan to your   crew president (or Advisor, if you are president) and   explain how you think it will encourage more young   people to join Venturing. 6. Participate in service activities totaling at least 36 hours.   This is in addition to the 24 hours of service required   to earn the Discovery Award. Up to half of the service   may be delivered personally; the rest must be delivered   through crew activities.

Personal Growth
7. Since earning the Discovery Award, explore the two realms   (“Adventures of Faith,”* “Adventures of Self,” or “Adventures   of Others”) that you did not explore previously. Based on what you discover, prepare a set of personal reflections or thoughts on the subjects. Use your reflections and what you learned from the process to prepare for fulfilling Personal Growth requirement 3 and for your Pathfinder  Award Advisor conference.
8. Participate in an ethical controversy discussion activity that includes an extension into conflict resolution.
9. In consultation with your Advisor, establish at least two personal goals and achieve them. The goals should be grounded in the realms you explored in Personal  Growth requirement 7.
10. Participate in an Advisor conference. As a part of this conference, discuss with your Advisor the challenges   you faced and what you learned in fulfilling Personal   Growth requirements 7 and 9.
11. After your Advisor conference, successfully complete a crew board of review.
*A Venturer is not required to share the personal reflection   associated with “Adventures of Faith” with his or her Advisor   or members of a board of review, including the discussion   that takes place at the Advisor conference or the board   of review.  

Summit Award

Venturing_Award_Designs (5)This highest award in Venturing goes to those youth who have matured in their personal direction, skills, and life competencies, and who have accepted the responsibility to mentor others and serve their communities. Summit Award Requirements
Adventure
1. Participate in at least three additional (for a total of seven) Tier II or Tier III adventures at the crew, district, council, area, regional, or national level. super3To earn the Summit Award, a Venturer must have participated in at least one Tier III adventure and served as a leader during one adventure.

Leadership
2. Complete BSA Mentoring Training prior to initiating mentoring relationships.
3. Since earning the Pathfinder Award, mentor another Venturer in the planning and implementation of a crew, council, area, regional, or national Venturing activity (see Summit Adventure requirement1). Work with the youth enough to ensure he or she is ready to lead and has organized the appropriate resources, is prepared for contingencies, and has developed an itinerary, conducted training to support the adventure, and mitigated risk before and during the adventure. Participate in the adventure and provide feedback on how the adventure was conducted.
4. Complete two of the following.

a. Since earning the Pathfinder Award, serve actively as your crew president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, guide, historian, den chief, or quartermaster for a period of at least six months.
** At the beginning of your term, work with your crew president (or Advisor, if you are the president) to set performance goals for the position. Any number of different positions may be held as long as the total length of service equals at least six months. Holding simultaneous positions does not shorten the required number of months. Positions need not flow from one to the other; there may be gaps in time. Once during your term of office, discuss your successes and challenges with your crew president (or Advisor, if you are the president).
**Venturers may substitute district, council, area, regional, or national Venturing officer or cabinet positions for the positions listed in this requirement.
b. Participate in or serve on staff for leadership training such as National Youth Leadership Training, Kodiak Challenge, National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience, Order of the Arrow National Leadership Seminar, Sea Scout SEAL Training, or Wood Badge (for Venturers 18 or older). You may also participate in non-BSA leadership training courses such as those delivered by the National Outdoor Leadership School, if approved by your Advisor. This must be a different training course than you completed for Pathfinder Award requirement 4b or Summit Award requirement
c. Lead the delivery of Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews for members of your Venturing crew or another local Venturing crew or for a local district or council training event. After leading the training course, discuss with your crew Advisor how you believe you helped build the skill set of your crew and what you learned by organizing the training course.

Service
5. Since earning the Pathfinder Award, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to a religious institution, school, or community. (The project must benefit an organization other than the Boy Scouts of America.) Before you start, a project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your Advisor, the unit committee, and the council or district advancement committee (per local practices).

Personal Growth
6. Since earning the Pathfinder Award, complete a structured personal reflection. Use this reflection to prepare for goal setting and as part of your Advisor conference. Explore two of the following realms: “Adventures of Faith,”* “Adventures of Self,” or “Adventures of Others.” You may explore one of the realms twice or select from between two different realms.
7. Create a personal code of conduct. This code of conduct should be guided by your explorations in the realms of faith, self, and others.
8. Since earning the Pathfinder Award, lead an ethical controversy and conflict resolution scenario with members of your Venturing crew.
9. Participate in an Advisor conference. As a part of this conference, share your code of conduct with your Advisor, and explain how your explorations of faith, self, and others, and your goal-setting exercises, influenced the development of your code.
10. After your Advisor conference, successfully complete a crew board of review.
*A Venturer is not required to share the personal reflection associated with “Adventures of Faith” with his or her Advisor or members of a board of review, including the discussion that takes place at the Advisor conference or the board of review.

advisor

In Advisor conferences always follow youth protection guidelines by not meeting in private or one-on-one

Advisor Conferences

An Advisor conference is required for each of the four awards. The Venturing Award conference includes the crew president. The purpose of the Advisor conference is to provide an opportunity for the Venturer to reflect on what has been learned and to express future goals.

  • Venturer meets with his or her Advisor
  • Occurs after level award requirements have been completed
  • Requisite for the level award board of review

Boards of Review

Note: Male Venturers who have earned the First Class rank in a Boy Scout troop may continue to work on Star, Life, and Eagle ranks in the crew. In this case, the Advisors and crew committee will carry out an advancement role similar to a Boy Scout troop. If this training is for a crew with that circumstance, mention the Guide to Advancement and www.Scouting.org/Advancement as resources.

The final requirement for the Discovery, Pathfinder, and Summit Awards is a board of review. The purpose of the board of review is to determine the quality of the Venturer’s experience and to encourage the Venturer’s personal development.

  • Discovery and Pathfinder Awards—Crew Board of Review
    —Consists of peers (youth) from the crew.
    —Led by the youth leaders of the crew.
    —A group of three board members is appropriate (can be more).
    —Two members of the crew committee should be present during the board of review, but they serve only in an advisory role.
    —The crew Advisor and associate Advisors are not members of the board, but should be present.
  • Summit Award—Board of Review
    —Led by a member of the local council advancement committee.
    —Board composed of youth and adult crew leaders and adult crew committee members.
    —Summit Award application must be submitted to council to schedule the board of review.
    (read more about this board of review here)

Credit for Awards

Sometimes there is confusion in the timing and ways award requirements can be completed when a Venturer has been a Scout or is dually registered. Discuss and clarify the following in your own words:

  • Multiple credit—Although there is very little overlap in award requirements, there are certain circumstances when a Venturer may receive multiple credit for similar requirements. The Venturing skill-based awards (Ranger, TRUST, and Quest) do have multiple areas where this may be applicable. For example, a Venturer who becomes certified as a Red Cross First Aid instructor for the TRUST Award could use this to fulfill the Ranger and Quest award requirements as well.
  • Past credit—All award requirements must be completed while registered and active as a Venturer. Requirements fulfilled before becoming a Venturer (i.e., merit badges or ranks as a Boy Scout) cannot be used for Venturing recognition. Previously earned certifications (such as first aid or CPR) can be used to fulfill requirements as long as they are still current at the time of fulfilling the Venturing award requirement.
  • Service Projects—An Eagle Scout project or Girl Scout Gold Award project cannot be used for the Summit Award service project.

Other Recognition

Trustranger awardquest.jpgYoung adults have interests in activities that may lead to careers or increased quality of life. These awards can enrich the Venturing experience. There are both skill-based and STEM awards (more information is available at www.Scouting.org/STEM)

Skill-Based Awards Nova and Supernova Awards
For Venturers seeking additional challenges in outdoor adventure, sports and physical fitness, or spiritual life, three expert awards are available for them to earn.

  • Ranger Award—Helps them become a master of the outdoors
  • Quest Award—Promotes excellence in sporting and physical fitness
  • TRUST Award—Learn more about one’s own faith and that of others

Skill-based awards do not require an Advisor conference or board of review.

Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields provide gateways to many exciting careers and hobbies. The Nova and Supernova Awards provide recognition for Venturers seeking to either begin exploring or become proficient in an aspect of STEM.

Nova Awards—Introductory STEM awards for Venturers
—Launch!—Science
—Power Up—Technology
—Hang On!—Engineering
—Numbers Don’t Lie—Math

Supernova Awards—Advanced STEM awards for Venturers (earned sequentially)
—Dr. Sally Ride Supernova Award
—Wright Brothers Supernova Award
—Dr. Albert Einstein Supernova Award

 

Venturing Nova

MyScouting Tools

BSA provides a variety of online unit management resources via My.Scouting.org called MyScouting Tools. These tools are available to crew leadership to manage such things as rosters, training, awards, recognitions, and more.

Summary

Recognizing young people for their achievements helps build their self-esteem. The Venturing awards program helps fulfill this need. The term “awards” in Venturing does not have the same meaning it has in Cub Scouting or Boy Scouting. Unlike these programs, Venturers do not earn rank through advancement. Leadership positions are either appointed or elected. However, awards serve the same purpose, which is to encourage personal growth through leadership, service, and adventure.

Take a moment to reflect on this fifth session of training and comment in the section below.

Continue to Venturing Leader Specific Training Part 6: Annual Program Planning.

 

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