By Darryl Alder
Jun 17, 2016

Venturing’s Conceptual Framework—The ALPS+S Model

The ALPS model: Adventure, Leadership, Personal Growth, and Service, was developed during the 2012-14 program review process by the National Venturing Task Force in an effort to provide a better framework and aim for Venturing. Elder Munk our LDS Relationships Chair asked that we add an “S.” but before we do let’s visit the National Venturing framework first.

The chart below shows each of Venturing’s award’s aims as they “climb” towards the Summit Award:

Venturing Awards Matrix

The +S = Spiritual Strength

LDS Duty to GOdIn each of the top three recognitions, Venturers complete structured personal reflections to prepare for goal setting and as part of thier Advisor conference. Here they explore two of the following realms: “Adventures of Faith,” “Adventures of Self,” or “Adventures of Others.” Venturers may explore one of the realms twice or select from between two different realms, but easily LDS Venturers can do

While 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, this is a natural part of either activity.

For LDS Venturers, this extra “S” focuses on Spiritual Growth. At the new Duty to God website, Priests learn how to do this in a section organized into the following areas:

Levels of performance

The levels of performance provide benchmarks of progress as skills and knowledge are acquired within the areas of program emphasis.

VENTURING AWARDVenturer—designed to be earned within a month of joining the crew. Its requirements are based upon learning about Venturing and its values, learning about personal safety, and forming a commitment to further participate. A crew’s leadership should seek to make this a natural process for all new members.


DiscoveryAwardDiscovery Award—designed to help a new Venturer benefit from full and active participation in crew activities and to learn skills and basic competencies that will prepare him or her to assume leadership roles in the crew as he or she progresses on the Trail to the Summit. The purpose of the Discovery Award is to move past the orientation provided by the Venturing Award and shift the Venturer into action.



Pathfinder Award—designed to solidify basic and intermediate leadership skills by providing the Venturer with opportunities to lead crew activities, adventures, and service projects and to focus on personal leadership development. The four areas of program emphasis continue to form the foundation of the program, with the Venturer now taking a more active part in the leadership of the crew and the crew’s activities.


SUMMIT AWARDSummit Award—designed to provide advanced leadership skills and experience and to help focus the Venturer on working diligently to make a difference in the lives of others, including those in the crew and in the community, through a significant service project and advanced leadership opportunities. The Summit Award moves the experience of Venturing to become more “others-directed.” The experiences grounded in the four areas of program emphasis focus more on the Venturer’s impact on other people.

From the perspective of the crew, the ALPS model provides a tool to help plan adventures and recognize accomplishments along the way.

Recognition – Not Ranks

Unlike Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Sea Scouting, Venturing’s levels of advancement are not considered “ranks.” While the ALPS model uses recognition devices (Venturing, Discovery, Pathway, and Summit) to reinforce progress, Venturing is founded on the belief that recognition serves as encouragement and not as an end in itself. By receiving recognition, Venturers do not reach an “end” and may continue to serve and strive for success.

Darryl head BW

Author: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One thought on “Venturing’s Conceptual Framework—The ALPS+S Model

  1. Pingback: ALPS-Part 2 (#7b) – wrldsventuring

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.