What is Venturing?
Venturing is a youth development program of the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women who are 13 and have completed the eighth grade, or age 14 through 20 years of age.
Venturing's purpose is to provide positive experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults.
Venturing is based on a unique and dynamic relationship between youth, adult leaders, and organizations in their communities. Local community organizations establish a Venturing crew by matching their people and program resources to the interests of young people in the community. The result is a program of exciting and meaningful activities that helps youth pursue their special interests, grow, develop leadership skills, and become good citizens.
Venturing crews can specialize in a variety of avocation or hobby interests.
Young adults involved in Venturing will:
- Learn to make ethical choices over their lifetimes by instilling the values in the Venturing Oath and Code.
- Experience a program that is fun and full of challenge and adventure.
- Become a skilled training and program resource for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and other groups.
- Acquire skills in the areas of high adventure, sports, arts and hobbies, religious life, or Sea Scouting.
- Experience positive leadership from adult and youth leaders and be given opportunities to take on leadership roles.
- Have a chance to learn and grow in a supportive, caring, and fun environment.
The aims of the Boy Scouts of America are to build character, develop citizenship, and foster personal fitness. The Venturing methods listed below have been carefully designed to achieve the aims of the Boy Scouts of America and meet the needs of young adults.
- Leadership & Mentoring. All Venturers are given opportunities to learn and apply proven leadership skills. A Venturing crew is led by elected crew officers. The Venturing Leadership Skills Course is designed for all Venturers and helps teach them in an active way to lead effectively. Mentoring represents one of the leadership approaches of Venturing, both for Venturers and Advisors. Venturers guide other Venturers in the delivery of program and adventure; Advisors work largely as mentors to guide and encourage Venturers.
- Group Activities & Adventure. Venturing activities are interdependent group experiences in which success is dependent on the cooperation of all. Learning by "doing" in a group setting provides opportunities for developing new skills. Venturing's emphasis on high adventure helps provide team-building opportunities, new meaningful experiences, practical leadership application, and lifelong memories to young adults
- Adult Association. The youth officers lead the crew. The officers and activity chairs work closely with adult Advisors and other adult leaders in a spirit of partnership. The adults serve in a "shadow" leader capacity.
- Recognition. Recognition comes through the Venturing advancement program and through the acknowledgement of a youth's competence and ability by peers and adults.
- The Ideals. Venturers are expected to know and live by the Boy Scout Oath & Law. They promise to be faithful in religious duties, treasure their American heritage, help others, and seek truth and fairness.
- Group Identity. Group Identityrecognizes that peer groups are essential for the growth and development of young adults. Group identity is the shared sense of belonging to a group with common values and serves as a means to build positive group interactions and self-confidence. In addition to beliefs and values, group identity includes common areas of interest and activity as well as symbols of that identity, which may include common clothing or other demonstrations of belonging.
- Service. Service encourages youth to identify a community need and to take action to address that need. Service helps youth make a difference in the world beyond themselves and in the process develop the disposition to put the needs of others first. Throughout its history, members of the Boy Scouts of America have provided service to others, and asserting Service as one of the methods of Venturing emphemphasizes its critical role in the movement.
- Teaching, formerly a method, was recognized to be embedded in the method of leadership and mentoring, so the role of teaching others remains present in the program. The Ranger, Quest, and TRUST awards still retain requirements related to teaching others the skills learned.
Ethics in Action
An important goal of Venturing is to help young adults be responsible and caring persons, both now and in the future. Venturing uses "ethical controversies" to help young adults develop the ability to make responsible choices that reflect their concern for what is a risk and how it will affect others involved. Because an ethical controversy is a problem-solving situation, leaders expect young adults to employ empathy, invention, and selection when they think through their position and work toward a solution.
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