Updated 2/17/16 NEW items in red.
“Venturing can be anything you want it to be”
On this page you will find:
- Venturing Overview
- Newly Called Venturing Leaders and Assistants
- Resources and Activity Ideas
- Venturing Awards
- BSA Venturing Links
- General Thoughts on Venturing
- Successful Activities from Other Wards
- Suggested Annual Goals
NEW–One-page summary of training required by BSA position (related to the Troop, Team, Crew, Committees, and Chartered Org Rep) and training required for various activities (including camping, boating, swimming, backpacking, climbing and flying)
Venturing is a BSA-offered program that is used by the ward’s Priest Quorum. Venturing is not for young boys but for young men and provides positive experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible adults. Venturing provides the skills needed for young adults to make ethical choices, experience a fun program full of adventure and challenges, acquire leadership skills, and to take advantage of opportunities to advance their skills and knowledge in the areas of Adventure, Leadership, Personal Growth, and Service.
Beginning in 2015 Venturing underwent a facelift with new awards and focus to better connect with youth and provide them with better life skills. Resources on this web page are highlights of the new program. Venturing has its own separate award program with specific requirements that differ from the traditional troop program. Progress through Venturing awards begins with the basic “Venturing Award”, moves through the “Discovery” and “Pathfinder” awards, and culminates with the “Summit” award. There are other awards that allow young men to excel in specific areas of emphasis such as religion and spiritual life (TRUST award), the outdoors and physical fitness (Ranger Award) and leadership (Quest Award). There are no merit badges in Venturing, but rather service, leadership experiences, and adventures that must be performed to advance.
Through 4 Areas of Emphasis (Adventures & Activities, Leadership, Personal Growth, Service), Venturing youth and advisors can develop a flexible program that integrates the principles and values of scouting with the interests of the young men of this age group. It is important for the young men to be properly organized with appropriate leadership positions in order for them to get the most of out of the program. A properly implemented Venture Crew can be an effective activity program to attract and retain young men, and provides an effective framework for building testimonies and character of its quorum members. It will also likely be something the young men will want to invite their friends to. Venturing allows adult advisors to focus on helping the young men lead rather than worrying about each week’s activity. Venturing is flexible enough to provide opportunities to scouts who want and need to continue to work on merit badges and advancement toward the rank of eagle while pursuing Venturing activities and its awards in parallel.
Quoting from the green LDS Scouting handbook, May 2015 edition, section 1.1, the Purpose of Scouting in the Aaronic Priesthood:
Unless otherwise noted, the term Scouting includes Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing. Scouting can help young men and boys enhance close relationships with their families and the Church while developing strong and desirable traits of character, citizenship, and physical and mental fitness. Under priesthood leadership, Scouting should complement the efforts of Aaronic Priesthood quorums and Primary classes in building testimonies in young men and boys. Scouting under Church sponsorship should become an extension of the home, Primary classes, and Aaronic Priesthood quorums. Scouting functions as part of the Church’s activity program for boys and young men. Scouting activities should be planned to fulfill gospel-centered purposes.
Additional thoughts on why Aaronic Priesthood quorums actively support scouting can be found on the New Advisors section of this website.
Suggested Venturing annual goals are found at the bottom of this page and give thoughts on how to start, or expand, your ward’s Venture Crew.
Newly Called Venturing Leaders and Assistants
should attend a stake New Leader Orientation review when offered, and otherwise follow the outline under New Advisors on this website to get oriented and trained in Aaronic Priesthood and Venturing matters. The outline provides a roadmap to help you get properly trained and ramped up during the first 3-6 months of your call. Adult advisors should take the “Youth Protection for Venturing Advisors” available through your myscouting.org account page. This is in addition to the Youth Protection training course you have probably already taken. Acquire and become familiar with the Venturing Advisor Guidebook and other Venturing resources (see below) which provide specifics about the basics of running a Venture program, advancement details and guidance for youth and adults for Venturing.
Resources and Activity Ideas
Currently, since the new Venturing program is new for 2015, it appears that the best Venturing resources are found in the actual hard copy guidebooks rather than through online resources, though online searches will certainly result in legacy information from the prior program that could be helpful. These new guidebooks can be purchased at the scout shop at Council headquarters in Denver, online through BSA by clicking on the links below, or on Kindle by clicking on the ‘Kindle version’ links below. (Wards will likely reimburse for these resources and can be kept as part of the troop’s library)
- Handbook for Venturers for the youth ($15.99) via BSA
- Kindle version ($9.99)
- Venturing Advisor Guidebook for the advisors ($15.99)
- Kindle version ($9.99)
- Venturing Awards and Requirements Handbook ($15.99) (as of Nov.’15 this item isn’t showing up but it might return)
- Kindle version ($9.99)
NEW—2016 Denver Area Council Planning Guide: contains information to assist in planning your activities for the year including Council opportunities, camping, calendar, and descriptions of scouting in the Denver area.
To find posts on this website with details on Venturing activities or other announcements specific to Venturing, type ‘venture’ into the search box to the right.
The church’s Activities website has suggestions and plans for Venturing activities that other Crews have had done successfully.
The LDS-BSA Relations website has ideas on how to plan Venturing activities (scroll to the bottom of the page for Venturers).
The LDS-BSA Relations website also has a Venturing Guide for LDS Leaders. It’s dated, meaning it is intended for Venturing prior to the 2015 updates, but there are solid principles and helpful nuggets of info that apply regardless of the program specifics.
A uniform insignia guide for Venturing uniforms can be found HERE.
The LDS BSA Relations website also has helpful resources for Venture Leaders that are accessible by clicking HERE.
A summary of church, BSA, and stake policies on travel, safety, and finances can be found under the Policies section of this website.
Venturing has its own separate awards program. Venture scouts will continue to work on merit badges and Boy Scout rank advancement toward eagle, but they can also work on Venturing awards in parallel. These awards should be presented to the scouts at courts of honor. It is important for younger scouts to see the older scouts continue to earn awards. It helps the younger boys look forward to future adventures and creates a culture of scouting throughout all quorums of the Aaronic Priesthood. You can learn more about the awards program in the Venturing Awards and Requirements handbook mentioned above.
NEW: As of November 2015, links to some Venturing awards are available online. You can focus activities around the various interests of the crew depending on the award they’d like to earn. Achieving any of these awards will require focus, planning and effort. The best descriptions of the awards are in the manuals, but brief overviews are below and include:
- Summary of Venturing Achievement Awards, includes link to a Venturing Awards Tracking Sheet.
- Quest Award Description and Requirements: focus on nutrition, fitness and sports
- Pathway to Summit. This is the ongoing Venture program and includes requirements for the Venturing award, the Discovery award, the Pathfinder award, the Summit Award (can be thought of as the ‘Eagle Scout’ award of Venturing). Link to requirements.
- Trust Award Description and Requirements: focus on religious understanding.
- Ranger Award Description and Requirements: focus on high level of outdoor skills proficiency
- NOVA Awards Description and Requirements: Focus is on STEM topics with 4 different modules to work on
- SUPERNOVA Awards Description and Requirements: Focus in on STEM topics and are more advanced than the Nova awards.
- Shooting Sports Award requirements: click HERE and HERE
Patches can be purchased at the Council Scout Shop or online at www.scoutstuff.org, search ‘venturing awards’.
BSA Venturing Links
Denver Council Venturing 2015 Activity Calendar
Link to all BSA Program Updates including awards, requirements, etc. Venturing items are near the bottom of the page.
General Thoughts on Venturing
- Many priest quorums struggle with quality mutual night activities. Some young men resist participating in “scouting” because their perception is that it only focuses on merit badges and they’re either done with those, or not interested in that type of scouting. Venturing, however, is not that type of scouting–it is more FUN disguised as Scouting! By following the program, and with a little creativity, the young men will likely want to participate in Venturing because they are in charge of their own program, it challenges them, it interests them, and provides them opportunities to grow and have experiences that they choose.
- Because boys ages 16-18 have diverse interests and needs Venturing is flexible enough to tailor to the needs and wants of every priest quorum while still enabling young men to advance toward their eagle and earn Venturing specific awards if they want to. Leadership positions can be tailored to each young man and can change more frequently as needed.
- Follow the program. Learn what it has to offer. Organize the youth as outlined and let things happen. Facilitate regular (even quarterly) outdoor adventures, preferably overnight, where the young men can have experiences to develop skills and confidence.
- Planning a 90 day or 12 month calendar can be easy! Select areas that interest the young men, review the Venturing awards that are available, and plan accordingly. If you need ideas or additional activity outlines, review the 3 Varsity guidebooks (scroll halfway down the page) for 60-90 day outlines based on a variety of themes that may interest the young men.
- Strive to participate in at least one Council activity each year. This could be the annual horseback riding event in the spring, or shooting sports, or the occasional all-night “Venturing X-Games”. Getting the young men to interact with other Venturers can be valuable.
- If you don’t have a large group of boys in the priest quorum and it’s difficult to plan activities, considering combing Venturing activities with another ward. You might issue a challenge to compete with them in a particular event.
- If there is uncertainty on the part of adults and/or youth, visit a local Venturing team in the community. They can show you how they do it how they are organized and you could even team up and do things together.
- Venturing awards are fun to earn and may be a goal of some boys, but not all of them. That’s ok! Let those who just want to have fun, come and have fun. See that they are all assigned leadership responsibilities to add to their overall experience and accountability. They can still do the same things that would enable them to earn the awards whether they think they are or not.
- If your ward’s priest quorum doesn’t have an active Venture Crew and you want to start one, you don’t need to formally announce you’re going to “start scouting”. Just ease into it. Start with some activities designed around a theme that the boys select, help the young men get organized in their leadership roles (per the Venture crew structure), have the young men make assignments to each other, and let them jump in. You can just keep them from getting injured! They will likely enjoy it and may not even realize their “doing scouts”.
Successful Activities from Other Wards in the Stake
- In January 2015, Westridge ward began to more formally focus on Venturing awards. By April, 7 members of the Crew were presented their initial Venturing Award at a court of honor.
- In January 2016, Westridge ward planned the year with a focus on some STEM and Quest Awards.
Suggested Annual Goals
The Stake Young Men Presidency would like to suggest some goals for each Aaronic Priesthood Quorum and related scouting unit. Each young man should have opportunities to experience real spiritual, physical, and emotional growth during the year and as you consider what you’d like to accomplish in 2015, please consider the following as well:
- Properly organize a venture program with youth leadership
- Participate in at least one Denver Area Council Venture activity during the year
- Have summer camp date and general plans known and publicized by Jan.31
- Regularly review Journey to Excellence (JTE) requirements throughout the year; strive for Gold
“the outdoors is the laboratory for leadership” is a scouting credo. Take the young men outside regularly and allow them to learn the self-confidence to rely on themselves and those around them.