Venturing Fast Start

Reference (Venturing Fast Start Booklet)

Welcome to Venturing

This booklet illustrates how using the Venturing program planning process can get your Venturing crew up and running and off to a successful start. It also will
provide information to help you when you first meet with youth.

Details on crew operations, program planning, and elected youth officer training can be found in the Venturing Leader Manual, No. 34655B.

Getting Started

There are several things you need to know:

  • What is Venturing, its goals and methods?
  • What’s in it for you?
  • What’s in it for youth?
  • How do you get your crew up and running?

The Venturing Program

Venturing is for young adults ages 14 through 20 who, along with adult leaders, are registered with the Boy Scouts of America.

The program matches the interests of young adults with adult expertise and resources of the chartered organization and other adults in the community.

The program is carried out through a Venturing crew. Its purpose is to provide experiences that will affect the positive development of youth at a critical stage in their lives and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults.

The crew is led by elected youth officers. Young adults join to gain insight through fun-filled programs and hands-on activities provided by the chartered organization, adult committee member volunteers, youth mem-ber parents, and other consultants from the community.

Program Goals

Venturing has four specific goals for Venturers:

  1. To gain practical experience in a special interest, a skill, or leadership
  2. Engage in a program of activities centered on the following areas: social, leadership, fitness, service, outdoor, and citizenship
  3. To experience positive leadership from adults and youth and to have an opportunity to lead others
  4. To learn and grow in a caring environment

Venturing Methods

  • Leadership. 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 in an active way to effectively lead.
  • Group activities. Venturing activities are interdependent group experiences in which success depends on the cooperation of all. Learning by doing in a group setting provides opportunities for developing new skills.
  • Adult association. The youth officers lead the crew. The officers and activity chairs work closely with 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 Venturing Oath and Code. They promise to do their duty to God, help strengthen America, to help others, and to seek truth and fairness.
  • High adventure. Venturing’s emphasis on high adventure helps provide team-building opportunities, new meaningful experiences, practical leadership application, and lifelong memories to young adults.
  • Teaching others. All of the Venturing awards require Venturers to teach what they have learned to others. When they teach others often,Venturers are better able to retain the skill or knowledge they taught, they gain confidence in their ability to speak and relate to others, and they acquire skills that can benefit them for the rest of their lives as a hobby or occupation.

Crew Leadership and Responsibilities

The following adult and youth leadership positions and responsibilities are suggested to run a successful crew.

Adult Leadership

  • The Advisor is an adult volunteer age 21 or older who is selected by the chartered organization and has responsibility for
    1. Attending crew meetings
    2. Training youth officers to plan and coordinate the program
    3. Conducting the program capability inventory
    4. Helping youth plan and implement activities
  • The crew committee is composed of adult members—from parents, chartered organization members, and other interested adults—who support the crew program. Their responsibilities are as follows:

    The chair conducts monthly committee meetings and coordinates crew efforts.
    The treasurer advises the youth treasurer and assists with fund-raising activities.
    Committee members assist youth activities chairmen to carry out their responsibilities.
    Consultants interact with the crew by providing technical expertise, special skills, equipment, facilities, or community contacts related to the crew program. They may be one-time participants.

Youth Leadership

Youth members are elected to leadership positions in the following areas:

  • The president is the key youth leader and works closely with the Advisor and leadership team to plan crew and crew officers’ meetings. The president presides at crew meetings.
  • The administrative vice president is responsible for membership and recognition.
  • The program vice president surveys members about their interests to help plan program activities. This vice president also schedules activities.
  • The secretary keeps records, takes meeting minutes, and handles correspondence.
  • The treasurer maintains the crew’s funds.
  • The youth activity chair is appointed by the crew president to chair a crew activity or project. Each chair serves through completion of his or her appointed task and is then reappointed to chair or assigned to work on upcoming crew activities

Getting Your Crew Up and Running (Crew Program Planning Process)

  1. Hold a briefing meeting for key adults from the chartered organization. Identify other interested adults at the meeting to serve as members of the crew committee.
    Conduct the program capability inventory (PCI; see addendum B) and discuss plans to expand the PCI to include other adults—members of the chartered organization, friends, associates, and so on. Secure commitment for help and support.
    Plan the first three-month program. Select program activities for each scheduled crew meeting. Appoint an adult committee member or adult consultant for each activity.
  2. Invite youth to the crew’s first meeting. Discuss the purpose and focus of the crew program.
    Review the potential for the program based on the resources from the program capability inventory, the chartered organization, and the crew committee.
    During its first three months, a crew should:

    1. Elect crew officers.
    2. Critique the first month’s activities.
    3. Conduct the elected crew officers’ seminar (see addendum H)
    4. Review and adopt the crew program schedule for the remainder of the year.
  3. Survey youth members. As soon as possible, find out what the youth want to do. Complete the Ven turing activity interest survey (see addendum D).
  4. Brainstorm with youth. Initiate a discussion with youth members to reveal ideas that might not be on the survey. Include the entire crew.
  5. Match youth activity interests with resources. Compile the Venturing activity interest survey results and match them with the program capability inventory (see addendum B). When a suggested Venturing activity matches a resource from the PCI, you might have the basis for a possible program. The crew committee will need to find other resources for the remaining Venturing activity interests.
  6. Fill in the gaps Make sure that the program activities are balanced and include the six experience areas.
  7. Schedule activities. Develop a 12-month program. (See addendum G for a sample annual crew program outline.) Be aware of conflicts with other community activities and avoid cancellations.
  8. Select youth activity chairpersons and adult consultants. Appoint capable youth members for each activity and an adult consultant from the program capability inventory. The activity chairperson should use the activity planner (see addendum F) to complete the project.
  9. Monitor the program’s progress. Keep tabs on the program’s development to help ensure success.

Key Factors for Successful Crew Operations

  1. Use crew resources. Conduct the program capability inventory (PCI). This is an inventory of information about adults related to the chartered organization and parents who are willing to provide program help to the crew. This program help may involve their hobbies, special skills, contacts,facilities, and ideas (see addendum B).
  2. Get parents involved. Encourage parents to become involved in Venturing activities whenever possible. Suggestions might include:
    • Serve on the crew committee
    • Provide transportation, equipment, chaperoning,counseling, and planning to support activities
    • Assist in citizenship, service, outdoor, fitness,leadership, and social activities
  3. Seek youth input. Have each crew member complete the Venturing activity interest survey (see addendum D). Conduct the survey on a regular basis to check on the interests of new members.
  4. Guide youth leadership. Youth officers are elected and trained to lead, plan, and make decisions regarding the implementation of crew programs and activities. They should serve long enough to have successful experiences. The crew president should appoint a committee to draft the crew bylaws.
  5. Hold regular crew meetings. A minimum of two Venturing crew meetings should be held each month. Discuss important business first. Reserve the remaining time for a planned activity. These activities could be learning new skills (i.e., CPR, rappelling, first aid, etc.) or preparing for a high- adventure trip or activity (see addendum E).
    The crew president conducts crew meetings. A detailed, written agenda should be developed for each meeting. The program vice president and activity chairman make reminder phone calls to program presenters or consultants. The president should ensure that all crew meetings start on time. All meetings should have an opening and a closing using the Pledge of Allegiance, the Venturing Code,Oath, or a prayer. Guests should be introduced and made to feel welcome.
  6. Train and develop youth officers—the crew officers’ seminar. The seminar is a training and planning session for newly elected officers. It is led by the Advisor, the youth president, and the associate Advisors. A successful seminar provides a clear road map for the coming months and enables the officers to begin assuming leadership of their crew (see addendum H).
  7. Give recognition for achievement. Young adults will expect to be rewarded for their accomplishments. The Venturing awards advancement program and scholarship opportunities are available to Venturers. Contact your local council ser vice center for information and applications.
  8. Venturing Leadership Skills Course, No. 34340A. This course is designed for all crew members. It can be led by the crew Advisor or other adults, or by the crew officers.

Program Helps And Resources

Below are the most commonly used materials available from your BSA local council service center or that can be purchased from the BSA Distribution Center by calling 800-323-0732.

Venturing Leader Manual.
Provides crew leaders with all necessary information on program planning, leadership, resources, and policies.
No. 34655B.

Venturer Handbook.
Provides detailed information on Venturing Bronze, Gold, and Silver awards, including requirements and award applications.
No. 33493.

Venturing Leadership Skills Course.
A set of modules to teach leadership skills to all crew members.
No. 34340A.

Ranger Guidebook.
The primary source of information for all Venturers working on the Ranger Award. This is an excellent resource for planning and developing outdoor crew activities.
No. 3128.

Sea Scout Manual.
Designed for all adult/youth leaders and youth members of Sea Scoutingships. The manual is an excellent resource for planning and developing Venturing crew aquatic activities.
No. 33239B.