Venturing is for young men and women who are 14 through 20 years old, or who are 13 and have completed the eighth grade. Its purpose is to build character, promote citizenship, and develop personal and mental fitness. Each Venturing crew is responsible for achieving these aims by designing a program that appeals to its members.
The Goals of Venturing
There are four goals for Venturers:
- Gain practical experience from knowledgeable people.
- Engage in activities centered on leadership, service, social activities, fitness, the outdoors, and citizenship. The idea is to develop balance, to take responsibility, and to become mentally, emotionally, and physically fit.
- Experience and provide positive leadership, to set and follow examples, and to learn by doing.
- Have a chance to learn and grow in a supportive, caring, and fun environment.
The purpose of the Venturing awards program is to facilitate these four goals; provide a pathway for personal development; encourage learning, growth, and service; and recognize high levels of achievement. Advancement is accomplished when an active program emphasizes it and pays attention to the four steps of the process: preparation, learning, qualification, and recognition. Bronze, Gold, and Silver are the awards for the advancement track, but others also are described below. Venturers have until their 21st birthday to complete their awards.
Venturers may choose to earn just one Bronze Award— perhaps the one best matching the crew’s interest area—or more, or all five of them. They represent an introduction to skills and life experiences, and include Arts and Hobbies, Sports, Sea Scouts, Outdoor, and Religious Life. These entry level awards encourage achievement of the Gold and Silver awards. Crew Advisors or specialty “consultants” approved by the crew Advisor, who are much like merit badge counselors, pass members on requirements. No committee review or board of review is involved.
One Bronze award is required for the Gold Award, and candidates must be active (regardless of award level) and registered for at least 12 months. They must serve in a leadership role (within or outside the crew); participate in a district, council, or national Venturing activity; accomplish personal goals; and plan and lead activities. Letters of recommendation are required, along with a written presentation for a crew review committee. This consists of four to six Venturers and adults appointed by the crew president in conjunction with the crew Advisor. Venturers may choose to deliver the presentation orally at the review meeting, but this is not required. The review committee provides final approval. There is no district or council review board, but the advancement must be reported to the council.
Silver is the highest award for Venturers. It says they are leaders who serve, who are fit and prepared, and who have honor. Candidates must earn the Bronze and Gold awards, be proficient in emergency preparedness, participate in Ethics in Action, and complete Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews. For the Silver Award, Venturers first establish a plan of action and then carry it out. When requirements are fulfilled, they go through a formal review with four to six Venturers and adults appointed by the crew president in conjunction with the crew Advisor. There is no district or council involvement in the review process.
High adventure and the outdoors have always been emphasized in the Boy Scouts of America, and Venturing is no different. The Ranger Award encourages a high level of achievement and proficiency in outdoor skills. It exemplifies challenge. Eight core requirements and at least four of 18 electives must be completed. If the Outdoor Bronze Award has been earned, the Venturer is already halfway there. Candidates may work on their own or with other crew members. Advisors and consultants must sign for requirements. No crew review or board of review is involved.
The Quest Award is about fitness and sports. Candidates learn about nutrition, exercise plans, and what is required for a healthy life. They may be introduced to an enjoyable sport helpful toward that end. As with other Venturing awards, members share with others what they have learned. This can be done through presentations or even sports clinics. Five core requirements and at least one of five electives must be completed. The Sports Bronze Award comes first. There is no review board.
The TRUST (Tending, Respecting, Understanding, Serving, Transforming) Award helps Venturers learn about themselves, their communities, and religion and culture. It recognizes that trust is an essential part of relationships; that learning to trust is the challenge; and that learning to understand one another— especially those from different backgrounds and nationalities—represents a good start. The five core requirements are Tending Your Faith, Respecting the Beliefs of Others, Understanding Other Cultures, Serving Your Community, and Transforming Our Society. Candidates must work with a religious leader or with consultants in a related field of expertise. No board of review is involved.
The highest award for Sea Scouts presents a challenge that, when met, will affect a young person lifelong. The Quartermaster candidate must think analytically about how the program is delivered and supported, while developing a deeper understanding of Scouting ideals. Most requirements represent intensification of what was learned for previous ranks, but with significant additions in the Quartermaster project, cruise, and study of weather and forecasting. The project requirement is nearly identical to the Eagle Scout service project, but does not call for a workbook. The cruise involves taking long-term command of a vessel and crew and conducting critical drills.
It is appropriate to present the Ranger Award at a court of honor or Eagle/Silver banquet, and to recognize it in local and school newspapers.
Past Credit for Venturers
The requirements for all Venturing awards require the work to be done as Venturers. For example, even though a young man earned the Backpacking merit badge as a Boy Scout, before he became a Venturer, he must pass the Ranger backpacking elective once registered as a Venturer. Some requirements may call for certification such as Scuba Open-Water Diver, American Red Cross Standard First Aid, or BSA Lifeguard. Current certifications such as these may be used regardless where they were earned.
Some requirements may require some type of certification such as Scuba Open-Water Diver, American Red Cross Standard First Aid, or BSA Lifeguard. This certification may be used regardless of when it was earned as long as the certification is still current.
Venturers may receive multiple credit for requirements. In the above example, if the Backpacking merit badge was earned while the member was also a Venturer, the effort could also count toward the Ranger elective. Further, experiences such as the Red Cross Emergency Response course could be used for the Ranger first aid requirement and the first aid and lifesaver electives, and also for the Silver Award’s emergency preparedness requirement. Venturers may not receive multiple credit for something like a tabletop display or a presentation. These must be done separately and relate directly to each situation requiring them.
Boy Scout Advancement in Venturing and Sea Scouts
Venturers and Sea Scouts who earned First Class rank as registered Boy Scouts or Varsity Scouts are qualified until their 18th birthday to continue with Boy Scout advancement. If desired, they can maintain multiple (dual) registration in a troop or team, and also in a crew or ship, and work on ranks in either unit. Wherever the member is registered, the Scoutmaster and crew Advisor or Skipper decide with the young man which one will oversee his advancement. If the Advisor or Skipper does so, but is unfamiliar with Boy Scouting, the district advancement committee should identify an experienced Scouter to assist. It is important for Venturing and Sea Scout leaders to understand that Boy Scout advancement procedures must be followed.
Any work done while a Venturer or Sea Scout can count toward both Boy Scout and Venturing or Sea Scout advancement at the same time. For instance, a conservation project required in Boy Scouting can also count in Venturing. Position of responsibility requirements for Boy Scout ranks may be met by the Venturer or Sea Scout serving in crew or ship positions as outlined in the Boy Scout Requirements book, No. 34765. The Advisor or Skipper conducts the unit leader conference. The crew or ship committee conducts Star and Life boards of review, and Eagle Scout boards follow the local council’s established procedure.
Sea Scout advancements are approved by the ship's quarterdeck. In the case of the Quartermaster Award, the application is reviewed by the ship's committee with a member of the district advancement committee as chairman. Since the Quartermaster Award is a Venturing recognition, it may be earned by any young man or young woman registered as a Venturer.
All work on all Venturing advancement must be completed prior to the young person's 21st birthday.