Guest Author - Erik Moeller
The most underserved youth group in our country today is the group of young men and women in the 14 to 21 age bracket. For younger children there is T-ball; YMCA football and soccer; Little League and local football, baseball and soccer teams, etc. When you finish 9th grade your options are much more limited. You can play varsity school sports, be a cheer leader or participate on the flag team, or play select or elite sports. There are a few other areas where you can exhibit leadership and enjoy what you are doing, but the list is of these opportunities is fairly short. Venturing is an exciting addition to the short list of activities.
Why is Venturing a good option? There are several reasons:
1. Unlike Boy Scouts where everyone in every troop has the same guidelines for activities and recognition, Venturers determine the direction and focus of the crew. The crew could focus on high adventure and do camping and rappelling activities or just focus on SCUBA activities. The crew could focus on Arts and Crafts activities, Boating activities, Sports activities or Religious Life activities.
2. Crew youth members develop the program, plan the activities and lead the crew. Adults are there as advisors to help the crew develop and to provide guidance as needed, but crews are youth run.
3. Crews determine their own uniforms. While the BSA organization offers a green “dress uniform” shirt for formal occasions, most crews have a golf shirt with a crew logo for most meetings and T-shirts for activities. These are the kinds of uniforms you might even wear to school.
4. Developing leadership skills is ingrained in all parts of the program. When our youth apply to college or for a job, they can stand out from the pack if they can discuss how they took responsibility to lead a crew for six months or were responsible for planning a SCUBA trip to Florida.
5. Crews can be Co-ed. Most crews are male/female crews, but crews can be all female or all male- the determination is made by the crew. Most crews are over 50% female and approximately 75% of most crew members have not been in Boy Scouts.
Venturing offers our youth the opportunity to expand their horizons, develop their leadership skills, and improve their self confidence. For more information on Venturing and some of the awards, visit the links below.