Re: "Eve" and young men...
Settummanque, the blackeagle (WALTOML@WKUVX1.BITNET)
Tue, 6 Apr 1993 11:49:39 CDT
"Kenneth C. Morgan" <KCM112@PSUVM.BITNET> writes:
>>From: "Settummanque, the blackeagle" <WALTOML@WKUVX1.BITNET>
>>The Venture Crew would as you stated, go from Mt. Hood to Canada, for
>>example; while the Varsity Team could do the same except perhaps from
>>Portland to Mt. Hood and back.
>>The ONLY differences between the two are the scope of the activities
>>(longer than two weeks for Venture; about a week for Varsity) and the
>>age range of the two groups.
>I've been doing alot of research on this, trying to start a venture crew in
>my troop. The way I've read this from the Boy Scout Handbook and other
>publications is WITHIN the troop, Venture is for high adventure camping,
>hiking, etc. and Varsity is for sports. It is basically having a sports
>team in the troop, to compete in competitions against other troops and the
First off, Mike Brown already answered part of this before I could,
so I'll just add to his statements about Varsity.
Varsity Scouting resulted from two sources: the LDS church, which did
a great job with the old Leadership Corps program and raised that old
program to a science; and urban professional Scouters, which had
attempted to tie what urban youngers love to do as "escapism" with the
principles of our Scouting program.
The word "varsity" refers NOT TO SPORTS but rather to the AGE of the
youth participants. As most of us in the USA know, in any kind of
sport or athletic event at our schools, they are divided between
"junior varsity" (mainly freshmen and sophomores) and "varsity"
(juniors and seniors). The BSA used the "Senior" designation to
recognize youth making it to high school age; but the problem was that
our Scouts are making it to Eagle at a MUCH EARLIER age than the 14.5
that was used for the old "Senior" recognition.
Therefore, the Varsity program came into being. When the program was
FIRST brought out, the two leading groups used the Varsity program as
I've described it above--either part of their Troop program whereby
those in the program would receive more leadership training; or a
sports program whereby members didn't have to do anything but play a
sport and do well.
However, the PRESENT program--the one that National developed over the
past seven years and tied with the Venture program--is one of two
VARSITY (Troop): Mike Brown explained this, but perhaps you or others
were not around for this particular program he explained. Back in the
50s and 60s, those "senior Scouts" could do one of three things: they
could remain in the Troop as "seniors". They could go to an Explorer
Post. Or they could form a Explorer Crew WITHIN the Troop.
The Crew would consist of all older Scouts that met the age and rank
requirements for entry. They would have their own Crew Leader, which
would also be a member of the Patrol Leaders' Council for
decision-making. An adult from the chartered partner would serve as
Advisor to the Crew in a like manner as the old "patrol dads" were for
the traditional Patrols. Those that wished to could start work on the
Silver Award or continue to work toward Eagle. They could wear the
kelly green Explorer shirts as opposed to wearing the khahi green
Scout shirts instead and (get this:) they could involve women in their
activities and even hold parties with the women (mostly local Girl
The Varsity program sounds like this and IT IS this program, just
updated and exported for the nineties. The Varsity Sqaud would have a
Captain, and as many co- or assistant Captains as he sees fit. The
adult advisor is as ASSISTANT SCOUTMASTER-Varsity (NOT a COACH!!! This
is one of the significant difference between the two flavors!) and the
Troop Committee is responsible for the Squad's work and activities.
They could choose to work on the Varsity Team letter, bars to the
letter, or the traditional ranks in Scouting. Outwardly, Varsity
members wear ORANGE shoulder loops and the Varsity "mini-bar" above
the "Boy Scouts of America" strip. (one of the things I have already
wrote the National Director of Varsity/Venture Scouting Programs about
was that the strips needed to be the same size as those old "senior"
strips. The reply was that "let's see if it'll fly first!" )
VARSITY (Team): This is a SEPARATE UNIT, which may or may not be
chartered by the same group that chartered the Scout Troop. It's
formed with two or more squads, each squad led by a Squad Leader. The
senior boy leader is called the Captain, and as the Troop's flavor,
may have assistants or co- captains as he sees fit. There are Program
Managers that can also be appointed by the Captain, with the adult
Coach's permission. These Managers work on specific areas of the
Just like a Scout Troop, the Team decides on what activities that they
will participate in over the coming year. It could be a sports league,
or it could be an extended camping event, or it could be a series of
service projects. It depends upon the youth of the Team and their
adult Coaches and Assistant Coaches.
There are special concessions made for this organization. First off,
the lack of uniforms. Varsity Teams (Teams ONLY) may decide to wear
the Varsity Jacket and letter only, with the small Scout rank pin at
the bottom and bars on either side of the "V"; they could wear the
Scout uniform, complete with the Blaze (Orange) shoulder loops and the
Varsity Letter on the bottom of their merit badge sash; or neither and
develop their OWN tee-shirt for Team members. Second, the attendance
and participation of females. Girls can serve as ASSOCIATES (where we
entered this conversation at!) to the Team and can accompany them on
outdoor activities (but NOT OVERNIGHT ONES) and other Team activities
with the permission of the Team Committee and Coach. This is a big
change from the Boy Scouting policy and one reason why many youth like
the Varsity program (and many adults want to steer clear from it!).
The final difference is that of meeting schedule. The Varsity Team may
decide to meet more often, which aids in group "togetherness" and
definately different from the one meeting a week that the members were
used to in the Troop set-up.
>There is also a program called Varsity Scouting meant for young men 14-18
>yrs old that is high adventure outdoors, but it is done WITHOUT a troop.
>That is, another organizatin would sponsor it and the boys are not necessarily
>members of a Boy Scout troop. Is this what you meant?
Ken, BOTH flavors may conduct "high-adventure" (can we retire that,
please?? How about "outdoor-adventure" or simply "adventure" ??)
activities WITH or WITHOUT the Troop.... Again, not wanting to take
Mike Brown's thunder, but he's right...BOTH groups may do "outdoor
adventure" events (but at differing levels, as I stated before ONLY
because of the age difference, NOT because of skill).
>>NEITHER is (and I feel personally that the BSA missed the boat on
>>this!) an acceptable substitute for good programming on the part of
>>the youth members and the adult members of the Troop. While you can
>>"load up" on the "special opportunities" for older Scouts, they won't
>>stick around long enough to take advantage of it without the proper
>>grounding--and that comes from PROGRAM, not from anything else.
>>Instead of giving us Varsity and Venture to play around with, the
>>BSA's program team needed to give the Scoutmasters more tools to do a
>>better job with programming!
>I have to without question disagree with you. I consider both programs
>valuable "tools" in providing a well rounded program. Venture takes the
>skills a scout learned to the next level, challenging them and making them
>become more adept in outdoor skills, leadership, and responsibility. I've
>read complaintes that sports take kids out of scouts, well, Varsity brings
>sports to the scouts.
As a Varsity Team Coach, I can tell you that the same skills that the
Venture program does the Varsity program does as well. The nine Scouts
I had (note please that I refered to them as SCOUTS, and not "team
members"), were just as confortable in the outdoors as they were on
the bowling alleys or on the Putt-Putt course. They could challenge
you to a knot-tying contest or a game of "Horse". They understood the
you to a knot-tying relay or a game of "horse". They understood the
personalities of the community and used that to get a old school to
serve as a child-care center and indoor playground. Three of the
members advanced twice and ALL received their Varsity Team Letter
during my tenure as Coach.
And because of the Team Committee and chartered partner's committment
to doing this in a quality way, they limited the membership to
eighteen each school year and WE EVEN HAD "TRYOUTS"!!!
(I'll tell you about the tryouts later if you like!)
>The team/crew members can serve in the troop as Instructors and Guides for
>the younger scouts. Teaching the skills that are so important in Scouting
>and providing the neccesary program you mention above. What's a better way
>of keeping the younger guys interested than SHOWING them that there is
>something for them to do when they are older. They'll know about the Venture
>and Varsity programs and will strive to be a part of it.
>I am currently writing a summary for my Scoutmaster on how the Venture program
>can be integrated with and be useful to the troop as a whole. I was going to
>post it on rec.scouting, but if those who may not have access to it, I'd be
>more than happy to post it here.
>That's all I have to say now. I just wanted to make a few points.
Your points are noted and as someone else commented, please place a
copy here so that we can get the best benefit from it and share it
with other Scouters. Not all of us have access or want to have access
to Rec.Scouting, and there are differing reasons why...but whereever
you place it, please allow us to share it with other Scouters that can
really use the information!!!!!
(after all...isn't what this is all about anyways??)
Mike L. Walton
former Varsity Team Coach
( Settummanque, the blackeagle... ) )
((MAJ) Mike L. Walton (among other "endearing" names) ( )
( AIS/MR Recreation/Leisure Specialist, Lifeskills Inc. ___)_ )
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