Alan Houser (troop24@EMF.NET)
Wed, 15 Mar 1995 08:26:39 -0800
One of my committee members went to Philmont Training Center last summer
for the Venture/Varsity program. The current emphasis is to have Venture
Crew as an in-troop activity, but to charter Varsity Teams independent from
troops. In our district, we have three teams, all LDS (maybe that's
necessary to get other teams to play against). One was formerly a troop,
the other two seem to be closely associated with existing troops (despite
With a troop of 30 Scouts, we have instituted Venture Crew as a way of
offering the older Scouts some additional program to keep their interest.
We don't have a fixed crew in itself, but offer it to anyone 13 and older.
We decided not to make a rank requirement so that older boys who were
interested in joining the troop would be able to participate immediately.
They should be active in the regular troop program, and if they are are
a troop leader, they should be doing their job. They decide on what they
want to do, then those interested in the chosen adventure participate in
the planning and go on the activity. This flexible crew allows some of
them to participate in school sports part of the year without affecting
the chemistry. We have done backpacking (including Philmont in 1993), snow
camping, and we have a crew going to Sommers Canoe Base this summer. They
also have done a weekend caving trip after inviting a member of the local
grotto for an evening presentation on equipment and techniques.
Does it work? Yes. Since we started Venture Crew in 1993, only one older
Scout has left the program, and one has transferred to another troop. A
couple of others have graduated, but are still interested when they are
available. One was an assistant leader on last month's snow camping trip.
Of the older Scouts who were around when we started and who have not left
Scouting, only two have not made Eagle but both have only the Board of
Review left (and the paperwork!). My own son, who was asking about Explorer
Posts two years ago, has stopped asking about alternative programs and is
firmly committed to staying in the troop until he leaves for college.
Alan R. Houser ** Scoutmaster, Berkeley Troop 24 ** firstname.lastname@example.org
** WWW page ** http://www.emf.net/~troop24/t24.html **
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City