Re: Venture Program: Option-concurrent Explorer Post
Amick Robert (amick@SPOT.COLORADO.EDU)
Fri, 15 Mar 1996 14:26:07 -0700
Troops/Teams with older Scouts may wish to consider concurrently
chartering an Explorer Post for their older Venture/Varsity Scouts. We
have had this arrangement since 1980 and it has worked exceptionally
well. Our Post is a high adventure specialty post; the members plan and
conduct activities which appeal to the older youth such as mountain
climbing, rock climbing, SCUBA diving (we did a Cozumel, Mexico high
adventure dive trip in 1984 and are planning another this year),
attendance at the National Exploring Leadership Conferences (held every
other year; this year's is at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff).
Another advantage is that youth members can remain until they turn 21, so
the older Scouts who normally would "age out" at 18 can still be involved
if they choose. We have a number who attend the University, and continue
to be active with post activities. They are a great help for the younger
Explorers and assist with trips and activities.
We also have male and female Explorers who have not been Scouts and
participate primarily in the post activities, but it is their choice, and
often they will work with both if they have the time. Having the Post
creates a great incentive for younger Scouts. The
Explorers maintain leadership positions in the troop, and wear the forest
green Explorer shirts with green loops. Our courts of honor are held
concurrently, and the Explorers often show slides and video of their
trips along with the troop trips. The Explorers serving in the
leadership positions are especially helpful to the new Scout Patrols. We
just took in about 20 eager Webelos, and the Explorers went right to work
getting them involved with their advancement. Of course, the new Scouts
relish and appreciate the attention of the Explorers in helping them.
Post business meetings are held once a month on Sunday evenings, and do
not conflict with troop meetings or activities. The post does one major
outdoor weekend trip per month, and a longer summer high adventure.
Sometimes, the post will
schedule an activity concurrent with the troop trip or campout which lets
younger Scouts observe and/or participate in some of the post events such
as introduction to rock climbing.
The Explorer Mock Disaster exercise is a major event planned by the
Emergency Management and Sheriff's Explorer Posts, and the Explorer
Officer's Associations for all Explorers in
Denver Area and Longs Peak Councils. The posts often invite Scouts to be
"victims" and help with the exercise, so again, the relationship of the
older Explorers and the Scouts is strengthened, and the Scouts look
forward to joining the Explorers when they reach 14.
Our Post committee is composed of
individuals who maintain concurrent registration in the Troop Committee,
although the Post Committee Chair and Troop Committee Chair are separate
individuals just to "spread the workload" out a little. Post/Troop
committee meetings are held concurrently, once per month. Similarly,
Advisor and Scoutmaster are different, although most of the associate
advisors and assistant Scoutmasters are concurrently registered.
The Post conducted one of the competitions involving first aid at the
Scout Klondike and was given high marks for the realism and effective
teaching of the younger Scouts. Most of the Post members are certified
in American Red Cross Emergency Reponse and CPR for the Professional Rescuer.
Some of our post members belong to more than one post, such as law
enforcement, emergency management, and aviation.
In summary, having an Explorer Post is a great "tool" to keep older
Scouts involved in Scouting by meeting the Explorers expectations of a
youth-planned and operated program, and offering some links to programs
which are of career or hobby interests to the Explorers. Additionally,
and if the members and post committee/sponsoring organization
choose to do so, the post can be "co-ed" so that Girl Scouts or friends
of current members can actually join as members and hold offices
rather than just being "guests" which is the limitation
for the Varsity/Venture program. The great advantage is that by having
concurrent registration, the "best of both worlds" is available to the youth.
If anyone would like more details on our program, or to discuss it,
please contact me at the above address.
Bob Amick, Explorer Advisor, High Adventure Explorer Post 72, and
District Exploring Chair, Arapahoe District, Longs Peak Council, Boulder, CO
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City