Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: What are Venture Scouts? (was Re: What are Varsity Scouts?)
What are Venture Scouts? (was Re: What are Varsity Scouts?)
Tue, 24 Aug 1999 15:59:09 -0400
On the off chance that prehaps people are again confusing Venture with
Varsity, let me resubmit this, but changing the questions slightly.
> 1) What are Venture Scouts?
Well, first off that term is incorrect. As far as National is concerned,
there is no group called 'Venture Scouts'. Members of Venture Patrols don't
have a special name. I guess they would be called 'Venture Patrol Members'.
Venture Scout is ok by me, just don't make the mistake of calling the
members of Venturing Crews 'Venture Scouts'. They are called Venturers.
In 1989, National created a new, optional, in-troop program called
Venture/Varsity. This was intended for older boys in the troop (13-17), to
do more adventerous stuff, but still stay in their troops. They could form
Venture Crews and do high-adventure stuff, or Varsity Squads and do sports
stuff. To avoid confusion with Varsity Scout Teams, the term 'Varsity' was
dropped in 1995 for this program, and Venture Crews could do either
high-adventure or sports stuff. And recently, the Venture Crews were
renamed to Venture Patrols to avoid confusion with the new Venturing Crews.
> >2) How does Venture work in a Troop?
If the troop has enough older boys for a Venture program, they can choose to
have one organized. You should also have an Assistant Scoutmaster assigned
to the Patrol. Most have found that it is best to leave the boys in their
'regular' patrols, and have then form up the Venture Patrol only to plan and
carry out their Venture program. This way, the troop is not 'robbed' of
these older boys.
> >3) Are there Venture patrols?
Yes. The term is Venture Patrol under a Venture Patrol Leader.
> >4) Who is the leader of Venture Scouts?
There should be an Assistant Scoutmaster-Venture and Venture Patrol Leader..
> >5) What activities are there for Venture Scouts?
The Venture Patrol chooses to do a high adventure or sports related
activity. This can be geared around the Venture/Varsity activity pins.
For instance, lets say the Venture Patrol wants to do a Scuba trip. They
would organize and plan out where they are going, what they need in terms of
training and preparation, and what the cost would be.
They would do all the work needed to accomplish their goal of that Scuba
trip. They could still be members of regular patrols and do stuff with the
troop, but on the side would be planning out their own trip.
Also, as stated before, many find it useful to have the Venture Patrol ONLY
exist while it plans and carries out their activities/trips. In the 'down
time' between these things (which may be several weeks or so), the Venure
Patrol would not exist. So for every new trip/activity, the Patrol would be
reformed and a Patrol Leader elected.
> >6) Are there awards are specifically for Venture Scouts?
They can work toward the Venture/Varsity Scout Letter as well as activity
pins. Usually the planning and carrying out of a high adventure trip will
earn them the letter, then they can add pins for addition, specialized
> >7) What resources, books, video tapes, printed material and
> > web sites are there available to learn more about this
> > part of the BSA Scouting program?
> The new, current Boy Scout Handbook and Scoutmaster Handbook speak about
> There are the Venture/Varsity activity books to earn the activity pins and
There should be a web page on National page, but don't know where.
> >8) Do you have a venture group in your unit? If so could you
> > tell me about it?
When I was involved with a Boy Scout Troop, we had a Venture Crew. We had
some problems with it, and don't know if they dropped it after I left.
Since then I have heard good and bad things about the program. It has a lot
of potential IF used right. National could help by putting out more info
about it. What little is in the BSHB and SMHB is not enough.
> >9) How do your start a Venture Scout Program?
If you have enough boys, your troop can choose to have one. Be adviced that
if you have a small, weak troop, having a Venture program might be too big a
drain on it. Having a Venture program will not make a week troop stronger.
Frankly, the whole Venture Patrol idea harkens back to the old days of
Explorer Patrols or Explorer Crews within Troops, and they can operate
almost the same way. Take a look at old Scoutmaster Handbooks from the 40s
and 50s for info on how these groups operate in troops, and you could easily
apply it to Venture Patrols.
> >If you could share your knowledge on this subject I'd appreciate
> >it. Thank you for your help in advance.
> >Serving You and Scouting,
> >Richard Axtman
> Michael R. Brown
> Venturing Crew #1838
formerly with Boy Scout Troop #165