scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: Venting -- Venture Program
Wed Nov 10 1999 - 12:08:23 CST
I am so sorry to here about your problems in your troop. I am constantly
amazed at the number of roadblocks that are thrown up by Scouters when
discussing the older boy (youth) program, whether it be at the unit, district
or council level. As parents, we want the very best school, band, sport or
religious program opportunities for our children. This desire seems to hit a
deadend for some, when considering the Scouting program. What is even more
amazing is that the program for older youth is already there, whether it be
a Venture patrol in a troop or a separate Varsity Team or Venturing crew.
I can't understand it when a Scout leader or a committee member blocks such a
program because they are "complaining about buying 4-man Eureka tents for
backpacking and they say that the Venture program is too disruptive because
the boys want to meet once in a while during regular meetings. The leaders
also say that extra meetings for just the Ventures is too much, and not all
the scouts like
backpacking, etc. etc." Perhaps it is because their son is either not an
older teen or may just not like the challenges that can be offered by a
Venture patrol. Whatever the reason, it is not enough to shut down the
program for those scouts and leaders who are interested in the program and
who can see its value in growing more mature youth leadership.
We have a very active older youth program in our area with Venture patrols,
Varsity teams and Venturing crews. One unit went to the international scout
chalet in Switzerland, another backpacked in British Columbia, and another
backpacked in Glacier National Park. This is one top of our council's summer
high adventure base and Philmont. By choosing not to support an older boy
program, your present troop is sentencing themselves to a life of car
camping, with perhaps a weekend a year when scouts actually backpack. It is
my guess that they will probably never enjoy the rich variety of programs
that are available to those who seek greater challenges.
In the end, it is the youth members that are hurt. I hate to say it, but I
think that you are doing the right thing by following the old Scoutmaster.
Good luck! Without challenge there is no achievement.
Advisor, Crew 1519