Venturing

District Information for Venturers

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Since Venturers are expected to handle many of the logistical issues that adults handle in Boy Scout Troops, the question arises about district information for Venturers.

Should Venturers keep themselves aprised of district newsletter and blog updates?venturing_logo

Not every Venturer may be interested or have a need to keep current on District affairs. It may be highly worthwhile to have Crew Presidents and Vice-Presidents subscribe to the newsletter.

They will get one email per week about news in the district. They can find Cub Scout and Boy Scout events that the Crew may wish to volunteer to staff. This can help the Venturers progress on advancement from Venturing Award to Discovery Award to Pathfinder Award to the Summit Award (Venturing’s highest award). Each award has substantial service hour requirements.

Service hours are not strictly defined on who can benefit. This is from an FAQ on Venturing (2015):

Q: What is the scope and definition of service hours? Does service to the crew count as service hours, or does the service have to be outside the crew, or outside of scouting and does the crew member have to have advisor approval (for personal service)?

A: The Handbook for Venturers offers this definition of service:

A service is a valuable action, deed, or effort carried out to meet a need of an individual, a group of people, or an organization. An act must be both valuable and address a need of the recipient to qualify as an act of service. The variety of service project ideas is boundless. And, with your capabilities as a young adult it becomes your responsibility to choose those opportunities which best fit with your personal and crew values and to to bring about significant positive change for the individual or organization that you serve. Service is a great place to stretch your leadership muscles.

In counting service hours, service provided as a member of the crew and as an individual are both expected. There is no expectation of Advisor approval for service provided on an individual basis. The “how and why” of the service provided by the individual is a great topic for discussion during an Advisor conference.

Service to the crew (such as for Pathfinder Award Requirement 5) is a separate service requirement for the benefit of the crew and its members and does not “count” toward accumulating service project hours as described in the handbook extract above.

Within this definition, a crew can choose to serve a Cub Scout Pack or Boy Scout Troop or District Activity. The only requirement for crew service is that the crew has to decide to define and plan its participation in advance.

Many scoutmasters express concern in having a Venturing Crew associated with the Troop. The fear is that older boys will leave the troop in favor of the crew. By offering service back to the troop as part of the crew program, not only is this fear not realized, but additional troop staff is suddenly available.

Having crew officers aware of what is going on in the district, neighboring packs and troops allows the crew to choose service hour opportunities back to those units. So does Pack 358 want Venturers to help with the hayride or other offerings? Posting the request through the district website can help.

Let your venturing officers know that they can subscribe here.

Reserve a Spot at Fall NYLT

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Our District’s highest performing units put a heavy emphasis on the senior members of the Patrol Leaders Council having complete National Youth Leadership Training.NYLT_4k

The fall course is less than 30 days away. Encourage your scouts to participate by signing up on the reservation page. (Informational flyer for 2017 courses.)

This course is open to Venturers, too. The Spring 2018 NYLT Course Director Brian Spellman of Del-Mi Troop 199 told me last week that he will be putting a heavy emphasis on recruiting Venturers. Put a bug in their ear for Spring, if they can’t go in the fall.

For future planning, remember that NYLT students are highly encouraged to complete Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troop or for Crews.

Final Details of Inaugural Venturing Round Up Come Together

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Scout Troops have had Camporees since the dawn of the BSA.

Venturers need their own event. To that end, Council is holding its Inaugural camping event for Venturers called, “Venturing Round Up,” this weekend Friday, August 18, 2017 to Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Camp Krietenstein.venturing_logo

If your crew is able to attend, see you there. See the Round Up webpage for schedule and reservation information (initial headcount due Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 10:00 pm).

If your crew is not able to attend, but you can have a representative at camp on Sunday morning, the crew officers will be getting together at that time to discuss if they want to have future inter-crew events and what that might look like.

 

 

When does a Venturer Need to Take VYPT?

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In Venturing, you have three categories of members: Youth, Adults, and Venturing Participants. Youth are anyone 17 and younger. Adults are anyone over 21.

The hardest category is Venturing Participants.

Venturing Participants are anyone who is over 18 or will turn 18 in the calendar year. For new members, that means their birthday is in this calendar year. At rechartering for existing youth crew members, they will turn 18 in the following calendar year. Confused yet?

Sometimes knowing the goal is easier than knowing the rule. The goal is that an 18 year old legal adult has completed an Adult Application and Venturing Youth Protection Training. Why wait until a birthday? Those happen all year long? You have better things to do with your time.

Just look at your Venturers. If anyone turns 18 before the next time you do paperwork, have them complete an Adult Application and Venturing Youth Protection (Y02). Then the rules are not as important. Compliance is already complete.

Invitation to Join Crew 56 (and other crews)

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Tonight (Wednesday, August 2nd) at 7:00 pm, Crew 56 is holding its organizaitonal and planning meeting. The meeting will be at Luke’s Lodge, on the northeast corner of campus of St Luke’s UMC, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260.

Crew 56 is the only Venturing Crew in North Star District within several miles of Meridian Street or our district’s side of Washington Township.

The crew will be electing its inaugural officers, planning the annual calendar, and discussing long-term high adventure options. Some of the high adventure items under discussion include the Boundary Waters canoeing, Sea Base sailing and scuba diving, World Jamboree in West Virginia in 2019, trips to Konderstag, Switzerland’s International Scout Centre, hikes on the Appalachian Trail or the El Camino (the pilgrimage route to San Juan Compestello in northeastern Spain), and many others.

Venturing Crew 56 is a co-ed unit for boys and girls aged 14 to 20. (Former girl scouts can wear their Gold Award on their Venturing uniform.)

Boy Scouts can be dual registered with a troop. They can continue their pursuit of Eagle Scout while in a crew, so long as their primary BSA registration remains in their home troop (meaning the unit that pays his BSA dues). The Crew welcomes scouts, friends, sisters, etc., from nearby troops such as Troops 18, 35, 56, 174, 269, 343, and 514.

Come join Crew 56 tonight.

 

If you live too far away from Crew 56 or your troop has a sister crew, please send Jeff an email about recruitment nights and other chances for new members to join you. We would love to grow our existing crews. We need information to be better serve those crews.  We will help you publicize your efforts, too!

Crew 56 holds Informational Meetings

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From Bill Cherry:
Are your interested in Venturing Crew 56 – the BSA Program for youth male & female – 14 to 20 years of age? Both parents and youth are invited.
Two information sessions are going to be held in the fireplace room of the Luke’s Lodge (the outbuilding on the northeast corner of the campus of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260).
These are information session – not class “A” type of dress – just your class “B” uniform.
Mark your calendar for:
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 (tonight) from 7:00 to 8:30 PM
OR
Wednesday,  August 2, 2017 (tonight) from 7:00 to 8:30 PM
Bill Cherry
Co-Advisor, Crew 56
Crew 56 is the only North Star District Crew in Indianapolis, east of Eagle Creek Reservoir. This crew is already a co-ed unit. It is looking to grow its membership and plan its adventures for the coming year.
Scouts working on their advancement to Eagle can do some of their advancement through a crew. However, they must maintain their primary registration with the scout troop and do some of the requirements in the troop. A dual-registered scout or scouter, only pays their annual BSA National Dues through their primary unit (i.e., $25).
Scouts in neighboring troops are invited to attend these meetings. Sisters and daughters are actively encouraged to attend. Girls who participate in Venturing, even after having been a Girl Scout, often report that Venturing offered them experiences that they have never had before. These girls also report a very high satisfaction level from Venturing.
NOTE TO OTHER CREWS: This solicitation is an example of how we can promote scouting through the district website. The link back to your home website your Google search pominence and broader audience can raise your profile and recruiting success. Send me your scheduled recruiting meetings and events to promote more widely.

“Camporee” for Venturers?

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Tucker LaPrade, council’s Venturing specialist, will serve as Camp Director at Camp Krietenstein this summer.

I sat down to talk with him a couple weeks ago about what we can do in North Star District for Venturing.

As a result of that meeting, we determined that Council-wide our Venturing Crews needed an inter-crew activity, similar to a camporee. We came up with the idea of a “Venturing Round-Up.”

We are proposing that it would take place at Camp Krietenstein from Friday evening, August 18, 2017 to Sunday morning, August 20, 2017. (The following weekend is another choice, we are considering.) It would include pistol-, shotgun-, and rifle-shooting; a canoeing obstacle course (intended to take 45-60 minutes to complete); a rafting challenge (requiring pioneering skills and carrying a 100-lbs object 200 meters over water); and a chuckwagon cookoff. In the evening will be a traditional scouting campfire and social time.

Crews will complete by contingents of up to 10 venturers. All participants must be enrolled in a Crew somewhere.

We have willing participantsChuckwagon from one Wabash Valley crew offering 25 participants, the council’s shooting sports chairman, several Voyageur instructors, as well as raised eyebrows from others in North Star.

If this sounds interesting to you, your older scouts, your daughters, or Venturing prospects, please let us know that you would wish to participate by emailing Jeff.

Please share this article widely for us and give us feed back by taking this poll as soon as you can.

UPDATE 6/1/17: Venturing Round-Up Proposal.

Welcome to new Crew 56!

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This month we have officially added our fifth Venturing Crew to North Star District! St Luke’s United Methodist Church successfully completed its chartering of its new Venturing Crew. This is the first crew in Western Washington Township in many years.

Venturing Advisor Bill Cherry, long time Troop 56 Assistant Scoutmaster, says, “We would welcome older scouts from neighboring troops. More importantly, we would love to have young ladies join our crew.”

Crew 56 chartered as co-ed and would like to add more young ladies.

Crew 56 will be encouraging all participants to give back to their home scout troop. The crew seeks to enhance the value of the scout troop experience by providing older teenagers and young adults challenges that are beyond the experience and skills of boys under 14 years of age.

Scouts seeking to pursue Eagle rank must maintain their primary registration with their home scout troop and fully participate in the troop. Even so, advancement activities done with the Crew will count toward Eagle rank.

 

Farewell Message from Troop 191 Scoutmaster

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It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Troop 191 will officially close at the end of 2016. Long time Scoutmaster Lawrence Smiley has written me the following letter. I found the letter to be heart-felt and impassioned, so it was worth sharing with you. Mr. Smiley’s list of activities was very creative and worth considering in your troop or crew.

It has been an honor and a privileged to serve Crossroads of America Council for over a quarter of a century as Troop 191’s founder and scoutmaster.  So many great memories of Christ-protected and guided high adventures:
  1. Riding the narrow gauge train from Durango, CO to gain access to The Chicago Basis [twice]
  2. Climbing Mt. Harvard [twice] and Columbia [once]
  3. Canoeing a 50 mile loop in the Boundary Waters [once]
  4. Sailing a homemade tri-hull in the Florida Keys under the command of Captain DeTurk [once]
  5. White water rafting the Missouri River near Buena Vista, CO [twice] and the New and Upper Gulley Rivers in West Virginia [twice]
  6. Shotgun Shooting at private farms in Indiana [most every year]
  7. Rappelling in Red River Forest east of Lexington, KY [most every year]
  8. Snow skiing at Swiss Valley in S. Michigan [most every year]
  9. Hiking sand dunes and swimming at Michigan Dunes State Park
  10. Canoeing the Blue, the Tippecanoe, The Wabash rivers in Indiana [most every year]
  11. Caving Small-Dull Cave near Bloomington or Marengo Cave [most every year]
  12. Water skiing at Lake Lemon [once]
  13. Paint balling on private property [most every year]
  14. Ransburg Summer Camp [every year!]
  15. Hiking the Lincoln Trail from New Salem to Springfield, IL [once]
  16. Biking to Mounds State Park from Hamilton SE High School [once]
  17. Touring the Air Force Museum in Dayton [once]
  18. North Star District Camporees [a few]
  19. And many more adventures that have faded from the corners of my mind!
  20. Weekly Thursday night meetings, way too many too count, where life skills, servant-leadership and character were taught along with earning rank and merit badges and having a ton of fun.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I close down Troop 191 with both the pride of accomplishment of mentoring tons of boys along their trail to manhood and the sadness of closing out a huge chapter in my life as a part of the Boy Scouts of America – from the age of 7 as a Cub Scout to the age of pushing 70 (June 23[]).

* * *
It has been a great ride and fantastic life adventure; and I depart with no regrets and many, many great memories!
Thank you Jeff [Heck] (and Jerry [Simon]), for your service to the Boy Scouts.  I wish you, The North Star District and the Crossroads of America Godspeed, as you continue serving the youth of Indianapolis.
Thank you to Lawrence Smiley and his dedicated staff for their efforts for the boys from Troop 191 at Church at the Crossing.

Bicentential Torch is Coming to Us!

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Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay is coming to Boone and Montgomery Counties on October 13th, 2016!

In Montgomery County the torch will be passing through between 10:00am and 12:00pm. In Boone County it will be passing through between 12:30 pm and 2:30pm (at the court house around 1pm and Lincoln Park in Zionsville around 2pm).bicentential-torch-relay-graphic
Follow the torch and support the torchbearers! Follow them on social media. http://indianatorchrelay.com https://www.facebook.com/INTorchRelay/ https://twitter.com/intorchrelay https://www.facebook.com/boonecountybicentennial Download INTorchRelay app and follow the torch.

That’s not all!

That night between 7 and 10pm a FREE block party will take place at the Boone County 4-H fairgrounds. Anyone can attend. This includes Food, Activities for the Kids, Historical information about the counties and much more. Bring a can food item to donate to the Caring Center, Bring a book to donate to the “Boone Counties little Library” and a favorite picture of your location in Boone County.

Download the flyer here.