Mechanics of Advancement: In Venturing

Venturing is for young men and women who are 14 through 20 years old, or who are 13 and have completed the eighth grade. Its purpose is to build character, promote citizenship, and develop personal and mental fitness. Each Venturing crew is responsible for achieving these aims by designing a program that appeals to its members. Thus, Venturing is a catalyst: It brings together adults and young people, and incredible things happen. It is all about asking themselves and one another what is possible, and then setting out to plan and execute toward fulfillment.

Sea Scouts is a specialized branch of Venturing with its own handbook, program, and system of advancement and recognition. Its members may work on and earn any of the Venturing awards and recognitions (see "Mechanics of Advancement: In Sea Scouts," The Goals of Venturing

There are four goals for Venturers:

  1. Gain practical experience from knowledgeable people.
  2. Engage in activities centered on leadership, service, social activities, fitness, the outdoors, and citizenship. The idea is to develop balance, to take responsibility, and to become mentally, emotionally, and physically fit.
  3. Experience and provide positive leadership, to set and follow examples, and to learn by doing.
  4. Have a chance to learn and grow in a supportive, caring, and fun environment. Advancement in Venturing

The purpose of the Venturing awards program is to facilitate these four goals; provide a pathway for personal development; encourage learning, growth, and service; and recognize high levels of achievement. Advancement is accomplished when an active program emphasizes it and pays attention to the four steps of the process: preparation, learning, qualification, and recognition. Bronze, Gold, and Silver are the awards for the advancement track, but others also are described below. Venturers have until their 21st birthday to complete their awards.

For detailed requirements and more information on Venturing advancement or recognition, see the Venturer/Ranger Handbook, No. 33494; Sea Scout Manual, No. 33239; Quest Handbook, No. 33151; TRUST Handbook, No. 33154; and Venturing Leader Manual, No. 34655. Except in Sea Scouts, Venturers work on awards, not ranks, and they can choose to work along with others in a crew or go it alone. They may also work simultaneously on the Bronze, Gold, and Silver awards; there are time-oriented requirements, but not between the earning of one award to the next.

The Gold and Silver awards require a crew review.There is no council or district involvement, except perhaps guidance on best practices. All work for the awards must be completed by the member's 21st birthday, but the review may be held after that. The Venturing Awards Bronze Award. Venturers may choose to earn just one Bronze Award-perhaps the one best matching the crew's interest area-or more, or all five of them. They represent an introduction to skills and life experiences, and include Arts and Hobbies, Sports, Sea Scouts, Outdoor, and Religious Life. These entry level awards encourage achievement of the Gold and Silver awards. Crew Advisors or specialty "consultants" approved by the crew Advisor, who are much like merit badge counselors, pass members on requirements. No committee review or board of review is involved.

Venturing is dynamic, with built-in flexibility at many levels. In some cases this carries over to Bronze Award requirements, where limited substitutions are allowed based on what is available in your area. For specifics, please refer to the Venturer/Ranger Handbook, No.33494, and the Venturing Leader Manual, No. 34655. Gold Award. One Bronze award is required for the Gold Award, and candidates must be active (regardless of award level) and registered for at least 12 months. They must serve in a leadership role (within or outside the crew); participate in a district, council, or national Venturing activity; accomplish personal goals; and plan and lead activities. Letters of recommendation are required, along with a written presentation for a crew review committee. This consists of four to six Venturers and adults appointed by the crew president in conjunction with the crew Advisor. Venturers may choose to deliver the presentation orally at the review meeting, but this is not required. The review committee provides final approval. There is no district or council review board, but the advancement must be reported to the council. Silver Award. Silver is the highest award for Venturers. It says they are leaders who serve, who are fit and prepared, and who have honor. Candidates must earn the Bronze and Gold awards, be proficient in emergency preparedness, participate in Ethics in Action, and complete Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews. For the Silver Award, Venturers first establish a plan of action and then carry it out. When requirements are fulfilled, they go through a formal review with four to six Venturers and adults appointed by the crew president in conjunction with the crew Advisor. There is no district or council involvement in the review process. Ranger Award. High adventure and the outdoors have always been emphasized in the Boy Scouts of America, and Venturing is no different. The Ranger Award encourages a high level of achievement and proficiency in outdoor skills. It exemplifies challenge. Eight core requirements and at least four of 18 electives must be completed. If the Outdoor Bronze Award has been earned, the Venturer is already halfway there. Candidates may work on their own or with other crew members. Advisors and  consultants must sign for requirements. No crew review or board of review is involved. Quest Award. The Quest Award is about fitness and sports. Candidates learn about nutrition, exercise plans, and what is required for a healthy life. They may be introduced to an enjoyable sport helpful toward that end. As with other Venturing awards, members share with others what they have learned. This can be done through presentations or even sports clinics. Five core requirements and at least one of five electives must be completed. The Sports Bronze Award comes first. There is no review board. TRUST Award. The TRUST (Tending, Respecting, Understanding,Serving, Transforming) Award helps Venturers learn about themselves, their communities, and religion and culture. It recognizes that trust is an essential part of relationships; that learning to trust is the challenge; and that learning to understand one another—especially those from different backgrounds and nationalities—represents a good start. The five core requirements are Tending Your Faith, Respecting the Beliefs of Others, Understanding Other Cultures, Serving Your Community, and Transforming Our Society. Candidates must work with a religious leader or with consultants in a related field of expertise. No board of review is involved. Past Credit for Venturers

The requirements for all Venturing awards require the work to be done as Venturers. For example, even though a young man earned the Backpacking merit badge as a Boy Scout, before he became a Venturer, he must pass the Ranger backpacking elective once registered as a Venturer. Some requirements may call for certification such as Scuba Open-Water Diver, American Red Cross Standard First Aid, or BSA Lifeguard. Current certifications such as these maybe used regardless where they were earned. Multiple Credit for Venturers

Venturers may receive multiple credit for requirements. In the above example, if the Backpacking merit badge was earned while the member was also a Venturer, the effort could also count toward the Ranger elective. Further, experiences such as the Red Cross Emergency Response course could be used for the Ranger first aid requirement and the first aid and lifesaver electives, and also for the Silver Award's emergency preparedness requirement. Venturers may not receive multiple credit for something like a tabletop display or a presentation. These must be done separately and relate directly to each situation requiring them. Boy Scout Advancement in Venturing and Sea Scouts

Venturers and Sea Scouts who earned First Class rank as registered Boy Scouts or Varsity Scouts are qualified until their 18th birthday to continue with Boy Scout advancement. If desired, they can maintain multiple (dual) registration in a troop or team, and also in a crew or ship, and work on ranks in either unit. Wherever the member is registered, the Scoutmaster and crew Advisor or Skipper decide with the young man which one will oversee his advancement. If the Advisor or Skipper does so, but is unfamiliar with Boy Scouting, the district advancement committee should identify an experienced Scouter to assist. It is important for Venturing and Sea Scout leaders to understand that Boy Scout advancement procedures must be followed.

Any work done while a Venturer or Sea Scout can count toward both Boy Scout and Venturing or Sea Scout advancement at the same time. For instance, a conservation project required in Boy Scouting can also count in Venturing. Position of responsibility requirements for Boy Scout ranks may be met by the Venturer or Sea Scout serving in crew or ship positions as outlined in the Boy Scout Requirements book, No. 34765. The Advisor or Skipper conducts the unit leader conference. The crew or ship committee conducts Star and Life boards of review, and Eagle Scout boards follow the local council's established procedure.