Saturday, October 6, 2012

Area 4 Conference for Central Region BSA - What's in Store for Venturing?

Update: May 23, 2013 The Venturing program Announcement is official at the BSA Annual Meetings (see

On October 6, 2012 we attended the Area 4 Training Conference (Central Region, BSA) and spent time in the morning learning about recommended changes to the Venturing Program from a member of the task force recommending the changes.  Those of us in attendance got to also talk about and share the issues and challenges we each face.

Venturing will look different (probably starting in 2015) and we liked much of what we heard.  Much of the program we love will stay intact, but the recognition system seems like it will be much more ordered and easier to comprehend.  (read more after the following jump)

While we only heard of the ideas orally, we see in them a logical matrix with the levels of Bronze, Gold and Silver levels across the top and the premises of the program down the rows.  Some of what is here is what we heard and some is our interpretation of what we heard.  Nothing below is official and as recommendations may not be accepted up the entire chain of command in BSA. Those premisses are
  1. Adventure (or activity, not necessarily high adventure),  The idea is you have to do things, be active, seek adventure.  At a bronze level you would participate, at gold, you might lead it and at silver you will mentor other leaders. Wow does that make sense to us.
  2. Leadership.  At a bronze level you learn about leadership such as ILSC, at a gold you will put on the training and at a silver you will  hold office and put on the training and perhaps train the trainers and new officers.
  3. Personal development.  From Bronze to silver, this has an increasing level of development from setting goals for ones self to who knows what.  (They do, we don't. We were not privy to the entire plan only some highlights.)This will contain physical fitness goals too. 
  4. Service.  So this may look like a minimum number of hours participating in service for bronze level, to helping to lead the service at the gold level, to a Silver individually planed and led project.
This allows Venturers to naturally be recognized as they become more and more experienced, from being participants at the lowest level, doing enough and being then a Bronze level venturer, to being one of the leaders and doing enough to be recognized for that leadership to becoming a mentor to the other members of the crew and being recognized as a Silver level Venturer. 

Also, all venturers will on joining be recognized as a Venturer after completing a few requirements (like the scout joining patch).  As they become experienced they will replace that level with the Bronze, Gold and Silver.  For those reading this as a change from recognition to advancement as a method of Venturing, I have no idea and nothing was said about the methods.

The above will be new requirements for the Bronze, Gold and Silver awards and all Bronze awards will be replaced with one Bronze award. (Again folks this is only their recommendation and may not be accepted along the way).  The recommendation is for all other awards such as Ranger, Quest, Trust ... to remain.

After the morning meeting David Weyrick spoke about marketing scouting in the local media and had us all think about recruiting 2 and retaining 2.  If everyone did that we would add a million scouts.  Next Dave Kopsa of Team Summit told us about SBR (@bechtelsummit) and the new information was about the 2014 high adventure program to be launched with advertising this November.


  1. In the broad strokes you've outlined here, I kind of like it. I've always thought that comparing Silver to Eagle was a bit of a stretch, but if there is some sort of similar type project as part of Silver, I can easily make the comparison between the two.

    I really think a project like this really adds to the development and growth of a young adult. I'm eager to see what this looks like once the details become public.

    Michael O'Donnell
    Greater Saint Louis Area Council

  2. Of course the details are public. See