Monday, April 22, 2013

Young Girls, Future Venturers

Venturing for All

Two Venturing Guides "guiding" the Pocket Crew
and celebrating a new Eagle
Update:  Our female crew guide pictured to the left has received one of the three Council Venturing Leadership Awards to be given at the council annual meeting on May 13 in part for the work she has done with these future venturers.

Second update (June 2013):  a good explanation of Frontier Girls Clubs is published in the Daily Caller

Venturing is typically for youth 14 to 20.  Now two Venturers guide the next generation.  In a Boy Scout troop the older scouts are Troop Guides to the younger, now older Venturing Crew Guides are working with the youngest girls who want to be in venturing, but are not yet old enough. How do you make sure the young ladies can hold their own in the outdoors against highly skilled young men?

Imagine how hard it is for a young lady to join a Venturing Crew when she knows nothing about surviving and thriving in the outdoors.  Imagine how hard is it to camp and backpack alongside young men highly skilled in those same skills.

Our Pocket Crew & Crew Guides at the Great Trail Council
Old Portage District Klondike, 2013
Venturing is for young adults in high school and college, both boys and girls. Boys get to be Boy Scouts and camp from age 11 and as they age they can join a Venturing Crew.   Boy Scouts who enter at 14 have three years of experience and can demonstrate their proficiency in outdoor scout skills at the drop of a hat.  So when girls join an Outdoor Venturing Crew like ours, they have from zero to little outdoor skill experience.  In short they are at an immediate disadvantage.  This is changing. It can change for you too if you act to support a girls program affiliated with your unit.

So how do you get the inexperienced girls, experienced?  

First, you can just dive in and start learning by doing at age 14.  This of course works and is how scouting has progressed for years, but who likes being the novice next to the Eagle Scout?  Second, you can schedule weekend first timer camp outs and run courses like backpacking 101, but what if they can't make that one or are not ready?  Third, you can approach your council course director for Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (like Steve) and bring those Venturers who have never had the Boy Scout Outdoor Experience to the training.  Throughout a busy weekend the youth can learn a little about a lot from tenting to compasses to axes.

Venturing Crew Guiding Frontier Girls

A Venturing Leadership Position Patch.
A guide is typically older, skilled, experienced and
passionate about helping new venturers learn.
But the best we have seen is point four. One parent of two boys in our troop and crew wanted the same experience and skills for her daughter that her son's received.  The fourth way is to form a young Venturing-type crew.  Our girls (ages 8 to 13) are chartered as a Frontier Girls Club (Troop 201) precisely because their program allows the Pocket Crew to use Boy Scout and Venturing resources.  Further, the Frontier Girls actively encourage such a  partnership.

 "8. Are Frontier Girls troops allowed to partner with Boy Scouts troops or other local scouting organizations?

"Yes. Frontier Girls is a very flexible program and we encourage interaction with other scouting programs. We will also honor badge requirements from these other programs as long as they are age appropriate. This way if you have a Boy Scout troop that you would like to work with for a particular activity, you may use the Boy Scout badge requirements for earning your badge rather than the Frontier Girls ones, making programming easier for all involved. We also
encourage Frontier Girls to be active in any local all scout activities such as community service projects or jamborees."

Venturing Crew guides with
Pocket Crew at Raccoon Creek in PA
photo by Teresa Michaels
Critical to the successful merging of the Pocket Crew into Crew 2001 is the guides appointed by their advisor upon request from the Frontier Girls leader. We even went so far to have our Chartered Organization, The First Baptist Church of Akron (Akron, OH) to be the sponsor to the Frontier Girls.  While not required by the Frontier Girls organization, this brings them into the First Baptist Family of Scouting with the same status as our three BSA units, the Cub Scout Pack 3001, Boy Scout Troop One and Venturing Crew 2001.

Can you spot the two Venturing Crew Guides to these girls in each of the pictures?  He is an Eagle Scout and past SPL of the Boy Scout Troop and current VP Administration in Crew 2001.  She is a director at the Great Trail Council summer camp, Camp Manatoc, and a past VP of Program for Crew 2001. He is active in the Order of the Arrow and attended the 2011 SummitCorp and the 2012 Shakedown at the new Summit Bechtel Reserve.  Both are popular with the girls and setting extremely important examples of what each girl should want to become.  Each of these girls wants to be in the crew and will be soon.  They chose the name pocket crew because they wanted to be in the pocket of the crew and the pocket crew is growing in numbers.  Oh how the crew will change when all of these arrive.  It's kind of exciting don't you agree?

Frontier Girls Facebook page
Venturing, BSA Facebook page

Steve and Kimberly Myers

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