venturing-roadmap

First look: Major Venturing changes coming next year

venturing-bsa-logoAt age 15, the Venturing program is beginning to show its age.

Membership has declined since 2008. Venturing has the lowest retention rate — 53 percent — of any BSA program. And advancement hasn’t caught on with teens; just 0.66 percent of Venturers earn any awards.

But it’s not all bad news. Beginning next year, big program changes are on the way that amount to much more than just a fresh coat of paint.

I sat down last week with Bob Scott, senior innovation manager, to discuss the complete revamping of Venturing that will change the way the BSA’s youngest program serves young men and women.

The new “Venturing Road Map,” which outlines the program’s first substantial change since its inception, is broken down into six parts:  Continue reading

Messengers of Peace

These North Carolina Scouts and Venturers are giving Peace a chance

The precious ring can be yours, if you complete a Messengers of Peace project.

The precious ring can be yours, if you complete a Messengers of Peace project.

You can’t promote world peace by sitting on your couch.

No, you’ve got to follow the lead of units like Venturing Crew 122 of North Carolina’s Tuscarora Council. The Venturers and advisors of Crew 122, along with some Scouts from Troop 33, cleaned a 9.5-mile portion of the Neuse River by canoe last month.

Over the 10-hour day, they collected more than 400 plastic bottles, 70 glass bottles, 52 toys, 37 aluminum cans, and 36 styrofoam/paper cups.

Almost as impressive as that garbage haul is the fact that the Venturers kept a count of what they had collected: almost a half-ton of trash in all. And remember they collected it all by canoe.

The conservation effort went beyond just a daily good turn, though. It was the crew’s Messengers of Peace service project, earning them the ring patch seen above.

Now THAT is a load of garbage. Nice job, Scouts!

Now THAT is a load of garbage. Nice job, Scouts!

You were first introduced to Messengers of Peace in a blog post last year. The global program, which launched in 2011, is “designed to inspire millions of young men and women in more than 220 countries and territories to work toward peace. The initiative lets Scouts from around the world share what they’ve done and inspire fellow Scouts to undertake similar efforts in their own communities.”

How do you participate and get one of those Messengers of Peace ring patches? Read on…  Continue reading

MTB-Blog

Get gritty: Celebrate ‘Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day’

Do your typical weekend plans involve dirt and Scouting? Step things up a notch! Add some rubber to the mix with a mountain-biking outing.

Tomorrow’s the perfect time to head out to your local mountain-biking trail to celebrate Saturday Oct. 6 as “Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day” hosted by the International Mountain Biking Association.

Check out this interactive map of the U.S. to locate a “Take a Kid Mountain Biking” event near you.

Young mountain bikers—from Tiger Cubs to older Scouts and Venturers—will stun you with how easily they pedal on gritty surfaces. Their catlike reflexes allow them to zip around sharp turns like Indy-500 drivers!

Besides being a great way to get some exercise and add a new activity to your troop or crew, a mountain-biking trip is a good excuse to get Scouts ready for what they’ll experience at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree. The home of the jamboree, the brand-new Summit Bechtel Reserve, touts a three-tier trail system allowing Scouts to choose the difficulty of their mountain-biking experience (shown in the photo above).

Before you head out, be sure to review page 34 of the Guide to Safe Scouting for information on cycling safety.

And don’t forget to “Like” the International Mountain Biking Association on Facebook and enter to win one of two Specialized mountain bikes.

Wherever (and whenever) you choose to mountain bike, we hope you and your Scouts enjoy the ride.