Putting a face to the names: Take a look at the new Venturing awards

We’ve known the requirements for the new Venturing awards, and now we get our first look at what the awards themselves will look like.

The four patches, one square knot and one medal representing the Venturing, Discovery, Pathfinder and Summit Awards were first released on Venturing’s Facebook page. (Breaking news about Venturing is another compelling reason to like their page).

What you see here are four patches, going from the joining-level Venturing Award to the Summit Award, now the highest honor in Venturing. Each patch incorporates the Venturing logo, and the design gets progressively more intricate as a young man or young woman progresses in Venturing. (Take a closer look at the designs at the end of this post.)

Recipients of the Summit Award get an awesome patch but also receive a new medal. Plus, as adults, Summit Award recipients may wear the green, white and silver square knot pictured. It’s the same knot worn by recipients of the Venturing Silver Award.

Speaking of the Silver Award, previously the highest award in Venturing, don’t forget about the transition schedule as the Bronze, Gold and Silver awards are retired:

Current Awards: Bronze, Gold and Silver

  • Venturers may continue working on these until Dec. 31, 2014
  • Current Venturers may convert to the new awards beginning June 1, 2014. They must begin with the Discovery award, regardless of whether they earned Bronze, Gold and Silver. That’s because the award requirements have very little overlap.
  • Venturers must use the new awards after Dec. 31, 2014

New Awards: Venturing, Discovery, Pathfinder and Summit

  • Venturers may convert to the new awards on June 1, 2014:
    • Current Venturers: Begin by working on the Discovery award
    • New Venturers: Begin by working on the Venturing award
  • All Venturers must use the new awards after Dec. 31, 2014
  • See the requirements for these new awards here

New Venturing awards

Venturing Award Designs.jpg



  1. I’ll miss the old Silver medal. It was the classiest and nicest looking of all the BSA awards. The summit looks similar, but the “lead the adventure” and the venturing logo are more bling and detract from the aesthetic of the original design.

    The “Venturing Award” is so similar to the patch that can be worn on the right sleeve – will that patch be eliminated? It seemed redundant, so it would be no great loss.

    • That’s a good point Dave. That shoulder patch is kind of superfluous on the new shirts since the logo is already embroidered on them, and would probably look doubly redundant with the new rank patch. Tell you what though… that shoulder patch does a nice job of covering the Badge Magic smudge where I tried to put my position patch on the wrong shoulder!

      • Hi Tim,
        You say that the logo is already embroidered on the shirt. Do you mean the little one on the left pocket? What would you guys suggest go in place of the shoulder patch? Especially for a Crew that doesn’t have a crest. I am not being snarky, seriously just wondering.

        • My suggestion of what should replace the unnecessary and redundant “Venturing Emblem” on the left sleeve? Nothing.

          We don’t need to put a patch on every available place on our uniforms. Check out the uniforms of other scouting organizations across the world. They have smaller emblems and fewer emblems. Their uniforms look nicer as a result.

        • Oh shoot, should I have said right sleeve? Isn’t the left for the position in the Crew?

        • oops. yes. the right sleeve. We don’t need oversized patches such as the position of responsibility. Smaller patches would be awesome – or better yet – temporary pins. We don’t need a large American flag, when a small one on the strip that says Boy Scouts of America would suffice. We don’t need Journey to Excellence patches since everyone who submits a form earns the prize. We don’t need a “trained” patch since everyone should be trained. Help me out – anything else that we should eliminate?

        • Hmmmmmmmmmm, I am not sure I agree with the need to get rid of the JTE. As a UC I know for a fact, not everyone gets a prize. And while everyone should be trained, we all know that more than a few aren’t. I think the fact that someone took the time to be trained and can show it is important.

          As far as the oversized flag and position patch, are those the same as on the Boy Scout uniform? Do you want to see the same changes there?

          Again, sincerely curious……..not snarky

        • Yes- the boy scout uniform could do with much smaller position patches, too. Prior to the christmas tree uniforms of 1972, position patches were much smaller, taking up less space on the short sleeve shirts. A patrol leader wore two green bars. An assistant one green bar. A scribe or quartermaster had a rectangle that was about 2″ wide and 1″ high, instead of 3″ round. Explorers had strips that said “president” and that was it. Very small in comparison to today’s huge patches. Many adults had round patches that were about 2″ diameter for their positions such as scoutmaster and post advisor. Personally, I’d rather see small grommets in the sleeve that you put a pin through for positions of responsibility for youth – so you can change them easily rather than sewn on patches.

        • Definitely some interesting observations. I guess I would be happy with almost anything that was about 50% cheaper and didn’t fall apart so quickly. But that’s a discussion for another day.

        • Yes, that’s the small patch I meant, which brings up a point, will the new “rank” patches conflict with that little embroidered logo?

  2. So, if we are a relatively new crew, chartered in December of 2013, do we still qualify as new members and can we earn the Venturing Award, or do we have to skip to the Discovery Award.

  3. 4 Quick Questions:

    1) Do you have any guidance as to when we can expect these to be available in the Scouts Shops so we can purchase/award them to our Scouts?

    2) Do you know when these will be supported by ScoutNET? When I checked this past week, only the old awards were in there — SO — since we cannot purchase at the Scout Shop until the Advancement is in, is there a timeline for this?

    3) I believe that the Silver Award Square Knot was wearable AS A YOUTH and as an Adult (later). You note that the Summit Square Knot will be available for Adults to wear. Is this an oversight in the difference between the old Silver and the Eagle Knot — OR — is this a change now that the Venturing Awards are to be worn on the pocket?

    4) The requirements state that the CURRENT Venturers “skip” the Venturing Award and start with the “Discovery Award.” Does this mean they are assumed to have already accomplished what it takes to EARN the Venturing Award (so we should AWARD them with this rank) — OR — do they never get the Venturing Award at all?

    Appreciate the assistance in rolling out the exciting new Venturing Awards Program. (I love that the Eagle is on the Summit Award, by the way!)

    Great seeing you again on Monday. Nice Chat. Keep up the great work!

    • For the square knot, there was no “informal” way of displaying Silver on the uniform. The award is NOT the knot; rather it is a certificate, medal, or patch. The “award’ for Silver was the medal, which is represented by the square knot. The “award” for Eagle is the oval rank patch (informal, youth) or the medal (formal). The knot is only worn when you can’t wear the patch. In the case of Summit, the “award” is the diamond-shaped rank patch (youth, informal) and the medal (formal).

  4. Good questions Scott. We just called the scout shop and the manager has no knowledge whatsoever of when these may arrive. They haven’t even discussed it. Let alone the books. I thought mid July, now August maybe?

    Even more important, when will the trainings be out?

      • Very nice documents for the TRAINER. Now, let’s look forward to the Councils and Districts scheduling these trainings for Crew Advisors and Committees!

        Gotta like where this is headed. (Just hard to wait until the train FULLY pulls out of the station! Hah!)

      • Hi Bill,
        The training I am talking about are the modules that are required for the Venturers to earn these new awards.
        By the way, wasn’t there a rumor that these were going to be considered ranks?

        • I know the mentor training is being revised and the other trainings that are part of the requirements are being developed.

          There may have been a rumor but these are awards, not ranks. Trail to Summit awards if you like.

    • According to Program Updates the books are due out sometime in August. When I was at Philmont Training Center in June for Venturing: The New Vision Conference they were pushing for August 1 as a release date, but that was based on final reviews and edits. I was able to see a mock up of the three guide books to be released and got a glimpse of these award designs back then. For those who are interested Wendy Kurten Bob Smith, and Peter Self (can’t forget Annaliese and Gerry as well) who helped facilitate the conference for the 43 Venturing leaders in attendance gave us the Item # for each of the guides. So to help with anyone who is going to their local Scout Shop not knowing exactly what you are looking for this might help, it may also help the staff in planning for the order when the release is announced.
      The Item Code Numbers are as follows:
      – Handbook for Venturers 33494
      – Venturing Adviser Guidebook 34655
      – Venturing Awards and Requirements 34784

      Hope this helps a little for those looking to get their hands on the new manuals. Also for those who want to start tracking their Venturers progress, they have released an Excel Spreadsheet for tracking advancement under the new ALPS Model at Program Updates.

  5. Nice looking. Like to see some of the old Silver living on in the new Summit metal. As a Venturing Trainer, I’m have a hard time getting completely around the new Advisor training without the manuals. We all really need these as well as having these nice awards available to award to Venturers that have earned them.

  6. Back to the original thread, the new awards.

    1. What about those Venturers who have earned the “Old Awards”?
    Are they still authorized for wear them with the new awards?

    2. What about those who have earned the Silver Award?
    The knot is the same, is there/will there be a device to show it being earned along with the current Summit award?
    IMO, they should have either changed the knot or released a device for the Silver Award.

    3. What about those male Venturers who have earned their Eagle along with the Summit?
    Will they be forced to wear an Eagle Knot, or make a choice of wearing either the Eagle patch or the Summit patch?

    4. BTW, are the drawings of the new awards to scale with the medal?
    I hope not, that would make them huge!
    They need to be similar insize, if not smaller to the Boy Scout awards, IMO.

    • This keeps coming up: how many people are really going to earn both the Silver and the Summit? This should be an extremely rare achievement. If these awards are worth the recognition – they should take many years to complete. Unless you’re going to count all the work you already did for the Silver towards the Summit – one would think it is unlikely that a busy youth has sufficient time during their venturing tenure to earn two peak awards. If you do count all the work you did for silver towards the summit award – why bother? You’re already wearing the silver award.

      • It might be rare. But it will be done. Now I don’t know if she can, but my daughter who just got Silver, has that on her radar (and Brian you know her so you know it is possible) So what is the answer to the question?

      • My daughter is looking to earn the new Summit Award. Why? She was the first Venture in our five year old district to earn the Silver this year.

      • First of all, Congratulations to both daughters of Connie and Todd for earning their Silver Award and good luck on working on the Summit.

        As to how long it should take to earn (Silver & Summit)?

        The Silver could take as little as 2 years (maybe less), as you could work on many things at the same time (much like in Boy Scouts as scout can work on the requirements for Tenderfoot thru First Class at the same time, only more difficult requirements for Venturing).

        You also have to remember that Venturing Starts at 13.5 to 14 years old and runs to 21 (for youth awards).

        So, if a youth is motivated, earning both is realistic.

        BTW, just read a post from Mike Walton who said one should wear a Venturing Device (tiny pin) on the Knot to show that you have earned both,
        Simple solution and no additional cost ot National (they should like that!).

        Now about my other questions…..?

      • Why on Earth would an Eagle Scout choose to wear these awards on the left front pocket instead of the oval Eagle badge?! Or better question, why require them to choose? Perhaps these new awards would be a good replacement for the right arm Venturing patch which, as some have pointed out, serves only as decoration.

        • Would a good compromise be the youth be allowed to wear the knot that denotes Eagle (only adults can wear it now right?) so that the Venturing awards can then be on the correct pocket.

        • On Scout uniform the Eagle knot can only be worn until 18th birthday. On Venturing uniform until he turns 21. The Scout if part of the Crew upon 18th birthday should wear his Eagle knot and wear Crew patch. He would still have to wear the Eagle knot if working with the Troop. All adults are supposed to wear the Eagle knots if they are over 21 regardless if they are Troop or Crew. The Scouts are really not making a choice. The Eagle knot designates that they are an Eagle Scout. There is messed up thinking about the OA Sash, some of the adults feel that they should wear the sash at anytime to show that they are members of the OA. Their OA pocket flap patch designates that they are members of OA, just as the Eagle knot designates that a Scout is an Eagle Scout.

    • I agree. I THINK that this is very correct on the placement of the awards/advancements that Bryan is discussing here. (Left-Front pocket.)

      One question (for all). The only place I found online to guide me to place the standard sleeve Venturing Patch was to have it up right below the flag rather than down the sleeve. The JTE patch would still be down the sleeve in the example that I found. Is there a “for-sure” answer to this? Our new Crew is about to sew 10 uniforms and we would really LIKE to have it in the proper place on the sleeve.


  7. Is there any room for more feedback of the new Award designs?

    There was a BSA council that develop it’s own “Joining Award” for Venturers a few years ago. It was called the “Trailhead Award”. I like the name of it, it fits this new program theme better. Maybe you start are the beginning at the “Trailhead”, then begin your “Discovery”, learn to lead and become a “Pathfinder” until to reach to “Summit” and spread your wings and fly on your own.

    I would respectfully suggest that National use the gold compass rose design from the Gold Award for the Pathfinder’s compass rose design with the Green/Yellow Venturing Logo in the middle.

    Also suggest that they consider, making the existing Discovery Award compass rose a bronze color.

    While Bronze, Gold, and Silver Awards are going away, it would provide somewhat continuity between the old and new Venturing youth programs. Also suggest they ghost in the fleur-de-lis into to the backgrounds.

    If we have a Venturer that has or will earn both the Silver Award and Summit Awards in the next 5 months. Then authorize the wearing of the Silver Venturing Device or Palm on the knot.

    As others have said also, the Venturing Patch of the sleeve is redundant; it would be simpler to wear the Venturing Awards on the sleeve. And keep the Arrow of Light and BSA Ranks on the pocket. And as the Guide to Awards and Insignia already states, “Female Venturers who have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award may wear the badge on their Venturing uniform shirt’s left pocket. Since the Girl Scout Gold Award isn’t a “badge”, it is a tiny little pin it can easily fall of the uniform, it would be better for the female Venturers to wear the GOLD AWARD EMBLEM patch GSUSA Item # 09907 ($2.50) with is intended for “unofficial” wear on that left pocket of the Venturing Uniform.

    I’d also suggest that the patches not be diamond shape, but square. As diamond “ranks” are more associated with Cub Scouts. We have used “Square and Rectangular ranks” in the past during the “pre-Oval” BSA ranks period.

    • Rich, I think things are locked in for now. The feedback hashed out roughly on one of Bryan’s previous posts about the names of the awards, another about the design. The names were a done deal from the moment delegates left Philmont training center, the designs were a little more open (at least to anyone who happened to read this blog in May).
      Sure, the mechanism for feedback could have been more 21st century. The names were pretty much a closed door process. The user-based designs were things we all posted on our own websites, then posted links to in reply to Bryan’s invite to do so after the national meeting.
      Better would have been a moderated image-sharing site where hundreds of designs and award names could have been shared and discussed by thousands of youth and their advisors.
      But, compared to the initial designs, these final ones are a great improvement. We should thank the team for their hard work, and get on with the business of how to bling out these venturers until they look like cubs! 😉

  8. I have enjoyed reading the comments on this post as well as the New Awards post from May. I have found the FQ&A and the two training docs from Scouting.org. The question that is plaguing my son, and his advisor, is how to track completed award requirements. Last weeks conversation with Scout Shop Manager was books some time in September. He joined Venturing after June 1, 2014 and is required to work on the new awards requirements. He is looking for something permanent and solid that will not be questioned as he wants to earn Summit by next summer. Thank you for your feedback.

    • There will be a place in the new Handbook for Venturers for Advisors to sign off on the requirements. The handbook is expected to be in the Scout Shops in late August or early Sept.

      Also, if he has completed any of the awards, (e.g., Venturer) the Crew committee can enter the date the award was earned now in Internet Advancement (it is under Awards, not Ranks there.)

      There is a current spread sheet to keep track of the awards available now at:

    • Another resource that should be available soon (perhaps even sooner than the BSA printed books) is at Scoutbook.com where they are about to roll out subscriptions for Venturing. Their subscriptions for Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troops are already phenomenal.

      • Thank you Bill and Scott. I knew this community would not let me down.
        Bill, the excel sheet is wonderful. I had a similar concept in mind and now it is done. The issue is getting things signed off and tracked prior to having handbooks.
        Scott; I have an inquiry to Scoutbook.com about Ventureing Awards. Looks like awesome software, no mention on the website of venturing or sea scouts.

        • Yes, I am sure that they will reply soon. Scoutbook is very responsive. The actual Venturing Awards/Advancements for Venturing just came out but if you look in the Timeline in the Scoutbook forums (for registered users), you’ll see that they are putting finishing touches on it now even though it was just released.

  9. Just saw the Summit Medals…boy did they cheep out on them!!! The bar at the top is smaller than the ribbon and then glued to the ribbon. The metal of the medal looks to be just a cheep pot metal. Why couldn’t they make them nicer especially since it is an important award to earn!

    • Regarding Bill’s comment about cheap medals: What a shame. Very few kids will earn these awards. The BSA will charge a lot of money for the medal. (I’m going to guess something in the neighborhood of $50). And it sounds like it was made overseas and costs $2 to make. What a shame.

      It’s like the Eagle award. There is no quality in the medal anymore. It would be nice if they made a silver one that was nicely cast, and we could optionally pay the extra money to get one of quality.

      • The Summit Medal costs $17, which explains a lot.

        The Eagle Medals however are still US made and they come in two versions, plated($22) and Streling Silver($85).

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