What Venturers and Sea Scouts need to know about joining Scouts BSA

Consider this getting the best of both worlds.

When the Scouts BSA program launches on Friday, Feb. 1, girls already in Venturing or Sea Scouting can join a Scouts BSA troop without paying a second membership fee.

That means they’ll experience the excitement of Scouts BSA without having to give up the high-adventure fun and meaningful friendships they’ve enjoyed in Venturing or Sea Scouting.

This is possible because BSA members — youth and adults — pay a registration fee only once per year.

The rule means any Venturer or Sea Scout (male or female) whose membership is current can remain registered in his or her original crew or ship. Their already-paid membership fee will cover registration in a second Venturing crew or Sea Scout ship or a Scouts BSA troop.

Dual membership is nothing new in the Boy Scouts of America. When I was a teenager, I was enrolled both in Boy Scout Troop 1776 and in Venturing Crew 1776.

I soon discovered the only thing better than being a part of one Scout unit: being a part of two.

How to dual register as a youth

  • Online: Members enter their current Venturing crew Member ID number when asked if they are “a current/former Scout.”
  • Paper: Members must write in the word “MULTIPLE” in the box at the bottom of the form where it requests a membership number (the Member ID).
    • Note: Members should not check the “transfer application” bubble on the form.

How to dual register as an adult

Adults can dual register, too. They can serve in two or more units and pay only one registration fee.

Adults must submit an application for each position served, whether it’s multiple positions within a unit (committee member and merit badge counselor, for example) or positions in different units.

  • Online: Members enter their current Member ID number when asked if they are “a current/former Scout.”
  • Paper: Members must write in the word “MULTIPLE” in the box at the bottom of the form where it requests a membership number (the Member ID).
    • Note: Members should not check the “transfer application” bubble on the form.

What is the minimum number of youth needed to form a Scouts BSA troop?

When starting a Scouts BSA troop for girls, a minimum of five youth must be “primary” registrants; that means they pay their registration fee through that troop. Some councils have additional requirements/guidance for Scouts BSA troops, so check with your local council when registering.

The BSA recommends registering younger girls (ages 11-13) as the primary registrants in a Scouts BSA girl troop. Older girls (ages 14-17) who are members of a Venturing crew or Sea Scout ship can keep their primary registration in their crew or ship. They would then use the multiple registration option for joining a Scouts BSA girl troop.

Can a Venturer or Sea Scout earn the Eagle Scout award?

Yes.

Any youth (boy or girl) who earns First Class rank in Scouts BSA may transfer primary membership to Venturing or Sea Scouts and continue to work on Eagle Scout requirements.

From the upcoming 2019 Guide to Advancement (4.3.1.4):

Venturers who earned First Class when registered in Scouts BSA are qualified until their 18th birthday to continue with Scouts BSA advancement. If desired, they may maintain multiple (dual) registration in a troop and crew, and work on ranks in either unit.

Wherever the youth member is registered, the Scoutmaster and crew Advisor decide, with the youth, who will oversee the Scouts BSA advancement. If the Advisor does so but is unfamiliar with Scouts BSA, the district advancement committee should identify an experienced Scouter to assist. It is important for Venturing leaders to understand that Scouts BSA advancement procedures must be followed.

With the exception of the Eagle rank and Summit Award service projects, any work done while a Venturer can count toward both Scouts BSA and Venturing advancement at the same time. The Eagle rank and Summit Award service projects must be separate and distinct from each other. Position of responsibility requirements for Scouts BSA ranks may be met by the Venturer serving in crew positions as outlined in the Scouts BSA Requirements book.

If the crew Advisor is overseeing the Scout’s advancement, then the crew committee conducts Star and Life boards of review. Otherwise the troop committee conducts those boards of review. Eagle Scout boards follow the local council’s established procedure.

About Bryan Wendell 2869 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.