Meet your 2020 recipients of the National Venturing Leadership Award

A Venturer from Pennsylvania who’s strengthening the link between Venturing and the Order of the Arrow. An adult volunteer from Texas who’s finding innovative ways to keep Venturing exciting and relevant to today’s youth. The young man who will become Venturing’s top youth leader next month.

These are just three of the 11 exceptional Venturers and Venturing volunteers who will receive the National Venturing Leadership Award this month.

The award, first presented in 2000, recognizes past accomplishments by these great Greenshirts (that’s an unofficial nickname for Venturers, derived from Venturing’s unique uniform color). But it’s also an acknowledgment of what these Greenshirts will continue to do for Venturing into the future.

Like the Eagle Scout Award in Scouts BSA, Quartermaster Award in Sea Scouts or Summit Award in Venturing, the National Venturing Leadership Award doesn’t mark the end of a long career. It’s more of a checkpoint to say “you’re awesome, and we can’t wait to see what you do next!”

The award is presented to Venturers and Venturing Advisors who make major, national-level contributions to Venturing, the BSA’s adventure-packed program for young men and young women ages 14 (or 13 and done with the eighth grade) to 21.

Who has received this award in the past?

I blogged about the 2019, 20182017 and 2016 recipients. For a list of all recipients since the award’s 2000 debut, go here.

Who selects the recipients?

A task force of youth Venturers and adult Advisors makes the final selections. In a normal year, the recipients are honored at the BSA’s annual meeting. That meeting won’t take place this year, so recipients will be recognized virtually.

What about council, area and regional Venturers and Advisors?

Venturing Leadership Awards are presented at the council, area and regional levels, too.

Go here to learn how you can honor the outstanding Venturers and Venturing Advisors you know.

Who are the 2020 recipients of the National Venturing Leadership Award?

I’m glad you asked. Let’s take a closer look:

April McMillan

Irving, Texas

  • Active member of the National Venturing Committee
  • Program director for the BSA programs
  • Serves as Crew 46 Committee member, GSMC VSOA Associate Advisor and Southern Region Area 6 VOA Associate Advisor
  • Powder Horn Course Director, Wood Badge SPL, Seabadge trained
  • Has shown enthusiasm for Venturing, outstanding leadership and endless contributions to the program

Bob Sirhal

Kingston, R.I.

  • Training chair for the National Venturing Committee
  • Coordinates training sessions at the Philmont Training Center
  • Served as the Northeast Region Advisor and also was part of the National Venturing Steering Committee when the structure of the National Venturing Committee was being redesigned
  • Helped shape the program into what it is today

Clare Toman

Spring Lake Heights, N.J.

  • Northeast Region Venturing President
  • Served on staff for National Youth Leadership Training, Wood Badge, NAYLE and VenturingFest
  • Brings a large degree of enthusiasm to the Venturing program that inspires other Venturers

David Bush

Tyler, Texas

  • Serving as part of the Program Development Team for the National Venturing Committee
  • Works tirelessly on investigating, researching and developing proposals to better the Venturing program
  • Excellent mentor to youth and adults in the program

Ella Hirsch

Boerne, Texas

  • Southern Region Venturing President
  • Served on Wood Badge staff, National Youth Leadership Training staff and VenturingFest staff
  • Has been an exceptional role model to other youth and adults in the Venturing program throughout her career

Jim Lynch

San Antonio, Texas

  • Chair of the Program Committee for the National Venturing Committee
  • Has worked to analyze and develop plans to build a sustainable Venturing program, ensuring that this outstanding program remains strong and vital for future generations
  • Provided outstanding leadership over the program

Julie Dalton

Wichita, Kan.

  • Central Region Venturing Advisor
  • Powder Horn Course Director, helped with VenturingFest as the Central Region Chief of Staff, and previously served as an Area Advisor and Region Associate Advisor
  • Tackles any challenge head-on with her outstanding leadership skills

Lyndsey Nedrow

Lancaster, Pa.

  • Has strengthened the new link between the Venturing program and the Order of the Arrow
  • Working to ensure Venturing has a strong female presence in the Order of the Arrow
  • Sets a strong example for fellow Venturers and OA members

Natalie Nichols

Eden Prairie, Minn.

  • Served as a Council Venturing President, Area Venturing President and currently is serving as the Central Region Venturing President
  • Worked to improve the image of the National VOA and worked to increase region collaboration to help strengthen all regions and the National VOA
  • Encourages productivity and success at all levels of Venturing

Ryan Davis

Coral Springs, Fla.

  • VenturingFest youth lead and member of the National Venturing Program Committee
  • Served as an Area President and Southern Region Venturing President
  • Has outstanding leadership and organization skills that he has used to strengthen the program

Tyler Grey

Simi Valley, Calif.

  • Western Region Venturing President and the incoming National Venturing Officers’ Association President
  • Served as part of the National Venturing Communications Committee, National Venturing Strategic Planning Committee and VenturingFest Western Region Base Camp staff
  • An inspiration to all Venturers, offering outstanding leadership to continue the Venturing program

Join the Virtual Venturing Reception

Help celebrate these outstanding Venturers and Venturing Advisors at a Virtual Venturing Reception, scheduled for 7 p.m. CDT on May 23.

The event can be seen live on the Venturing Facebook page.

About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.