Need a den chief? Ask a Venturer

Since den chief counts as a position of responsibility for Scouts BSA rank advancement, it can be natural to seek a Scout in the program to serve as a den chief. But Venturers and Sea Scouts can also contribute to your den’s success.

“As a den chief, I helped the Cub Scouts in my den learn knots,” says Elizabeth Schmidt, Venturer with Crew 179 in Farmington Hills, Mich. “Every meeting, I assisted the den leader with games. In addition to this, I taught Webelos how to fold, raise and lower an American flag. I loved teaching them individual skills because there was always a clear point when they all understood the skill and could do it on their own.”

Den chiefs do more than help out den leaders; they serve as Scouting role models and encourage others to continue their Scouting journeys. If you know of a Venturing crew or Sea Scout ship near you, reach out to their adult leaders to find positive older role models who can help, even if it’s for one time.

Christopher Curtis’s younger brother recently joined Cub Scouts. His den leader asked the Venturer with Crew 197 of Murfreesboro, Tenn., to help teach about camping and backpacking for one meeting.

“I was excited to share my knowledge,” Christopher says. “The Cub Scouts especially loved holding my camping equipment and trying on the backpack.”

Some crews organize events geared toward younger Scouts. Along with a Scouts BSA troop, Elizabeth’s crew helps put on WebelosFest, an event full of Cub Scout Adventure activities, games and stations highlighting fun activities in store in older youth programs.

“Together, we provided a range of activities for the Cub Scouts from team-building challenges to learning possibilities to traditional camping experiences, like hiking,” says Ryan Andrick, a Venturer with Crew 179.

Crews can help with Adventures and host events based on their high-adventure specialty. Not only do Venturers put on daylong events, but they help at camps, too.

Hannah Neal, also with Crew 197, served as a ranger assistant during a Cub Scout Winter Camp, teaching Cub Scouts archery safety and techniques. She was proud seeing Cub Scouts improve and get excited about archery. She’s also proud to see other youth interested in Scouting.

“A new pack is in the process of forming near me,” Hannah says. “I have visited some of the girls that are interested in becoming Cub Scouts with the pack. I look forward to helping these young girls even more in the future. I really want to make sure they have fun and constantly learn from Scouting like I have.”

Helping Scouts BSA

Venturers can help Scouts BSA troops by teaching skills and serving in projects. If your youth are in a troop, you can look to local crews to collaborate with.

“Most rank advancement for our Venturers is self-paced. We don’t lead any rank advancement, though we are happy to support anyone who wishes to advance in Venturing or Scouts BSA,” Elizabeth says.

Once a month, Crew 299 of Westminster, Calif., hosts classes for Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA troops. During sessions with Cub Scouts, the Venturers focus on games, songs and incorporating Scouting skills in a fun way. For troops, they adjust the lesson plans.

“Because these Scouts are older and more mature, our crew places a greater emphasis on education during these meetings,” says Venturer Justin Nguyen. “We teach them about core Scout skills such as pioneering, Morse code, advanced first-aid, orienteering and more.”

Helping others is what Scouts do, and Venturers love to help.

“The main purpose of our meetings is to teach every member Scout skills and help them grow,” says Heather Nguyen Phuoc. “Working together brings us closer to one another and makes the service events we do fun.”

To learn more about Venturing, click here, and to find a crew near you, click here.

About Michael Freeman 281 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is an associate editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines.