Say hello to this upcoming year’s national Venturing officers

Every year, Venturers are selected to serve in the national Venturing officers’ association. With the support of adult volunteers and professionals, the six young people will help shape Venturing’s future, make decisions and serve as the public face for the youth-led co-ed program for those 14- to 20-years-old.

Venturing officers’ associations exist at the national, territory and council level. The national VOA supports the overall program, whereas the territory VOAs support local councils. A council VOA can host events for Venturing crews, provide training, help crews’ social media presence and support networking opportunities.

Let’s meet the members of your 2024-2025 national Venturing officers’ association.

Andrea Marron, national Venturing officers’ association president

Unit: Crew 711, South Florida Council

Andrea joined Venturing in 2018; she is also an Eagle Scout with Troop 941 and a Vigil honor member of the O-Shot-Caw Lodge. She is attending Johns Hopkins University.

Andrea has served in her crew, council and territory as well on the national level as last year’s national Venturing vice president of eastern territory support. She recently worked with the 2023 National Jamboree DEI team and the 2023 Women of Character Conference.

Her vision for the year includes strengthening the role of VOAs, increasing the outreach of the Venturing program and growing membership.

Cody Weigle, national Venturing officers’ association vice president – administration

Unit: Crew 750, Dan Beard Council

Cody joined Venturing in 2021, and has since founded a Sea Scout ship, Venturing crew and soon a council VOA. He has served his crew, council and most recently territory as Territory 9 VOA president. He’s studying mechanical engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

Cody is an Eagle Scout with Troop 838 and a National Medal for Outdoor Achievement recipient. He also serves as a vice chief of the Ku-Ni-Eh Lodge, is a National Youth Leadership Training staff member and works at the Scout Shop. He has completed numerous courses, including the Summit Bechtel Reserve National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience and The Order of the Arrow’s National Leadership Seminar.

In his free time, he enjoys 3D printing, canoeing and going to Waffle House with his friends.

Jacob Schmidt, national Venturing officers’ association vice president – program

Unit: Crew 3943, Northern Star Council

Jacob will take a new role this year, previously serving as the national Venturing vice president of communications. He has also previously served as the Territory 4 VOA president and as a council VOA vice president.

Jacob is a sophomore at Michigan Technological University, where he is studying environmental engineering. Outside of classes, he works as a student researcher, studying wastewater surveillance and tick-borne pathogens. He is also involved in his school’s pep band.

His goals for the upcoming term will be increasing Venturing membership and visibility through accessible program and support of programs at all levels.

Matthew Irsfeld, national Venturing officers’ association vice president – communication

Unit: Crew 444, Greater Colorado Council

Matthew has served at the crew, council and territory levels in Venturing, most recently as the Territory 2 VOA president. He is also an Eagle Scout and Vigil honor member of Tahosa lodge where he served as lodge chief and section vice chief.

Matthew has earned his Triple Crown of High Adventure award. Before his Venturing service, he was the Territory 2 boatswain in Sea Scouting and national boatswain’s mate of communications.

Matthew wants to strengthen the Venturing program by creating a more streamlined promotional process for national events and initiatives. He plans to look at alternative forms of communication and reach out to crews to determine what forms are most effective.

Aidan Wells, national Venturing officers’ association vice president – eastern territory support

Unit: Crew 111, Colonial Virginia Council

Aidan earned the Summit Award and is an Eagle Scout with Troop 111 and a Vigil honor member of Wahunsenakah Lodge in the Order of the Arrow. He has served Venturing on the crew, council and territory levels. He is a sophomore at Christopher Newport University, where he is studying history, political science and leadership.

In his free time, he likes to spend time with family and friends, play his guitar and read.

Aidan hopes to help Venturing’s presence within Scouting, the country and world, providing Venturers with the tools they need to make a difference.

Katie Chatow, national Venturing officers’ association vice president – western territory support

Unit: Crew 37, Pacific Skyline Council

Katie joined Scouting in 2019, becoming a founding member of Troop 201. She earned the Eagle Scout rank and is a Vigil honor member of the Ohlone Lodge, where she served three years as chapter chief. She attends Loyola Marymount University and is studying entrepreneurship.

She has served in her council VOA and as the Territory 3 VOA president. She has also worked as a Scoutcraft instructor at Camp Royaneh and an instructor at Camp Oljato. During her free time, she enjoys hiking, philosophical debates and pickleball.

Katie wants to create better tools for territory and council VOAs to make sure they have the resources they need to be successful.

About Michael Freeman 444 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is an associate editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines.