Some people wonder about what the main differences between the Scouts BSA and Venturing programs. Aside from the obvious differences – the age difference and boys only vs. coed – looking at the methods used in the two programs offers some insights into the main differences between the program.
The methods of Scouting are the ways that Scouting’s aims of developing character, citizenship, and fitness are achieved in the Scouts BSA program:
- Patrol Method
- Outdoor Program
- Adult Association
- Personal Growth
The leadership methods used in Venturing are a little different than those used in Scouts BSA:
- Group Activities
- Adult Association
- The Ideals
- High Adventure and Sports
- Teaching Others
As you can see, some of the methods in the two programs are the same – Leadership, Adult Association, and Ideals. But the others are different. This reflects differences in the two programs. For example:
- Venturing Crews are not organized into patrols, so while the patrol method is a vital part of the Scouts BSA program, group activities are the focus in Venturing.
- When you think about Scouts BSA, you think about the outdoor program. But a Venturing Crew might be organized around a scuba program or a basketball program, and their activites will reflect that focus. Or they might have a focus on ssrvice projects. A crew might have an outdoor focus, but that is not required.
- Venturers are already in the young adult phase of their lives, so instead of the focus on personal growth, there is more of effort to use the growth which has already developed. So Venturers are encouraged to teach others.
- Advancement is clearly a major part of the Scouts BSA program. Everyone knows what Eagle Scout means. There is an advancement program in Venturing, but many Crews don’t really participate in advancement. Instead, there is an emphasis on recognition just by acknowledging the things Crew members do well.
- Finally, a Scout in uniform is easily recognizable. There is a Venturing uniform available at your local Scout shop, but your Crew might or might not use it. Crews determine their own uniforms. That might be the official BSA shirt, or it might be a Crew t-shirt, or it might even be no uniform at all.