Starting a Venturing Crew

Starting a Venturing Crew

Maybe you’ve heard about this coed Scouting program for young men and women and you’re ready to try to organize a Venturing Crew. You might even have a specific group of young people in mind. It could be you know of a group who want to go out hiking or work on model trains together or maybe you just want to get a church youth group going. So where do you start?

The Boy Scouts of America way of starting a Crew is shown in bold below. Our Crew is about 18 months old now. Like many things in life, we didn’t follow the plan exactly, but it was close enough and seems to be going alright.

How to Start a Venturing Crew

Your chartered organization makes a commitment with the Boy Scouts of America to charter a Venturing Crew. We already knew that our Crew was going to serve as the high school youth group as our parish. And there had been a Crew a few years back, but it had become inactive. So this was already in place for us, especially since our church already chartered a Cub Scout pack and a Scouts BSA Troop.

A committee is organized to recruit Advisors and Committee members. This was basically my husband and myself. We wanted to get this moving, so we asked around and spoke with some other adults who also thought we needed an active youth group at our church. The funny thing is though that none of the adults actually involved in this initial process ever became active in the group once it was formed.

The new Committee members get trained. We did this a little out of order just due to the timing. Plus, I didn’t really have a firm commitment from any adults at this point because they all wanted to see if there kids were really interested before they signed up as Advisors and Committee Members. So we had our kickoff meeting in October, but our adults did not get trained until December. Since my husband and I were already very familiar with BSA rules, regulations, and procedures and we already had youth protection training and since the other adults involved were willing to defer to us, we were comfortable with this.

Program capability inventory is completed. We did this out of order also. We waited until after the kick-off meeting to do this. Once again, we really needed to see who was signing up before we took this step. At the kick-off we had the youth members fill out some surveys about what they were interested in doing. And we had all adults present fill out surveys about their talents and interests.

Invite new members to join. We sent out flyers and encouraged kids to come to the kick-off meeting. We had a good turn out – about 20 kids – but not all of them signed up. In the end we had about 15 sign up and 7 parents volunteered to join my husband and I as advisors.

Crew officers are elected and trained. We waited before doing this. Even though a Crew is supposed to be youth run, we decided to wait until January to have elections. I told them up front that I would take care of the first few months and then they would be in charge after elections. This actually worked out well for us, because some of the kids who were really enthusiastic at the kick-off only came to one or two more activities and then were never heard from again. If they had been elected officers I’m not sure they would have stuck with it. As it turned out, our officers are youth who are really taking charge and participating.

So are you ready to start a Venturing Crew? It really is a fun way to bring the values of Scouting to a whole new group of young adults.

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17 responses to “Starting a Venturing Crew”

  1. Scoutmamaof4 Avatar

    Just for the record, the proper terminology is ‘Venturing’ Crew, not ‘Venture’ Crew. Venturers in a Venturing Crew, not Venture Scouts in a Venture Crew.

    Good luck with the Crew! Venturing is, in my opinion, the best thing to happen to teen since the invention of pizza!

  2. Barbara Avatar

    How do you obtain a charter if you are not connected with a church or organization? Someone who is independent.

    1. Scouter Mom Avatar

      We have local hobby shops who charter Crews. Some sports teams are chartered as Crews. You can also see if there is a local VFW post, Elks Club, etc who would be willing to charter you. I am pretty sure you can even just get a few parents grouped together to charter a unit. Call down to your local council and ask. I’m sure that if you tell them you want to get a Crew started, they will help you find a way to do it.

  3. Rsanders79 Avatar

    This was very helpful. Thanks for posting this.

    One other comment…
    Scoutmamaof4, you are one of MANY people who, on forums concerning this topic, have felt it necessary to nit-pickingly correct someones venture/venturing terminology. Why is this even worth mentioning?

    1. cindy Avatar

      BECAUSE, our program, venturING, is named that way from national, and that decision came down over 15 years ago.

      those of us self described terminology police feel the compelling need to educate those of you who persist in not following training guidelines, which do establish the proper terminology for our program as follows:

      program name: venturING
      youth member: venturer
      adult member: advisor, associate advisor, committee member of a venturING crew

      our program name strips on our class a uniform shirts tell you all you need to know: VENTURING, BSA

      got it?

      1. Scoutmaster Avatar

        Within a Boy Scout troop there may be an optional Venture Patrol – a patrol made up of boys 13 or older who are capable or willing to take on more daring or tasking activities. This is one source of some of the confusion. It is very easy to kill a good message with bad delivery. Might I suggest that whenever someone wants to ensure the correct terminology is being used that it is done as an independent message rather than a direct response and correction of someone’s usage of a term, and perhaps that it can be in a helpful tone such as, “For the record …” or “to avoid confusion, I just want to point out the difference …” rather than a direct confrontational approach?

    2. Jay VanKirk Avatar
      Jay VanKirk

      It sure seems nit-picky …but it has the same slippery slope shared by incomplete uniforms, poor attendance, and loss of goodwill with public relations from not wearing the uniform. If you don’t inform yourself enough to call your own group by the correct name, or care enough to do so, it is an indicator. Perhaps the confusion is just because a lot of folks don’t “look it up?”

      A “venture” is just one undertaking that presents some risk and offers an uncertain outcome.

      Venturing is what a crew does, because they organize and carry out numerous ventures.

      A venture that turns out to be exciting and memorable is an adventure.

      The crew-members are therefor Venturers! – not ventures. Please be good role models by showing respect for our language and for our Scouting Organizations. The difference between nit-picking and caring gets blurry sometimes. I think it is important for our BSA members to all get this detail correct – and not so important for the general public.

  4. TD Avatar

    I think that people nit-pick about the term because Venturing means something completely different than “Venture” as in “Venture Patrol”.
    Venturing Crews have differnet training, methods, expectations and to some extent, values than Boy Scout Venture Patrols.

    Some people think all of us are Cub Scouts. Honestly, would you not correct someone if they called your unit a Cub Scout Troop?

    This brings up the point that BSA really should change the name “Venture Patrol”. It just confuses a lot of people. BSA has MANY committees that work on this kind of thing. They should be working on this ASAP.

  5. VenturerMom2090 Avatar

    In regards to proper use of terms and grammer, there are a least two ways to respond to corrections. One way is to be courteous and thankful that someone is being helpful and generous by sharing knowlege. The other way is to scoff at that person and call them a nit-picker. Maybe those who choose the second response should refer to the Venturing Oath: As a Venturer, I promise to do my duty to God and help strengthen America, to help others, and to seek truth, fairness, and adventure in the world. The Venturing program is the young adult program of the Boy Scouts of America, therefore the Scout Law also applies to Venturers, it states: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, HELPFUL, friendly, COURTEOUS, KIND, obedient, CHEERFUL, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

  6. Dan (Minnesota) Avatar

    Question #1:
    When you were originally forming the Venturing Crew, how many adults did you have going in right from the beginning, 3 or 5 adults to sign up with the BSA? We are in the process of forming a Fire/EMS/Public Safety Crew here in Minnesota and wanted to go with a Venturing Crew rather then with Exploring.

    Question #2:
    Pro’s and Con’s? Any regrets you’ve had on forming a crew and are you able to keep the kids interested after a length of time in the crew?

    Thanks for sharing your Venturing information on this page. It made for a nice read and gave us a shot in the arm to start actually forming a crew after all these years.

    Dan in Minnesota.

    1. Scouter Mom Avatar

      It has always been my husband and myself as the primary adult leadership for the crew, with another parent serving as Committee Chair and a couple of other adults from our parish as the committee.

      Our Crew serves as our parish youth group. We like being chartered as a crew because of the insurance coverage, the access to facilities such as cabins, and the additional program it provides through local Venturing events. Our crew is small – about 6 to 8 core teens with a few others occasionally joining in. We are still going after four years. We had little activity last year after most of the original members moved on to other activities. But we were able to successfully recruit in a new group this year which has breathed new life into it.

      I think it is important to understand that Venturing crews often serve niche groups of teens. While some are large, many are fewer than a dozen youth. If you are going to keep the program going long term, it might be better to consider success as serving a few teens well rather than establishing a large program.

  7. cubmom Avatar

    My 14 year old is not enjoying Scouting like he did and we have been considering strting a new Crew to help pick up the enthusiam. Thank you for this forum and the chance to lear from those who have already succeeded in creating a Crew.
    How did you go about finding a Sponser? Should this be an adult responsibility or the boys? Are girls required from the start or can a Crew be started without girls?
    Thanks gain!

    1. LaVue Avatar

      We had a “”Let’s Consider Having a Venturing Crew” meeting with my grandkids, their friends, and some of the older Boy Scouts. The teens all wanted to do it so both adults and teens discussed possible sponsors. We wrote them down, discussed if they would be able to furnish a place to meet, then numbered them in order of our 1st choice on down. We considered churches that the people present attend, Lions Club, and VFW. Our 1st choice was a church, a church member said he and his son would ask at the next church board meeting. The church said yes so we had another planning meeting this week. The adults decided which positions they wanted so we will be turning in our Venturing Crew paperwork next week after all the applications get the needed signatures. We happen to have a co-ed crew but you can have an all-boy crew or an all-girl crew, they are all fine. If you have a co-ed crew you have to have an adult female leader at all meetings and activities. Good luck!

  8. Aileen Avatar

    Hi, Interested in starting a crew, like the idea of a patrol off our troop. Could that include girls? Would be much easier to use our existing committee? Any thoughts.

    1. Scouter Mom Avatar

      If you want to include girls in your activities, you should form a Venturing crew. Check with your local council. They’ll tell you how to get started.

    2. Erin Howarth Avatar
      Erin Howarth

      Aileen: in our council (Cascade Pacific) we are trying to promote something that we are calling vertical scouting in which a pack, troop and crew all share the same committee (and chartered organization), so you can start a Venture Crew with your troop committee, that is entirely appropriate. Everyone ends up with multiple registrations, no extra fees.

  9. PJ Keeler IV Avatar
    PJ Keeler IV

    As a former District Venturing Chair I feel I need to urge caution over the “multiple adult registrations. I have witnessed too many cases of burn out or Units imploding because in truth a Crew needs a complete set of different primary leaders than a Troop. The Troop will last, but unless there is constant recruitment for the Crew, 95% of Crews don’t make it past either the “3year bubble” or if lucky “5 year bubble”.
    My Crew is on it’s 14th “generation” and that has been very tough at times, so please recruit extra leaders. It is called the “truck factor”, meaning how many adults have to get hit by trucks before your program is blinking red.

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