Opinion: Letter to the Editor: High Adventure Opportunities for Older Youth in Scouting

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: High Adventure Opportunities for Older Youth in Scouting

Scouting is a program that offers older youth leadership, adventure, and service opportunities. Recently, Scouts BSA welcomed girls to form troops and earn all ranks, including the Eagle Award. However, older male and female youth have participated in specialized program such as Explorers, Sea Scouts, and Venturing for decades. Exploring, also known as Learning for Life, is a career-centric program, and Sea Scouts, as its name implies, is focused on maritime skills, leadership, and activities. Venturing is known for its high adventure activities.

Venturing is a program for youth, male and female, between the ages of 14 and 20 (or 13 and finished eighth grade). The four pillars of the program are activities, leadership, personal development, and service.

Venturing participants are grouped into units called crews, usually sponsored by schools, churches, or civic organizations. Most crews are centered on high activities such as hiking, climbing, water sports, and camping. However, some are focused on other diverse activities such as living history, communications, rocketry, or first aid. The youth develop leadership skills and experience personal growth through the activities that they choose.

Rather than earning ranks, Venturers earn recognition awards through accomplishments in the four core areas. Venturing crews are youth run, and adults serve as advisors. Each activity has a youth leader. To earn awards, Venturers complete courses in topics such as time management, project management, and mentoring.

As Venturers earn awards, they become proficient in a variety of subject areas and teach others what they have learned. The Summit award, the pinnacle of the program, also requires a significant service project for the community.

To find a local scout unit, visit www.beascout.org.

James E Emery