Winter 2021 Edition

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DRAFT 1 FALL 2020 THE VENTURING NEWSLETTER (COVER COMING SOON)


VOLUME TWO

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ISSUE THREE

EDITOR IN CHIEF: NICOLE STEELE DESIGNER: JONATHAN BERGLER

Season’s greetings to my Scouting family, As we wrap up the holiday season, I think it’s important VOLUME ONE | ISSUE ONE to reflect on what makes this time a favorite among so many people. One of the first words to pop into my mind when I think “holidays” is “joy.” Between good food, reflecting on memories, being surrounded by those you love, and just the general holiday spirit, happiness is bound to come at some point. But the thing about joy is that it’s N I C O L E ST E E L E a sort of happiness you get to choose, meaning even if we are surrounded by a pandemic that may change traditions, there is still reason to smile.

EDITOR'S NOTE |

Ed-

itor’s

If there is one group of people that can make me smile, it’s those in green shirts. I have seen so many Venturers choosing joy this season and even finding ways to spread it to others with random good deeds. While they may not be your most traditional events, I’m pleased to share some of the creative fun that Venturers have had this Winter. We also tried to capture some of the holiday spirit in this newsletter by sharing a few fan-favorite white elephant gifts.

NICOLE STEELE

Additionally, to honor the people who got all of the Venturing joy started, this newsletter includes an exclusive article written about the founders of Venturing. These amazing people worked hard to create the program we all know and love, so go ahead and give their story a read. Of course, if you have any fun stories about Venturers, Advisors, or Crews you know, we’d love to hear from you! We’re always looking for stories to highlight and new ideas to feature, so please reach out to nationalventuringcommunication@gmail.com with any questions, comments, or ideas. And if you are interested in writing or graphic designing articles for future editions of The Venturing Newsletter, please reach out as we’d love to connect with you. Best of luck with your New Year’s resolutions! Yours in Venturing,

Nicole Steele


CONTENTS 8 ADVENTURE Ve n t u r e rs o n t he H u n t - 5 The Wo rs t Wh i t e E l e p ha n t G i f t s - 7 B a d e n - Po w e l l S c h o l a s t i c P i s t o l Te a m - 8

LEADERSHIP N a t i o n a l G a m e N i g h t - 11 G e t t i n g t o K n o w Yo u r Re g i o n V O A V P Cs - 12 The Fo u n d e rs o f Ve n t u r i n g - 14 Yo u As ke d , We A n s w e r e d - 19

PC: BOB VOGT

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PERSONAL GROWTH S c o u t i n g & S c h o l a rs h i p s - 21 Le a d i n g t he Ad v e n t u r e B e y o n d t he G r e e n S h i r t - 24 J o u r n e y t o E x c e l l e n c e f o r Co u n c i l Ve n t u r i n g - 2 6

SERVICE

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D i v i n g I n t o B i o l o g y : A S u m m i t Pro j e c t - 2 8 The Ve n t u r i n g Le a d e rs h i p Aw a r d - 3 0 A C r e w W i t h a H e a r t t o G i v e B a c k - 32 The Ve n t u r i n g U n i f o r m G u i d e - 34 Ca l e n d a r - 3 6

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Adventure

VENTURERS ON THE HUNT Page 5

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THE WORST WHITE ELEPHANT GIFTS

BADEN-POWELL PISTOL TEAM

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Venturers on the Hunt A WESTERN REGION EVENT

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ARTICLE BY STEVEN SOTO

What happens when you give Venturers a list of clues, a camera, physical will, and service? Venturers on the Hunt!

Venturers on the Hunt was inspired by an event hosted every other year by the Western Los Angeles County Council called the Patrol Challenge. The Patrol Challenge is widely known as a photo scavenger hunt with teams of 3-8 formed from all the branches of Scouting, from young Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts to Venturers and Sea Scouts, and even including all levels of Girl Scouts. However, the Patrol Challenge is a three-pronged event consisting of a photo safari, item scavenger hunt, and unique activities unlike any other. Some of their iconic clues include creating a cardboard boat with duct tape and sailing across a body of water, jumping into a freezing pool with your uniform on, and sometimes even kissing a frog. Over the years, the Patrol Challenge has grown with 13 competitions, hundreds of participants, and patrols from 5 neighboring BSA Councils.

For two months, Western Region VOA Vice President of Program Katie Osterhout worked hard to develop a Fall event that engages Venturers. She turned the suggestion of creating a Patrol Challenge into an event of her own, and thus Venturers on the Hunt was born. Katie worked to gather and develop clues from across the region that could be unique for everyone, from beautiful Hawaiian Rainbows to the gorgeous landscape of the Zion National Forest! This week-long event had over 70 participants from all over the nation, over 500 photos submitted, 20 hours of service to local communities, 35,500+ points earned in total, and too many smiles to count.

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Unlike any Patrol Challenge done before, Katie had to make Venturers on the Hunt as safe as possible with the COVID-19 Pandemic still looming over the country. In a real Patrol Challenge scenario, patrols often gather to take photos, collect items, and participate in activities together. They also utilize skills ranging from teamwork, persuasion, problem-solving, negotiation, communication, and leadership. However, thanks to technology, she was able to create just about all of that. In a COVID environment where many of the participants live in different households, they still found ways to connect and participate “together” from a distance. Teams utilized Zoom to have meetings and take “team photos” along with communicating their plan. The Western Region VOA incorporated a Slack communication platform where participants could hear the latest updates on the event, certain clues, and see where they were on the leaderboard. This Slack channel helped connect Venturers and allowed them to form friendships with those from different parts of the world. With such high enthusiasm, teams were getting competitive fast. The different groups had playful banter every day and often shared photos of their accomplishments. Teams #Westestisbestest and Area 3 VOA were neck-and-neck within the last few hours of the competition; however, one team rose to victory by a mere 50 points. With less than 15 minutes to go in the whole competition, one Venturer got on their bike and rode 10 miles to victory. This 10-mile bike ride lead the Area 3 VOA team to be the first winners of Venturers on the Hunt. 6

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This spectacular event was finished off with a closing campfire ceremony. National VOA President Tyler Grey and WR VOA President Juliana Murillo also spoke at the campfire and participated in virtual activities. I had the honor of joining Katie live from Hollywood to host the closing campfire and make a real Hollywood Night Show. When all was said and done, this was an amazing event for participants to work with one another and stay safe while doing challenges and gathering photos across the world. In fact, the event was so fun that participants have been asking for another Venturers on the Hunt event. We are pleased to announce that the Western Region VOA will be hosting Venturers on the Hunt, A West Quest from April 9th through 17th. This event is open to all Venturers, Scouts, and Scouters across the nation and internationally. Stay tuned on the Western Region social media for more information and to find out when registration opens.


Crews and Councils have been celebrating the holidays together for years, and one of the most common celebrations includes a white elephant gift exchange. However, I think most of us have been to white elephant gift exchanges where we walked away with something... different than expected. This year, we asked Venturers what some of the worst white elephant gifts they’ve ever received have been. Here are some of your answers:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

A used mechanical pencil A lemon with a bite out of it A trashbag full of bubble wrap A used, broken board game set Emergency underwear Bacon breath mints Toilet seat cover Two live mice A head scratcher Toothpaste Pickled pigs feet Toilet paper A slice of bread Pooperie


Baden

Powell

Shooting

Sports

Team

Baden-Powell SCHOLASTIC PISTOL TEAM

W

hat are some of the most unique aspects of Venturing? For most, the thoughts of it being co-ed, youth-run, and available to 1420 year olds would be amongst the first to pop in their head; however, there's more to it than that. With Venturing being designed for older youth, the range of activities we get to do grows. One of these activities unique to Venturing compared to other Scouting programs is the ability to shoot handguns. In Arizona, Venturing Crew 003 capitalized on this activity by forming the Baden-Powell Scholastic Pistol team. Just like any other Venturing Crew, those in Crew 003 get to go on exciting adventures together, doing all sorts of different activities and service projects. In fact, five out of Catalina Council's seven Summit Award recipients are from Crew 003 alone! However, these Venturers additionally have the opportunity to join this Venturing-exclusive shooting sports team. Coach Cindy Reilly began the journey to form the Baden-Powell Pistol team in 2014 with nothing but the desire to enable the youth who had expressed an interest in competitive shooting 8

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sports. In 2015, after getting NRA certified and with some help from another member of the Catalina Council, Cindy managed to kick off the team with five youth, a single borrowed pistol, and borrowed targets before their council helped them get grant money to buy some of their own materials. Since then, the team has grown to consist of 19 youth athletes as well as 12 coaches, instructors, and range safety officers. The Baden-Powell Pistol team is the only competitive BSA shooting sports team in the nation, but what exactly does this team do? Each team member starts their journey by learning to shoot a pistol at five different configurations of steel targets for the rimfire speed competitions. Of course, with it being a speed competition, each shooter is timed as they attempt each configuration. The team has expanded to begin offering trained youth the opportunity to learn how


to compete with air pistols, air rifles, and long-range precision shooting. The Baden-Powell Scholastic Pistol team participates in multiple competitions throughout the year, including the 2020 virtual national competition that led to several BadenPowell team members ranking among the top 10 athletes nationwide.

As I talked to Coach Cindy Reilly and team member AJ Kowalski, I realized how much this shared passion unites these Venturers. Cindy told me that her "enjoyment is watching [the youth] work together as a team and get better and more successful in their skills at shooting." Each member helps their teammates out by offering advice, refilling each other's magazines, and working together to troubleshoot firearm problems. Together, they excel more than they could on their own and grow to share a special bond. From his time on the team, AJ shared that he has gained "a lot more friends; anytime I go to the shooting practice, we always mess around with each other, laugh, have fun, and make sure we have a good practice." Their fun times don't just end at practice. During every competition, this team's joy and Scouting spirit stands out from the rest. As Cindy put it, while all the other teams are very serious about training and being the best they can be, this team of Venturers is "more like family. They

work together, but they'll always have fun at the same time. They're more relaxed." As they surprise their competition, the Baden-Powell Pistol team is living proof that you can be both competitive and silly. This family-feel is the reason that so many Venturers choose to remain on the Baden-Powell team as opposed to other collegiate ones. While this amazing team is one-ofa-kind, it doesn't have to remain the only BSA shooting sports team. I asked AJ if he would recommend other Venturers form their own teams, and he responded by saying, "One hundred percent. Nationals are in Ohio, and if there are more Boy Scout teams there, that's awesome. You can connect with more people that way. It's like a tattoo, it's a conversation starter‌ I would definitely encourage more and more Venturing units from across the country to take up shooting sports. It's amazing." If any of you readers are interested in taking your Crew to the next level and pursuing shooting sports, Cindy would love to help you get started. You can contact her at cdreilly@gmail.com to get her knowledgeable guidance.

To keep up with the Baden-Powell Scholastic Pistol team and their awesome events, visit their website: https://scoutsbsa3.com/baden-powell-pistol-team

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Leadership

NATIONAL GAME NIGHT Page 11

GETTING TO KNOW REGION VOA VPCs

YOU ASKED, WE ANSWERED

Page 12

Page 19

THE FOUNDERS OF VENTURING Page 14 10

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N AT I O N A L GA M E N I G H T BY T YLER GREY, NATIONAL VOA PRESIDENT

In November, the National VOA worked together to put on a 4-hour game night for Venturers across the nation. Each Region VOA planned an hour of games and program to play and show off their region pride. Throughout the evening, we had over 80 people from across the nation join in on the fun.

The Northeast Region VOA started us off strong with Ryanne Fisher, NER VOA VP of Communication, leading everyone in a virtual scavenger hunt around the house. After the scavenger hunt, we moved onto some Jackbox Games, which are perfect party games for any virtual crew activity as they include many different mini-games that can be played in 10-15 minute rounds. There is even a family-friendly filter to keep things Scout appropriate!

The Southern Region VOA carried us into our second hour of the evening when Amy Hermann, SR VOA President, showcased a game she created herself using a platform called Poll Everywhere. The premise of the game was to create your own Southernisms based on a certain prompt, which was a ton of fun for all Venturers. For the prompt “They fired him,” some of the best responses were: “He lost his boots,” “He got cut looser than a lasso,” and “He got pressed.” For the prompt “I’m tired,” some of the best responses were: “He is cognitive as a concussed coyote,” “I need to find a dream deer,” and, my personal favorite, “I’m so tuckered out, I poured my coffee in my boot.” Being a West Coaster myself, it was cool to take a deep dive into Southern culture.

The Central Region VOA kept the mojo going in hour three by hosting some rounds of Among Us, the popular mystery game focused on staying alive. Because we had a ton of people, we had to split up into five different breakout rooms to play multiple rounds. If you haven’t played before, Among Us is a 4-10 player game where most players are “Crewmates” on board a ship, and a few select players are “Traitors” tasked with taking everyone else out. I was in a room with Madeleine Snella, CR VOA VP of Communication, and I don’t mean to point fingers, but she is definitely a skilled traitor in that game.

Last but certainly not least, the Western Region VOA finished the night off strong with some rounds of Skribb. io before moving on to the game Werewolf. Skribbl.io is fun because anonymous players get to take turns drawing different pictures while others have to guess what it is, which was a perfect contrast to Werewolf, which takes the intense card game Mafia to the next level.

All in all, we had a ton of fun playing games with Venturers from across the country, and we’re looking forward to hosting another game night soon. Stay tuned for more details!

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GETTING TO KNOW YOUR REGION VOA

VICE PRESIDENTS OF COMMUNICATION RYA N N E F I S H E R

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N O RT H E AST R E G I O N V OA V P O F CO M M U N I CAT I O N

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THIS TERM?

I continue to look forward to helping connect Venturers across the Northeast. Utilizing social media, the NER VOA continues to work to spread the word of Venturing to all whilst connecting Venturers to fun activities, trainings, and service opportunities. WHAT MADE YOU INTERESTED IN BECOMING THE REGION VOA VPC?

Being a communications officer offers the opportunity to reach out to all Scouts and communicate the great opportunities happening around them. As the Vice President of Communications, I get to help share the stories and events happening across the Northeast to help offer more opportunities to growing Scouts. I’ve also enjoyed being able to spread my creativity through my communications for all to enjoy. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO LISTEN TO WHILE DRIVING?

I have a very odd music selection compared to most. Almost all of the songs I have downloaded are at least five years old. (What can I say? The 2000s and early 2010s had some banging bops!) My music selection leans towards a country and pop mix, but my favorite playlist is definitely the one called ‘Crew Bops’ which is a compilation of the songs my Crew listens to while going on road trips and driving to campouts or meetings. STEVEN SOTO

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WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THIS TERM?

This term, I had two main goals; the first being to create a Region Branding Resource guide to provide to everyone across the region. This guide would utilize simple branding guidelines to follow and provide tips and tricks. My other goal was to redesign our region website, which will be completed shortly. WHAT MADE YOU INTERESTED IN BECOMING THE REGION VOA VPC?

After serving as the Area 4 VOA President in the West, I wanted to continue to serve the Venturing program. I actually got started with communications in school through digital design courses, then served on JamboLink at the 2017 National Jamboree and with the Order of the Arrow. Through all of my experiences, I became eager to do communications at a regional level in Venturing. HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED IN VENTURING?

I got started in Venturing by tagging along with our National VOA President, Tyler, to events with his crew and seeing him active with the VOA in the council. From there, I joined the same crew and began participating in activities. Soon after, he nudged me to join the VOA and I started as an Area President. 12

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JESSICA O'NEAL

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SO U T H E R N R E G I O N V OA V P O F CO M M U N I CAT I O N

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THIS TERM?

One of my goals for this term is to increase the Southern Region Social Media engagement across various platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Another goal is to publish, bimonthly, the Southern Region Newsletter, the SR Snapshot. I am also working toward effective communication with the Area VP of Communications within the Southern Region. WHAT MADE YOU INTERESTED IN BECOMING THE REGION VOA VPC?

From my first time being in a VOA, I’ve been interested in serving the Area VPs of Communication at a regional level. I love the opportunity to connect and communicate with people all across the country, and I thought this position would be a great place to do that. HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN VENTURING?

I got my start in Venturing when my father told me he had signed me up to go to Philmont in 2016. The next year, I went to the Venturing Rendezvous in SR Area 2 where I got my first glimpse of a VOA. I thought it was so cool that they put on such an amazing event, so I applied for the next term!

MADELEINE SNELLA

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C E N T RA L R E G I O N V OA V P O F CO M M U N I CAT I O N

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THIS TERM?

My big goals for this term are to make a new website that better serves the needs of our Venturers, make a new CR Venturing brand guide, and to grow our social media presence to be more engaging and dynamic. WHAT MADE YOU INTERESTED IN BECOMING THE REGION VOA VPC?

I joined Venturing with the dream of becoming my crew secretary, so I guess I’ve just been on a communications victory lap since 2014. As I went through my Venturing career, I found that communications was a way for me to use my skills in writing and design to help serve this organization that’s done so much for me. I applied to be the CR A7 VP of Communications while I was a council president, and much to my surprise, I got the position! I spent that term sharpening my skills and learning more about communications so I could feel confident applying to the Region VOA. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE OF VENTURING?

Wait, you guys have free time outside of Scouting and Venturing?! When I’m not at work or doing schoolwork, I’m performing or practicing dance and poms at my college. I’m also super involved in residence life on campus, so I plan, execute, and attend about 40 events per school year, which is a fun way to spend time with the people in my dorm. In my off-campus life I’m actually pretty laid back, and spend a lot of time gardening, sewing, camping, and playing with my puppy. I’ve started to get way more into reading too, so send me book recommendations! WINTER EDITION

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ARTICLE BY TANADET ITSARAPAKDETAM

PHOTOS BY BOB VOGT

E

very February 9th for the past 22 years, Venturers from across the nation have united to celebrate the birthday of Venturing, but how much do you know about those who brought this program to life? If you're like most, you may not even know their names. To help you get to know them better, we have gone right to the source and interviewed Larry and Donna Cunningham of Amarillo, Texas, two of the three founding members of the Venturing, BSA.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:

Doc Miller, Larry Cunningham, and Donna Cunningham


B

ut first, let me introduce the professional Scouter who recruited everyone to start this amazing journey. In 1995, Team Leader of Youth Development for BSA, Bill Evans of Flower Mound, Texas, sought out volunteers to work on a special project to support the growth of the Exploring program. Bill began his career in

August of 1974 as a District Executive in the Blue Ridge Council, Greenville, South Carolina, and later became Scout Executive of the Stonewall Jackson Area Council, Waynesboro, Virginia before he moved to the National Office in 1991.

HE WAS A REGULAR RESIDENT HISTORIAN AND EARNED HIMSELF THE TITLE OF "MR. VENTURING," AS HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND CONTINUED SUPPORT OF THE VENTURING LEADER MANUAL, THE VENTURER/ RANGER HANDBOOK, THE QUEST HANDBOOK, THE POWDER HORN COURSE, AND THE KODIAK/KODIAK X COURSES DURING THE EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF THE VENTURING PROGRAM.

Normally, professional Scouters stay behind the scenes and don't draw much attention, but with Bill Evans's dedication, love for the program, and involvement in nearly every aspect of Venturing's formation, he is hard not to mention.

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D

uring Bill's time as the Stonewall Jackson Area Council Scout Executive before the birth of Venturing, he met an extraordinary volunteer, Dr. Richard Miller----otherwise known as Doc Miller. In addition to being a Waynesboro dentist,

DOC MILLER WAS A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL EXPLORING STANDING COMMIT TEE AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL OUTDOOR EXPLORING COMMIT TEE.

ABOVE: Doc Miller at the 2018 VenturingFest

BILL RECRUITED DOC TO BE THE NATIONAL OUTDOOR VENTURING CHAIRMAN FROM 1998 TO 2004. DOC WAS ALSO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE VENTURING RAINFOREST EXHIBIT AT THE 2001 JAMBOREE AND THE VENTURING CAVE EXHIBIT AT THE 2005 NATIONAL JAMBOREE.

At these exhibits, Doc led the building and execution of a rainforest replication that was full of fun activities designed to recruit as many new Venturers as possible. These exhibits were so massive that about 200 volunteers were hired just to help run them and are considered two of the big highlights for those Jamborees. One

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fun fact about Doc Miller is that when he was a youth, he was the selected Eagle Scout who got to escort President John F. Kennedy at both his Inauguration and the Inaugural Ball in 1960. With his love for the outdoors and the Exploring program, Doc Miller was naturally a great asset to this key committee.


A

long with Bill Evans and Doc Miller, there were a few others who helped form Venturing, including Gary Van Rokel from PADI and Bob Soldivera. All of these Scouters were present at a vital meeting that took place in the living room of Larry and Donna Cunningham's home in Long Key, Florida. Let's get to know the hosts of this meeting, otherwise known as the other two founders of Venturing. If you have had the pleasure of meeting Larry and Donna in person, then you would know that the dynamic duo consists of two of the nicest people you will ever

meet. Married for over 55 years, they have served together on as many committees as you can imagine. Both have served as BSA/Venturing representatives to the United States Olympic Committee; Donna chaired the Venturing Sports Committee; Larry co-chaired the Outdoor Program at Sea Base and Philmont; they're both licensed boat captains, American Red Cross Instructors, SCUBA Divemasters, C.O.P.E. Instructors, Emergency Medical Technicians, and NRA Instructors in 3 disciplines; and the list goes on.

APART FROM HELPING VENTURING GET ITS START, THEIR BIGGEST CONTRIBUTION TO SCOUTING WAS CREATING THE POWDER HORN COURSE, ORIGINALLY DESIGNED FOR VENTURING ADVISORS TO GAIN A DETAILED UNDERSTANDING OF RANGER AWARD REQUIREMENTS AND HOW TO HELP YOUTH ENJOY THE OUTDOORS IN A SAFE AND REWARDING ENVIRONMENT.

Because of this, it only makes sense that they are considered the "Father and Mother of Powder Horn," which is a story we will save for another day. During the time of Venturing's development, Larry and Donna would often seal themselves away to work on creating the numerous documents that helped blossom the Venturing program. WINTER EDITION

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etting back to the meeting in the Cunningham's living room, the Scouters had joined together to discuss how to support and sustain the exponential growth of the Exploring program during the early 1990s. The result of this meeting brought the return of the Ranger Award, the Silver Award, and Bronze Awards in addition to the current Exploring Growth Opportunity in Leadership Development (also known as the G.O.L.D. Award, which later became the Venturing Gold Award). With the BSA National Executive Board's seal of approval, the Venturing program was born on February 9th of 1998. As we celebrate the upcoming 23rd birthday of Venturing, let us not forget the people that made it all possible. Thank you to our founding Fathers and Mother of Venturing, Doc Miller, Larry Cunningham, Donna Cunningham, and Bill Evans, for giving us one of the most exciting programs in BSA history. ABOVE:

The founders of Venturing at the 2008 BSA National Meeting

Older Youth Programs: AN ESSENTIAL PART OF SCOUTING

Philmont Training Center July 18-24, 2021 | SAVE THE DATE! Open to all Venturers, VOA officers, volunteer advisors, and staff advisors to create new ideas that will fuel the programming efforts of our organization, discuss the future of Venturing, and gain tools to bring back to your units and VOA's to help your unit or VOA thrive.

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You Asked, We Answered "I’m a new Council Venturing President, what are some fun events we could run for our council?" A S K E D B Y LUK E K . Luke, this is by far one of my favorite topics of Venturing; the events you could choose from are endless! The winning event in Orange County Council, where I’m from, is what we call “Explore LA.” We set up a time and place to meet in Los Angeles before the competition starts to explain the rules. After the event begins, Crews have an allotted amount of time to gain as many points as possible by taking pictures at designated landmarks worth various amounts of points. This event teaches Venturers how to navigate a city and use public transportation, allows sight-seeing, was a neat way for my council to meet other Venturers in the neighboring councils, and was

"Are there any special rules or guidelines for conducting virtual elections?" A S K E D B Y K AT H Y D. There are no special rules for conducting virtual elections, just make sure you follow all of the ones that would apply normally! For more information on guidelines during Venturing elections, check out the Venturing Standard Operating Procedures.

full of fun. Other events you could do include hosting a Venturing Camporee, having a day on the ice rink, going to a firearms range, or setting up a fundraiser like a Hike-A-Thon or car wash to raise money for other events. Almost any event a crew can do can be translated to a council level; the VOA exists to support crews and model what a good leadership system looks like, so by hosting any event (no matter how simple it is), you will be fulfilling that and bringing along the excitement of allowing people to hang out with Venturers from other crews. Just remember that in order to get people to come, you have to

Do you have questions or need advice about Venturing? CLICK HERE!

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Personal Growth

SCOUTING & SCHOLARSHIPS Page 21

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LEADING THE ADVENTURE BEYOND THE GREEN SHIRT

JTE FOR COUNCIL VENTURING

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Scouting & Scholarships By Natalie MacEwan Scouting prepares young adults to be ethical and well-educated citizens in our communities, prepared for nearly any situation, equipped with the leadership skills to lead a team, project, or business, and essentially, prepares them for life. One of the commonly overlooked benefits of Scouting is the immense influence it can have in the college and scholarship application process. In December of 2017, out of over 7 million high school athletes, I had the honor of being named one of the top 10 scholar-athletes in the country through the Wendy’s High School Heisman program, an honor which I credit greatly to the experiences I have had in Scouting in addition to my athletic and academic accomplishments. After being named a National Finalist, the Wendy’s High School Heisman program flew out all ten finalists and their families to New York City, where we would stay on Time Square and be toured around. The best part about the trip for me, however, was not seeing the Rockettes at Radio City, ice skating at Rockefel-

ler Center, seeing our faces on the marquis in Times Square, or even attending the College Heisman Trophy Ceremony as VIPs, but getting to meet the other nine finalists and their families. Every finalist was so inspirational and well accomplished in their sport, community, and school and were simply amazing people. The more I got to know them, the less I felt like I had belonged in such a prestigious group among athletes who have already competed representing our country and students with near-perfect SAT scores. When I arrived, a Wendy’s High School Alumni congratulated me for making it this far, jokingly saying winning for the state of California was harder than winning nationally because of how populated and competitive the state was as a whole, making it much more difficult to stand out compared to students who dominated athletically from small towns and states. It made me question, what set me apart compared to millions of other scholar-athletes? That was when I realized; it must have been Scouting. WINTER EDITION

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Scouting gives students the opportunity to pursue extracurricular activities and experiences that stand out compared to other High School applicants, such as having the chance to backpack over 100 miles at Philmont, speak in front of thousands as you honor those who served our country, feed the homeless at your community food pantry, and more. These unique experiences serve as the perfect topics for any applicant’s essay or short answer, exhibit continued involvement in the community, and prove a well-rounded individual. Scouting allows young adults to grow as leaders, offering leadership courses like ILS, NYLT, and NAYLE that often contain the same material businesses use to train their new employees. In addition to providing top of the line training, Scouting gives young adults the opportunity to lead their peers, council, area, region, and even nation, where they gain new skills in public speaking, budgeting, managing finances, fundraising, communication, marketing, event planning, and more—all of which are skills we will continue to use to benefit our community through high school, college, and the rest of our lives.

What kind of college campus would not want a student who is prepared for any emergency situation? Who is trained in CPR, First Aid, Time Management, and other valuable skills? Who has the confidence and experience to speak in front of a crowd and lead as a good example and a servant leader? Who is creative, outgoing, and is not afraid of what other people may think? Who identifies themselves as trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent? I can confidently say Scouting played a significant role in my success as a student, in my sports teams, and in my community; it has contributed greatly to my character development and has offered me significant advantages in the college application and scholarship process. I have found first hand that by being in Scouting, one gains so much more than friends that become family, more than an environment where they are comfortable being themselves, more than opportunities to learn how to be a leader, more than the value of cheerfully serving their community, and more than leading an adventure. Through Scouting, one gains endless opportunities and personal growth.


Scholarship Tips Contributors: Natalie MacEwan, Bain McHale, Nicole Steele

Applying for scholarships can be a lot of work, but they are well worth it. In the application process, the goal of the applicant is to stand out compared to others. As Scouts we are able to do so by highlighting many of the unique experiences Scouting offers. This makes an essay about the personal growth you encountered backpacking over 100 miles on trek at Philmont worth a lot more than talking about your experience as a high school team captain. Here are some tips for applying to scholarships composed by a few Venturers:

Finding Scholarships • Look for scholarships on the Venturing website, i through various scholarship search engines, by checking with your council, or by asking your school counselor for help finding scholarships. • Apply to scholarships of all amounts. Many of the i smaller scholarships go unclaimed because people are more focused on applying to larger scholarships. • Earn your Summit Award! There are a number i of scholarships for Summit recipients. Additionally, this proof of ambition will help you stand out amongst other applicants. • Do not let financial need limit you from applying i to top tier colleges! Most Ivy league schools and many privates and out of states will meet “100% of demonstrated financial need.” • After being accepted into a college, don’t be afraid i to negotiate your financial aid package! Colleges want a high percent yield back from their acceptances and will often offer you grants, scholarships, or other financial aid

Creating the Application • Use the application to create as full a representai tion of you as possible. Use extra space and writing to highlight information they don’t already know about you. Do they know how you act as a leader? i Do they know how you work in a team? Do they know what your values are or what positive impact you hope to make? • i You should cater your application to the scholarship you are applying to. Not all organizations giving scholarships value the same things, so do your research, and show them how you align with their values. • If you’re stumped on what to write, I’ve found that i telling a story that demonstrates the point you are trying to convey often works well. It also tends to make it easier to write and allows more character shine through. • If you don’t know your school counselor well and i need their recommendation, offer to give them your resume and sit down for an interview. The more they know about you, your motivations, hardships, etc the more likely they’ll write a compelling letter of recommendation. • i In addition to having a critical and trustworthy reviewer (teacher/ counselor/ advisor/ mentor) revise your essays before submitting, have someone who knows you well read over your essay to make sure it sounds like you and does a good job describing you. They’ll know if it sounds forced or catch if there is something great about you that’s missing from your application. • i Save a copy of all the essays you write for scholarships and college applications so you can reuse/ adapt your essays when applicable. This also goes for letters of recommendation.

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Leading the Adventure BEYOND THE GREEN SHIRT

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KINNY CHACONAS

Yosemite National Park For as long as I can remember, Scouting has been an integral part of my life. Between three brothers and a mom who is heavily involved (I could write this entire article on just her influence and accomplishments, but you can also use Google search), it was an inevitable path to follow. I did everything from attending my brothers’ Cub Scout and Boy Scout meetings to campouts and special events, willing and eager to be the girl that was always hanging around the boys and sometimes even beating them at their own games. As soon as I was of age, I joined Venturing. Venturing was a transformative time where I not only got to be “one of the boys” that I longed to be for all those years, but a time that my value and opinions were seen as equal. I gained an innumerable amount of confidence and lifelong skills, which I think are just as important as material awards, if not more. Experiences, as my mom has always taught me, are more meaningful and remembered 24

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than anything else you can acquire in this life. My experiences in Venturing are nothing but a testament to that belief. My biggest draws to Scouting and Venturing have always been the amount of time spent outdoors, honing new skills, and enjoying the beauty of nature, which I believe to be the gifts that keep on giving; this is how my love of the outdoors was propelled. I didn’t know it at the time, but this love was about to take me very far in my life. I began working on the Blue Ridge Scout Reservation in Virginia in 2011 as a member of the Venturing Crew. I had no idea the number of leadership skills and friendships I was about to make in what ended up being the best six summers of my life. I started as a waterfront merit badge instructor and eventually became the Waterfront Director at Camp Powhatan. Having also done stints at Camp Ottari and Claytor Lake Aquatics Base, I was one of the few people who has worked at all three reservation camps.


I ended my tenure at the Boy Scout camps in 2016 after I graduated from Virginia Tech. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I ended up moving out to California in April of 2017. I completed a year of AmeriCorps VISTA, where I worked with a nonprofit organization to help start and maintain a homelessness housing program in Lake County, CA. While I was in California, I visited a friend who worked in Yosemite National Park a handful of times and fell completely in love. I knew from the first time I visited Yosemite that I wanted to be there. It felt like home. In April 2018, I was extremely grateful to secure a job as a Park Ranger in Yosemite. I started as a seasonal ranger, but having done AmeriCorps the year prior, I was given a special hiring status, which allowed me to become a full-time Ranger by November of 2018; I have been here ever since. Yosemite is somewhere that I had never been prior to living in California, and somewhere that I may have never ended up if I were not introduced to the outdoors at such a young age. My life since has been filled with rock climbing (shout out to learning knots in Scouting) and exploring the endless wilderness of Yosemite. It is unlike anywhere I have ever been and likely ever will be. My job, specifically, is working at one of the five entrances of the park; I collect fees, disperse visitor information, and do occasional wilderness patrols to

pick up trash and answer visitor questions. I can go on about this job, but I will tell you one thing: as many jobs do, it has tested my patience at times. While I am generally a very patient individual, having dealt with middle school boys for years at camp definitely helped hone this specific skill. In fact, almost every skill I have, especially those involving wilderness and first aid, is because of my time spent in Scouting. As I said before, I could make this whole article about my mom, and I didn’t. But I do want everyone to know that I am eternally grateful for her unwavering support in every endeavor. She is why I ever got into Venturing, and she is why I am the confident, independent, thrill-seeking woman that I am. So with that, thank you to Venturing and thank you to Marybeth Chaconas.

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Journey to Excellence for Council Venturing

By Andrew Miller

L

et’s face it: Venturers are planners. We’re the only program with Project Management training written into the advancement requirements, so it comes as no surprise that Venturing provides crews and council Venturing Officer Associations (VOAs) with tools to plan a fun, engaging year. Known as Journey to Excellence (JTE), these tools help crews and council VOAs plan their year, track their progress, and receive recognition. JTE is meant to encourage excellence in providing a quality program at all levels of the BSA. The council-level Venturing version of this award, previously known as the Council Standards of Venturing Excellence (CSVE) Award, is presented by the BSA National Council to councils that complete the requirements during the previous calendar year. It is designed to measure a council’s Venturing program by analyzing various aspects of their growth in categories such as membership, trainings, events, and awards. Journey to Excellence for Council Venturing (JTECV) is the single most powerful tool we have for Council Venturing programs to use for planning their program year. It incentivizes actions that lead to a growing, vibrant Venturing program. Council VOAs (or the council, if there is no VOA) can use each requirement to plan an engaging set of activities that crews can attend. 26

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The five “Core” requirements lead to more rounded Council Venturing Programs in membership growth, creation of VOAs, rank advancement, and program. Using the JTECV as a planning tool incentivizes Council Venturing Officers Associations to plan Council-wide events that utilize the ALPS model, ensuring that every crew will experience Council-wide events with elements of Adventure, Leadership, Personal Growth, and Leadership opportunities. Submissions for the JTECV for 2020 will be due no later than February 15, 2021. The easiest way to submit the form is for the Council VOA to designate a single person to submit the Qualtrics form that will be live starting January 15, 2021 on Venturing.org (this way, the National Service Center receives your submission as soon as you submit it). Councils can also download a PDF of the form and submit the completed version to the email address listed We encourage Council Venturing programs to use these next few months to mark their performance for this year and determine the categories to focus on in planning your program for 2021. While we are in the pandemic, the membership requirement (Core 1) is suspended, and virtual events or visits can substitute for any requirement for in-person activities. If you need help with planning for next year, or if you have any questions during the submission process for the JTECV, reach out to your Area and Region VOA Officers!


Service

DIVING INTO BIOLOGY: A SUMMIT PROJECT Page 28

VENTURING LEADERSHIP AWARD

THE OFFICIAL VENTURING UNIFORM

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A CREW WITH A HEART TO GIVE BACK Page 32 WINTER EDITION

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Growing up in a family with a deep appre-

trict of Cook County (FPDCC). The FPDCC man-

ciation for nature and the outdoors, I’ve always

ages about 70,000 acres of “wild and wonderful”

done a lot of hiking, camping, and biking that

land right in the shadow of Chicago’s skyscrapers,

deepened my appreciation for the outdoors. My

but they only have a handful of full-time staff to

parents also placed a value on service and the

help manage all that area, so they rely heavily on

importance of giving back. Throughout my years

volunteers to help maintain the forests, prairies,

in the Chicago area, my family regularly spent

lakes, and ponds.

time volunteering with the Forest Preserve Dis-

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As I joined Venturing, I brought that ser-

After seven years, the lake was still strug-

vice history to my Crew by helping lead a Horn-

gling to recover and required some extra support.

aday unit conservation project clearing invasive

After discussing it with my beneficiary, we decid-

species. While I knew that I wanted my Summit

ed the best plan to help kickstart the rehabilita-

project to be something different than what we’d

tion process was to install artificial fish habitats.

done for that Hornaday conservation

The habitats are important because they help

project, when the time came for me

restore the predator-prey relationships by giving

to approach my Summit Award proj-

the prey a place to hide, pro-

ect, it made sense for me to return

moting population by giving

to the FPDCC. Over the years, I have

space for breeding, provid-

been able to partner with my local

ing habitat to small fish and

forest preserve to lead conserva-

organisms that can live inside

tion projects; for my Summit proj-

the openings of the structure,

ect, I was able to continue that by

and creating space for algae and

reaching out to and talking with

other plant life to grow. In total,

specialists throughout the organi-

we created 25 “spider leg” habitats,

zation to get an idea of what proj-

which use a cinder block as the base

ects the preserve needed help with,

and are then filled with concrete to

which was when I began talking with

help hold in twelve 6’ plastic tubes

the Fisheries technician, Michael

to create a spider-like shape. Due to

Fleddman, about Lake Beverly.

COVID-19 restrictions, I had to com-

Lake Beverly is a small lake

plete most of the assembly myself;

that faced a total ecological disaster

cutting 1,800 feet of plastic tubing

during the winter of 2013/2014, when

into 300 sections took two days alone!

a polar vortex brought extreme cold

to the Chicagoland area. The lake is

eficiary, a wildlife biologist, and I were

only about five feet deep, so due to

able to meet while wearing masks to

the water’s shallow depth, the lake

place the habitats. The habitats were

was able to fully freeze over, allow-

set in groups of five around the lake’s

ing snow to accumulate on the ice

border so that they cover an acre of the

and block sunlight, thus preventing

lake bottom and are marked with GPS

plants from photosynthesizing and

locations so that they can be monitored

On the day of installation, my ben-

in the future.

depleting oxygen levels. In an aquatic ecosystem, it’s essential that life is able to re-

As someone who plans to pursue wildlife

ceive dissolved oxygen, which, in large part, is

biology in college, this project was an incredibly

produced by the underwater plant life. However,

rewarding experience as it provided an inside

with no plant life, Lake Beverly was in a rut and

look into what this career may hold as well as the

unable to begin the recovery process.

opportunity to dive into the world of biology.

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V

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L E A D E R S H I P A

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It’s never too early or too late to nominate some exceptional leaders you have witnessed for the Venturing Leadership Award! With some of the deadlines approaching, we thought we would clarify what exactly is the Venturing Leadership Award.

W H AT I S T H E V L A ? The Venturing Leadership Award, otherwise known as the VLA, is the highest level of recognition person registered with Venturing can receive. It is offered at the Council, Area, Regional, and National levels. This award recognizes Venturers and Venturing Advisors who have made exceptional contributions to Venturing and who exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their correlated level in the program. Recipients must be nominated by another person in the program, at which point they will be selected from a pool of other nominees. Areas, Regions, and the BSA National Council may present twelve VLA’s in one year, while Councils may choose however many to distribute as they would like as long as it is within only one selection process per year.

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WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A VLA? • Anyone involved as a Venturer or Venturing advisor for at least one year. • A Venturer or Venturing advisor who has held a leadership position or office that is relevant for the level of Venturing Leadership Award that they are being nominated for. Positions may be with their unit, district, area, region, or national level. • One must show exceptional dedication and give outstanding leadership and service to Venturing and to Venturers on the level appropriate for the award.

H O W D O I N O M I N AT E S O M E O N E ? Fill out this form to help us know who the Venturer or Venturing advisor is, what they have done, and how to contact them. Letters of recommendation are encouraged, but not required for nominations. Each nomination should be for the corresponding level of Venturing they are in. For example, if a Venturer has done work to help out their council, they should be nominated for the Council Venturing Leadership Award, not the Area, Regional, or National VLA. Regional and National VLA nominations should be emailed to venturing.nationalofficers@scouting.org. If nominating someone for the Council or Area VLA, contact your Venturing Officers’ Association for more information on who to send it to and when they are due. Be sure to check out the deadlines for each level, you don’t want to miss them!

D E A D L I N E S Region: January 31 National: January 15 Council & Area vary

V L A

A D D I T I O N A L I N F O R M A T I O N

V L A

N O M I N A T I O N F O R M

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A Crew With a Heart to Give Back: Crew 170

Article by AJ McGugin

Since 2007, Venturing Crew 170 from Middle Tennessee Council has maintained its involvement in community service projects and provides quality guidance for crews seeking help. Our members learn from leadership training to be community-oriented and observant planners looking to solve problems meaningful to them. Unique to us is the Vice President of Service; this year, Reece set his goal for our crew to host monthly projects with all members offering input on what challenges to help others overcome. We reflected on our experiences and were proud of our help, despite the pandemic’s severe limitations it set. In the darkest moments of this year, some of which were devastating

to our community, we grew stronger bonds and learned more about why community service is essential to any crew. A tornado ravaged our city at the beginning of the year, causing structural damage and neighbors losing their homes; devastatingly, some even lost their lives. It was personal and horrifying for all of us to witness our friends losing everything. Crew 170 volunteered with other groups every day to fix our town and give hope to those with none. President Donald Trump had also traveled to Middle Tennessee to witness both the chaos of nature and our community’s healing.


Weeks after the tornado, our crew built crossshaped memorials for all the victims and invited their families to a ceremony honoring them. I think every crew member learned how community service impacted the lives of those less fortunate. Crew 170 hosted various service projects throughout the rest of the year, including baking goods for healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients, collecting non-perishables for food drives, and construction projects for causes meaningful to us, like disability awareness and Eagle Scout projects. Our Vice President of Service has teamed up with the Vice President of Administration to encourage our newer members to earn the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. This year, one of our crew’s most memorable moments was Nashville’s Major League Soccer team recognizing two of our Venturers for leading the memorial project in late March. Despite the challenges we faced this year, we felt giving back to our community was meaningful and committed to focusing heavily on service.

HOW HAS YOUR CREW SUPPORTED YOUR COMMUNITY? We’d love to hear from you and share your stories in future editions. Email us or tag us on social media with a public account to let us know what service projects you have been up to! nationalventuringcommunication@gmail.com

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- If earned, Venturers may wear the merit badge sash, Order of the Arrow sash, and ay Arrow of Light and Eagle knots

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LIST OF UPCOMING

EVENTS

J A N 2 0 21 - M A R 2 0 21

J a n u a r y 9 C R A r e a 6 I LS C Tr a i n i n g J a n u a r y 9 C R A r e a 7 Ka h o o t N i g h t J a n u a r y 15 C R J T E C V O f f i c e H o u r s J a n u a r y 15 N a t i o n a l V L A N o m i n a t i o n s D u e J a n u a r y 15 N E R J T E C V O f f i c e H o u r s J a n u a r y 16 W R V i r t u a l G a m i n g Pa r t y J a n u a r y 16 - 17 N E R A r e a 1 E x 3 J a n u a r y 22 C R Ve n t u r i n g G e t To g e t he r J a n u a r y 23 C R A r e a 1 Le a d e r s h i p C o n f e r e n c e J a n u a r y 23 N E R A r e a 2 I g n i t e J a n u a r y 23 S R A r e a 6 O r i e n t a t i o n J a n u a r y 24 C R A r e a 6 S t a t e o f t he A r e a J a n u a r y 2 9 S R S o u t h Ca s t J a n u a r y 31 Re g i o n V L A N o m i n a t i o n s D u e Fe b r u a r y 15 J o u r n e y To E x c e l l e n c e D u e Fe b r u a r y 21 W R A r e a 4 Pa s s p o r t t o Ve n t u r i n g M a r c h 13 C R Pr o g r a m S y m p o s i u m M a r c h 19 - 21 S R A r e a 4 W O A H M a r c h 19 - 21 S R A r e a 2 Re n d ez v o u s M a r c h 19 - 21 S R A r e a 1 S p r i n g Fe s t

VIEW MORE AT VENTURING.ORG

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APR 2020

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