Here are the requirements for the new Venturing awards

Venturing changes 1Heads up, Venturers and Venturing advisors. It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for.

The requirements for the Venturing, Discovery, Pathfinder and Summit Awards were released today at the 2014 National Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

Venturers may begin earning them June 1, 2014. They have until the end of the year to finish up work on the rarely earned and soon-to-be-retired Bronze, Gold and Silver awards.

The new awards blend adventure, leadership, personal development and service to give Venturers a structure for developing their own personal vision into manageable goals. That’ll translate into recognition by peers, mentors and the larger community.

After looking over the requirements, I see awards that let Venturers have fun while challenging them to become better leaders. My only complaint is that I’m too old to earn them myself. But any Venturer, regardless of his or her crew’s specialty, will find the awards fit their program.

Each award has a focus. For the Venturing award, it’s joining; for Discovery, it’s participation; for Pathfinder, it’s leadership; and for the Summit award, it’s mentoring.

The requirements were posted this morning on the Program Updates page on Venturers and Venturing Advisors will want to bookmark that page to keep up with this and other changes to their program. Click here for the direct link to the PDF including the requirements.

Many Venturers and advisors have wondered how the transition from the Bronze, Gold and Silver awards will work. Here’s what you need to know:

Current Awards: Bronze, Gold and Silver

  • Venturers may continue working on these until Dec. 31, 2014
  • Current Venturers may convert to the new awards beginning June 1, 2014. They must begin with the Discovery award, regardless of whether they earned Bronze, Gold and Silver. That’s because the award requirements have very little overlap.
  • Venturers must use the new awards after Dec. 31, 2014

New Awards: Venturing, Discovery, Pathfinder and Summit

  • Venturers may convert to the new awards on June 1, 2014:
    • Current Venturers: Begin by working on the Discovery award
    • New Venturers: Begin by working on the Venturing award
  • All Venturers must use the new awards after Dec. 31, 2014

venturing changes 2

Photo: A Scouter learns about the new Venturing awards from a Venturer. 

40 thoughts on “Here are the requirements for the new Venturing awards

    • Mike, The reading of that change there is that Venturing will be very similar to OA. OA you are a program youth until 21. No changes coming there for Venturing from what we have seen either, from what we’ve seen, expect that Young Adults (as they are called now) should be able to earn awards.

        • Thanks, Mike! That’s real news. I can expect to lose a few youth who are too lazy to do YPT!

          But, assuming if a youth is 19 now, able to meet membership standards, willing to jump through the training hoops, they can still earn venturing awards in two years.

        • Hmmm…that one is going to be interesting to implement… Sounds like they will register as adults (assuming they are eligible) but still be “participants” in the programs that currently age out at 21.

        • And Jeff answered your question. There is no “age limit change”. Just that those 18 and above will need to meet the adult membership requirements, but still be “young adults” who can participate and earn awards.

          From the article: Implementation of the new age requirement will likely occur in spring 2015, he added. After that “young people who are 18 but not yet 21, will be required to register as adults but may still participate in those programs,” he said.

  1. One thing that I would highlight from the changes is the addition of a project in similar caliber and process to the Eagle Scout and Sea Scout Quatermaster. Many Districts and Councils will need to start planning to support these projects.

  2. Finally we know how to describe the new program during recruitment events. When can we get the new books? We have a bunch of new members joining in the next month and it would be great to get them their Venturing Award asap.

    • When will Scoutbooks have a beta version for Venturing Crews? Crew 240 in Hillsboro Oregon is interested.

  3. The old Venturing Awards weren’t earned a lot because the youth really AREN’T interested in awards at this point in their lives. They are in the program for the fellowship and the adventures & activities they get to do.

    We do a ‘Stealth Advancement’ in our Crew, and I know many others that do the same, just to get them their Bronze Award. If we didn’t do it, they would care less about any of the awards.

    I have a feeling you’re going to see the same thing with this “New’ program. I hope I’m wrong, but I bet I’m not.

  4. Can find any info that describes Tier II and Tier III Adventures??? Now where on the internet, via my googling? Can someone direct me to that info?

  5. Will the Crew Committee membership training be available online like the Troop Committee Challenge? The eLearning section of does not have this online training course available.

      • MB, I can’t find it in the eLearning section of the web site. Could you share the URL where one can take the Crew Committee training and Venturing advisor training?

    • Bill…I am trying to find the information…it was posted this morning but I can’t seem to find it. When I do and if someone (Bill Nelson…help here please!!) doesn’t post it first, I’ll post the information here and share it…

      Basically, the tiers address the complexity of the event, amount of time in organizing or planning it, and the number of participants and “staffers” to put it on. Of course a Tier 1 event or activity may be something like a night out on the two by the Crew; Tier 2 would be something like summer camp, or an extended camping event for a short duration and intensity; and a Tier 3 event would require a lot of planning, coordination, “staffing” and work by the participants and others associated with the Crew. Broad outline…I believe that Bill Nelson posted it somewhere and I glanced at while trying to get ready to drive out to Nashville…sorry, I should have hit “print screen”.

      But I don’t think I’m too far in the description…

      • Thanks, Mike. Now we need to figure out how to categorize the activities we do at Crew 80. We are primarily a STEM Crew so although we do things in the outdoors most of the time there is a STEM component there.

        • Tier I: Find some mold and grow it in a jar of leftover jam.
          Tier II: Develop a genetics field lab and use DNA plasmid to transfer a trait from on bacteria colony to another.
          Tier III: Discover a cure for a disease.

      • The ultimate responsibility for definition of the Tiers is going to rest in the hands of the advisor. Every crew is different, so every crew will need to define these themselves. But it should be of increasing complexity, planning, preparation, to make it happen.

        A better definition is appearently in the books to come out still, and a portion of wording from those books was posted on the Venturing Yahoo Group yesterday. But …each crew is going to be different. Outdoor crews will have a very different Tier 3 than a Cooking crew for instance. The importance is in the level of logisics, manpower, planning, and maybe even financing thats involved.

        For me and the crews I’ve worked with:
        Tier 1: would likely be a short day or evening activity, hike, bowling alley. Not much planning or complexity besides meeting and someone arranging transportation, maybe booking a bowling alley. Short duration, really easy to do.

        Tier 2: A weekend trip, planned by the youth. Where, when, making reservations, collecting money, putting together menus, etc, etc. A weekend cabin camp with some planned program over the weekend would qualify. Getting the youth to figure out the tour plan, who needs to be there as a consultant (say you go shooting), the budget everything, thats a big deal. The importance is that when the requirements for call for planning that they do that.

        Tier 3: A week long activity. Youth have to plan, budget, fundraise, and make it happen. A council summer camp, if the youth are in charge of picking program, organizing everyone, getting transportation, fundraising, promoting to get others to come, may fit the bill. A trip to Philmont, or a super activity on their own should qualify. The importance is the level of planning that is required. If your crew gets on a bus to Philmont, with no pre-hikes and everyone’s parents pay their way, its not a level 3 in my book. Planning, thinking about challenges, and figuring out ways to overcome them are part of it.

  6. What do these awards look like? Where are they worn? Left pocket like rank patches?

  7. What will the new awards look like? Is the Silver Award square knot going to become a cool piece of history that I get to keep on my uniform or will there be a knot for Summit that looks similar?

    • Jodi and others who have asked me “What will the Summit medal and knot look like?” The short answer is “we don’t know yet.” The team putting together the new Venturing has been concentrating on the important parts — the actual requirements, the structure, the support — and the, well, I don’t want to say it that way but it is a *minor thing* as to “what will the patches look like or the medal??” has been backed off until the important stuff got done first.

      I can tell you that if a square knot emblem is developed for the Summit Award, it will not “take the place” of the Silver Award (version three) square knot emblem, so you will be confident that you won’t have to take your Silver Award square knot emblem off your uniform (or if you received it, the older red/white/blue square knot emblem which was used for the Young American Awards and before that for the second version of the Silver Award…)

      Please be patient in waiting for the design of the medal and square knot emblem. I am sure that you and other potential Summit Award holders will be pleased with what comes out!!

      • Thanks. I just didn’t know if we knew what they looked like or not yet as I’ve seen pictures of the new Cub stuff. I know my awards will never “expire,” I just find that seeing the awards and things makes it all feel more real to me, somehow. I know that’s weird, but it’s how my brain works. I’ll look forward to the official announcement on that one, as I assume it will be soon since Ventures can start working toward them pretty much now (or within a couple weeks anyway), if I read the infographic properly.

      • Anybody besides me getting that “nation-wide design contest” feeling?
        I have a couple of venturers who would bite at the chance to design an award.
        An internet vote on the best design would help youth “buy in” to the program.

  8. Thanks for the answer around the Tier 1, 2, and 3 adventures. When I shared these with my son, he was (surprisingly) interested in the various leadership and mentoring training. Any idea when those may come online and be available?

  9. Very interested to know where I can find “Official” guidelines on the definition of what constitutes a Tier II and III adventure and also where Venturers can complete each award’s training course: a) BSA goal setting–time management training course (Discovery #4), b) BSA Venturing Project Management Training (Pathfinder #2), and c) BSA Mentoring Training (Summit #2). These seem to imply that they are pre-requisite training for each award level, which I love. If anyone can post some official URL’s, it would be soooooooo appreciated!

  10. Glad to see the new requirements! My kiddo joined Venturing last fall and is working to get as far as he can in the old awards this year. Then he plans to start the new goals in January. His goal is Silver plus Summit. 🙂

  11. Bryan on Scouting, do you have anything official from the BSA (besides the oft-quoted news article) about the age restrictions and how that affects Venturing? I’m concerned we’ll lose half our crew when they turn 18. One of our 17-year-olds has mentioned that because the new paths appear to the Scouts as being so involved and take such a significant investment of time that they won’t have a chance to start on them before they feel they’ll be “forced out” at 18.

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