Monday, November 12, 2012

2013 Venturing Forum Schedule

The November Venturing Forum was our final forum for 2012.  Have a wonderful Christmas break with your families.

The Hobble Creek District will begin a new roundtable schedule beginning January 2013.  The Venturing Forum will still be held in conjunction with Roundtable on the 2nd Thursday of each month (except December), but the location will change depending on where your sub-district (stake) meets during February, May and November.  The net result is that you (by virtue of your assignment in your sub-district) may get the opportunity to lead a discussion on Venturing in the very near future!  Stay tuned for updates.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

November Venturing Forum

The topic for Thursday will be "Leadership - Division of Responsibilities".  A typical Crew organization can be found in appendix L of the Venturing Monthly Program Forum.  A description of Crew leadership responsibilities can be found in pages 11-23 of the Venturing Leader Manual (pdf or html).  

We look forward to the conversation on Thursday.

Recent counsel from David Pack

On Saturday I had the chance to attend Commissioner College where the scout executive for the Utah National Parks Council and former director of LDS-BSA relations, David Pack, spoke to us about our responsibilities as commissioners.  His comments are applicable to all adult scouters.

Brother Pack attended a national BSA meeting with President Thomas S. Monson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Texas.  President Monson has served on the board of the BSA since the year I was born, in 1969 (that's 42 years if you are counting).  During the conversation as policies and procedures were being discussed, President Monson leaned over to Brother Pack and said, "We need to save each boy one at a time."

Interestingly, Robert Baden Powell, the founder of Scouting also said, "Scoutmasters deal with the individual boy rather than with the mass."

He then cited some statistics related to the late age in which young men in our council receive their Eagle scout award.
  • 33% of Eagle Scout boards of review happen after the young man has turned 18
  • 64% of Eagle Scouts are registered to a Venturing crew.
What do these statistics tell us about how we as adults are focusing on our young men?  Are these good stats or bad stats?  I'll leave it up to you to decide, but brother Pack's point centers around what the new Duty to God handbook for the LDS Church counsels us to do with our young men, to "focus on what they are becoming."

He then asked, "Why is scouting in the LDS church?"  It's because in the ACTIVITIES of the Aaronic Priesthood is where young men learn their duties.  Scouting is the ACTIVITY arm of the Aaronic Priesthood.

He then challenged us to let the young men perform their duties and lead.  He reminded us that there are four people in an LDS ward that hold priesthood keys.  Two of those are young men and one is the Bishop.  If those three are not receiving revelation (or are not given the opportunity to fully exercise their priesthood), then NO ONE in the quorum is receiving revelation for that quorum.

He then ended with his familiar story of why he loves 50-mile hikes from the June 2012 Ensign and how "on the second night around the campfire, you have the most teachable, ready-to-learn, ready-to-listen-to-the-Spirit young men you will ever see."

Great words of encouragement from our council executive, glad I was there.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Venturing Oath and Code to be replaced by the Scout Oath and Law

Not sure if you've been following the BSA National blog, but there has been discussion recently of replacing the Cub Scout Oath and the Venturing Oath and Code in favor of using just the Boy Scout Oath and Law.  Looks like it's official and the Scout Oath and Law will now be used for all families of scouting in the near future.

Have your units become accustomed to reciting the Venturing Oath and Code and do you see this as a challenge at all?

For me, this change will not be a challenge.  I think it will go mostly unnoticed to most Venturing age young men and Advisers.  It will be similar to changing from "Exploring" to "Venturing" (the programs evolve to meet the needs of young men).

Just as the Scout Oath and Law have special meaning to me, the Venturing Oath and Code meant something special to me as a young man when I was an Explorer Scout.  As an Explorer, the words to the Venturing code were put to song.  Although the song was not the most catchy tune, the song did help me memorize and internalize the Code.  I don't remember the entire code, but I remember the first couple of lines:

"I believe that America's strength lies in her trust in God, and in the courage and strength of her people.  I will therefore be faithful in my religion, and maintain a personal sense of honor.  I will treasure my American heritage and will do all I can to preserve and enrich it.  I'll acquire the Exploring attitude, that seeks the truth in all things, and adventure on the frontiers of our changing world, this is my code."

Today young men can recite one-liners from their favorite movies, word-for-word lyrics from their play lists, and punch lines from an assortment of jokes, but are the values of scouting distilling upon their minds as the dew from Heaven?

Hopefully with this change, we can place a renewed emphasis on the importance of not only committing to memory the Boy Scout Oath and Law, but living it daily.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Venturing Forum How-To Survey Results

We had a great turnout at our Venturing Forum on the 13th.  I thought I would post the results of the "Venturing Forum How-To Survey" below for you to consider:

It was interesting to hear the comment about "how do we recruit the young men" when reading the "how to recruit parents" item in the how-to list..  We had a productive discussion about the interests of young men in this age group.  Some of the other "How-To" topics I noted were:
  • How are other crews being effective?
  • What are other crews doing that works?
  • Our Venturing age young men don't want to do "Scouting", what should I do?
Considering all of the feedback received at the forum last Thursday, I'm confident we'll have plenty of great content for our Venturing Forum for the next several months!

Thanks to everyone for your participation.  Hope the forum was valuable.  I'll use the survey results and my notes to formulate a topic for next month and send it out to you in advance to get your feedback.  See you next month on October 11th.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September Venturing Forum

I've thought about a few ways to get the word out about the monthly Venturing Forum topic, so I thought I'd try a blog.  My wife blogs for all the books she reviews and she has hundreds of people reading her reviews, so I thought, why not try a blog and see what happens.

This month we're going to do two fun things:

  • Everyone is going to have an opportunity to look at some up-coming "How-To" subjects for Venturing.
  • Since the planning season is upon us, we're going to play a "Brainstorming" game.

For your reference, all of this information is available in the Venturing Monthly Program Forum.

See you Thursday!