Thursday, January 5, 2017

Do you need the new Venturer's Handbook?

Issued just after the new Venturing Program was announced, the Handbook for Venturers was released by the BSA. The new Handbook incorporates the brand new Venturing Awards system. With emphasis on the new ALPS model for Venturing Awards/advancemnt the new guide offers a lot to Venturers. These awards requires more and better record keeping. This should be completed and tracked on an individual basis and at the crew level.  This new book has signoffs for the completion of the requirements for these awards. Unlike Boy Scouts, a Venturer may go some considerable time between requirement completions. So, one place to OFFICIALLY sign off these requirements is a good thing. It is not the responsibility of ANY leader to keep track of the crew's award progress. It is our moral duty to encourage them to push themselves to do there best and you should take that duty very seriously.

So, what's in it?
A detailed book review on the Handbook is not needed here but here is a brief overview of what you will find:
  • Basic structure of Scouting and Venturing
  • A breakdown of the Venturing ALPS program model
  • Leading and planning crew events, adventures and service to others
  • Resources for you and your crew
  • A place to record your Venturing journey and track progress on Venturing Awards
The Handbook for Venturers is an excellent way to keep track of your requirements, Service hours, outings, training etc.  We Scout Leaders are old and feable.  We need help remembering who did what when.  With one definative place to track these requirements then everyone has to keep ownership of their own advancement.  It's really about self-reliance and accountability.  Which are not bad traits if you ask me.  Just don't ask me who attended Crew Officer's Orientation two years ago!

So, what's NOT in it?
The Handbook is not a Boy Scout Handbook.  It does not contain any scout skills other than Leadership.  I advise active Venturers to get the BSA Fieldbook.  This book contains everything the a Venturer needs to succeed in the outdoors.  Firestarting, cold weather camping, knife/ax care and use, canoeing, etc. This is an AWESOME book!  I can't stress that enough.  If you want to know how to do something in the outdoors at a proficient level, this is where you start.

It's available from the official BSA store here:
Scoutstuff - Handbook for Venturers

Requirements for Venturing, Ranger, Quest and Trust Awards
(simular in look to the Handbook for Venturers but has a red cover)
Venturing Awards and Requirements

BSA Fieldbook - I recommend the spiral bound copy to last
BSA Fieldbook at

BSA Fieldbook - Digital copy for Kindle

Yours in Venturing,
Advisor Tom Dewey

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