Step 2: Research, Interview and Analyze



There are a set of presentations at worth checking out. The statistics are old, but the concepts are valid:

  • A Presentation for Churches by Brad Harris. This presentation talks to the value of Venturing in helping churches provide a safe social program for older youth; training adults, training youth, providing venues for adults and youth to work together.
  • A Presentation for LDS by Brad Harris. This presentation speaks directly to the LDS community, for whom "Venturing" can provide training for their young men as they prepare for their missions.
  • A Presentation for Scoutmasters by Brad Harris. Venturing can be an excellent way to retain Scouts in the Boy Scout program. Scoutmasters who can offer their older boys a program just for them have a much better chance of keeping those boys. As a prior Scoutmaster, I distinctly remember my older Scouts NOT interested in recruiting Webelos. They were glad to help others, but they needed the opportunity for experiences the younger Scouts were not ready to do (e.g., high power rifles, pistols).
  • Venturing, Scouting's Next Step by Bill Evans. A generic "What is Venturing"; informational and not addressed to a specific customer group.

A shortcoming in the above presentations is they do not address the needs and interests of two "customers"; civic organizations and Girl Scouts. My research will address those two groups.


Wood Badge Training, 2010-06-04

  • Mike Engiles: new advisor, co-ed crew, no specific focus, no mission statement. Struggling to recruit. Have held open houses, crew members (reportedly) have invited friends to outings. Little to no interest.
  • Pete & Pam Hart (daughter recently joined a Crew)
  • Gerry Sousa: youth, 15, lead for forming Crew in 2009. May have earned Sliver award by the Jamboree. Son of Chip and Sue(?) Sousa, both are Woodbadgers.
  • Emily (?): youth, 18, member of Catherine Pressler's Cuisine crew. Kitchen staff at Area 4 Quest 2010.
  • Tim Rupert: District Executive, Woodbridge/Occaquan (Fox patrol). Has started 4 Crews and 1 Ship in NCAC.
  • Ryan McCreedy Eagle Court of Honor, 2011-05-30

    Pastor Ralph Rowley, Senior Pastor, Messiah United Methodist Church. Has two sons, both had been members of Troop 1501 but dropped for unspecified reasons.


  • Purpose of Venturing: Fulfillment of need.
    • Venturing is a gap filler; the program addresses needs of the members.
      • Needs depend on the membership. For example, Crew 1501 President says Adult interaction (developing ability to work with adults) is most important. Recognition of value by adults is reward and proof of achievement. Need for excitement is not desired. Pushing a physical "envelope" is not necessary.
      • Examples
        • Shooting
        • Climbing
        • Leading / being in charge (C.O.P.E.)
        • Service ("paying dues") to church/ community/ country/ world
    • Purpose of Venturing: Opportunities for uncovering needs.
      • Often heard was "I didn't know I'd like that, but it was fun!". Venturing offers opportunities for youth (and adults) to get experience in a wide range of lifelong interest areas.
      • Also heard is, "Now that I've tried it, I can see why some people are passionate about it." Venturing also gives everyone a chance to see how deep the interest is.
  • Needs of leaders and youth
    • We all need to learn what you don't know that we need to know. We need to avoid the Dunning-Kruger effect; a little knowledge is truly a dangerous thing. Books and training are great, but need personalized mentoring to adapt to the Crew/Ship and sift through mounds of "stuff" (tips, activity venues, plans). Most often, response to "What do you feel you need?" is "I don't know."
    • Adult leaders need "at hand" examples of youthful leaders to use as visible demonstrations of the benefits of a life of ethical behavior.
    • Youth leaders--particularly church youth leaders--need the benefits of the the BSA infrastructure and training to have an affordable, quality program. Ask the operators of the First Aid station at a skiing resort about groups from Hell. From personal research, the worst groups are church groups, best are Scout groups. Scout groups are lead by leaders who are trained and experienced that "FUN" begins and ends with "SAFE". The "sandwich" of program has the "bread" of discipline and competent leadership. Do the leaders at your church "get it"? If they do, how do they consistently demonstrate this understanding?