Changes to the Venturing and Exploring Organizations
Note: This text was extracted from postings which were made to these
Usenet newsgroups during February, 1998. Please contact the BSA
for more information.
The following is a memo sent to all Scout Executives on 2/12/98 from Jere
Ratcliffe, BSA's Chief Scout Executive:
Date: February 12, 1998
To: Scout Executives
From: Jere B. Ratcliffe, Chief Scout Executive
Subject: National Executive Board Action
The National Executive Board of the BSA took steps at it's February 11,
1998 meeting to broaden our capacity to impact the character education and
ethical behavior of teenagers and to expand our mission-based, traditional
program by approving the following program changes.
1. Create a new program division of the BSA call "Venturing" for high
school age youth.
2. Move the Career Exploring program to the Learning for Life subsidiary.
The Venturing program of the Boy Scouts of America will include girls and
boys ages 14 through 20 who have completed the eighth grade and are members
of our current high adventure, religious, and outdoor Exploring programs.
The Learning for Life subsidiary will include girls and boys who
participate in elementary school, middle/junior high, high school, special
needs, and Career Exploring programs.
School Districts across the country are seeking both in-school career
educational opportunities like the Learning for Life program, as well as
workplace-based programs such as Career Exploring. By moving the Career
Exploring programs from the traditional program to Learning for Life, a
complete career educational package is now available to schools to meet
their needs and the needs of their students.
At the same time our traditional high adventure, religious, and outdoor
Exploring program will be renamed "Venturing" and will continue to retain
all of the elements of the traditional BSA program while enhanced with new
advancement, leadership, and development opportunities.
Memo to Scout Executives regarding Executive Board Action
February 12, 1998
Discussions with many of our participating organizations clearly indicates
that these changes will make it easier for them to use our programs with
their youth. Similar discussions with many councils also indicate that
these changes will help them package a total career education program for
their schools, bring more corporate support into the school-to-work
opportunity, and clearly define our values and core programs.
We believe that these changes will:
Lead to stronger partnerships between schools, businesses, and the Boy
Scouts of America;
Increase career exposure for students;
Improve students' understanding of business ethics and values;
Broaden employment options for students after graduation;
Reduce school dropout rates and improve school attendance;
Position the BSA as an organization playing a positive role in the fight
Mirror organizational structure currently being used by many local
Lead to increased membership in both Venturing and Career Exploring and
protect our core traditional programs from legal challenges.
A. Effective date of change - August 1, 1998
B. Presentations on the changes will be presented at the May National
Annual Meeting in San Antonio and the National Leadership Training
Conference in Nashville.
C. The process of developing new literature, video, books, training
materials, quality unit requirements, and communication pieces has begun.
We will communicate the details of these changes as soon as we can. The
Chief's Winner's Circle program and measurements will not change for this
As I told our National Executive Board, "Preparing young people for a
responsible future is our mission. Learning for Life is the best program in
character education available. The Boy Scouts of America should be, and is,
the pioneer in character education and now in school-to-work programs. When
we measure our resources in support of core programs, I believe we are
providing councils with more tools to be more dominant players on the
community agenda in addressing critical youth and educational issues." This
is an exciting opportunity for all of us to move forward stronger than
Questions and Answers related to Exploring/Venturing Changes
1. How will we know which units will be Venturing and which will be
Posts whose programs are primarily workplace based like Law Enforcement or
Medical Posts, will continue to be Explorer Posts and will be a part of
Learning for Life. Posts whose program is primarily outdoor, religious, or
hobby-based will be Venturing Units. A profile sheet will be provided to
assist in the process.
2. How will the application process change?
There will be a new application provided for both programs.
3. What about the rechartering process?
Current rechartering patterns will not be immediately changed.
4. What about fees?
There will be no change in fees. Both Venturing members and leaders,
Exploring participants and leaders pay $ 7.00 annual fees as they do
5. How will this effect the Chief Scout Executive's Winner Circle and
Quality Council and District requirements?
Both Venturing and Exploring will continue to count in our recognition
6. How will this effect my staff organization?
Scout Executives will continue to determine their staff organization based
upon the needs and resources of the council.
7. What is the effective date?
The effective date of the changes will be August 1, 1998.
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