A Presentation for LDS

A new and improved approach for the 1618 year-old young men in the LDS Church
You must think outside the box…
Take off your Boy Scout hat
Erase from your mind “tradition”
Don’t be obsessed with advancement
Be flexible
Empower your youth
Remove roadblocks, don’t create them
We need to think anew...
• Old Paradigm
• New Paradigm
• 16-18 year olds are “Scouts”
• Must wear uniform
• Advancement IS the
measurement of success
• Activities are planned to
promote advancement
• What I bring to this calling will
determine success
• Puppet Leadership
• If young men not interested in
“Scouting” (earning Eagle),
then Spaulding becomes our
• 16-18 year olds are Venturers
• The uniform is optional
• Strong testimonies, quorum
unity, mission calls are the
measurement of success
• Activities are tailored around
individual quorum needs
• Utilize ward and community
• Shadow Leadership
• Young men plan and implement
their tailor-made program, and
meet outside the Church often
What is Venturing?
• “It’s not a box or a package we present.”
• “It is focused resources designed to help a
community organization provide
wholesome, flexible, well-rounded,
challenging activities, tailor-made for
teenage youth.”
Here’s Venturing
• In the LDS Church it is for 16-18 year
old young men in the Priests Quorum
• Venturing units are “Crews”
• Venturing adults are “advisors”
• Youth leader is the “president”
• You can call yourselves whatever you
want to
Venturing Uniform
• The recommended uniform is the
spruce green Venturing shirt with
green epaulette tabs and gray
backpacking-style shorts or gray
casual pants.
• However, the uniform, if any, is the
choice of the crew.
Venturing Oath
As a Venturer, I promise to do my
duty to God and help
strengthen America, to help
others, and to seek truth,
fairness, and adventure in our
The following new literature is
available at your Scout Shop or
Service Center
Venturing Leader Manual
Ranger Guidebook
Venturing Leadership Skills Course
Venturer Handbook
Venturing Advancement Chart
Roundtable Guide
Awards and Certificates
• New Crew Fast Start
• Youth Protection (Youth)
• Youth Protection (Adult)
Venturing Training
• Venturing Leader Specific Training
(for adults)
• Venturing Leadership Skills Course
(for youth)
• Powder Horn -Venturing Advisor
Outdoor Skills Course (Ranger
Venturing Advancement
Eagle Scout
 Eligibility remains the same
First Class Scout
Earned as a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout
 Requirements remain the same
Leadership position in the crew
Venturers can receive multiple credit
and past credit for many of the
Venturing requirements
Bronze, Gold, Silver,Ranger
Requirement- Samplings
Earn On My
Honor Award
Serve in a
Church history
Plan and lead
a service
Set and meet
goal for
Attend a
Plan and
Crew activities
Serve in a
Present your
research to a
Cub or Scout
Help teach an Complete a
ethics forum course in How
Priest Duty to God & Venturing
The Priest Duty to God
requirements will satisfy
many advancement
requirements for the
Venturing program
Can Priests still earn the old
Duty to God Award?
• If a priest continues
to work on the
previous program,
he will receive the
former award.
Apply LDS terminology to
Youth Ministries Bronze Award
1. Earn the Duty to God or the On My Honor Award
2a. Invite a member from a foreign country or a returned missionary
3. Plan and lead a service project
4a. Serve as a volunteer in your ward for three months: sing in the choir, splits
with the missionaries, home teaching, or a community food bank, retirement
home, etc.
4b. Keep a personal journal of your experiences as a volunteer
5. Attend one of the following: youth conference, EFY, Education Week, minimission, Church History pageant, or visit a historical site lasting at least two
6. Produce or be a cast member in a road show, Christmas or Easter play,
Priesthood Commemoration event. This could also be a puppet show put on by
the Priest Quorum for the primary.
7. Serve as an Assistant or Secretary in the Priests Quorum, or an officer in the
crew, Sunday School class, Seminary class, or other youth group in or out of the
Bronze Award
LDS Terminology (continued)
8. Complete a Standard First Aid course or its equivalent
9a. Participate in at least two Ethical Controversies as a participant
9b. Be a facilitator for a at least two Ethical Controversies
9c. Lead or be a staff member in putting on an Ethics Forum
10. Serve as an assistant Primary teacher for three months during
Sunday School time. This would not have to be a calling, but simply an
assignment coordinated with the Primary President. This is great
preparation for a full-time mission.
11. Meet with your Bishop to discuss: (a) the duties of the Aaronic
Priesthood, (b) the ward organization- how it functions, how callings
are made, how setting apart is done, and how people are provided
training, materials, and help, © how the bishopric works, their duties
and responsibilities.
The Venturing Ranger
• Rangers are elite outdoorsmen
• Ranger are required to teach what they’ve
learned to others
• Rangers work with their advisor and
• Ranger medal is a powder horn on a compass
Ranger Core Requirements
Standard First Aid plus When Help is Delayed
Emergency Preparedness
Land Navigation
Leave No Trace
Wilderness Survival
Ranger Electives
(Must earn 4 of 18)
Cave Exploring
Project COPE
Mountain Biking
First Aid
Outdoor Living History
Physical Fitness
Plants & Wildlife
Shooting Sports
Winter Sports
Does the LDS Church support
• Scouting officials met with President Thomas S. Monson in January of
1998. President Monson strongly endorsed the creation of Venturing
and its implementation in the Church.
• Elder F. Melvin Hammond of the General Young Men’s Presidency has
• “The Church supports Venturing, it is a part of our program. If you’ve
got something better for your young men of priest age, then go ahead
and do it. But if you don’t, you better look very carefully at Venturing.
As magnificent as this Church is, we’re not holding our boys. We’ve
got to save these boys. 65% of the Aaronic Priesthood youth in the
United States and Canada will never serve missions, and even a greater
number than that will never enjoy the blessings of the temple and
eternal marriage.”
Elder Spencer J. Condie
2nd Counselor in the General Young
Men’s Presidency
• October 25, 2001, Logan, Utah
• We want every young man to earn his Aaronic Priesthood Duty to God
Award and we want every young man to earn his Eagle Scout Award.
• We want to re-enthrone Mutual in the Church
• Scouting is here to stay
• The youth program of the Church needs to have more sizzle in it
• Our youth are out running their spiritual supply lines
• All Priests should be registered in a Venturing Crew
Is Venturing Optional?
“If I were a Bishop, I would no more consider not
having a (Venturing Crew) than I would think of not
having a Priest’s Quorum. We must realize that
Scouting is an activity arm of the Aaronic Priesthood,
and that Priesthood leaders are also Scouting
leaders…Our present policy is that Stake Presidencies
may approve a program other than (Venturing) if it is a
fully developed, better program, but we have yet to see
anything better on a consistent basis. Each time I look
into such “better” programs, I see a (Venturing)
program with a different name attached to it, or even
more often, I see unsupervised basketball.”
-Elder Robert L. Backman
Elder Robert K. Dellenbach
First Quorum of Seventy
“There’s a new program in Scouting called
Venturing. The scouting organization has taken
the old Exploring program and completely
renovated it, but held onto many of the fine and
wonderful attributes that it contained.
“Venturing provides wonderful outdoor
activities, high adventure, opportunities for
learning about citizenship and sociability. It is a
great program for Priest-age boys in the church.
1999 LDS Church Video on Scouting
Elder Robert K. Dellenbach
First Quorum of Seventy
“While the Venturing program is an optional
program in the church…as we look down the
training path of a young man, we see in
Venturing many attributes and skills that help
prepare him for a mission and life. Therefore,
we encourage our priesthood brethren to look
very carefully at sponsoring a Venturing crew
in their ward or branch.” [italics added]
Is Scouting on trial in the Church?
“I do not believe that Varsity Scouting is on trial in
the Church, nor is Boy Scouting, Cub Scouting, or
Venturing. But rather it is my firm belief that
Bishops, and the ward leaders, the advisors,
Scoutmasters and coaches are on trial.”
“The program will work if they will work and
become trained and put into effect the things they
have been trained to do.”
Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone
• Venturer-age young men are on the threshold to
adulthood. It is an exciting, but often confusing,
and sometimes frightening time. Getting the
young men through this time prepared to receive
the Melchizedek priesthood and to receive Temple
ordinances is crucial.
• It is important to keep these young men close to
parents, the Bishop, and other priesthood leaders,
and to provide good, meaningful activities and
role models during this important time.
16 to 18 year old young men
Positive Melchizedek Priesthood Role Models
Consistent leaders that “walk their talk”
Tenured leaders- (average tenure is 7 months)
Leadership opportunities and training
Well planned, but flexible activities with other young men
and young women
• Life skills training and spiritual experiences outside the
• Opportunities to become proficient at something, it builds
16 to 18 year old young men
• Challenging physical activities with young
men their own age
• Recognition of their “older” status
• Activities with young women
• Independence
• To explore and experience their world
• A sense of belonging and acceptance from
their peer group
BSA Mission Statement
• “The mission of the Boy Scouts of America
is to prepare young people to make ethical
choices over their lifetimes by instilling in
them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
• Closely connected with its mission
statement are the aims of the movement:
character development, citizenship training,
and mental and physical fitness.”
Character, Citizenship, Fitness
These are the aims of the BSA
• Boy Scout Methods
Adult Association
Scouting Ideals
Patrol Method
Personal Growth Conference
• Venturing Methods
Adult Association
High Adventure
Group Activities
Teaching Others
Why doesn’t Scouting work as well
as it should in the LDS Church?
• We don’t read the BSA literature and use their
• We seldom think outside the box or look at the big
picture (mission, aims, methods)
• We are obsessed with Advancement (1 of the
– We measure success by one standard
– What is the first question you ask your son when he
returns from Scout camp?
If we could read the thoughts of a
17 year old young man…
• Scouting is…merit badges
• Scouting is…Dad & Mom bugging me about
getting Eagle… and I can’t drive
• Scouting is…wearing the uniform in my closet
• I have my Eagle…why is Brother Jones bugging
me about earning another award
• No wonder most of our Priest-age young men
want little to do with “Scouting”
Don’t introduce “Venturing” to
the young men.
Introduce resources to them, one
boy at a time.
Use the Venturer Handbook,
Venturing Leader Manual,
Ranger Guidebook and Priest
Duty to God Book together.
Not only on the Sabbath
“Can Sunday meetings be enough? Do we dangerously
assume that, having performed on Sunday with Sacrament
Meeting, Sunday School and Priesthood Meeting, that we
have fulfilled our callings and are through until next
Sitting in Church for three hours each Sunday will not save
our young men.They need to practice what they have
learned in the laboratory of the outdoors.
Thayne Packer
What motivates you in your
Church calling?
• Fear
• Duty
• Love
Call the Right Leaders
The call to serve should not be equated with the thought of
limited service
• At the time of the call
should be given:
-Crew Fast Start Video
-Fast Start packet
• Within 90 days:
-Attend Basic Training
Experience - (Ideal)
• Returned Missionary
• Parent of a Venturer
• Outdoorsman
• Personal interest in
• Enthusiastic
• Positive Example
“Boys Need Heroes
Close By”
“Boys need heroes close by. They need to
know some man of towering strength and
basic integrity, personally. They need to
meet them on the street, to hike and camp
with them, to see them in close-to-home,
everyday, down-to-earth situations; to feel
close enough to them to ask questions and
to talk things over man-to-man with them.”
Spencer W. Kimball
Getting Started: Conduct an
Annual Planning Session
Arrange for a retreat setting
Prep youth leadership in advance
Include Leadership Training in retreat
Do your homework, don’t start with a blank page
when brainstorming
Consider needs and interests of all youth
Use all available resources
Produce a draft document
Meet with each boy and his parents in their home,
give draft document and give expectations
Plan a well-rounded, customized program that
blends Duty to God, mission and career
preparation: Venturing has produced resources to
help with the following:
• Expertise and program
helps for 25 Outdoor
• Annual planning meeting
• Youth officer job
• Ethical Controversies
• Safe Driving
• How to introduce a
• How to make a speech
• How to use parliamentary
• Leadership Skills Training
Priest Quorum Division of Responsibilities
One Possibility from The Colony 2nd Ward
Young Men
Russ Hauth
Quorum Advisor
Rich Bradford
Responsible for
all Aaronic Prthd
Responsible for Mutual
Schedules presidency
Maintain 3 month
Keep minutes at
Pres. Meetings
Conducts BYC
Works closely
with Admin.
Works closely with
Program Assistant
Set up regular
presidency mtg
Attends presidency
Attends presidency
Conducts APCM
Attends BYC,
Pres. Mtgs
Attends BYC, APCM, &
Pres. Mtgs
Activation coordinator
Report in opening
Take role in quorum
Attends Troop
Committee Mtg
Attends Troop
Committee Mtg
Attends Troop
Committee Mtg
Attends APCM
(1st Sunday, 10am)
Correlate with YW on
Joint activities
Maintain active
quorum roster
Surveys quorum for
Surveys quorum for
Keeps record of
needs and interests
Helps develop quorum
curriculum based on
quorum needs
Helps develop
quorum curric. based
on quorum needs
Rotates conducting
quorum mtgs
Rotates conduct’g Q.
Coordinates missionary
shepherding visits to
Brad Harris
Gives direction to
Administrative Assistant
David Colrgrove
Program Assistant
Trevon Hauth
George Boone
Helps with quorum
Rotates conduct’g Q
We can’t compete with the entertainment
industry, here’s what we can do...
Provide opportunities to serve
Teach , teach, teach…we are teachers
Demonstrate that you love them
Praise them in front of their peers
Leader’s enthusiasm- it doesn’t matter what
the program is… it’s enthusiasm
• Adult shadow leadership
• Hold periodic planning sessions to fine tune
the annual plan
• Always have a three month calendar
• Hold regular presidency meetings
• Train the youth about leadership
• Meet in advance with the Crew President
• Ranger and Silver Awards require Venturer
to share what he’s learned with others
What we’re hearing from the field...
Centralia, Illinois - Crew 211
• Robert Williams of Centralia, Illinois is the Advisor of Crew 211
chartered to the Centralia Ward. He reports that the entire crew of
15 Venturers ( 2 non-members) chose to work on the Sports Bronze
Award before attending a Church basketball tournament. The crew
has a six month plan that includes working on the Youth Ministries
Bronze Award, Leadership Skills Course, first aid training, and
service projects. The boys are eager to earn the Gold and Silver
Awards. Williams said that he and the young men like Venturing
better than Exploring because it is focused and provides so many
program ideas and outlines. Adopting Venturing has improved the
activity level and enthusiasm of the young men in his Priests
Phoenix, Arizona - Crew 9108
Advisor Cleve Hill- Crew #9108- 8 boys-most are 17-18 years old
Six are Eagle scouts
Boys, advisors and Bishop excited about Venturing and implementing the
Ranger program
“The boys chose a spruce-green polo shirt and sewed a Venturing patch above
the pocket.”
“From a leaders standpoint Venturing is “A” program, I don’t have to keep
making things up. Why recreate the wheel, the wheel has already been
“The boys are excited because they can do the real first aid that adults do.
What they are doing counts in the adult world- credentials. Venturing is
perceive by the boys as Adult Adventure.”
“This has given are boys a reason to attend mutual on Wednesday night.”
“My Bishop works real closely with us, this is the first time he has seen a
program with focus for the Priests.”
Las Vegas, Nevada - Crew 173
• David Carleton - Advisor - Crew 173- Las Vegas,
• 8 boys in the crew
• The young men like Venturing’s awards, it separates
them from the younger boys. They can earn something
that no one else has. The like the uniforms that
distinguish them from other scouts. They feel special.
• In Boy Scouts they learned basic first aid - in Venturing
they can get certified.
• Brother Carleton used the PCI and found many
resources in his ward. One adult, an expert rock
climber said, “ I’ve been wanting to help with Scouts in49
the ward for years, but no one asked.”
Pitman, New Jersey
Bill James- Young Mens President
• “Since my call, our ward now has a complete Troop, Team,
and Crew, complete with every boy at every age in
appropriate uniforms. My boys have not only the green
class “A” but a tee and golf shirt as well and they wear
• “I can honestly say, they are very enthused about
Venturing. When we convene in opening exercises the
Crew does the flag ceremony- complete with Venturing
Oath. It’s a site to behold. The program works when you
work the program.”
Eric Anderson- Crew Advisor
Spanish Fork, Utah- Crew #870
• Our crew is really moving. We have completed all of the core
requirements for the Ranger Award except Wilderness Survival and the
Conservation Project.
• All of our guys are Scuba certified, did Winter Sports, the First Aid
elective and Shooting.
• At first we were intimidated by the costs of the First Aid certification.
We looked at our resources and discovered that the person in charge of
Safety for the city was in our neighborhood. We took an 8-week
course and we are certified in the city to help in case of a disaster.
Since the stake was looking for people to help with emergency
disasters, they paid $20 of the fee. It cost us $10 per boy.
Gilbert, Arizona - Crew #9189
Barry Hallsted- crew Advisor and Young Men’s President- when a “new
program” was first introduced to the boys they were not interested - he
changed the approach
23 Priests in the Quorum after recent ward split
Nine Outdoor Bronze Awards awarded to date
Crew uniform- maroon golf shirt with small Venturing logo- boys wear to
In semi-annual interviews the Bishop helps set goals
Mutual night they put up basketball standards and lock with the club
1st Tuesday of each month- 5:30a.m. -Power Breakfast at Brother
Hallsteds home- this is the only consistent 100% attended activity- Each
month a recently returned missionary, mission president, stake president
Crew gave leadership to father-son outing-Peter, James & John 30 feet up
in a tree
They teach Ranger skills to Laurels- Bishop gave GPS- Liahona
Barry Hallsted (continued)
• “The ethical controversies is a wonderful coaching tool to help them
decide now how they will respond when choices come up in their lives
that might lead them to destructive choices. The reflection that we
hold after each activity before the closing prayer is the highlight of
each event. The Venturing Leadership Skills Course is also a great
teaching highlight and a time for great spiritual growth.
• To date, 19 of the 23 have either left on a mission or are fully prepared
to serve.
• I believe that the principles learned from our Venturing experience has
made a positive impact in preparing them for their missions, and
beyond. They have truly experienced and have a greater
understanding of what it means to do their duty to God. This Sunday I
look forward to participating in an Eagle court of honor for the last five
of my Venturers.”
Jeff Cazier
Council Venturing Chair - Ogden, Utah
• Venturing is a powerful vehicle for missionary preparation. You can
see the lightbulb come on with our Venturing leaders when they catch
the vision. When they get past their stereo-typed, pre-conceived mind
set that Venturing is just advanced Boy Scouting (which their Priests
won’t be interested in), then the grassfire really takes off.
• Leaders must catch the vision that Venturing is a whole new ballgame.
Wipe the mental slate clean of old Boy Scouting methods. It’s fresh,
mature and more sophisticated. Think outside the box.
• Priests don’t want “advanced” Boy Scouting or “Scouting warmed
over”. Treat Venturing like it’s the program for young adults, rather
than for boys. Reinforce to the Priests that you recognize their maturity
and higher intellectual and skill levels.
• Anyone who tries to force-feed a “Boy Scouting-warmed over”
curriculum to their Priest-age teenagers is doing a tremendous disservice to their youth and is going to drive away the young men.
Derek Groneman
Layton, Utah – Crew #721
• Was awarded four bronze awards, Gold Award, Silver
Award and the Ranger Award in April of 2001
• Began working on awards in 1999
• “I gained advanced skills in leadership and practical skills
including CPR, lifeguard certification and firearms safety.
I had many opportunities to offer meaningful service.
Skills I learned in Venturing will be particularly useful in
serving my mission in Korea. Already, I have been able to
see the benefit in my school work at Weber State
The Story of Robert
• “Robert was starting to drift away. He was 18 and no longer active
in mutual activities and only attended occasionally on Sunday. He
told his leaders that he didn’t like Scouting, and had no plans of
going on a mission and after graduating from High School would
enlist in the military.
• Robert’s crew Advisor talked him in to attending a white water
rafting trip with the other Priests. He loved the activity. His
attendance on Sunday and mutual increased.
• His mother was astonished at the change that has come over her
son. “What did you do on this campout, my son is a different kid?”
• Robert is now active in the Priest Quorum and recently turned in
his mission papers.
Most Frequent Excuses
• “My boys aren’t interested in Scouting”
– When you describe Venturing, they will quickly see that this is not
“Scouting” as they view it
• “Not enough boys in the Priests Quorum”
– Recruit non-members, if it is fun, they will come
– Combine occasional activities with the Varsity Team
• “The budget guidelines prohibit us from doing all these fun
– Plan ahead- get $$ budgeted for Venturing in advance
– Use community resources for little or no cost activities
– Raise $$ for the annual camp, just like the Deacons. The annual
camp can include scuba, mountain biking, COPE, horses, shooting
sports, etc.
Can the wants and needs of the young men in
your Priests Quorum be met with no planned
mutual night activities?
Is the current program in your Priests
Quorum, meeting the needs and wants
of the young men better than
Venturing can?
Can the Bishop afford to delegate the
responsibility of meeting the needs
and wants of his Priests Quorum to
any other program or plan?
“A child is a person who is going to carry on what
you have started. He is going to sit where you
are sitting, and, when you are gone, attend to
those things which you think are most
important. You can create all the policies you
please, but how they are carried out depends on
He will assume control of your cities, states, and
nations. He is going to move in and take over
your churches, schools, universities and
corporations... the fate of humanity is in his
Abraham Lincoln