Venturing Report - 2016 The past, present, and future of Venturing

From left: Pratik Vaidya, National Venturing President; Michelle Merritt, National Venturing Vice President

A Word From Our President

As 2016 comes to an end, I want to wish each and every one of you happy holidays and a happy new year. This past year has been a game-changer for Venturing. It’s been a year of innovation and new ideas as our VOA officers, volunteers, and professionals have worked together to implement a new perspective in the way Venturing is delivered and experienced across the nation.

Throughout this year and the following five months, my goal has been to improve communication surrounding Venturing related updates and hear your perspectives on how the program can be most effective.

We’ve had some incredible accomplishments over the past few months, including:

  • Region VOA orientations in all four regions
  • New, optional guidelines for Area VOAs
  • A brand new training course for VOA officers at Philmont: BLAST
  • A Philmont course aimed to grow Venturing at the crew and council levels
  • Our first national Venturing event at a high-adventure base: Venturingfest
  • The #VenturingToServe service initiative in the SR
  • A program initiative study to understand Venturing events in the NER
  • The compilation and creation of a Venturing resource database in the CR
  • A social media based service challenge in the WR
Venturing BLAST at the Philmont Training Center

However, the most important accomplishments have been the pictures, memories, and laughs you have all shared through the Venturing program this past year. I want to thank you for all you did this past year to make Venturing a better program.

We’ve loved seeing all the amazing adventures you’ve been posting about and the memories you’ve been sharing. Take advantage of the beginning of the year to set your Venturing resolutions and goals for the year! Maybe you want to recruit new members for your Crew, start a Council VOA or begin attending your local VOA’s meetings, attend one of the BSA’s four national high adventure bases, plan a new crew activity in the summer, or (hint) begin making plans to attend Venturingfest 2018 next July! Venturing gives you an incredible number of opportunities — it’s up to you to take advantage of them!

Once again, thank you for your service to Venturing. Please reach out to me at any time if you have any questions, concerns, or feedback - we are truly here to serve you and strengthen the experience we all have in Venturing.

Yours in Venturing,


Membership Update

Many people serve the Venturing program because they want to see youth focus on leadership, adventure, personal growth and service. In order to continue to provide a great program to as many young adults as possible, we need to focus on recruitment and retention (if all Venturers recruited one new Venturer...), In the past year, Venturing membership has decreased by approximately 5%. Fortunately, there are some areas of growth. Venturing membership in the Western Region (WR) as a whole has increased by 1% and has increased in Area 2 of the WR as well. Area 5 of the Southern Region has also accomplished a positive growth in Venturing membership! Thank you to all you who have helped with this effort in WR Area 2 and SR Area 5 as well as everyone who helps strengthen our program and recruit more youth.

Our 2016-17 Region VOA Presidents (from left: Erik Saderholm, NER; Lydia Borah, SR; Chris Mausshardt, CR; Katie Schneider, WR)

Our Regions

Northeast Region

  • Program Initiative: data analysis to make better informed decisions for event planning and Venturing growth
  • NERV-Cast: monthly podcast that tackles the big questions of Venturing
  • Check out their first report!

Southern Region

Central Region

  • Resource Database: increasing accessibility of ready-made training supplements
  • Video Contest: opportunity for Venturers to share their story
  • Check out their first report!

Western Region

  • Launched a social media campaign to showcase Venturing service
  • Created a trading post to fundraise
  • Comms: Updating Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat
  • Check out their first report!

New Venturing Website

We'll be unveiling a brand new Venturing website on January 1st, 2017! The website is aimed to present you with as many resources as possible in a more accessible and user-friendly manner. Be sure to check out on January 1st to see the change!

Venturingfest 2018

Celebrate Venturing's 20th Birthday in at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. SAVE THE DATE: July 1-6th, 2018

Venturing at Philmont

We'll be offering multiple Venturing training options at the Philmont Training Center next summer! The Growing a Venturing course will be offered on July 9-15th (Week Five). Venturing BLAST will be offered on August 6-12th (Week Nine). We hope to see you there!

2017 National Jamboree

Join us at the Summit Bechtel Reserve for the 2017 National Scout Jamboree! You can find more information by visiting the National Jamboree Website.

Thank You to Our Advisors

National: Kris Zahrobsky, National Venturing Advisor; Jessica Janscha, National Venturing Staff Advisor

NER: Christine Luzcka, NER Venturing Advisor

SR: Jenn Hancock, SR Venturing Advisor

CR: Jeff Geralds, CR Venturing Advisor

WR: Rick Kagawa, WR Venturing Advisor



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