aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

A word about the new Venturing advancement system

The new Venturing advancement system has been active for a year and a half now. As soon as it went live, I filed an advancement report for most of our Crew members for the entry-level Venturing Award. Then we went back to finishing up what we could on the old system until this time last year. So, we've worked in earnest on the new system for a whole year now. And I just filed our first Discovery Award. There's at least another ready for Board of Review, and I expect a Pathfinder early in the new year. But I gotta tell ya, that's a really slow pace. And we're the Crew that blazes the way around here, advancement-wise.

Looking over the requirements with a year and more under our belts, I think I can see where the hangups are. Some crews might struggle to provide enough Tier II and Tier III adventures, but we knock those out really well. Other crews might struggle to provide enough service hours (or to keep good enough records of those service hours), but we blazed through those. What we struggled to complete were/are the leadership courses.

The new Venturing advancement system is chockablock with leadership courses: Introduction to Leadership Skills, Goal-Setting and Time Management, etc. None of these are that difficult to do (assuming BSA publishes the syllabi in good time), but the problem is, how often can you schedule them? We used to do the old Leadership Skills Course every two years, but it wasn't required until the Gold Award (second in the advancement tier); now, it's required for Discovery (the first biggie). We may have to do it every year in order to keep people advancing.

And what if they miss that day, as sometimes people do? How long will people have to wait in order to get that first peak bagged, just because they couldn't get a one-day course done?

I've always been one to do these kinds of courses within the Crew, under its own leadership. That was the original vision of Venturing. But I'm thinking the Council or Districts may have to offer these courses on a regular basis in order to help Venturers make up the courses they missed out on here and there. And that will ultimately skew the experience of Venturing advancement away from the Crew and into a Council-led seminar mode. And I don't think that's a good thing, overall.

I dunno. I'm conflicted about it.

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