We're on the upward trail
Okay, so I've had a chance to look over the new Venturing advancement system. There's an awful lot of touchy-feely in it, but I suppose that's no worse than the enormous amount of communications stuff in the old advancement system. Now, keep in mind that I don't object
to all this guidance -- I mean, for heaven's sake, I'm a pastor -- but I'm used to doing it as we go along. Trying to spell it all out for those who don't do it as a natural part of their way of working with youth means there's a great risk that we'll bog the program down in endless conferencing of little value. And, yeah, you can send the Advisors off to training to try to teach them how to do this, but that still means ticking off the requirements requires extra time and documentation, with little assurance of extra quality. What I know from forty years of working with learners -- particularly in matters of personal growth -- is that the real ministry happens in the cracks between the scheduled activities. Making it a scheduled activity doesn't guarantee anything.
1. There's also a lot of service hours involved in the new system -- much more than required for the climb through Star, Life, and Eagle over in Boy Scouting. I certainly don't object to that, but it means our crew will have to schedule many more service activities than before (and we're a very active crew when it comes to service), since more than half
the service hours for advancement must be done through the crew.
2. There are frequent references to Tier II and Tier III adventures, which are nowhere defined. I presume Tier I is unit weekends and such, which would make Tier II other superactivities, and Tier III stuff like Philmont and Sea Base? We do this stuff every year, so this is not a problem for us. But a lot
of crews struggle with pulling off the big adventure every year, so I wonder if this requirement will fire up the crews or bog them down.
3. There is a big emphasis on participating in training courses, some of which don't exist yet. We have Introduction to Leadership Skills and Crew Officer Orientation already, but then we have required, at various levels:
BSA goal setting-time management training course;
BSA Venturing Project Management Training;
BSA Mentoring Training.
4. We also don't have the guides for conducting Structured Personal Reflections in the three realms of "Adventures of Faith," "Adventures of Self," and "Adventures of Others." Those could be really good, or they could suck beef jerky; it remains to be seen.
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