LDS Venturing Blog #3: Learn, Act, Share

David Wilson

David Wilson

I want to keep this blog entry simple and easy. But with that being said, I hope that each of you associated with the Venturing program will look at the myriad of ways you can incorporate these three words seamlessly into your program: Learn, Act, Share.

Be creative, innovative, and daring! Think about the manner the Savior taught during His earthly ministry. Think about the “new” curriculum format the Church is using with our youth (“Teaching the Gospel In The Savior’s Way (A Guide to Come. Follow Me: Learning Resources for Youth” [2012], available at LDS.org). Now—go for the brass ring! Stretch out, and using your best judgements and decisions, do something! I don’t have all the answers, but I have a few ideas that you can use as seeds to help you. As time progresses and I review the various responses, comments, and ideas from you, I’ll work them into future blogs as a way to share with everyone. It’s that R&D (Rip-off & Duplicate) I mentioned in an earlier blog.

 The Lord has commanded, “Let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence” (D&C 107:99).

 

 Learn: 

We are always learning things. Much of this learning is accomplished through “experiential-venturing”. Cool, huh. Adapting a well-known scriptural phrase: we “Go and Do,” and then report back on what we did. In the Church, our Venturing youth have the opportunity to learn correct principles through the “new” teaching process mentioned above, called “Come, Follow Me,” or teaching in the Savior’s way. We have been asked to teach as the Savior taught. For more details on this process, I encourage you to visit these Church websites: www.lds.org/youth/learn/guidebook?lang=eng, and Teaching in the Savior’s Way.

Each of us learns things in different ways. Some do best through the reading of books, others learn by watching, and others like to work in a group setting. In Venturing, we strive to use a lot of venues to learn and teach. We learn to put our duty to God into our daily lives and make it more than just a Sunday event. One Scout leader stated, “Many of our young men don’t have the opportunity to connect with others. They don’t have strong family ties, they may not make friends easily, or don’t fit in well at school. Scouting provides an atmosphere where these youth can fit in with their peers. Our leaders try to do a variety of activities that interest all of the youth. These leaders teach through example.”

In order to learn, we need to know what we teach. This means we need to get trained! Yes, I know that this takes time and effort, but I want to ask each of you, “Aren’t the lives of these young men worth this time and effort?” We attend various training meetings in the Church in order to perform our assignments to the best of our abilities. Well, we should bite the bullet and do the same with Venturing! Let me share what the BSA is currently working on to help make one part of this training easier for all. At this point in time Venturing is working to refine (i.e. simplify) the Venturing Advisor Position-Specific Training. Yes, this is the truth. It’s not finished yet, but it will soon be available for all to take this training in a user-friendly and short-time-period format. I don’t know when this will roll out, but it is coming. Stay tuned!

Now for a couple of simple questions for us to ponder and reflect upon:

  1. How do you learn?
  2. How do your Venturers learn?

 

Act: 

Now it’s time to move your feet! Scripturally, this is Nephi’s statement: “I will go and do” (1 Nephi 3:7). Venturing has been designed to be action oriented. This is not a lecture type of program; this a doing program for these older youth. The BSA has stated it better than I could: “Venturing is an adventure with a purpose. It fosters positive attitudes toward service while helping young adults to develop camaraderie and leadership skills—and most of all to have FUN! It’s all about doing something.” We want our Venturers to develop leadership skills through action. Venturers learn to lead through adventures and service projects. They develop self-reliance as their skills in doing something are refined and sharpened. They are doing Venturing. It’s not something static; it is action!

This portion of LDS Venturing is where you get to take these principles learned in Church, home, school, or wherever, and put these principles into action. Service projects, campouts, STEM events, youth conferences, and “doing hard things” are just a few ways we act. Venturing provides us with the opportunity to do the tough things in life, gain confidence, and prepare for the future. The Church has helped make this a bit easier for all youth through the development of its web-based Youth Activities page. This is a resource that has already been developed to benefit the youth of the Church. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It’s all there for you. How will you act? Click on the “Browse Ideas” button under “Plan with a Purpose” for ideas. It’s just that simple.

Now for a couple of simple questions for us to ponder and reflect upon:

  1. What do the Venturers want to do?
  2. How are you going to “Do Venturing”?

 

Share:

Since its inception Venturing has been all about learning new things, experiencing them, and then helping to teach others what you have learned. The Venturer gets the opportunity to “give back.” This is more than just going out and doing a single service project; it’s designed to be an integral part of the Venturer’s life. We see the personal growth and development of the Venturing youth when they get to share the excitement of Venturing with others. In a spiritual sense, this is also a time for reflection and the sharing of testimonies. Being around a campfire and staring up at the stars can provide an excellent opportunity for the sharing of testimonies, both verbally and through the spirit, as well as sharing the inner feelings about the day’s experiences. Sharing is a time for all to “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

Now for a couple of simple questions for us to ponder and reflect upon:

  1. How do you as a Venturing leader of youth “share” Venturing?
  2. Venturing is Priesthood in Action—How are you sharing this with other youth and adults?

As a final “help” for all, I encourage you to re-readHelp the Young Men,” found in Fulfilling My Duty to God: For Aaronic Priesthood Holders.

 

David Wilson has been actively involved in Venturing since its inception back in the ’90’s. He is dedicated to working on strengthening the bridges and removing the walls that occur between the Church and the BSA for the older young men in the Church. David continues to work to bless and serve through his involvement in multiple levels of Venturing (from national to the local council). He currently calls Orem, Utah home. The views and opinions expressed in this message are solely those of the author.

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  1. Doc Miller says:

    Great article from a great LDS Venturing leader. Doc Miller Venturing Co-Founder.

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