This is the final blog installment dealing with the ALPS framework of the Venturing program. The hope is that as you have read these blog articles each of you has gained a better understanding of ALPS, and have been able to come up with your own ideas on how ALPS and the Venturing recognition program work. I hope that you have also discovered on your own how to integrate it into various aspects of your quorum activities.
With all of that being said, now what about your role as an Advisor or an adult associated with a Venturing crew? What should you do to make ALPS successful in your crew? That is a question that could take some time to fully address, and is worthy of a longer essay than these blogs allow. What I want to do is give you something simple but not simplistic. I would state it’s like a “drink of water from a fire hydrant.” It’s not in a narrative format at all. It’s more of an outline or a list of resources that you can reference and refer back to at any time. In other words, I will strive to provide you with a lot more additional resources, ideas, and information than you probably wanted to receive. That’s the beauty of these blogs—you take what you need now, and then you can always come back later to get more!
So, here you go:
What about You as an Advisor or Venturing Adult?
- Train, train, and train! Take advantage of any and all opportunities to learn from others. (D&C 88:118)
- Venturing Crew Committee Challenge (# 511-902)
- Venturing Advisor – Position Specific Training ( # 511-904)
- Venturing & the Commissioner – LDS (College of Commissioner Science MCS #308)
- Monthly District Roundtable Meetings aka Venturing Forum or Exchange
- Lead by example – “Walk the Talk”
- Annual Program Planning for Venturing
- Program Features for Troops, Teams, and Crews (available at your council Scout shop)
- 3 volumes of program for your crew – It’s all there for your crew. It’s the Scouting version of “plug and play.”
- Activities use EDGE methodology – Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable
- Skills are marked at three levels – you get to pick what is best for your crew (of course you will ask for strong input from the Venturers–it’s their program after all!)
- Essential: green circles
- Challenging: blue squares
- Advanced: black diamonds
- Venturing Printed and Electronic Material
- Quest Handbook – Sports and Fitness
- Venturer/Ranger Handbook – Outdoors
- Venturing TRUST Handbook – Religious & Service Orientation
- Handbook for Venturers
- Venturing Leader Manual
- Venturing Advisor Guidebook
- BSA Fieldbook – strong outdoors orientation
- Venturing Board of Review Guide (# 512-940)
- BSA Guide to Advancement – Venturing Supplement (# 512-939)
- Goal-Setting and Time Management for Venturing Crews
- Mentoring for Venturing Crews (Facilitator Guide) (# 511-914)
Whew! That is a lot of stuff for anyone to digest at one time. Not to worry, you are not expected to know it all. I certainly don’t. I’m constantly finding new resources, gaining new insights into Venturing, and finding small gems and best practices being used by people such as you to make Venturing come alive for our young men. This list is only a small part of the various ALPS related resources that are available to you. Please don’t think of this being all inclusive. Feel free to share with me via the comments section some of your go-to resources. I’m like a sponge in wanting to always gain more from all of you! We all care—so let’s all share! I haven’t even touched upon some of the Church resources available as, that list is continually growing. That will probably be the focus a future blog.
Where do we go from here? Information is power, and we all need to share this information with others. Please consider sharing ALPS with your Venturers, Committee members, the ward Bishopric, and parents. And share these blogs with anyone who you feel would be interested in reading them. We’re all in this great adventure together, so let’s share the wealth!
~David Wilson has been actively involved in Venturing since its inception back in the ’90s. 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.