The Venturing recognition system is designed to help Venturers grow in the “ALPS” emphasis areas of adventure, leadership, personal growth, and service. Awards serve as benchmarks that give the crew’s Venturers a structure for developing their own personal vision into manageable goals that lead to recognition by their peers, mentors, and the larger Scouting community.
Venturing’s Core Awards
The Venturing recognition system is designed around adventure. The Trail to the Summit has four levels:
All Venturers should earn the Venturing Award soon after formally joining the program. The first step in any journey is having the courage to begin. At this level, the new crew member makes a commitment to join and move forward into the experience of Venturing.
Venturers then proceed by earning the Discovery Award. The adventure of participating with the crew unfolds, and the Venturer begins to discover their interests and talents.
Next comes the Pathfinder Award. The Venturer’s capabilities and skills expand, and with that comes increased responsibility for defining their own way forward in life, service to others, and formal planning and leadership of the crew and its goals.
Lastly, Venturers earn the Summit Award, in which a young person formally serves as a mentor to other Venturers in the crew and completes a project of significant service to their community. The Summit Award is the highest award in Venturing.
Venturing is a flexible program, and the recognition system is designed to help all Venturers to grow and develop.
Venturing’s Special Interest Awards
Additionally, there are awards for Venturers who wish to develop a specific set of skills related to a focus area. These awards are separate from the Venturing, Discovery, Pathfinder, and Summit awards.
Other special interest awards include the Quest Award, which is earned by setting and meeting challenging goals related to sports and lifetime fitness, and the TRUST Award, which is earned by developing a deep understanding about the role of faith in one’s life, the cultures and faiths of officers in a diverse society, and the principles of conflict resolution.
Venturing’s adventure program is structured around the Ranger Award, which is earned by mastering outdoor skills. The Ranger Award challenges Venturers to achieve a high level of outdoor skills proficiency that can be used to serve other Scouts.
Scouts BSA Advancement
Venturers who have achieved First Class rank as a scout in a troop may continue working toward Star, Life, and Eagle Scout ranks as a Venturer until their 18th birthday. Any work done while a Venturer can count toward both Scouts BSA advancement and Venturing recognition at the same time. For instance, a conservation project required in Scouts BSA can also count in Venturing.
For Scouts BSA advancement, the Venturer must meet the requirements in the Scouts BSA Handbook and the current Scouts BSA Requirements. Scouts BSA leadership requirements may be met by serving in certain Venturing positions of responsibility.
Venturers working on Scouts BSA advancement do not have to be registered in a Scouts BSA troop , but may do so at no additional charge. This is called multiple or dual registration. For Venturers pursuing Boy Scout advancement who are dual registered with both Crew 254 and a Scouts BSA troop, the Crew 254 Advisor and the Scoutmaster of the other unit will coordinate to determine which of them will be primarily responsible for the dual registrant’s advancement.
Venturers who are active in a Scouts BSA troop or who are working on Scouts BSA advancement within Crew 254 may wear Scouts BSA rank badges on their Venturing uniform. Venturers who have earned the Eagle Scout rank may wear the Eagle Scout insignia on their Venturing uniform. Venturers may also wear the Arrow of Light insignia if earned as a Webelos Scout.
The Messengers of Peace Award recognizes Venturers who participate in qualifying Messengers of Peace service projects. Messengers of Peace is a global initiative of the World Organization of the Scout Movement to encourage all Scouts everywhere to work toward peace.
The Scouts of the World Award challenges Scouts to “think globally” and “act locally” by gaining the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to help solve global issues at local level. Venturers who complete the award become part of a network that provides inspiration to others to take action.
Venturers interested in broadening their knowledge of international Scouting and increasing their appreciation and awareness of different cultures and countries can earn the International Spirit Award.
Conservation and Scouting have been partners for a long time. Camping, hiking, and respect for the outdoors are part of the Scouting heritage. Many Venturing alumni have become leaders in conserving the environment and protecting it from abuse. Venturers interested in conservation, sustainability, and ecology can earn the Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award, the Outdoor Ethics Action Award, the Outdoor Ethics Service Recognition Award, the World Conservation Award, and the William T. Hornaday awards. Crew 4 can collectively earn the Conservation Good Turn Award, a unit-level conservation award.
Outdoor, Sports, and Fitness Awards
Venturers interested in outdoor recreation can earn the National Outdoor Award and badges and National Medal for Outdoor Achievement, the highest recognition for exemplary achievement, experience, and skill in multiple areas of outdoor endeavor. Similarly, Venturers interested in shooting sports can earn the Shooting Sports Outstanding Achievement Award.
Venturers as a group can earn the 50-Miler Award by covering a route of not less than 50 consecutive miles on foot or by canoe/boat (without the aid of motors) and, during the time on the trail or waterway, completing a minimum of 10 hours each of work to improve the trail or waterway.
Venturers with an affinity for water sports may earn the Boardsailing BSA, Kayaking BSA, Mile Swim BSA, Scuba BSA, and Snorkeling BSA awards. Venturers may earn the BSA Lifeguard award by successfully completing the BSA Lifeguard course and demonstrating their ability to perform each of the skills taught in the course.
The SCOUTStrong Presidential Active Lifestyle Challenge Award encourages Venturers to add activity to daily life. To earn the award, Venturers must meet a daily activity goal of either 30 minutes a day (for Venturers over 18) or 60 minutes a day (for Venturers under 18) for at least five days per week for six out of eight weeks.
Venturers can earn the Scout Ranger patch by volunteering 10 or more hours of service to support the National Park Service.
Venturers who wish to aid their families and communities to “Be Prepared” for emergency situations can earn the Emergency Preparedness Award. Similarly, Venturers interested in assisting their neighborhoods in efforts to prevent crime can earn the Crime Prevention Award.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an international award launched in 1956 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, to encourage achievement in community service, physical fitness, special skills, and adventurous journey by young people ages 14 to 25.
A new national partnership between the Boy Scouts of America and the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA brings the opportunity to the United States.
To date millions of young people from more than 130 countries have participated in the award program. With the U.S. now involved, the goal is to send that number even higher. The BSA and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA team want to reach 500,000 young Americans — 1 percent of the population of young people in the U.S. — by the year 2026.
“The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a natural fit with Scouting’s programs, and we are proud to offer additional opportunities that develop and recognize the achievements of youth as the future leaders of the world,” says Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s former Chief Scout Executive.
Triple Crown & Grand Slam of National High Adventure
The Triple Crown of National High Adventure award was created in 1995 and later the Grand Slam of National High Adventure award was created in 2014 by the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc. to both promote the Boy Scouts of America’s National High Adventure programs and help identify those Scouts with a thirst for high adventure who may be interested in serving on the staff of Northern Tier High Adventure Bases and other National High Adventure Bases.
The Boy Scouts of America’s National High Adventure Bases are: Northern Tier High Adventure Bases (Northern Tier), Philmont Scout Ranch (Philmont), Florida National High Adventure Sea Base (Florida Sea Base), and Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base at The Summit (Paul R. Christen).
In April 1996, Sam Wampler, then the Director of the Florida Sea Base, awarded the first five Triple Crown of National High Adventure awards to members of Explorer Post 525, from Edgewood, Washington.
Venturers can earn an interpreter strip by carrying on a conversation in a foreign language or in sign language, writing a letter in the foreign language (not required for signing), and translating orally and in writing from one language to another. Similarly, Venturers who are licensed amateur radio operators may wear the Amateur Radio Operator rating strip on their Venturing uniform.
Venturers interested in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (“STEM”) can earn NOVA Awards.
Venturers can earn the Cyber Chip by completing training regarding keeping safe while online.