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There have been a lot of people within the Venturing Program, including myself, who have been very impatiently awaiting the release of the new Venturing Handbooks. With the program changes beginning around June 1, 2014, we had all hoped that the books would be out y that time. But as everyone knows, that wasn't the case. Then, two weeks ago the news broke that the new Venturing Handbook was available at Scoutstuff.org. The book, which cost $15.99 also included a $7.50 handling and shipping cost. Then, after ordering my copy, it took a week for it to arrive, and it arrived the same day that the Handbook became available in my Council Scout Shop. Go figure.
Handbook for Venturers
The original information about the book was that it was going to be small enough to fit into one of the pockets on the Venturing pants. This book is smaller than the previous handbook, but the book no longer contains the requirements for the Ranger Award. What you're going to find in the book are chapters covering:
- Venturing Essentials
- Venturing's Areas of Emphasis
- Leading and Planning in Venturing
- Venturing Resources
- My Venturing Trail
The Venturing Essentials is a quick overview of the Venturing and Scouting Identity. It starts off with the Venturing Attitude, gives an introduction to Scouting (covering all five scouting programs), then introduces the Crew member to the Scouting Oat and Law. There is the Group identity, and a section on the Venturing Uniform (which is still the choice of the Crew, but ... if you want to expand into Venturing outside of your Crew, you need the BSA Venturing Uniform). It talks about "what Venturers do" and "Leadership" in Venturing. Then it takes a look at the new Venturing Award.
Venturing's Areas of Emphasis - The ALPS Model - is the next section of the book. It breaks it down into the ALPS sections, Adventure, Leadership, Personal Growth, and Service. Each Award or Level you reach for in the new Venturing Program will involved those four emphasis.
Leading and Planning in Venturing gets into the leadership roles of the Crew members themselves, defining the roles each Officer within a Crew. It even covers informaton on organizing and running a small Crew from the youth leadership perspective, and then breaks out into informaton on Crew Officer Seminars, training, and ideas on communications and recruiting. It also breaks out into a sections on Planning Crew Activities and Leadaing and Planning Adventurers.
Venturing Resources is pretty much straight forward. It gives the Crew members a catalog of resources for training, for planning, for outdoor opportunities. It also covers a bit of informaton regarding the Ranger Award, Quest and Trust awards. It even talks about Venturers earning Boy Scouts Advancements from activities in the Crew, and how Boy Scouts activities can count towards Crew awards!
Finally, My Venturing Trail is the records section of hte book. There are pages to log Adventures and Service performed. There is a section for each of the four Venturing Awards to check off as you complete them.
This book is directly aimed at the Venturing Crew members. It does not get into any of the leadership information for Adults. That informaton is contained within the Venturing Advisor's Handbook.
Venturing Advisor's Handbook
This book comes in loose leaf format, intended to be placed into a 3 ring binder like all of the other "Leader Guidebooks". It is divided into three sections, 1) Venturing Basics; 2) Methods of Venturing and Areas of Program Emphasis, and; 3) Program Resources and Administration. There is a lot of informaton within the guidebook on how to lead a Venturing Crew as an Advisor or Adult Leader. It covers definitions of the Personal Growth and Controversies, and what are the Tier levels for activities and adventures. I am not going to get into too much detail here, I am still reading through the book.
Awards and Recognitions
I have yet to get my hands on the third book for Venturing. What I have come to understand in a bit of a preview is that it will cover not only the Ranger Award, but other Awards that can be available to Venturers from organizations outside of Scouting.
So, as I get a chance to break down the books a bit more, I will share my thoughts on the new program and its reference materials.
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I have posted the information on the Award Requirements, explained the Tier Levels, and finally we get our first look at the new Awards themselves. Were you a member of Venturing PRIOR to June 1, 2014? You automatically have the first level, the Venturing Award. When are the patches going to be available at the Scout Shop? Your guess is as good as mine. But at least we know that they have finally made a decision and we should be seeing them sometime in the ... near future.
More information to come...
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Being a Commissioner at Camp, I will have access to Electricity in my tent (yeah!). With plans being for the hottest session of the year, you have to look for ways to keep cooled down. So, I'm seriously thinking about building me one of these and taking it to camp with me. Of course, if it works, I will likely have to find a way to build a battery powered version of this as well.
And now let's talk about the cost:
Providing you have access to the drill and hole bits that it takes to drill the holes into the bucket, the following are the costs that I managed to come up with for my area.
|ITEM||Where Found At||Cost|
|Five Gallon Bucket||Home Depot||$5.00|
|DuraCool Evaporative Pad||Lowes||$7.00|
|Small Found Pump||Home Depot||$19.00|
|Small Electric Fan||Walmart||$10.00|
|3/8" ID Tubing 4.5 feet||Home Depot||$6.00|
Now, you may be able to get some of the items cheaper on the Internet, and you may be able to to better on the price of the pump, and the prices above are rounded figures and do not reflect the actual price with taxes included. But you are looking in the neighborhood of around $55.00 to build this neat little device that may or may not work all that well at someplace like Scout Camp in the higher humidities. I'm looking at the end of July 2014 for this project, and I'm not certain that this is what I want to spend $55.00 on, I* may just elect to find me a really good fan and sleep with the tent flaps open.
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After all, it's all about having a little clean and legal fun ....
Now, while I found this project on Facebook and through YouTube, the project actually comes from SonicDad.com. I have downloaded the directions created by SonicDad so that you can have the original printed instructions along with the template shown in the video. DO NOT TAKE THIS TOY TO SCHOOL.
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|"There have probably been more lives lost as a result of using a Square Knot as a bend (to tie two ropes together) than from the failure of any other half dozen knots combined." (Ashley's Book Of Knots page 258).|
There are conflicting ideologies on how to teach this particular knot. When researching the Square Knot you will find references that express that you should NOT use the knot to tie two ropes together, However, the Boy Scouts of America teach:
|"The square knot is also known as the joining knot because it can join two ropes together and because it is the first knot Scouts learn when they join the BSA. It has many uses-from securing bundles, packages, and the sails of ships to tying the ends of bandages.” - Boy Scout Handbook|
Animated Knots by Grogg has the following to say on the use of this knot:
|"Nevertheless, the Square (Reef) knot has many uses but not where safety is critical, e.g., you can tie a sail cover over a sail; you can tie the string on a gift; and you can tie the laces on your shoes (if they still come with laces). It is also one of the many knots used in macrame. More importantly, the experience of tying a Square Knot teaches the fundamental process of tying a Half Knot or Half Hitch."|
John Griffre, in his presentation of "The Six Boy Scout Knots" states that "books say not to use the square knot to tie two ropes together because it can untie under the right conditions..." But he continues to point out that he had used a slipped square knot to tie ropes together for years without a problem. What he did not qualify was the purpose and conditions he is citing. The ability of the rope to come untied under the "right conditions" can be subject to:
- Type of rope being used. Slick ropes tend to slip more under any knot.
- Condition of the rope. Used, new, wet, dry?
- How constant the weight on the rope.
- How the Rope is being used.
Certain rope adhere to themselves better than others. Slick ropes can slip more. Coated ropes will slip more when wet. Other ropes can become extremely tight when they get wet while other can more easily break. It the rope moving, can it somehow snag and collapse the knot? Is someone climbing up and down the rope, creating a situation where the weigh changes constantly and the rope is allowed to flex and release possibly untying the knot or allowing it to slip.
But in contrast to his statement, the UK Sea Cadets and the International Guild of Knot Tyers both warn that the Square Knot should NOT be used to tie two ropes together that will be under a load and list no other exceptions to that statement. Ashley's Book of Knots also warns against the use of the Square Knot as a joining knot or bend, as show in the red warning at the top of his page.
When I Teach the Square Knot:
Did you knot that most children learn to tie the Square Knot when they learn to tie their shoes, and if they are having problems keeping their shoes tied, its because they used a granny knot instead when tying their shoes?
Did you know that if you tie a square knot around a pole, when you collapse it you have a two half hitch? That is what a square knot basically is.
Did you know that the Square Knot is actually called a "Reef Knot" and was used by sailors to tie the reef sails to their mast on a ship?
Did you know that there is another knot that very closely resembles the Square Knot, but it is less secure? It's not the failed attempt we call a Granny Knot, but a little more complicated to tie version of the Square Knot called a Thief's Knot.
When teaching the Square knot it is recommended that you show them how to collapse the knot and how easily it can slip apart at that point. I explain to them that they do not want to be hanging from a rope if the knot comes apart. I explain to them that as they advance through Scouting, there are knots they will learn that are better for tying "Rope" together, and that for the time being they should only use the knot to bind string or chord together for simple uses.
NEVER assume that they are NOT paying attention. Just because they can't figure out how to tie the knot. Just because they can't immediately repeat the information back to you. Do not assume that the information wasn't put into long-term storage. I found myself completely amazed when a Scout that I felt wasn't listening or learning sat down one day and proved me seriously wrong. If you make a statement such as "You can tie two ropes together with this knot" and you don't put the proper warnings in place, there will come a day when that boy remembers that statement and may tie the wrong two ropes together and end up hurting himself.
Err on the side of Safety. Clarify and qualify your uses and restrictions, even to an eight year old.
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Effective January 1, 2015
Venturing will be program for youth and young adults between the ages of 14 and 21.
Those who are 13 1/2 years of age and have graduated the eighth grade are eligible to be Venturing Youth
Venturing Scouts who turn 18 years of age can remain a part of the program as a participant, and can earn awards until their 21st birthday if;
- The re-register using an Adult applications
- Pass a Background Check
- Complete Venturing Youth Protection
Camping arrangements must be subdivided as follows:
- Males under 18
- Males 18 and older
- Females under 18
- Females 18 and older
At 21 years of age, the Venturing Scout has the option of leaving the program, or completing their training and take a place in the Crew as an Adult Leader.
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With the changes coming down for Venturing, there has been one burning question in the minds of those I know within the program. What is the definition of a Tier I, II, and III activity. I found the following document via Scouting.org's filestore.
Three Tiers of Adventure
Venturing's Three Tiers of Adventure are designed to challenge and engage crew members to experience adventures. Each level provides crew members with opportunity for leadership, personal growth, and skill development. While Tier 1 activities are fairly basic, they provide a preparation for th greater challenges and opportunities involved in Tier II and Tier III activities. A well balanced crew activity program will include activities and adventures from all three Tiers.
Tier I Adventure - Little preparation or planning; little or no prior skill development; less than one day duration (not over night); not far outside comfort zone.Typically, these activities are good crew fun or recruiting activities and easily accommodate guests. Examples include Bowling Night, Watch and Learn STEM night, a trip to a natural history museum, or a climbing wall activity.
Tier I adventures may be stepping stones to implimentaing a Tier II or Tier III adventure.
Tier II Adventure - Some planning or preparation is required; some prior skill development may be desireable or even required; less than four days; outside the standard range of activities. Examples include organizing and runnign a Special Olympics event, staging a music and dance event for a nursing home, a weekend canoe trip or camping event, and a three day Crew road rally.
Tier II adventures can serve as a shakedown events that can lead to Tier III adventure.
Tier III Adventures - Extensive planning, preparation, and skill development requirement prior to participation; at least four days duration; mentally and physically challenging. Tier III adventures are highlights of the program year, and may take place once or twice annually. Your crew will invest considerable time and energy in planning and carrying out a tier III adventure. Examples will include a 50-mile backpacking trip, planning and directing a science-themed Cub Scout day camp, trip to a week long arts festival, organizing a sports camp for disabled youth, participating in an international scouting event, or planning a high-adventure base activity.
Now, this information was released prior to the publication of the new Youth and Leader handbooks, therefore is subject to change. However, this is the first definition of the Adventures tears discussed in the program update for the Venturing Program Awards.