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Revitalize Venturing Officers Association (VOA)

Our council would like to re-vitalize the VOA. What are some best practices we could look into to help recruit youth and advisors to lead at the next level? What are some things that your VOA is doing to support or keep the Crew’s involved together? What we don’t want is a VOA to exist just to say we have one, but one that is active in program and service. Am I missing anything else that we should look into?

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It’s like most things that take time to Foster, you have to find somebody that wants to commit to it and serve long term to get a VOA off the ground. I know in middle Tennessee we had a pretty active one that regularly made events for crews to come together and meet each other. I would recommend talking to other advisors and presidents in your council and see what they would want a VOA to do and just try to find people that would willing to step up and get the ball rolling

Best advice I ever got on working with youth of Venturiung age was in Sea Scouts, from one of the current national Boatswain’s Mates… We were having a meeting with about five adults and three youth to plan a training. The adults kept talking and planning and then the youth member said that she’d like it if the adults would let the youth do the work.

In other words, she very politely told us to shut up. And she was right.

So the adults shut up and let the youth do it. And it was spectacular.

Tell your youth there are oppoturnities for council-level leadership in Venturing. Those who want to do it will step up. Put them in charge. Give them the keys. Show up and drink coffee. Sit back and watch the magic happen.

Encourage them. Show them the possibilties. Let them know it’s available. Maybe schedule a meeting time and a room to help them get started. Then let them decide when to meet and how often and where. Maybe start off with a few ideas for activites to get the energy moving–but remember it’s their meeting.

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I think the problem with OP is they’re starting at ground zero. I would probably get in touch with every crew and go talk to them and explain the VOA and see what they want the council to be responsible for. You could probably form like a Congress with representatives from every crew and let them form the charter of offices and duties and probably hold your first election from those reps.

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We are looking at starting a focus group.

I would modify this a little bit - you really only need a couple of Venturers to get this ball rolling. Facilitate them to reach out to all of the crews to organize themselves. Then, as Paul says,

You could also reach out to your area or region VOA for help getting started. These folks in the NE region seem to know what they are doing: https://www.nerventuring-bsa.org/area-5-officers

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Thank you! I have been in contact with the S7 region. I’m meeting one of the advisors this weekend.

One caveat–adults do have “veto power” for certain things… like if they want to take a kayak trip to Antarctica… you can get them to Antarctica, but not by kayak.

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Paul,

One approach that we’ve used is to provide our Crew and its youth leadership with a “box” with the four sides composed of (1) Guide to Safe Scouting, (2) BSA Policy, (3) The Law, and (4) Fiscal Responsibility. The Crew is allowed to “play” anywhere in that box they choose to do so!

Bob

Bob Acker

469-952-7853 (Cell)

| Asst. Fire Chief RET – Plano FD |

| Asst. Scoutmaster – Troop 624 B/G |

| Assoc. Advisor – Venturing Crew 624 |

| Advancement /Enterprise Risk Mgmt. Committees – Circle Ten Council - BSA|

“Ask your SPL . . .”

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@PaulMcDonald - oh man…we were planning to do that :frowning:

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In my limited exposure it looks like the regional and national levels of the VOA are pretty robust, motivated, and dialed in. Reaching out to them for support and passing the ball to them to take over the guidance from a Youth perspective may be the most effective.

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I suggest that you reach out to your Area VOA - that’s why they exist, to help councils. If you don’t have a contact for your Area, please email Venturing.Advisor@scouting.org