Sunday, April 30, 2006

Outside the box

Our Venture Crew participated in the Scout O Rama this weekend. Most of them were a little hesitant about participating because of the "stigma" of the Scout O Rama as being a Cub Scout activity. I, however, wanted to make a SPLASH with our Venture Crew.

I decided that we needed to do something different, something out of the ordinary, something outside the box. So, I started brainstorming. I didn't want a regular camp site. At first, I thought of brining a trampoline and have the Ventures sleep on the trampoline. Then came the perfect idea. We would borrow some Semi Trucks and sleep in the "Sleeper Cabs" of the semi trucks. It would take some organization but I thought it would be a blast. I set up the event and lined up the trucks. I told our Crew of the idea and they loved it. One member wasn't going to go because of the Prom, but if they were going to stay in Semi Trucks, he would make the time. It was great.

The day finally came, I picked up 3 trucks from a local trucking company and parked them at the Scout O Rama. Everyone there was amazed at the sight. All of the Venture leaders from the Council and District supported us and loved the idea. We stood out as an example of what a "Venture Crew" could do at a scouting event. I was pleased with the reaction we received from all of the Scouters at the activity. I think the boys felt that pride as well. I really hope our Venturers can now see the endless possibilities that are available to them. One of the crew came up with the idea of staying at the Dorms next time. The Scout O Rama is on the property of a Junior College. I thought it was a great idea. Not only would we be the envy of the Scouts, but we would give our Ventures the opportunity to live in a college dorm for one night.

In any case, I think we have set the standard for Venture Crews for the Scout O Rama. I hope that next year our Venture Crew comes up with something even more cool and more creative. It was a great day for our organization.

More Training

Last Saturday I went to the "Leader Specific Training" for Venture Crew Advisors. I had a lot of questions about how to turn the program over to the boys. I received great information on how to do this.

I was told that being a "shadow" leader is much harder than being the leader. I was told that to turn the program over to the boys you need to guide and instruct and lead from behind the scenes. One suggestion was to make a list of items that the Young Men will need to do to pull off their assigned duties. You need to plan everything but give the Young Men the reigns to complete them. For example, on Wednesdays, I should not just turn the time over to the young men and have them plan everything. I should have some ideas on what they could do, write down some key points and key things that have to happen. That way, when the "president" of the venture crew stands up, he has a list of items to review. As for the other Ventures, they just see the President as taking charge and implementing an event. They don't see the hard work behind the scenes that happened to get them to that point. Then, as the Crew matures, each of the members starts to see the responsibilities of the Venture President. So, when they become the president, they will take on the responsibilities that they saw the previous president do. That is how the tradition begins.

Great advise. I'll use this in our next meeting.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Turn it over to the boys

Well, It was our first try at turning the program over to the boys and it was a huge disaster. We tried to encourage them to plan a campout and to plan a booth at the Scout O Rama. All they could do was make jokes about having a kissing booth. So, nothing was planned, nothing happened and I was frustrated. I tried to tell them that they need to be in charge and that they need to plan the event and if they didn't, then it would fail. Well, still nothing happened.

After the 1 hour of goofing off and no decisions, I talked with the other Venture Leader and we decided to turn it over to them a little at a time. If they don't follow through on their assignments then it would fail. Failure is part of the learning process so we need to let them fail so that they know that it is their program. We need to get to the point were the leaders (adults) will just supervise and help here and there but we want the boys to run the program.

So, after the disaster, the other leader found the boys and assigned them the tasks of food and of the booth. If they don't follow through with the food, then I guess we don't eat. If they don't follow through with the booth, then I guess we just sit in chairs at the Scout O Rama.

On a positive note, I am trying to think outside the box on the Scout O Rama. A Venture Crew is not a normal Scout Group. We are above and beyond a regular Scout Patrol. I have come up with 2 great ideas for our campout. I have suggested that we have a Trampoline at our campsite and I think I have come up with a BLOCKBUSTER idea for where we are going to sleep. I am going to borrow 3 diesel trucks from my dad that owns a truck driving school and our crew will sleep in the sleeper cabs of the trucks. I think this idea will BLOW EVERYONE AWAY and hopefully set a tradition that Crew 60 is a Venture Crew to watch because we are "OUT THERE"! I am excited to present this to the Crew for approval.

Our Scout O Rama booth will be a "handicap awareness" booth so we are borrowing wheel chairs and we will have activities where Scouts can learn the difficulties of navigation while using a wheel chair. We have a person in our ward that is in a wheel chair that we are hoping will help us out. This satisfies a venturing Bronze Award requirement as well as a DTG.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Court of Honor

We had a Court of Honor last week and I think it went well. I really wanted our new "Scout Committee Chair" to be there but he didn't make it so the First Courselor in the bishopric conducted. It went well and I broke out my harmonica for teh singing portion of the program.

Two of our Crew received merit badges. 3 of the 4 that came were in their uniforms and even our Crew Advisor had his class B uniform on. So, I guess it was ok. I was hoping for more enthusiasm but it turned out to be a good evening.

Unfortunately our Varsity Team is really lagging behind. I don't know what to do to get these guys lit up.

Our Sunday evening meetings aren't working out. It seems that everyone has an excuse why they can't come to the YMP meeting. So, I have changed it to Wednesday nights right after our Mutual activity. They should already be there so they really can't skip out.

Sorry to be so down about everything. I guess I just need to be more patient. I think we are making slow progress but progress non the less.