Venturing is the co-ed program of the Boy Scouts of America for older youth, focusing on high adventure. Officially, Venturing was created on February 9, 1998, but its origins go back to the very beginning of Scouting in America.
In 1910, the founders of Scouting in the United States recognized the need for a program that would appeal to older youth. The report from the first National Executive Board meeting includes a discussion about losing older boys. As Scouting began to spread across America, numerous programs for older boys were started to meet this need. Sea Scouting originated in England but was adopted by the BSA in 1912. Over the following decades, other programs began as well.
In 1935, the BSA created Senior Scouting and published the Guide to Senior Scouting. The new program included Sea Scouts and established Air Scouts and Explorers. In 1949, the BSA consolidated the senior programs, with the exception of Sea Scouts, into Exploring. The green uniforms worn by Venturers today were originally the uniforms worn by Explorers. A new Exploring program was implemented in 1959, and over the next decades, the focus of Exploring started to shift towards a career-based focus. In 1971, girls were allowed to join Exploring and the upper age limit for youth was increased to 21.
As the years went by, Exploring became increasingly divided into two focuses: one on career-based training, one on outdoor adventures. In 1998, the career-based focus became part of the Learning for Life non-traditional program under the name Exploring. The outdoor focus was adapted into a new program called Venturing.
Since its beginnings, Venturing has continued to grow throughout the nation, providing young men and women with the opportunity to challenge themselves, learn about leadership, and participate in exciting activities… while having fun and making friends along the way. Venturing is truly a special program, one that has already made a positive impact on the lives of thousands of youth. Want to be a part of something big? Find out more about joining Venturing today!
Would you like more information on the history of the BSA’s programs for older youth? Check out the following resources: