Venturing Age/Grade Eligibility Change

The National Executive Board recently approved a resolution to change the eligibility requirements for Venturing to ensure consistency among Venturing, high-adventure bases, and other core programs.

The current age and grade eligibility requirement for participation in the Venturing program is 14 years of age and completion of the eighth grade.

Effective May 1, 2010, the minimum age requirement will be changed to 14 years of age, or 13 years of age and completion of the eighth grade. The maximum age for participation remains under 21 years of age.

In support of this change, attached is a list of frequently asked questions. This information is posted at www.scouting.org/venturing.

If you have any questions, please contact Donald Shepard at the BSA national office at donald.shepard@scouting.org.

FAQs

Q. When does the age/grade eligibility change take effect?
A. This change becomes effective May 1, 2010.

Q. Does this impact Sea Scouts?
A. Sea Scouts is part of the Venturing program. Therefore, the revised eligibility requirements apply to Sea Scouting.

Q. Does this impact Exploring?
A. No, this change only applies to the Venturing program.

Q. Does this change affect high-adventure bases?
A. No, the age/grade requirements are now in alignment with the high-adventure bases. Specifically, regarding our sea bases, the PADI requirements are:

    Age-12- to 14-Year-Olds
  • Depth-Maximum 18 meters/60 feet for Junior Open Water Divers. Maximum 21 meters/70 feet for continuing education
  • After Certification-Must dive with an adult certified diver
  • Responsibility and Risk-Parent/guardian and child sign administrative forms.

Q. What effect will this change have on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
A. This change to age/grade eligibility will have no effect on the LDS Church's current application of the Venturing program.

Q. Won't this change be detrimental to my Boy Scout numbers, and aren't we just "trading" numbers from a membership perspective?
A. This change to eligibility requirements for Venturing is to provide youth (boys and girls) with late birthdays (generally June-September) an opportunity to join a crew with their peer group upon completion of the eighth grade. This adjustment is to provide consistency within our program and remove any unnecessary obstacles to increasing membership as these youth prepare to enter high school with their peers.

Q. Will this change have an effect on youth summer camp eligibility?
A. This change to the Venturing program will have no effect on eligibility for summer camp participation.

Q. Will this change affect eligibility for youth leadership training for Venturers (e.g., Kodiak, Kodiak X, etc.)?
A. No, youth leadership training will continue to follow the recommended course outlines.

Q. Are there any Venturing advancement items that can't be completed if you are 13 years old?
A. This change will have no effect on award eligibility. As a registered Venturer, the youth may pursue the awards of their choosing.

Q. When will the national office update related literature that is used to support the programs?
A. All relevant program groups are auditing their literature resources to determine the necessary updates. This will be an ongoing process, and as literature is reprinted, these changes will be made.

Q. What registration forms are affected?
A. The following registration forms and publications are being updated to reflect the new Venturing age joining requirements.

  • No. 524-901, Registrar Procedures Manual-Available on BSA Info by March 1, 2010
  • No. 524-104, Youth-Serving Executives Guide to Registration-Available on BSA Info by March 1, 2010
  • No. 524-420, Unit Renewal Application Instructions-Available on BSA Info by May 10, 2010. Order new forms when current stock is depleted.
  • No. 28-402S, New-Unit Application-Available on BSA Info by May 10, 2010. Order new forms when current stock is depleted.
  • No. 524-406A, Boy Scouts of America Application for Youth Membership (English)-Available by May 1, 2010. Order new forms when current stock is depleted.
  • No. 524-423, Boy Scouts of America Application for Youth Membership (Spanish)-Available by May 1, 2010. Order new forms when current stock is depleted.

Q. When will these forms be updated and available to order?
A. All forms will be available May 1, 2010.

Q. When will ScoutNET have the new Venturing age/grade eligibility?
A. Councils will be able to register youth members using the new requirements once the April 2010 month-end close occurs (May 4, 2010).

Q. When will Internet Rechartering be updated for use by Venturing crews and Sea Scout ships?
A. Internet Rechartering will be updated to reflect the new requirements for unit renewals beginning in September 2010. In the interim, Internet Rechartering will remain available during May-August for Venturing crews and Sea Scout ships to renew online.