Venturing Terminology

In order to be a good advocate for the Venturing program, it is essential to know the correct program terminology and organizational structure. This page details some of the specific terms and classifications used when discussing Venturing.

Venturing Age Groups

  • Venturers
    • Youth Participants: those who are age 14 (or 13 and graduated 8th grade) through the age of 17 are referred to as youth participants.
    • Adult Participants: those who are age 18 through 20 are considered adults (per youth protection guidelines), however, may still participate in the program through leadership positions, awards, etc.
  • Advisors
    • Adult Advisors: those who are 21 or older serve as advisors. They do not lead the unit, but instead work with the youth leaders to help ensure success, safety, and personal growth for all members.

Venturing Terminology

  • The name of the program is “Venturing“.
  • A unit is called a “Venturing Crew“, not a Venture Crew or Venturer Crew.
  • A youth is called a “Venturer“, not a Venture Scout.
  • An adult is called a ” Venturing Advisor “, not Venture or Venturer leader.
    • Note: avoid referring to “Adult Advisors” as “Adult Leaders”, as Venturing is a youth-led program.
  • Use “Venturing“, not Venture, to refer to program aspects (examples: a Venturing event, a Venturing training, a Venturing uniform)
  • Because Venturing is an aspect of the Scouting program, Venturers can also be referred to as “Scouts“.
  • Venturers use the “Scout sign” (three fingers), as well as the “Scout salute“.

Organizational Structure

  • A “crew” is a kind of unit, equivalent to a troop, ship, or pack. Crews are not divided into patrols.
  • Many crews are within the same ” council “. A council is a nonprofit corporation; instead of provide service directly to individual Scouts, it provides resources for all units in a specific geographic area. There are between 200 and 300 councils in the nation.
    • In some places, councils are divided into “districts“, which provide direct service to a smaller number of units.
  • A few councils are organized into an “area“. The structure and purpose is similar to that of a council, just larger in scale. There are around 30 areas in the nation.
  • Around half-a-dozen areas are organized into a “region“. There are four regions within the Boy Scouts of America: the Central Region, Southern Region, Western Region, and Northeast Region.
  • All of these various organization levels fall within the “national” organization.

VOA Terminology

  • These definitions will use a Council VOA as examples, but the same structure applies to area, region, and the National VOA.
  • VOA stands for “Venturing Officers’ Association“. It usually consists of youth officers, advisors, and general members (such as crew presidents). Learn more about a VOA.
  • A “Venturing Key Three” consists of the VOA president, a volunteer advisor, and a staff advisor.
  • The “VOA President” is a Venturer who is elected or selected, depending on the local council practices. They usually have other officers, such as vice presidents and activity chairs.
  • A “Volunteer Advisor” is an adult who acts as an advisor for the VOA officers. They often have associate advisors who correspond to specific VOA officer positions.
  • A “Staff Advisor” is a professional (or career) Scouter. They serve in a supportive role, offering experience, council resources, and approval when necessary.
  • A “Venturing Committee” is an adult body that supports Venturing in the council.
  • The “Operating Procedures” are the guidelines which govern the VOA. Many councils base theirs off of the National Standard Operating Procedures.

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