What is a VOA?
Since Venturing is a youth-led program, it is essential that our leadership structure above the unit is youth-inspired and youth-led. We believe that youth should organize program events, lead entertaining trainings, and provide forums to bring the crews, districts, councils, and areas together. A Venturing Officers’ Association, or VOA, consists of a team of youth officers who are supported by advisors. It provides leadership opportunities that prepare young people for their respective futures and gives them a voice to help strengthen the Venturing program.
What does a VOA do?
Venturing Officers’ Associations (VOA) provide opportunities for adventure, leadership, personal growth, and service (A-L-P-S). By doing so, they serve to model best practices in programming for local crews and to provide a program resource for Venturers and Advisors throughout the VOA’s area of operation.
VOAs provide opportunities for personal growth and leadership for their officers, just as the leaders and members of the VOA provide programming of interest to their constituents. A strong VOA has a positive correlation with strong crews. Program and training events offered by the VOA give Venturers the chance to meet other Venturers, build friendships and networks, learn from their experiences, and have fun!
The purpose of VOAs is not to hold meetings, but to provide fun and informative program opportunities for Venturers. In many ways, the VOA serves as a forum for planning and carrying out great program. The VOA officers and advisors know they have done their job well when they see that the efforts of the VOA have served to strengthen the Venturing program in their area of operation.
Do I belong to a Council/Area/Region that has a VOA?
Fortunately, all of our regions and most areas have functioning VOAs. Many of our councils also have VOAs! The best way to find out if there is a VOA in your local council is to inquire by calling your council office. If you aren’t able to get an answer, please feel free to reach out to your respective Region Venturing President. If you find out that your council does not have a VOA, do not fear; you can start a VOA on your own!
Our VOA is having a problem with _____. Do you have any ideas?
Our youth officers would love to suggest ideas to overcome the obstacle or challenge you’re facing. We have also put together the VOA Administration Guide, which serves as a reference and arsenal of ideas when starting a brand new VOA or improving an existing one. Of course, you may also reach out your respective officers for advice!