Venturing Peer To Peer Recruitment Toolbox

The National Venturing Cabinet is proud to announce, and introduce, the Venturing Peer To Peer Recruitment Toolbox! Click on the links below to view or download the Attached PDFs of the Toolkit. These packets are availible for free in print through the National Office by ordering bin item #523-501.

Venturing Recruitment Guide

Venturing Fast Facts

Life is an Adventure Poster

Are you ready for this?

What did you do last weekend?

Have you ever…

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Interviewing Edward Abraham

Greeting Sensational Southerners!

For the next few weeks, a series of interviews will be posted featuring our upcoming national cabinet. These people are truly amazing! All of the stories and visions shared have been fantastic and I have been thankful to be able to get to know them better through this experience! Venturing will be an awesome program to be a part of with their leadership! Be sure to share this series with your friends, they won’t want to miss out!01779345_663617530411315_9181312225480796979_n

Edward Abraham

This week brings you Edward Abraham, the upcoming National Venturing President for 2015-2016. He is a great guy and anyone who meets him knows this! He is also incredibly busy, but thankfully he responded to my emails so you guys could learn more about him and his vision for Venturing. Enjoy!


Darcy Phinney: How does it feel to be the incoming Region President?

Edward Abraham: It honestly feels great! It is quite the honor that I have been selected to serve as the National Venturing President.


Why did you start Venturing?

I joined Venturing because I wanted to go on even more outdoor adventures. I absolutely loved going backpacking, kayaking, and on hikes with my Boy Scout Troop, but I kept thriving to explore more outdoor opportunities in the beautiful coast and mountains of California.


Why did you choose Venturing, and why do you continue to choose it over everything else you could be doing?

I chose and still continue to choose Venturing over anything else because it always gives me an opportunity to try something new.


What is your favorite memory of Venturing?

My favorite memory of Venturing was when I went snow camping for the first time with my crew. I have been skiing dozens of times before I went on this trip, but never actually camped in the snow. I had an absolute blast with my crew and truly realized that I was in the right program.


What is something you are proud of that you have done in Venturing?

Something that I’m proud of that I’ve done in Venturing has probably been restarting my Venturing Crew. When I was fifteen I really want to get involved with the Venturing program, but didn’t have a crew nearby. With that in mind, I restarted the crew that went inactive a couple years before I was eligible to join the program.


What are some of your plans for Venturing this year?

Some of my plans for the upcoming term include closely working with the National Venturing Cabinet to create Council VOAs across the nation, the formation of Area VOAs in inactive areas, traveling across the nation to meet and work with Venturers, and to maintain constant communication with our national support staff.


If you have to choose one thing, what would you most like to do during your term?

The main focus for next year is to help the Region Venturing Presidents establish strong Area VOAs so that all of our councils have the direct support that they need.


Are you anticipating any road bumps? Why or why not?

There are always going to be road bumps in any type of role we take in our lives. However, with the support of my peers on the National Venturing Cabinet, we’ll be ready to tackle on any road bump as a team.


What do you hope Venturing will look like in the future?

In the future, I see Venturing with positive membership growth along with active Council VOAs across the nation.


And finally, if you could throw any kind of parade, what would it look like? Other than a Venturing themed one of course! 

If I were to throw a parade, it would probably happen on an airport runway where different types of planes would just slowly roll on by. I’d absolutely love to see a 747 taxi past me while I sit in a lawn chair and then an F18 right afterwards. I am extremely passionate about aviation, so that’s my kind of parade!


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What is ILT?

Greetings Sensational Southerners!ILT 345

Today I am going to introduce you to Emily Goezler! She did something really cool called ILT and I was able to sit down to talk with her about it!


Darcy Phinney: Hey Emily! Thanks for carving some time out of your day to talk to me!

Emily Goezler: No problem, I was happy you contacted me!


So to start right off, what is ILT?

ILT stands for Interamerican Leadership Training. Scouts from 34 different countries in the Western hemisphere are invited to participate in this week long experience. However, each National Scout Organization (commonly called an NSO) can only send a maximum of two participants. You can think of ILT like an NYLT or NAYLE course that teaches scouts about servant leadership. We have eight teams with about eight scouts ages 18-26 per team.


That sounds awesome! What do you guys talk about?

We talk a lot about servant leadership just like NYLT or NAYLE. However, there are some differences compared to NYLT or NAYLE. NYLT and NAYLE talk about how to take leadership lessons and apply them in your unit. ILT takes a much bigger approach and talks about how to apply these lessons of leadership in your NSO. Another difference is that we talk a lot about the Messengers of Peace (MoP) program at ILT. Every participant has to plan and lead a personal Messengers of Peace project. Each team also plans a group Messengers of Peace project.

The team MoP project is not mandatory but it’s strongly encouraged that the team complete them. There were a few teams who continued their visions outside of the course last year. You may have heard of the Trees for the World or Books for All projects. They were results of last year’s course. We are still waiting to see what happens with this year’s team MoP projects!


I did hear about those! What else is unique about ILT?

Instead of an outpost camp like at NYLT or NAYLE, one day out of the course we venture out and explore the host NSO’s culture. This year, we had the course in Galveston, Texas but next year will be in Guatemala. So that will be fun! We also have International Night where participants bring clothes, food and souvenirs to share their culture with the course. Some participants even showed us some of their native dances during International Night! ILT 348

ILT is also different when it comes to the conference sessions. Each day at ILT, there are three sessions held about different topics that Crew Advisors (ILT’s version of Crew Guides) present and facilitate. However due to the schedule, the participants can only attend two of those three conference sessions per day. So they have to coordinate with the other scout from their NSO to make sure that they learn all of the information presented by the Team Advisors.

In addition to the conference sessions, we have course-wide presentations same as NYLT and forums which are unique to ILT. These hour long forums allow the participants to share what works or doesn’t work in their NSOs. It fosters a lot of community between the participants from different NSOs because we trade different best practices and have the chance to brings these ideas back and better our NSOs.


So what was your favorite event?

That is such a hard questions to answer! May I divide the question a little bit?



Okay. My favorite leadership session to present was Servant Leadership. I really love teaching servant leadership and I am thankful I was allowed to talk about it this year!ILT 347

My favorite activity was called Building Bridges to Understanding. For an hour, you and a stranger ask questions to really get to know each other and where you are coming from as an individual. This activity forces you to get past the “topical” questions like where we’re from or what we do in our NSOs and makes us understand who the other person is on a deeper level. It also helps you and the other person find common ground.

In the United States it can sometimes feel like we get so focused on valuing the differences that we miss the similarities. A team’s strength comes from its common ground, so this activity helps us understand that everyone has similarities regardless of how different they seem on the outside. Through the questions asked in this Building Bridges activity, we go past the surface and look past culture, language, stereotypes, and other barriers so we really get to know someone who was a complete stranger just a few minutes ago!


How did ILT change your scouting experience?

ILT 147

Emily is in the bottom left corner!

There were a couple of things that ILT taught me. The first one is that I now understand the term “brotherhood of scouting.” None of the staff or participants knew me before I came to ILT. We also had so many differences between us such as languages, culture, age, or scouting experiences. But despite all of this, they still loved me. Never before have I felt such love from scouts as I did at ILT. My best friends today are those from ILT!

Moving on to lesson number two. There were language barriers at ILT. I don’t speak Spanish but most everyone else did. Some participants had a harder time understanding English than others. This was especially true with one participant so talking with her was really difficult. When we couldn’t communicate with words, our actions spoke louder. You can still communicate and show love, have sympathy, and share laughter even though you can’t literally talk to them. You don’t need words to communicate feelings.

And finally, despite all of the differences there is something that holds everyone together. Every person in a team has at least one thing in common with each other. When you find that something in common, you should hold onto it and center the team around it. We had so many differences at ILT but our love of scouting brought us together with an inseparable bond and made our course very strong.


Why did you choose to go?

I was asked to come staff, but I said “yes” because I wanted to learn how to work with other people from different cultures and value them for who they are. In a few years, I would like to work in the US State Department, hopefully overseas, for the majority of my career. So learning how to work with different cultures is an necessary skill. ILT taught me a little bit on how to do that.


Is there anything else you want to say about ILT?

It is super fun! If you get invited to go you should definitely do it


A little bit more about Emily:

Emily Goezler is a Venturing Scout from Phoenix, Arizona, and is a member of Crew 2090. Currently she is attending Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma as a freshman majoring in Government and International Relations. She attends Crew 153 meetings while in Oklahoma. She is a Venturing Silver Award and Ranger Award recipient and plans on earning her Summit Award. She was previously involved in the Western Region Area 6 VOA as the Vice President of Administration. She is the BSA-NRA Ambassador for 2015 and she staffed ILT this past December as a Crew Advisor. Overall, she is a pretty swell girl!

ILT Course 2015

ILT Course 2014

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Of Mice and Shelters

Greetings Sensational Southerners!


Me in a shelter.

Have you ever wanted to build a house?

Well you can make one, and you can also use it to help cross off your Wilderness Survival core requirement for Ranger! I will do my best to give you some tips to help you stay warm and dry when you sleep! The shelter I am most comfortable with is a lean to, so that shelter will be to focus of this article.

Where are you?

One of the most important steps you can take when building a shelter is to look out for widow makers! What is a widow maker? It is a dead tree that could fall on you while you are sleeping, and if you were married it might leav e your spouse a widow. So look out for these kinds of trees before building your shelter! I have needed to move my shelters before because of this, even though they were fully built.

Also keep in mind which direction the wind is blowing. Wind will blow weather into your lean to, so try to face away from it. This helps you stay dry and warm!

How much daylight is left?

This questions is really asking how much time do you have to make your shelter? If it is noon, you have more time to create your sleeping hut, but when it is near sunset and you need to make a shelter, a free standing wigwam may not be the most practical type of shelter to make.

What materials are you going to be using?


We initially didn’t put enough debris on, so we added more the next day

Nature provides many materials to choose from! Sticks, leaves, mud to stick your poles into, trees to lean your shelter against and many others are provided for you to use! Spiderwebs can help leaves stick better to your sticks, just make sure you don’t get a spider along with it!

Have you started yet?


Mice agreed that more debris was needed, they almost stole my hat!

The shelter won’t build itself! Steering clear of rotten trees, you have decided create your shelter in a spot. Great! The base frame is important, so don’t use rotten wood or skinny sticks. The frame will be supporting  the weight of leaves and sticks that you will be piling on top of  it, so rotten wood may break in half  and skinny sticks can’t support the roof. Don’t cut down a tree to make your frame either though, that action does not follow Leave No Trace principles! Besides, sap on your sleeping bag is hard to remove!

With a sturdy frame you will go far. Begin layering sticks and leaves on the frame. The angle is important, because too steep means the shelter won’t cover you enough, and too flat means it won’t protect you from rain because the water will seep through the roof.


Nice layering of sticks and debris!

Start with big sticks, trying to make sure they are evenly spaced but still close together. This makes it so the leaves and other things you throw on don’t fall through the cracks as easily. Once you have that layer down, put on smaller sticks to cover the longer gaps. Once you have all the small sticks down, cover the lean to with debris!

Insulation is key here. The more you can put on the roof, the better. I have always been told three feet is a good base to start with, but I also know that the colder it is, the more debris you want to pile on.


You are in the wilderness which is home to many creatures other than yourself.  I learned this one early morning. My hat was slowly being pulled off of my head, and as I groggily woke up and looked around, I saw a mouse with my hat in its mouth. Mice that were taking cover in my shelter decided they needed my hat for mouse things. To say the least, I was freaked out a little! It was morning so I rose to start my day, but my crew still laughed at me. All this is to say keep in mind that the wilderness is filled with animals. Respect them!

Done sleeping in it?

Don’t forget Leave No Trace! When done, scatter your shelter around the area. Clean up any mess you have made. In my mouse story, I made sure I didn’t leave anything behind. My hat stayed with me for the rest of the weekend!

Making a shelter is no joke! It protects you from the elements, so don’t skimp!

Hope this helped you in your Ranger journey!

Darcy Phinney, SR VP of Communications


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2015-2016 Southern Region Venturing President

As the Southern Region VOA we are pleasedIMG_4797 to announce Chelsea Davis has been selected as the 2015-2016 Southern Region Venturing President! Chelsea is from the Capitol Area Council located in Austin, Texas, and is currently serving as the Southern Region Area 3 President.

She has a biography up currently under the Area 3 tab, however another one will be posted to reflect her new position.

Please join us in congratulating Chelsea Davis as her term begins June 1st!

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Need Service, No Problem?

Greetings Sensational Southerners!

With the changes in Venturing’s Advancement Program a lot of Venturers are now looking at a long list of service hours that they need to complete. I have gathered some tips and tricks about volunteering!

In total in the Venturing program you need 60 hours of service; half to be done with your home crew.

Have nowhere to volunteer? Where do you go?

There are many different places to volunteer and you don’t even have to look outside of scouting. Ask around your council and see if you can help staff a week of Cub Scout Day Camp or a Webelos Weekend.

If you want to look outside of scouts, you can always look toward non-profits in your community, from things from Animal Shelters to your local Landtrust to a food pantry. Frequently these organizations have multiple workdays that could work for your schedule.

How Do I Keep Track of my Time?

If you are anything like me, you always forget to carry around a piece of paper to write things down on. There are many different ways to take note of the time that you arrive and leave at.

As soon as you get to the site, text someone and tell them that you have arrived; then when you are looking back at your text after you got home you can write down the time when you sent it. The same can be done when you leave.

Another option is to screenshot your phone screen that has a clock on it. Then you have a photo of the time when you were arriving and leaving.

But volunteering isn’t fun?

Volunteering can sometimes come off as “Lame” but only when you are forced to volunteer. So make sure when you have to volunteer, you are doing it for something that you are passionate about. That is what truly makes the difference.

If you like pets go to an Animal Shelter; if you like being outside, Landtrust has planting days; and if you like scouting there is always a camporee that could use an extra staff member. Find what works for you!

Hopefully these tips helped! What are some service activities that you have enjoyed doing?

Douglas Taylor, Area 5 VP of Administration

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ALPS Rendezvous 2015

Hey Sensational Southerners!


Circle Ten Council’s Venturing Officers’ Association is putting on an amazing, fun filled event. Circle Ten Council, which is located in beautiful Dallas, Texas, will be having this ALPS Rendezvous at the wonderful Camp Wisdom.  We plan to bring some Alpine fun and flair to the four pillars, or areas of focus, of Venturing’s new ALPS program model.


This annual C10 (Circle Ten) event is called Rendezvous. Rendezvous is a meeting at a prearranged time and place.  The term is French and roughly translates to the Southern expression, y’all go.  The Alps are a mountain range in Europe stretching approximately 750 miles across eight countries.  These mountains, which include Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn, were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided.

The Alps serve as a playground for Europe.  Winter activities include downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, off-piste skiing, telemark skiing, heli-skiing, mono-skiing, snowboarding, off-piste snowboarding, snowshoeing, husky walking, glacier walkingAAA, sledging, snow mobiling, snow blading, bobsleigh, curling, ice climbing, ice driving, and ice skating.  These activities can be accompanied by relaxation at the ski lodge or spa.

During the summer, the Alpine lakes and mountains are ideal for hiking, target shooting, archery, tennis, cycling, mountain biking, quad biking, golf, rambling, horse riding, rock climbing, canyoning, bungee jumping, paragliding, and hang-gliding. Via Ferrata is a combination of scrambling and rock climbing courses using pegs and cables, fixed ropes, ladders, and hand rails. Water activities include fishing, swimming, rowing, rafting, white water rafting, kayaking, white water kayaking, hydrospeed, sailing, and canoeing.

ALPS Rendezvous 2015 will be offering a variety of over 20 different challenges, activities, eventsq and trainings based upon and inspired by all of these awesome Alpine activities. Are you ready to face them?

Date: April 10-12, 2015

Location: Camp Wisdom, 6400 West Red Bird Lane, Dallas, TX 75236

Who Can Attend: This event is for anybody, ages 14-20 or those that are 13 and have completed the eighth grade, that want to have some fun! Any participant, who is not currently a member of a Scouting unit, must register for the event through a host Scouting unit. The appropriate number of male and female adult Advisors must accompany youth participants. If you have questions, or are interested in participating and need to contact a unit to register, please email

I am excited to see you there!

Bailey Coleson, SR VP of Program

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A Cry For Help!

Greetings Sensational Southerners!

This is not your regular blog post.Help

This is a Cry for Help!

You see as I manage this blog, I need articles to fill it. So far, it has some awesome topics and I have published  thoughts, experiences, and general awesomeness. But I can’t do this alone.

I need YOUR help!

Do you have some tips about service projects that could be done to help complete the Summit award? Did you have a great time at a campout this weekend? Are you planning an event and want others to come? Do you have a delicious recipe you want to share? Do you have any camping tips that you feel people should know about? Did you attend a useful leadership camp?

I need to hear from YOU!

What do you want to see? What is your idea of Venturing? Do you want to hear what others have to say about their view of Venturing? Does this mean an interview with a Venturing youth or an adult or someone else? Am I completely off the mark? I know there are some amazing writers out there, who are much better at grammar than I! Or is it me? Moving on!

How can I make this blog work better for you and how can I accomplish this with your help?

Email any comments, questions, concerns, accolades, (any wishes to help me out on a regular basis and make this awesome), and articles to!

I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

Darcy Phinney, SR VP Communications


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NAYLE at Sea Base

photo 1

A few mates!


Talking up a storm!

Talking up a storm!

photo 5

The youth in the course

Living on a sailboat for a week with complete strangers, and not only that, but taking a leadership course with these strangers? No way.

photo 2

Showing our crew spirit!

photo 3

Chilling at sea

When my parents told me that that was how I would be spending my spring break last year, I wasn’t the happiest Venturer ever. The whole drive down to Sea Base I was brooding, but as soon as I stepped foot onto camp property and met a few of the participants and my youth leader (Rachel Eddowes), my attitude did a 180! Even in the first five minutes of meeting each other, everyone was talking and laughing and playing icebreaker games together like they were nothing! Six participants were put on each boat (2 boats total), and I was the only female participant, but I had Rachel and our adult leader Mrs. Copeland thankfully!

Being on a boat… Everyone hears everything. You get over having no personal bubble pretty quickly which can start out a little awkward, but by the end of the week no one cares anymore. However having everyone hear everything is also a positive thing because it means all jokes are shared with everyone, all hardships are carried together, all secrets are group secrets. Everyone works together as a team to solve the problems and questions at hand.

Being stuck together in tight quarters not only brought us together, but also helped us get through all of the tests and questions NAYLE threw at us.

Although NAYLE is a leadership course, and you do learn amazing leadership skills, it’s much more than that. NAYLE is a life changing experience, a fantastic adventure, and makes you get closer to a group of people in a week than you would some in a year. I would strongly recommend this course at any high adventure base to anyone and everyone. No matter if you don’t think the course would “be for you” or not, NAYLE is something that every Venturer should experience at least once in their lifetime.

If you had any questions or doubts about what the NAYLE experience would be like, I hope this answered them, and I hope you take the course as soon as you can!

Savi McMillan, SR Area 6 President


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Summer is Coming!

Hey there Sensational Southerners!

Have you thought about your summer plans yet? I know it may seem like it’s early, but camps have been prepping for you since the end of last summer! If you haven’t, here are a few tips for preparing yourself for the adventure that awaits you!


Advancement was my goal, so I went to a Road to Ranger and built shelters like this!

Advancement was my goal, so I went to a Road to Ranger and built shelters like this!

1. What do you want to do?

Backpacking, sailing, horseback, COPE, and canoeing are activities that can be done at different bases around the country! Do you want to have fun or do you want to advance or both? Do you want to grow personally or do you want to learn how to help others grow better?

The answers to these questions depend on how YOU answer them! Based on these, you can narrow down your search to a specific program like NYLT or COPE or a diverse week of experimenting in different classes.


I went to Latimer Reservation one summer for a Kodiak Challenge!

I went to Latimer Reservation one summer for a Kodiak Challenge!

2. Where do you want to go?

Do you want to go somewhere radically different or do you want to stick closer to home? The nationally run bases are Philmont, Sea Base, Northern Tier, and The Summit Bechtel Reserve are all really cool, but they aren’t the only camps out there. Our councils contain some awesome camps and programs.

Maps of where each local camp is located in the Southern Region can be found here.

You can go have fun during week long excursions or learn something new at a leadership program based on what each camp offers. Check them out!


My crew fundraised through selling wreaths at Christmas!

My crew fundraised through selling wreaths at Christmas!

3. How are you going to pay for that?

I know when bringing up an exciting new opportunity that parents can be wary of prices. However, there are ways to ease the burden when you go. Councils have scholarships that can be used for your trip if you are eligible and APPLY for them! They also have fundraisers that you can participate in to raise money for yourself.

Talk to your council!

You don’t have to do this through your council, there are plenty of companies that offer fundraisers as well. Your crew may also have a fundraiser. Explore your options now, so you can have fun later!


My backpack filled with everything but my pajamas I bet.....

My backpack filled with everything but my pajamas I bet…..

4. Do you have your gear?

This is a crucial step! Realizing that you don’t have something prepared that was on the list stinks! Last minute shopping is no fun because you and your parents are stressed. This is made worse when you realize you don’t have something you need when you get to the camp! (My struggle every adventure is bringing pajamas. Oh yeah!)

Look at the list as soon as you can. Start packing a few days before you go, since last minute packing can cause you to forget things.

Inspect your gear. If you have an item that isn’t in the shape it should be, go and buy it. OR you can borrow it from another scout! Thrifty!

Once you have packed everything, go through the list again and look at each item with your own eyes. This just makes sure it is definitely, for sure there. (I tend to forget the last step, hence my no pajamas problem. Moving on!)




Staffing NAYLE last year, one of my favorite scouting weeks in general!

Staffing NAYLE last year, one of my favorite scouting weeks in general!

Are you ready for this summer???

I sure am!!

Tell me about your favorite summer activity! Where were you, who were you with, what were you doing? I want to know!

Darcy Phinney, SR VP Communications.

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Ranger Advancement, Cooking Requirement Tip!

Hello all!

Many Crews have thought out this requirement well and have put in the effort to plan a great meal that includes

the “Prepare and eat at least one meal with food you have found in the outdoors.” requirement. It comes with a little (or a lot!) of fun too!

Many a great story can be told for daring each other to eat dandelions or other interesting items you find, but remember a happy scout is one that has a good meal. As suggested by many a crew (mine included) find something natural in your area, for example wild leeks, or spices that may grow in your area and add them to a dish that is being planned. Chili is a wonderful dish to add some of these outdoor foods to.

Make sure you do your research first though! You can even make this into a challenge, to see who finds the best outdoor food to add to your meal.

As always, be adventurous and think outside the box!

Hope this helps on the Road to Ranger, Happy Venturing!

Chelsea Davis, SR Area 3 President

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