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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10 Questions With Chelsea Davis

Greetings Sensational Southerners!Chelsea Davis

It is time to turn the focus back to us! We have some big hearts in our Region, and we reflect it in our scouting. I know that we have been waiting a while for this interview, but it comes at a great time. Right now we are beginning to situation the Region VOA to change leadership, so this is an excellent time to reveal what the next term will focus on!

Chelsea Davis

This week brings Chelsea Davis, the upcoming Southern Region President for 2015-2016. She is a Texan, where the motto “go big or go home” has taken root in her leadership and goals. I am a bit biased when it comes to this interview, but still read what she says below!


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

Chelsea Davis: It is exciting! You know pop rocks? And how when they are in your mouth and feel crackly and interesting and fun? That’s what it feels like!


Why did you start Venturing?

I started Venturing because I wanted to go on beach trip with my best friend for a week. Beach + my best friends + a week = a must go in my book!


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

Well, I told you why I started, but I continued because of relationships I made. Time does not matter in scouting. I don’t see friends for two years but when we see each other again nothing has changed. Everything you do together as friends is important and nothing will change that. It is like a never ending flame of friendship!


What is your favorite memory of Venturing?

Well, I wrote an article on advancement, and it was actually inspired by my favorite memory. My crew was sitting around campfire and we were talking about what to eat in the woods. We were in a pine forest, so one of my friends cooked a pinecone and ate it. Somehow, they convinced us to eat pinecone too! We now have a Golden Pinecone award when we convince others to try something even if it isn’t delicious!


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

I am proud of the way my NYLT course stepped up to plate when there was a big storm. The staff worked hard because of situation and they worked hard because I asked and because they wanted to help me. I had the  best course ever. It was then that I realized leadership is a two way street. It was a wonderful moment.


What are some of your plans for Venturing this year?

I want to help flesh out communication within the VOA. I want the VOA to be visible in order to help and support areas and councils better. I also see books called “Legacies” being passed on to each new generation of VOA cabinets so they have foundations to stand on.


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

Improve communication! Without it, nothing else can improve. Communication is the foundation for everything therefore it is my biggest goal! As you say, “Comm comm comm, comm comm comm.”


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

Crews have varied life spans that fluctuate up and down. People change and communication lines can be broken as a result. However with diligent effort we will find new people to communicate with. With determination it shall be overcome!


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

In the future, I hope Venturing will be well known and visible program. Crews will have better life spans and Venturing will retain older scouts through their transition to adulthood. These older scouts will continue to improve the lives of youth in America.


What is your favorite event in the Summer Olympics?

Well, it is a strong tie between pole vault and equestrian. I love horses! But I have pole vaulted before too. Both are close to my heart!

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10 Questions With Amanda Hobgood

Greetings Sensational Southerners!Amanda Hobgood

We turn to the neighbors who are north east of us this interview! They have some of the best electronic resources for Venturing, and their upcoming president plans to continue to expand it! While our resources are smaller, we too work to bring Venturing to people wherever they are!

Amanda Hobgood

This week brings Amanda Hobgood, the upcoming Northeast Region President for 2015-2016. She is involved in many activities outside of scouting, but she brings her best to all of them! She has done some really cool activites, and plans to help brings her experiences to fill this year with even more adventure! Her interview was eye opening for me, so I definitely think you should give it a read!


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

Amanda Hobgood: It feels pretty fantastic! Kind of intimidating but I am also excited to make a difference at this level! I am up for the challenge!


Why did you start Venturing?

Well, I was in Girl Scouts and my brother, who is five years older, joined Venturing. I thought it was so cool! He went scuba diving at Sea Base and I wanted to do that! It seemed like a lot of fun and I could be a leader. I wouldn’t need to depend on adults as much and the high adventure was super exciting! I wanted to experience what my brother had done too!


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

I feel like Venturing offers the most opportunities. It has a gateway into leadership and the most opportunity to be youth led. Venturing also has a great variety. If you want to try something you can do it! Venturing can be personalized and you can add things like scuba diving and rock climbing to your experience. I think it is really cool!


What is your favorite memory of Venturing?

I have two! First, my superactivity held by my crew as I was an incoming freshmen was amazing! We went scuba diving in the Bahamas. We dove three to four time a days and baked cakes every night. I realized on this experience that this is really what Venturing could be and I wanted others to have that experience too. Second, NAYLE at Philmont opened my eyes about how leadership is supposed to be. The people I met were great too!


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

This is tough! When I got my Venturing Gold Award is my proudest moment. All of the goals were about self improvement and helping the community and also were about helping the program.


What are some of your plans for Venturing this year?

I want to see more giving and receiving in our communications through google hangouts with officers and I want to contact the areas more and constantly communicate with them. Encouraging areas to hold training events would be good too. The region is ready for a second event I think, so I want to work on that and as well as improve our current event. I want to help encourage training and advancement through videos. Encouraging officer orientations is another goal, and finally I want the region to consolidate resources so we know how can help us with what activity and where they are.


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

The videos for sure! I think it will also help people know where to find resources in their areas. They are easy to share as well, so I think they will help a lot of people.


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

I have a few in mind, but I know that I will be able to deal with them. I will say I had a hard time choosing my vice presidents because everyone was so qualified!


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

It will be a much bigger program. At the same time much tighter connections with more people will be forged. More people will know the program and more Venturers will be advancing. Trainings will be widely available and more people will be involved. I also see the current generation of Venturers becoming involved as adults to help mentor and nurture the next generation of youth.


Which music genre defines your life?

It is hard to choose a favorite, because I listen to Pandora Radio, but I would have to say alternative rock. It is very open and diverse. There is a song for every occasion. I love that. It is great!

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Ship 1000, the “Enterprise” Honored With 2015 National Flagship Award

Sea Scout Ship 1000The Boats Owners Association of the United States (BoatU.S.) and Sea Scouts, BSA recognize Sea Scout Ship 1000 the “Enterprise” of Rockwall, TX, Circle Ten Council and East Trinity Trails District as the recipient of the 2015 BoatU.S. and the Sea Scouts, BSA “National Flagship” Award. BoatU.S. created the award in 2002 to mark the 90th anniversary of Sea Scouting. It is presented in recognition of excellence in program quality, youth achievement, and adult commitment. It is because of these attributes, as reflected by the “Enterprise’s” exemplary program of seamanship and youth development, that we honor them with this award.

Heartfelt congratulations go to Ship 1000’s 2014 Boatswain Aaron Parks-Young, Ship Skipper Don Henry, and the dedicated crew and the many adult volunteers of the “Enterprise.” Sea Scout Ship 1000 the “Enterprise’s” name will be inscribed on a perpetual trophy at the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas. An identical trophy will be presented to the Ship at a gathering in the Circle Ten Council.

The “2015 National Flagship” award is not the first time this year that Ship 1000 has been in the BSA spotlight. Boatswain Aaron Parks-Young was named the 2014 Nation’s Top Scout in the Sea Scout Experience Advanced Leadership program (SEAL). Ship 1000 was also awarded the “2014 Texas Flagship.” The ship annually meets Journey to Excellence (JTE) “Gold” level. Ship 1000 proudly honors the Sea Scout Manual’s Welcome Aboard Message,

“The element of water makes Sea Scouts unique. Sea Scout units use a variety of boats, from outboard motorboats to large sailing yachts. Sea Scouts belong to a world that is distinct from anything on shore, and they have their own language and customs.”

Chartered by Dallas Sail and Power Squadron, Sea Scout Ship 1000 has a 2015 co-ed membership of 18 youth and 16 adults. The ship proudly calls two ports home. On Lake Ray Hubbard located east of Dallas TX, they slip and sail from both Chandlers Landing Marina in Rockwall, TX and Rush Creek Yacht Club in Heath, TX. Depending on the season and weather, youth sail a fleet of 16 vessels ranging from 14’ to 27’ and including 2 Lasers, 8 JY15s, 3 Catalina 22s, a Nickels Lightning, a Capri 25, a Catalina 25, or a Cal 2-27. Rush Creek Yacht Club Education Foundation (RCEF) also allows the ship use of an IC-24 in club and area races.

For its modest size, Ship 1000’s 2014 program was ambitious. Highlights include local and regional high adventure events including a scout-planned high adventure trip to Galveston, TX, a 5-day sailing camp partnering with a ship from a neighboring council, and piloting/navigation training culminating with a weekend cruise aboard SSS Point Glass. The Ship regularly travels to regional Sea Scout events such as Sea Scout Academy in Galveston, TX and The Minto Rendezvous at Bovay Scout Ranch. Ship 1000 participates in Dallas Race Week and weekly races at Rush Creek Yacht Club (RCYC.) Community service is integral and Ship 1000 logged more than 300 hours of community service in 2014 in activities including Scouting for Food to benefit Helping Hands, lake shore cleanup, RCYC and Chandlers Landing Marina maintenance and clean up and RCYC Race Committee. The ship provides flag ceremony detail for organizations and events including their chartering organization Dallas Sail and Power Squadron.

Among the Ship’s super activities, a five-day, youth planned High Adventure Trip to the Gulf Coast was attended by nine scouts and four leaders. This trip included visiting Battleship Texas, United States Coast Guard, touring Texas A&M Maritime Academy at Galveston, kayaking at Galveston Sea Base and Co-op charting with the United States Power Squadrons. For a second activity, six scouts and three leaders spent a weekend aboard SSS Point Glass, a restored United States Coast Guard cutter, where they piloted the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. Youth assumed piloting, navigation, and engineering roles while on board and met for three, four-hour training sessions prior to the event to develop coastal navigation and piloting skills necessary for a successful adventure.

“Reefed and Ready,” a five-day event focusing on small boat sailing and race skills has become an annual event between Ship 1225 of Longhorn Council and Ship 1000 of Circle Ten. This year it attracted over 20 Sea Scouts and a dozen adults at the Doolin Education Center at RCYC. For their fourth major event, ten scouts and five leaders attended the “Minto Rendezvous’ fleet event at Camp Bovay Scout Reservation near Navasota, Texas. The competition includes over 20 events focused on teamwork, training and preparation in a variety of nautical related events. Nineteen Sea Scout Ships competed in a traditional scout camporee format that tests skills required for sailing and advancement. Competitions include knot tying, line heaving, radio communication, first aid, uniform inspection, no-paddle canoe race, clove hitch on a tree and the Flotsam Flotilla Race. The “Enterprise” was especially proud to receive the “Minto Rendezvous Conduct Award.”

Ship 1000 holds regular unit and quarterdeck meetings in addition to advancement days where adults and youth work together on all levels of advancement. Members participate in monthly overnight cruises, Dallas Race Week, Regattas, and weekly club races. In addition to sailing, adult and youth members volunteer as race officials assisting with the intricacies of course plotting, mark setting, and race safety. To fund their activities youth and adults conduct a variety of activities including pancake breakfasts, yard sales, donated boat sales and camp card sales. Friends and advisors offer in-kind services and gifts such as scholarships to RCYC Summer Sailing Camp, motor repair, boat maintenance, slip and dry dock space, use of The Doolin Education Center and safety and chase boat usage at RCYC.

Youth and adult leaders are active scouts and scouters across a range of functions. Adult members fill roles such as Advisor and Associate Advisors to the Council Venturing Officer’s Association (VOA,) Chairman for East Trinity Trails District and Lifeguard Instructors on the Council Aquatics Committee. Scouts serve on the Council VOA, staffing summer camp and the Council NYLT courses. Additionally one scout served as a Vice President of the National VOA.

Ship 1000 proudly shares in and contributes to the excellence of Sea Scouting as noted in the Sea Scout Manual.

“Outings on a boat offer new destinations in the morning and the changing scenery of a new harbor by evening. Every event is an adventure.”

To see Ship 1000’s summary of 2014 activities visit

The 2015 National Flagship Fleet was selected and wishes to recognize the following Sea Scout Ships for their outstanding programs for this past year:


  • Dragonlady Ship 1942, National Capital Area Council, Arlington, Virginia
  • Response Ship 911, Capitol Area Council, Austin, Texas
  • Runners Ship 212, National Capital Area Council, Bethesda, Maryland

Congratulations to each of these ships for their great programs in the past. We look forward to their continued involvement with the Sea Scout program around the country.



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10 Questions With Pratik Vaidya

Greetings Sensational Southerners!Pratik Vaidya

For this interview we turn to the Western Region, where they have a rocking program! Frequently they post about different activities that are held in the region. It is definitely an area in our Southern Venturing program we want to emulate! Who is next in the series??

Pratik Vaidya

This week brings you Pratik Vaidya, the upcoming Western Region President for 2015-2016. He is passionate about bringing Venturing to others. He loves having fun, but he also has a “git-er-done” side, which the South can definitely appreciate! Enjoy the interview with him, I know I did!

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

Pratik Vaidya: I’m really excited and honored to be given such an important responsibility! I’ve loved every moment of my involvement with Venturing so far, and can’t wait to continue making a difference to the Venturing program across the region. It’s been an exciting trek for the Venturing program, and I look forward to contributing to its journey!

Why did you start Venturing?

I started Venturing after hearing about it at my council’s NYLT as a participant. I had been involved in Scouting as a Boy Scout for several years, but jumped at the opportunity be involved in a program that allowed me to lead high adventure activities and explore lots of different interests while making friends. I loved the program when I joined, and can’t even imagine looking back!

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

I honestly continue being extremely involved in the Venturing program for the exact same reasons that I joined! It’s the only program that’s given me skills that will help throughout my life while having a blast! I’ve been able to go snowmobiling, rock climbing, shooting, overnight cycling, backpacking, and beach camping – all over the course of a year – thanks to the Venturing program. I’m amazed by the difference it’s made to me and enjoy passing the experience on to others!

What is your favorite memory of Venturing?

It’s almost impossible to pick a favorite memory! I’ve been fortunate to try many different things that have been amazing in their own ways. One of my top two experiences is my crew’s last backpacking trip to the Olympic Coast in Washington State. Everything from the morning breakfast, hikes on the beach, and splashing in the ocean to leading ILSC and building campfires are impossible to forget. The other great memory is leading the co-ed Venturing week of NYLT as the Senior Patrol Leader/Course Leader. The amount of knowledge you gain, friends you make, and fun you’ll have in a single week is mind-blowing. I won’t ruin any of the surprises, but I’d highly recommend you attend if you haven’t already!

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

I’m really proud of some of the past events I’ve been involved with. Whether it was our council’s Venturing Winter Challenge or the San Diego Beach Blowout that took place just a few weeks ago, it’s always rewarding to see Venturers from all over the place meet and make memories that will last their lifetimes and sometimes even discover a newfound meaning of the Venturing program. I’m also proud of Venturers and crews I’ve been able to support through training events, social media promotion, and providing advice.

What are some of your plans for Venturing this year?

I’m really excited to work with our areas to really utilize the new Venturing program update to help promote Venturing around the region. This will take form by working with each of the areas to make sure they have a full cabinet, have the support needed to start at least one council VOA, and are able to host a successful event in their area. Announcements about an awesome and unique region event will be released in the next few months!

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

I will really be focusing on providing the Areas with the resources and support they need to promote Venturing in their respective councils. This will entail working to form new Council VOAs and also providing support to existing Council VOAs.

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

I believe there will always be road bumps in any new endeavor. That being said, I plan on taking advantage of the wonderful support structure and turning the road bumps into success stories. We have a wonderful region cabinet in place and I know we’ll be able to do great things. A quote by Mickey Rooney is one that I look to motivate me sometimes. He says, “You always pass failure on your way to success.”

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

I really hope Venturing will continue to grow in it’s own identity as a program that allows youth to discover individual interests and passions while socializing and learning life-long skills. I would love to see Venturing crews interacting with one another to plan exciting events and engaging training. I see Venturing as a program that’s interwoven in the lives of youth across the country who take advantage of the flexibility Venturing has to offer.

And finally, If you could feast on two foods for the rest of your life and not worry about bad health, what would they be?

No meal would be complete without cheesecake (any type!) and I also love mangoes! So those two would be my choices!

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10 Questions With Brian Parro

Greetings Sensational Southerners!11082661_10203837821968361_674254917177707108_n

As promised, here is the next interview! Even in the South with our awesome (and still growing!) program, it is important for us to look outside our region and see what others are doing so we continue to have a great program! Any guesses about who is going to be next in this interview series?

Brian Parro

This week brings you Brian Parro, the upcoming Central Region President for 2015-2016. He loves having fun, which is obvious in the way he talks to people. He is incredibly passionate about helping others, as you will read about soon! Enjoy the interview with him, I know I did!


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

Brian Parro: It feels really good! I am excited and humbled that I was chosen to lead the Central Region this upcoming year as President! I am ready to start working on different initiatives, and I feel like it is a good year to do something meaningful!


Why did you start Venturing?

Well a couple of years ago the opportunity just presented itself! I was at a village board meeting with my scoutmaster and some friends when we began to talk about out desire to do more in scouting and the world. Someone brought up Venturing and I jumped on it! But I truly wanted to get and give more out of my scouting experience. It’s a good thing too, I haven’t looked back once!


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

I believe strongly in the Venturing Program, the Boy Scouts of America, and the BSA mission. It is an amazing program that changes the lives of the people in the program. We enter as youth, but through the pillars of Venturing, we leave as people ready to change the world.


What is your favorite memory of Venturing?

My favorite memory is when I went whitewater rafting down the Snake river in Jackson hole, Wyoming. I was with a lot of friends and it was a really good experience braving my first class five rapid. I was also flipped out of the raft! I enjoyed every moment though.


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

I think starting my Venturing crew is my proudest moment in Venturing. I started as the president of Crew 75. As a crew we started as a Boy Scouts and a few others, but we have grown as a crew and as friends together.


What are some of your plans for Venturing this year?

Some goals of mine include launching a Central Region fun event and an officer’s orientation for the Central Region. I want to work closely with my cabinet and others to start new VOAs within councils as well at sustain, grow, and strengthen existing VOAs. More details will come soon!


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

Just one? You ask the tough questions! I would have to say the Central Regions fun event. It will be big, fun, awesome, and I am excited to see how the Central Region team shapes it and turns it into something amazing!


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

Well I am not anticipating any specific road bumps. I am anticipating them in general however I know the Central Region will deal with them as they come and we will be stronger because of them.


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

I hope to see Venturing as an ever growing program that everyone knows about. People across America will want to be a part of Venturing because they know it is a place to have fun, learn and grow into the future leaders of the world.


And for your last question, where do you do not mind waiting? It can’t be scouting related!

Starbucks. I LOVE Starbucks! I can talk about it for hours. I am gold card member. It is special to me because each one has a unique atmosphere, and the coffee is great! They make great coffee!

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10 Questions With 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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