Venturing Tips from the Trenches

Tips from the Trenches

Often the most useful tools are the ones developed by the people that use them with their own hands.  In this section I've gathered various documents, outlines, histories, ideas, and other tools developed by Venturing Leaders for use in their roles as Advisors, Commissioners, Trainers, Recruiters, and/or Administrators.  If you have a 'Tip' to share, please contact Craig Murray at

Commissioner College Doctoral Work on Venturing Topics

These theses show the contributions made by a few scouters with the hopes of inspiring others to tackle some legitimate "problem/challenge statements" that can be worked on through either individually or collectively.


Working Smart:  Conservation Awards by Craig Murray
If you are interested in conservation, this paper will provide you with scout awards that work well in combination with each other.

Not in the Handbook by Craig Murray
This is a series of articles providing information on awards outside of Venturing and their relationship with Venturing.  Amy DeFrancesco, 2005-06 National Venturing President, benefited from hard work in these areas to receive a scholarship to the university of her choice.

Those First Hikes! (PDF) by Craig Murray
I wrote this one pager a number of years ago but I thought is was worth sharing because of an article in the Los Angeles Times entitled "Death on the trail" which was about scouts that died while hiking.

5-Step Plan to Grow Venturing from Bill Evans
When Bill was still involved in Venturing, he passed these files to me.

Planning A Successful High Adventure Trek (PPT) by Coop Wright
This PowerPoint presentation is a briefing about how to guide Crews so that they set challenging but realistic goals.

Working with Teenagers (PPS) by Coop Wright
The PowerPoint presentation provides insight into how you can begin the planning process now that you have been trained.

Venturing Basics (PDF) by Ken Bower
Do you know Scouters confused by all the "V-words" (Venture, Venturing, and Varsity)?  This one page document briefly explains the differences between the programs and is a good tool to share with the general adult Scouter population.  This is knowledge that everyone who's been through New Leader Essentials should learn, yet few seem to remember well.

Strategies for Retaining Older Boy Scouts (PDF) by Ken Bower
A one page brief outline of methods to keep boys in Scouting as they age with the use of the Venture and Venturing programs.  Any troop which does not effectively retain its high-school-aged members should know about these methods.

Venturing and Unit Service (PDF) by Ken Bower
This one-pager is essentially a list of speaking points for presenting about Venturing to Commissioners, Professional Scouters, and District and Council level volunteers.  It identifies specific challenges and opportunities Venturing presents, and gives the audience specific recommendations of actions to take.

Recruitment (PDF) by Rob Marks
Rob, a Venturer, wrote this insiteful recruitment essay for the 2008 Philmont International Trek essay contest.  It offers a great perspective on why and how young adults joining Venturing.

Lessons Learned for Venturing Crews (PDF) by Jamie Soetaert
This is a shared article from Jim Winters' Venturing Magazine.  In the article, Jamie shares some lessons that her Crew learned in their three years of existence.

Scouter Jim Ganley shares the secret to a successful Venturing Crew
This was a Scouting magazine article from 2015.  (Notice that Jim is wearing "Venturing" square knots that he obtained from me.)