Boy Scouts of America Founds the 'Venturing' Program
Venturing is part of the program of the Boy Scouts of America for young adults, men and women, from the age of 14 years old or 13 years old and completed eighth grade through 21.
Its purpose is to provide positive experiences to help youth mature and to prepare them to become responsible adults. Sea Scouting is the nautical oriented organizational option within Venturing.
The Venturing program has a long history within the BSA. The program got its start in the 1930s as the "Senior Scout" Division for boys 15 and older. The Senior Scout programs included the Sea Scouts, Air Scouts, Explorer Scouts, Rover Scouts and a few others. Explorer Scouts focused on advanced camping and worked on advancement leading to the Ranger Award. Sea Scouts and Air Scouts were nautical and aviation focused programs, respectively.
In 1949, the Senior Scout Division became the Explorer Division. Sea Scouts became Sea Explorers, Air Scouts became Air Explorers, and Explorer Scouts became just Explorers. The Explorer program became less of an advanced outdoor program, and more a broader program for young men, with the minimum age lowered to 14 years old. Explorers got a new advancement program leading to the Silver Award.
In 1959, the Explorer Program was renamed the Exploring program. Explorer advancement was dropped. In 1964, the Air Explorer program was eliminated, and the Sea Explorer program had changes made. The program was further changed to be more appealing to older youth, with career exploration becoming a bigger part of the program.
In 1969, the BSA allowed young women ages 14–20 to join special-interest Explorer posts, which caused many posts to be become co-ed. The continuing focus on career exploration was expanded to a major emphasis, and as the years progressed, Exploring focused more on career exploration posts, though outdoor and sports-oriented Posts still existed and thrived as well.
In the early 1980s, posts that primarily consisted of seminars at high school with guest speakers were designated as Career Awareness Explorer posts. This particular facet of Exploring was the fastest growing segment of Exploring and the BSA during the 1980s. In 1991, these posts were realigned into the new Learning for Life subsidiary, and the posts were then designated as High School Career Awareness groups and the youth were no longer considered to be Explorers.
In 1998, the Exploring program was completely reorganized and split into two program categories. All the career-oriented posts were moved to Learning for Life under the name Exploring, while the rest (including outdoor-oriented posts) became the new Venturing program.
As a Venturer, I believe that America's strength lies in our trust in God and in the courage, strength, and traditions of our people. I will, therefore, be faithful in my religious duties and will maintain a personal sense of honor in my own life. I will treasure my American heritage and will do all I can to preserve and enrich it. I will recognize the dignity and worth of all humanity and will use fair play and goodwill in my daily life. I will acquire the Venturing attitude that seeks truth in all things and adventure on the frontiers of our changing world.”— Venturing Code
Venturing was officially created by the Boy Scouts of America's executive board on February 9, 1998.
In 1995, the Outdoor Exploring Committee chaired by Dr. Dick Miller of Waynesboro, Virginia, met in Long Key, Florida. The primary purpose of the meeting was to address the issue of how to support and sustain the amazing growth that outdoor Exploring was enjoying. During a five-year period in the early 1990s, outdoor Exploring had grown 94 percent to almost 100,000 members. When the committee would come up with an idea, it would sound familiar. Then they would refer to a 1950 edition of the Exploring Handbook and find their idea had already been applied years ago. So, if you are a history buff and have an early edition of the Exploring Handbook, you can see the many similarities between the early days of Exploring and today's Venturing.