The Venturing Phenomenon: from caving to life-size video games, there always plenty to explore

Members of the BSA’s Venturing program get to do a lot of different things.

Some activities like tomahawk throwing, shooting sports and fly-fishing teach Scouting skills.

Others, like a life-size Angry Birds game, are just for fun.

The Venturing Phenomenon event held last year at Virginia’s Camp William B. Snyder showcased just how diverse the Venturing program can be. It was a weekend lain-packed with activities that were birth practical and fun.

Tight Squeeze

To get the feel of caving, guests tried their hands at the caving squeeze box, a contraption designed to give you the claustrophobic feel often experienced in caving.

To emphasize the importance of not drinking alcohol or doing drugs. there was a device that simulated the effects of driving under the influence.

“The Venturing Phenomenon highlighted how different Venturing can be.” says 17-year-old Matt Culpepper of Crew 1018 in Herndon, Va. “It’s designed for older kids to hang out with other kids their age, to have fun and go to new places and do new things.”

Angry Birds

National Capital Area Council Venturing youth president. Gerry Souser, 17, whose Crew 4522 of Annandale, Va., helped organize the event, says he enjoyed having so many options when it came to having fun.

I saw how massive Venturing is,” Gerry says. “Some people think it’s only backpacking–but it’s more than that. The sky is the limit for Venturing, and the Venturing Phenomenon was way to show that.

One of the most popular activities of the weekend was the Angry Birds game.

“The smaller birds were tennis balls and large birds were dodge balls, footballs or boomerangs,” Gerry says. “We used a water-balloon launcher to shoot them at structures made out of cardboard boxes. It was one of those things that you’d never think you’d be able to do.”


The Boy Scouts of America Venturing program is open to boys and girls who are 13 and have completed the eighth grade or are 14 to 20 years old. Because the focus is on developing leadership skills by doing things you already enjoy, crews can specialize in anything from rock climbing to fencing.

“It’s a great program, and there are endless possibilities of stuff you can do,” says 18-year-old Paul Johnston Jr. of Crew 135 in Smyrna, Del. “You set your goals, and your activities are whatever you want to do.”


Make plans for the Northeast Region Area 6 Venturing Phenomenon 2013, a Western-themed event co-hosted by the Area 6 Venturing Officers’ Association (VOA) and the Mason-Dixon Council VOA. The event is scheduled for April 26-28 at Camp Sinoquipe in Fort Littleton, Pa.

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