TrainingProgramsUniversity of ScoutingUoS Venturing and Sea Scouting Program





Course Descriptions—Venturing Bachelor’s (100) Level
VSP 101A/CED 220
Here’s Venturing
Introduction to the mission of Venturing, its aims & methods, and unique place in the Boy Scouts of America.  Youth-led aspects of the program are emphasized, including District and Council Venturing Officers’ Associations.  This course is valuable for all Scouters who wish to learn more about the Venturing program. 
VSP 102
Venturing Leadership and Organization (2 sessions)
Detailed overview of Venturing’s organizational structure and the roles of youth and adult leadership positions.  The focus is on Crew-level organization, including the role of the Chartered Organization and how to select and retain adult leaders.  
VSP 106
Venturing Youth Leadership Development
Provides a basic understanding of the characteristics of Venturing-age youth.  Explains the components of an effective Youth Leadership Development Program and the critical role of the Crew Advisor/Skipper in youth leadership development.  Describes youth leadership training programs (including Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews) and opportunities at the unit, council, regional, and national levels.
VSP 107
Crew Program Planning (2 sessions)
The essential knowledge for adults serving as mentors for youth during the annual Crew Advisors or mentors to youth activity chairs.  Topics covered include Advisor responsibilities, recognition in the Venturing program (with an emphasis on the new awards program), and how to plan the Crew’s annual program. 
VSP 110
Venturing Leaders’ Panel
A directed Q&A with youth and adult Venturing leaders in the Council.  Youth members of the Venturing Officers’ Association and experienced Venturing Advisors will share helpful tips and best practices.  Questions from the audience are welcome and discussion is encouraged.  Adults who are new to Venturing, or who are interested in learning more about the Venturing program, are encouraged to attend.

Course Descriptions—Sea Scouting Bachelor’s (100) Level
SSP 101/CED 160 (formerly VSP 322)
Here’s Sea Scouting
Introduction to the mission of Sea Scouting, its aims & methods, and unique place in the Boy Scouts of America.  Youth-led aspects of the program are emphasized, including Flotilla activities and the trail to Quartermaster.  This course is valuable for all Scouters who wish to learn more about the Sea Scouting program. 
SSP 102 (formerly VSP 109)
Leading a Sea Scout Ship (3 sessions)
The essential knowledge for adults serving as Skippers, Mates, or Committee Members aboard Sea Scout Ships.  It is intended primarily to enhance individual knowledge of and connectivity with the program of and resources for Sea Scout Ships.  Topics covered include a brief history of Sea Scouting, advancement, administration of a Ship and its program, recruiting & marketing, and youth leadership. 
SSP 103
Sea Scouting Leaders’ Panel
A directed Q&A with youth and adult Sea Scout leaders in the Council.  Boatswains from several Ships and experienced Sea Scout Skippers will share helpful tips and best practices.  Questions from the audience are welcome and discussion is encouraged.  Adults who are new to Sea Scouting, or who are interested in learning more about the Sea Scouting program, are encouraged to attend.
SSP 104
Where Sea Scouts Go
Instead of going to camp for a weekend trip or a week of summer camp, Sea Scout Ships take cruises, long and short.  Cruises provide youth an opportunity to apply skills they have learned and demonstrate their leadership.  Program ideas for weekend outings and Long Cruise programs will be discussed.
SSP 105
What Sea Scouting Costs
Each Scouting program has its own unique costs.  This will provide an overview of the costs involved in running an active Sea Scout Ship, including an in-depth discussion of the cost of maintaining a boat and operating a year-round sailing program.
SSP 106
Course to Quartermaster - NEW for 2018!
The Quartermaster Rank is the highest rank in Sea Scouting.  The Course, like the Eagle Trail, is a highlight experience but requires the Sea Scout to set his or her own goals and follow through to achievement.  The requirements for advancements were designed by Sea Scout youth to establish standards of performance for all Sea Scouts in maritime and nautical knowledge and practices.

Course Descriptions—Venturing Master’s (300) Level
VSP 316
Conducting Leadership Skills for Crews
Conducted at the Crew level, Leadership Skills for Crews (LSC) is the first step in the training continuum for Venturing youth leaders.  Ideally, the course is run annually for the Crew by senior youth who have previously taken the course, although in Crews with less experience it is often run by the adult Advisors.  This class will educate Venturing leaders on how to implement the syllabus and establish youth-led training as an integral part of the Crew’s annual program.
VSP 320/CED 224
Social Media: Effective Use and Guidelines
Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr…) are very popular among today’s youth and are a very powerful means of communication.  The purpose of this class is two-fold: to give crew advisors background on how to tap into social media as a resource for engaging with the youth in their crews, and to inform them of how to do so in a responsible way.  BSA policies regarding social media, online safety, and youth protection will be emphasized. 
VSP 323
Recruiting for Venturing
Successful recruiting is critical for maintaining a healthy and active Crew.  There are plenty of youth in the Baltimore area who are of Venturing age and who are just waiting to be asked to join in the adventure!  Learn tools of the trade and best practices from experienced Crew Advisors.
VSP 324
Incorporating Advancement into Your Crew’s Program
Most Crews don’t think about advancement as a regular pat of their program, but advancement is important to recognize achievement.  An experiences Venturing Advisor will discuss ideas for how to incorporate advancement into your Crew’s regular program.
VSP 325
Navigating the Summit Award Process
This session focuses on requirements for the Summit Award in general, and the Summit Project in particular.  Crew Advisors and adult mentors for Summit Award candidates will gain the background knowledge to be able to guide youth through the process of achieving Venturing’s highest distinction.  Emphasis will be places on selecting and executing the Summit Award Project.
VSP 326
Service Opportunities in Venturing
Service is an important component of all Scouting programs and an excellent opportunity for youth to develop their leadership skills.  Regular service opportunities are especially important now that a large-scale service project is required for the Summit Award.  This session will focus on service opportunities that are available for Venturers of all abilities and how integrate service as part of your Crew’s regular program.
VSP 327A
Mentoring in Venturing
The Venturing program has its own challenges when it comes to advising and mentoring youth.  Working with teenagers in a co-ed environment can be difficult, yet rewarding.  As adult leaders it can be hard to navigate when to step in and when to step back. I n this session you will learn effective techniques for how to mentor the youth in your crew.

Course Descriptions—Sea Scouting Master’s (300) Level
SSP 301
How a Sea Scout Ship Can Support My Troop
Sea Scouting may be the best-kept secret in the Boy Scouts of America.  With the long history of sailing the Chesapeake Bay, Sea Scouting has amazing potential to be a hallmark program in the Baltimore Area Council.  Leaders in all Scouting programs are encouraged to attend to learn about what Sea Scouting is and how it complements other older-Scout programs. 
SSP 302
Organizing a New Sea Scout Ship
Organizing a new Sea Scout Ship can be a daunting task.  Learn about the basic types of Ships, what is required to get a new unit off the ground, and how to build the program in the Ship’s first 100 days.
SSP 304
Landship Ceremonies
Landship is a traditional Sea Scouting ceremony of boarding a ship—inside your regular meeting room!  Learn about the tradition behind the landship ceremony and how to conduct the ceremony.
SSP 305
Planning a Long Cruise
This session focuses in-depth on the process for planning a Ship’s long cruise, including possible destinations, budget, food, and teaming with other Ships.
SSP 306
Introduction to Sailing (2 sessions)
Learn the basic mechanics of sailing a boat on open water.  This session is will provide Scouters with the fundamentals of how to sail what sailing opportunities exist in the area.
SSP 307
Sea Badge Intro - NEW for 2018!
Sea Badge is the advanced adult training after Sea Scout Adult Leader Basic Training.  It is designed to prepare adults to lead and manage a Sea Scout ship.  The training is more than just an intense preparation.  It includes completing a Rutter to better work with the youth and promote a strong Sea Scout program

VSP 199
Bachelor’s in Venturing/Sea Scouting Leadership (for Youth)
(7 sessions)
Facilitated by officers and members of the Council Venturing Officers’ Association, the Bachelor’s in Venturing/Sea Scouting Leadership is the first formal opportunity for youth to participate in the University of Scouting program.  Participants spend the whole day together in their own unique sequence of classes emphasizing skills to help them be better Venturing Crew or Sea Scout Ship officers, members, and leaders. 
Highlights from the curriculum are:
How to plan a program at the crew and district levels, including how to choose a program, identifying and implementing a theme, selecting a location and managing logistics, basic budgeting, and promotion.  Practical exercises with guided feedback are a key component of these segments.
  • The Venturing Officer’s Association, including opportunities for involvement at the district, council, area, regional, and national levels.
  • How to run effective Crew meetings.
  • The Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews/Ships course and how to successfully implement it in your Crew/Ship.

VSP 399
Master’s in Venturing/Sea Scouting Leadership (for Youth)
(3 sessions)
For youth who have completed the Bachelor’s in Venturing/Sea Scouting Leadership the Master’s in Venturing/Sea Scouting Leadership offers advanced curriculum to enable them to support their Crews’/Ships’ programs.  The focus is on preparation for the Pathfinder and Summit awards.  Topics covered include Crew/Ship administration, advanced training, the Summit/Quartermaster Project, and how to conduct Boards of Review.  This course is facilitated by officers and members of the Council Venturing Officers’ Association.
To complete the master’s degree, youth taking this track must choose four additional courses (in sessions 4-7) to complete their day.  VSP 326, 327, 320, and 323 are recommended for Venturers and SSP 304, 305, 104, and 105 for Sea Scouts, although participants may choose other courses during sessions 4-7 that fit their particular interests with the approval of their Crew Advisor/Skipper.
Venturing/Sea Scouting youth age 18 or older may also take this track without having completed the youth bachelor’s track, but they will only qualify for a bachelor’s degree.


This page updated 12/4/2017