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VENTURING
The three programs came older Boy Scouts. They hit

together under the Exploring on the idea of using sports
CHANGE: THE
THOUGH VENTURING IS THE
banner in 1949, and the BSA terminology to make their
BSA’s youngest program, it
ONLY CONSTANT
dropped its advancement program of high adventure,
boasts a pedigree dating back
TODAY’S BOY SCOUTS MUST
plan a decade later. During sports, and service more
to 1912—when Sea Scouts
earn 21 merit badges (among
the 1960s, Exploring began to appealing to their target audi-
first set sail in Massachusetts.
other things) to earn the
address six experience areas: ence: boys ages 14 through 17.
Sea Scouting was joined
Eagle Scout Award. That
citizenship, service, social, The patrol became the squad;
by a land-based alternative,
number has rarely changed,
vocational, outdoor, and per- the troop became the team;
Explorer Scouts, in 1935 and
but the assortment of
sonal fitness. and the Scoutmaster became
by Air Scouts in 1942. Each
required badges has changed
Exploring gradually the coach.
program featured its own
frequently. Some highlights:
developed a split personality, A cousin to Boy Scouting,
uniform and advancement
 The first list of 11
with some posts focusing on Varsity Scouting shares the
plan.
required badges appeared
high-adventure activities and Scout Oath and Law and
in 1914. It included the
others focusing on career adds the Varsity Scout Pledge.
familiar (Camping, First
exploration. As a result, the Varsity Scouts work toward
Aid, Lifesaving) and the
BSA divided Exploring in two Boy Scout advancement, but
surprising (Bird Study,
in 1998. Career-oriented posts they also can earn Varsity
Pathfinding, Public
kept the Exploring name and Scout letters (much like the
Health).
became part of Learning for letters worn by high school
 From 1952-1965, Scouts
Life (a BSA subsidiary orga- athletes) and activity pins for
had to earn 10 required
nization launched in 1991 to sports and high-adventure
badges plus one from
oversee in-school programs). activities.
the conservation group,
Everything else, including Sea Varsity Scouts are expected
three from the citizen-
Scouting, became part of the to schedule high-adventure
ship group, one from the
new Venturing program. or sports activities, conduct
outdoor-sports group,
regular service projects, take
VARSITY
and one from either the
part in events with national
animal husbandry, plant
units or neighboring teams,
SCOUTING
cultivation, building,
including those involving girls
communications, or trans-
VARSITY SCOUTING launched
of similar age, and focus on
portation group.
in 1984, but the idea dates
character development within
 In 1972, the BSA dropped
back to the mid-1970s
the framework of their per-
Camping and Cooking
when Scouting leaders in
sonal and religious beliefs.
from the required list
the Church of Jesus Christ
The Denali Award, created
and added alternatives to
of Latter-day Saints began
in 2001, offers a goal beyond
Swimming and Lifesaving.
searching for ways to retain
the Varsity Scout letter.
It also increased the
1942-45 1943 1948 1949 1950
1950 1952
The government requests 69 James E. West retires as The first American Membership ages are 1950 The BSA establishes
The U.S. Post Office Membership
war-related projects of the Chief Scout Executive. Wood Badge course is lowered to 8 for Cub the Philmont Training
Department issues the in the BSA
BSA. Scouts collect 210,000 run at the Schiff Scout Scouts, 11 for Boy Scouts, Center to train adult
first American Boy Scout tops 3 million.
tons of scrap metal, 590,000 Reservation. Thirty and 14 for Explorers. Scout leaders.
stamp. The 3-cent stamp
tons of waste paper, and enough men from 12 states
shows three Scouts, the
milkweed floss to make nearly 2 participate.
Statue of Liberty, and the
million lifejackets.
Scout badge.
35
Programs.indd 34 11/19/09 12:24 PM
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