Daegu teens discover new highs through Venturing
USAG DAEGU – Boy Scout Founder Sir Robert Baden Powell once said “Life without adventure would be deadly dull.” This quote has significant meaning to teens with time on their hands and no way to expend excess energy.
There’s no question that young adults throughout the USAG Daegu and Area IV community face a unique set of challenges. Few parents would argue that part-time employment, obtaining a driver’s license and staying engaged in meaningful activities year-long top the list. As many youngsters struggle to fill their time, some others may be deciding which activities to give up to avoid extracurricular burnout – extracurricular activities being the vehicle to an improved college resume. Parents face similar dilemmas as they consider ways to detach their teens from the electronic devices that tend to keep kids indoors—offering little physical, educational or social takeaway.
What many parents may not know is there is an organization in USAG Daegu that offers a 360-degree approach to keeping young adults actively engaged in leadership, sports, outdoor training, high adventure activities, mentoring, community service, personal development and preparation in life skills. It’s the Scout Law and the organization is “Venturing.” Venturing is a co-ed organization under the Boy Scouts of America, designed for older boys and girls ages 14-20, and geared toward their needs as young adults.
This organization establishes a strong ethical foundation that is policed by the members themselves. In short, they hold each other accountable for their behavior. It’s not a new code of ethics, and it’s one we’ve likely heard of at one time or another. It goes “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”
Many youths join Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts at a young age but drift away from it as they reach their teens. Sometimes its peer pressure or the need to socialize in mixed groups with boys and girls closer to their own age. Occasionally, older kids shy away from joining as teens because they believe they’ve missed the boat by not joining as a pre-teen. Others may simply say it’s not cool to be a Scout. Most colleges disagree. Participating in Scouts not only creates a positive impact on your application submissions, but adds clout to scholarship packages and offers life experiences that read well into the essays. Scouting immediately sends a message that the individual has skills in planning, organization and leadership. Venturing in particular offers young adults a multitude of leadership opportunities because it’s Crew led. They elect their key positions, plan and budget their activities, and even board each other for advancement and awards. Male and female adults oversee the program to ensure safety and compliance, guiding them along the rails without actually driving the train.
Crew member Ethan Ancil reflected on his time in Venturing as an opportunity to grow and visit places he’d otherwise never dream of. He said, “The best part of being in the Crew is being able to practice leadership and wilderness skills, and it gives me new opportunities to explore the world.” Ancil was one of four Daegu teens who attended a weeklong camp in Mongolia last August.
In Daegu, Venture Crew 73 boasts the title “Asia West Crew of the Year” for 2013 and 2014, and has repeatedly achieved Journey to Excellence Gold status for exceeding standards. They’ve hiked their way through Korea, Nepal and Mongolia, participated in Habitat For Humanity, camped the shores of Okinawa and Jeju, climbed the highest peak in South Korea and slept in shelters they built themselves. They’re community conscious, self-sufficient, motivated and always racing full-speed into their next adventure.
There’s no doubt that Powell would be proud to know the word “Dull” is not in the Venture Crew’s. “It’s an amazing experience unlike anything I’ve ever done. They’ve helped me develop basic wilderness and life skills like building a fire, emergency preparedness, and first aid. I’ve also learned time management and commitment. It’s an opportunity for me to get out of the house, socialize with other people and make friends; even meeting kids from Humphreys and Seoul,” remarked Crew member Adam Alexander. “It’s great – I never leave my adventure in the car.”
For more information about Venture Crew 73, stop by Bldg. 1705 on Camp Henry, Sundays at 1600 or call 010-4855-4516.