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Building Legacies: Collegiate Crews

  Morgan Johnson             Officer Outlook

Building Legacies: Collegiate Crews

As Scouts, our journey doesn't end when we graduate high school. For many college becomes the next chapter in life's adventure. But what about Scouting? How do we continue the legacy of service, leadership, and fellowship beyond our teenage years?

Enter collegiate Venturing crews – a unique blend of Scouting principles tailored for college students. These crews, like the ones springing up across the country, provide a bridge between the Scouting world and university life. Jake Stalb, a freshman at the University of Tulsa and a Brotherhood member of Ta Tsu Hwa Lodge, spoke about his experience spearheading the establishment of a collegiate Venturing crew at his university.

Jake shared his insights into the process of starting a collegiate Venturing crew and the challenges encountered along the way. "Collegiate Venturing differs from traditional Scouting," Jake explained. "It removes barriers between youth and adult leadership, focusing more on fun activities and leadership development than rank advancements."

Jake leading a training session with his Venturing crew.
Jake Leading a Training Session With His Venturing Crew.

Having been involved in Venturing since the age of fifteen, Jake brought valuable experience to the table. "I served in leadership positions in Crew 26 out of Tulsa, Oklahoma before attending the University of Tulsa," he said. "So when I was approached by our local district executive about the idea of creating a collegiate Venturing crew, I was eager to take on the challenge."

Starting a collegiate Venturing crew isn't without its challenges, Jake admitted. "Communication and recruitment are key," he said. "Getting former Scouts involved can be tough, but we've found success through university partnerships and activity fairs."

Despite the challenges, Jake's crew is making strides. With over thirty-five members, including former Scouts and newcomers alike, they're gearing up for their first social event this summer. "We're focusing on outdoor skills and leadership development," Jake said. "It's about building a community where college students can continue to grow and serve."

One of the significant aspects of their success has been the support from the University of Tulsa. "The university itself has been really receptive to the idea," Jake mentioned. "We've talked about scholarship opportunities for members involved, who put in a certain number of service hours, and scholarships for former Eagle Scouts. All of it is just to incentivize retention of former scouts and the reception of new members."

Recruiting at a college level posed its own set of challenges, but Jake and his team found success through activity fairs and outreach efforts. "Activity fairs are crucial. Once a semester, the university holds an activity fair, and thousands of people come through at a time. We got the opportunity to present at the spring activity fair and got an additional thirty-five sign-ups," Jake shared.

As they move forward, Jake emphasizes the importance of service and leadership. "Every student will come in, regardless of Scouting experience, and they'll be fully trained as adult leaders within the Boy Scouts of America. Then they will be outsourced to other units that need help," he explained. "Encouraging the ideals of Scouting to carry into things other than just university life is crucial to our program."

For Jake and his fellow Arrowmen, the journey is just beginning. "Despite the challenges, collegiate Venturing is about building something meaningful," Jake reflected. "It's about leaving a legacy that future generations of Scouts can carry on."
As we celebrate the legacy of Scouting, let's remember that the adventure doesn't end with high school. Through collegiate Venturing, Arrowmen can continue to make a difference in their communities and build bonds that last a lifetime.