Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wish List

This is going to be another one of those blog posts lamenting the apparent fact that everyone ignores Venturing. But I'll try not to be so negative.

The BSA has a supply website ( where you can buy all kinds of Scouting related items from uniforms and patches, to camping gear, to craft projects. While they have a few things specifically for Venturing, they don't have most of the really cool stuff.

Take tee-shirts, for example. Tee-shirt design changes periodically, but there are usually quite a few different options for Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. I think I've only ever seen two for Venturing and neither one had a design that anyone in their right mind would want to wear.

They have recently introduced a great new line of tee-shirts called TrekTek. They are ultra-lightweight polyester, perfect for hot summer days or high adventure activities that Venturers are supposed to do. But they're only available in Boy Scout colors (khaki, olive, and black), not Venturing colors (green, grey).

They also have a really cool cycling/soccer style jersey. I wish they had a Venturing version of that, too.

The uniforms are a really interesting case. Of course, a Venturing crew's official uniform is optional and is determined by the crew. It can be as simple as a tee-shirt with the Venturing logo, or the "recommended" green BSA shirt with charcoal grey pants. Most professional scouters I've met choose to wear the Venturing uniform because it is just plain cool. But some of it just has me scratching my head. The first pair of pants I bought were really odd, but it looks like they're phasing those out. Then they came out with the Switchback pants, which are nice (except for the mesh pockets) but they are no longer available on-line. Maybe they're re-designing them?

Then there are the hats. The cap I originally bought it pretty good but it's no longer available. They also had a boonie hat that just looked funny. It was all floppy and weird. The current Venturing hat is perhaps the weirdest one yet. They have introduced some new expedition, outback, and safari style hats that are pretty cool, but can we get them in Venturing colors, please? What I would really like to see is a Venturing version of the Campaign hat. Perhaps a straw version in charcoal grey. They do have a Venturing pin that can go on the campaign hat, which I have, but the colors just don't match the Venturing uniform very well.

That reminds me of the outerwear. There is none for Venturing. Not a single coat or jacket. Not even a sweatshirt. Sure, you could just wear the Boy Scout versions, or the generic black, but why not have one for Venturing? Imagine a Venturing version of the classic wool Jac-Shirt. Maybe that's not necessary. The red looks good with the Venturing uniform. But at least come back with a Venturing version of the pocket patch. There used to be an Exploring version but they stopped making that.

They do have two versions of a Venturing knives, and they aren't bad.

There is also a Venturing backpack in charcoal grey. But instead of the Venturing logo it has the generic BSA logo.

When one of the methods of the Venturing program is High Adventure, why don't they offer some high adventure equipment for Venturers. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there like me who would buy the stuff.

Perhaps what I would currently like the most is an Venturing Silver Award recognition plaque. They make one for Eagle Scouts, as they should. It has 28 nameplates for recognizing all the Eagles in your troop and can be expanded with an add-on plaque. But there isn't a similar one for Venturing. I have one young man who just earned his Venturing Silver Award. I would really like to get a plaque like that to hang up in our church building next to the Eagle Scout plaque. I think that might bring recognition to the Venturing program as well as encourage more young men to pursue Venturing awards.

They say that Venturing is the fastest growing division of the BSA. I just wish the supply division was growing along with it.

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