The September issue of Venturing Magazine contains what is, in my opinion, a pretty disturbing article titled "What's in Store for Venturing?"
According to this article, there are several changes in the works that include the elimination of the Venturing oath, code, sign and salute. These will be replaced by the Boy Scout oath, law, sign and salute. Just in time for Venturing's 15 year anniversary next year.
Also mentioned in the article is the rumor that the Venturing awards program could be facing changes and possibly elimination. If they do away with that much, will the even keep the name "Venturing"?
Most of these changes (as well as others that have already happened over the years) are reportedly due to the desire of the National office to have more oversight on what is often perceived to be a "renegade" program.
I will admit that I never got my Venturing crew to run the way I thought we should. It is also true that most local crews didn't use the program. I will also confess that I occasionally thought that Venturing could use a little more oversight from the district and council (or am I confusing "oversight" with "support"?).
From that perspective I can understand the desire to make some changes. However, the changes that I saw needing to be made were not with the program itself, but rather with the way it was used and promoted.
If the changes outlined in this article do indeed happen I'm afraid that the Venturing program I fell in love with over the last four years will be history. There may still be some token program for older youth, but it won't be the same. As the author of the article states, "much of Venturing's soul is being stripped away" and I don't think I like it.
Time will tell, however, if the changes actually come and if they will be positive or negative. Many things that seem negative now may turn out, in the end, to be good. But there's something in my heart that tells me I should be glad I was released when I was.