Salute to Scouting
November 2020

Nine Years Waiting- Black Swamp Area Scout first in council to earn Summit Award

Jacob, a member of Venture Crew 265 with the Wauseon American Legion, has climbed the ranks of Venturing and earned another top tier award. He is the first Scout in approximately nine years within the Black Swamp Area Council to earn Venturing’s highest award according to Council Advancement Chair, Wayne Dukes.

Jacob has also achieved the Eagle Scout Rank, but Venturing’s highest award was introduced in 2014, and without longevity, it does not yet have the name recognition of Arrow of Light or Eagle Scout.  However, the journey to earn the Summit Award is challenging to older youth in as many ways as the well-known Eagle Scout award. 

Awards focused on adventure, leadership, personal development and service sure sound like a description of the Eagle Scout award. However, these four pillars are the dedicated focus of the Venturing awards.

Climbing the tiers to the Summit Award requires many things of an older Scout. Summit candidates must take numerous trainings including personal safety, CPR, leadership development training such as National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT), goal setting, time management, project management and mentoring.

Once the candidate has learned these items, they must lead training for their peers, create a personal code of conduct, lead an ethical controversy discussion with peers, create numerous structured personal reflections along the way.  The final step is they must plan and conduct a project that meets community needs and represents significant personal growth. Think of it as the Venturing equivalent of the Eagle Scout project.

Jacob choose to help paint and clean up a pole barn for his project.  The pole barn belonged to an elderly gentleman who often allowed the use of the pole barn and his large outdoor property for Scouts and other youth groups in the area to meet and hold outdoor adventures. Eagle Scout projects and the Summit Award service project differ as the Summit award does not carry the requirement of a non-profit being the beneficiary.  This allows for the project to be a service to a citizen or group of citizens.

Being an Eagle Scout or Scouts BSA participant is not a requirement of Venturing awards. Just as Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA are separate programs, so it is with Venturing. A Scout in Venturing can enter a co-ed Crew at 14 years of age and remain in the youth programming until the age of 21 and earn all the Venturing awards.

During Jacob’s board of review for the award, he clearly indicated that Venturing had enhanced things he learned to reach Eagle Scout and were a new tier of learning and development that was worth every step to earn.

Venture Crew Advisor, Wendy Grindstaff, hopes that two more of her Scouts, who are closing in, will earn the Summit Award before the end of 2020, and make a record year for the Black Swamp Area Council in producing great leaders.

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