New, Youth-Only Venturing Leadership Award Qualifications Announced

The Venturing Leadership Award is presented by councils, areas, regions, and the National Council to youth Venturers who have made exceptional contributions to Venturing and who exemplify the Venturing Code and Oath.

To qualify for one of these award levels, nominees must do the following:

  • Be registered and involved as a Venturer for at least one year.
  • Be a youth member when nominated for the award.
  • Hold a leadership position or an office at the unit, district, council, area, region, or national level, as appropriate for the level of the award presented.
  • Show exceptional dedication and give outstanding leadership and service to Venturing and Venturers (on the level appropriate for the award).

Please note: Councils may select adult council VLA’s for this year using the current guidelines if the paperwork has been submitted to them before December 31, 2011.

For more information on the Venturing Leadership Award, download the VLA guidelines. Please contact with any questions.

15 Responses to New, Youth-Only Venturing Leadership Award Qualifications Announced

  1. John Unger says:

    I always thought it was one of the great things about the Venturing Leadership Award that the youth and adults were on the same ground, eligible for the same recognition.

  2. John Green says:

    I liked the way this award was, being presented to both youth and adults. I think it complemented the relationship between youth and adults in the program. Something no other program has except for Exploring.

    What I dislike is how this has been announced. I just happen to find this on scout-wire, a site I never knew about. Many deserving adult leaders may not even know this award is coming to an end. I hope BSA will come up with a specific adult venturing award. The catch all Unit Leader Award of Merit is nice and all but I think a VLA is a bit higher and more meaningful.

    CPT Green
    FT Drum Scouter

  3. Frank Miller says:

    I much prefer the award as it was with both youth and adults earning the award. Many things in the Crew have their uniqueness such as the youth leadership signing the JTE forms, giving the youth that sense of equality and responsibility. Sadly, the uniqueness of the youth and adults earning the same leadership award is no longer.

  4. Connie Knie says:

    What is the rationale for not allowing adults to earn this award?

    • John Green says:

      I emailed the generic BSA email thats listed above. Like typical National BSA executives they did not respond to my same question of Why? I dont know wht the big deal is but it always seems when trying to email or get a reply for national they dont want to give you an answer.
      From what i was told by a friend of mine out west who is big into venturing it was a decision made by the national youth leadership. I emailed them all today to ask why. Other then this web page I have not see anything posted or in the recent issue of Scouting. Its sad. Many venturing leaders get overlooked for DAM and the sliver awards….

  5. John Green says:

    OK, I guess I have egg in my face, I got an email last night from national. Guess someone does read this stuff. thanks
    CPT John Green

  6. Jerry Clark says:

    Sorry we need and award for the venturing Adults and this was the one to use.Now there is nothing except the DAM and Silver Beaver sorry this is a bad move as most people in Venturing will never be considered for either of those. Please keep the VLA for adults and youth

  7. Joost Korpel says:

    As an adult recipient of the Venturing Leadership Award, I am deeply sorry to see adults become ineligible for this in the future. As others have pointed out, adult leaders are often overlooked for DAM and Silver beaver awards. It was a complete surprise to me when I received the award and I was humbled that the numerous volunteer hours I put in to making a successful venturing program in our council was recognized by our youth. I don’t believe it took anything away from the outstanding young lady who was presented with her Venturing Leadership Award at the same time. I get numerous questions about the uncommon VLA leadership knot on my uniform which gives me an opportunity to promote and recruit others to the Venturing Program. Although most adult scout leaders are not volunteering for the uniform eye candy, this does feel like a slap in the face with the implied message, “your volunteer time in Venturing is not worthy of recognition”.


    Joost Korpel

  8. Norm Effinger says:

    The guidelines specify that nominations be made using a nomination form, but this website does not have that form posted. Please post the form.

  9. Damon R. Allen says:

    It is indeed sad that the Venturing Leadership Award is no longer available to adults. Can someone please explain WHY?

    I know of no adults within my two districts who have been recognized with this award, although I do know of one who was nominated. Three of our youth have received the award and another was nominated.

    There are many adults who do indeed deserve such a unique award. The requirements are straight forward and the restrictions to the number of people who can receive it are understandable. To deny adults to be recgonized for their commitments to the Venturing Program is just not proper.

    I would suggest that someone or a group involved in the Venturing Program offer a Fifth version of the Venturing Leadership Award to be awarded to adults only for their contributions to the program.

    Hopefully the notion I have suggested will become a reality but I would still like to know WHY the adult’s version was discontinued.

  10. John Green says:

    Google the forms. This is primarily a web site for professionals. I am surprised it’s on the www and not behind some kind of professional log in.
    I was told that the national told the Venturing Cabinet they could keep it as a youth award or get rid of it. (More or less, can’t find my original email)
    I get newsletters from my 3 previous councils (I am military and move alot) and not one has mentioned the change as of this months round of newsletters. Personally I think it was shady to announce it in OCT with a 31 DEC deadline for adults. This kind of change could take forever to make it to the unit level or get over looked completely. So now unless your nomination was post marked 31 DEC 11 you’re out of the running. Adults in venturing should get something that separate from the DAM, SB etc… Awards. BSA has created more awards to promote BSA (speakers bank, alumni, new unit Commissioner award) in the last 5 years I don’t see why someone felt a need to take a nominative award for outstanding service to youth off the shelf (for adults). I like the idea of a “Silver Diamond” (venturing logo) for adults. Maybe keep the VLA knot but for a silver diamond wear a silver device?
    John Green

  11. Chip Udischas says:

    I am not sure how many are aware but other adult recognitions are being phased out. The speaker bank site basically says if you were not already registered it is too late and I was recently told there are changes coming to training knots.

    If I had to wager a guess I would say that someone higher up wants to scale back adult recognition and focus more on the youth.

    Not real sure exactly how I feel about this. As a District Chairman, I recognize that effectively recognizing adult contributions to Scouting is good for morale etc, but knowing most adults would still continue with the same dedicated service even if Awards are not available, I can also see where focussing on the Youth would be a solid move also. I just hope if this is the case that they do discontinue other awards. I feel it is in poor taste to take anything away from the Venturing program, that in many areas is under recognized as it is.

  12. John says:

    In the Fall 2011 Training Times (link below) BSA is looking at consolidating the cub and scouter training awards. Basically discontinuing the CS training knots and going with the 2 boy scout knots with appropriate devices. I always thought Cub Scouts had too many knots but doing away with them all is a bit much. Scouters deserve recognition, at least something specific for each area of service. I personally don’t understand doing away with the speakers bank knot but yet they create others like the new unit commissioner knot and Alumni knot. I think if BSA keeps discounting service awards more will pop up like this one I found (2nd link) It’s a great idea I wanted to approach my hometown council with years ago, basically a unit level award strictly or unit service that would be below a district award of merit.

  13. Mike says:

    Personally, I am for the “youth” only awards.

    Am I an adult? Yes
    Do I like the knots? Sure
    Am I against adult knots? No
    Do I have any? Yes -5

    So my thinking?

    BOY Scouts
    BSA had about 42 and is going for 26
    The focus moves off the Boys when a leader has 15 or so knots.

    Now…as an adult…to take a movie quote…

    “…when everybody is special…no one will be”

    I’d rather have a few more more motivated and decorated Boy Scouts than adults.

    My 2 cents.

  14. John says:

    “The focus moves off the Boys when a leader has 15 or so knots.”

    That’s kind of hard to say that epically if you work at district level or above. Not sure how one having earned alot of knots equities to focus moving away from service to youth. I think you can take a look at all the training and service awards and see where the requirements have a direct or indirect impact on youth or to scouting as a whole.

    In my experience youth either care about awards or they don’t. If they did they would motivate themselves to earn them. There are over 120 merit badges and a good 20 or so more awards like 50 miler, and so on that youth can earn. Not to mention awards out there from non scouting orgs. Trail medals, Jimmy Stewart award and so on.

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