Scouting offers your church three distinct age-appropriate youth ministry programs
Scouting offers churches three distinct age-appropriate youth ministry programs but serves the whole family at the same time.
The youngest group, Cub Scouting, is elementary school-aged (K–5). The next group, Scouts BSA, is middle-school-aged and up to 17 years old. The teen group, Venturing, is for those youth who are 14–20 years of age.
All three groups focus on the values found in the Scout Oath and Law, including learning and doing your duty to God. Let’s look at them one at a time.
Cub Scouting — Ministry for Youth in Grades K-5
Cub Scout activities involve parents, adult leaders, and the friends of Cub Scouts in home-centered programs that teach life skills, habits, values, and attitudes consistent with the interests of their family and church. In fact, the mission is to develop citizenship, character, personal fitness, and leadership and ethical decision-making all while having fun and finding adventure.
Cub Scouting is organized into groups called packs, each with smaller groups called dens. Packs can be co-ed but dens are either girls or boys dens. Packs and dens are led by dedicated volunteer leaders who teach Cub Scouts the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law, help them learn about belonging to the den, work on advancement, family involvement, hold activities, serving the community, and wearing the uniform with pride.
Scouts BSA — Ministry for Youth 11–17 Years Old
Scouts BSA, a year-round program for youth 11-17 years old. Organized in girl or boy troop, the program delivers outdoor fun and adventure while youth learn and challenge themselves to become the best version of themselves.
In Scouts BSA, young men and women take it outdoors for one-of-a-kind adventures that can’t be found anywhere else. Camping, hiking, rafting, biking, young women as well as young men, challenge themselves to earn Scouting’s highest rank, Eagle Scout. There really is something for everyone “with 137 different merit badges and countless other indoor and outdoor activities, there’s no limit to the things you can learn or the adventures you can take,” is this program’s promise
Scouts BSA is built on the values found in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Activities include fitness and leadership training, wilderness adventures, and merit badge incentives for youth mastering hobby and career skills, focusing on High Adventure, service, and leadership development.
Venturing BSA — Co-ed Ministry for Youth 14-20 Years Old
Venturing is a coed youth-led and youth-inspired program. Together Venturers build life skills and gain experience that will be valuable wherever their futures take them. Along the way, they will have a blast practicing leadership, planning and organizing events, building communication skills and taking responsibility for doing what they are interested in.
It’s operated through Venturing Crews, which are groups of youth and adult advisors that meet on set schedules of their choice to plan activities and events. Venturing emphasizes four main areas
- Adventure – Mentoring, leading, and participating in crew-led adventures.
- Leadership – Ongoing leadership development through training, mentoring, and hands-on leadership.
- Personal Growth – Goal-setting in support of personal growth.
- Service – Leading and participating in community service.
BSA says, “The Venturing program aims to enable young adults to:
- Experience a program that is fun and full of challenge and adventure.
- Acquire skills in the area of their crew’s specialty.
- Become a skilled training and program resource for other youth groups.
- Experience positive leadership from adult and youth leaders and be given opportunities to take on leadership roles.
- Learn to make ethical choices throughout their lives by instilling the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
- Have a chance to learn and grow in a supportive, caring, and fun environment.”
Scouting Benefits Your Church Youth Ministry
For more than 100 years, Scouting has partnered with many churches. Their worldwide reputation attracts youth and their families. It is fun for the adult leaders, youth and their families. Youth and adults become a part of a large, friendly family and church community.
Scouting is there to help. They offer loads of resources, including extensive literature, training materials, and other assets, including outdoor properties that you church and schedule and use. Both full-time and volunteer assistance is available from your local BSA council.
They offer outstanding adult and youth leader training courses, including leadership development. This prepares the next generation of church leaders while it helps with team-building within your organization now.
BSA’s Youth Protection training materials and videos are available for both adults and youth and may be used to protect the children of your congregation.
The service that your Scout units give is an exciting opportunity to give back to the community and nation.
For other articles in this series see: