Advancement has been an important part of the Boy Scouts of America since the issuance of the first twelve merit badges in 1911. When the Boy Scouts of America introduced the Exploring program (predecessor to Venturing) in 1950, the Silver Award program was also released as the advancement program for older Boy Scouts. From 1950 through 1966, 18,256 Silver Medals in general, i.e., Wolf, Antelope, Beaver, etc., were earned.
The Venturing Silver Award is available to all youth Venturing members of the Boy Scouts of America. The purpose of the Venturing Silver Award is to:
- Provide a pathway for personal development.
- Encourage Venturers to learn, grow, and serve.
- Recognize the high level of achievement of Venturers who acquire Venturing skills.
- Identify trained and highly motivated Venturers who will be a training, leadership, and program resource for other Venturers, Scouts, organizations, and the community.
- Help define Venturing.
Even though your crew's program may be different from another crew's, you share some similarities with other Venturers. First is your age, since all Venturers must be at least 14 years old and not yet 21. Next is your curiosity and desire to learn more about life and the things around you. You probably like exciting, informative programs and activities at your crew meetings. You want to acquire new, usable skills that make you feel like you are really growing in your life. You like a challenge. And, you like to be recognized for your hard work and achievement.
Venturing should be an exciting, advanced-level program where you learn and use advanced skills for your own enjoyment and growth, as well as to benefit others. Life is a series of experiences, and the Venturing Silver Award is similar. It will lead you on a pathway of exciting life experiences that will guide you to become a skilled Venturing leader.
Earning the venturing Silver Award will identify you as a Venturer who:
- has direction in his or her life.
- knows how to plan and accomplish goals.
- is skilled.
- lives the Venturing Oath.
- is a leader.
- is willing to serve others, and
- is one of the proud few to wear the Venturing Silver Award.
How to earn the Venturing Silver Award
Like any high, worthwhile recognition, the Venturing Silver Award will be challenging and will take time to earn. It will take you at least 12 months, but there is no limitation on the maximum amount of time other than you will need to complete all work before your 21st birthday.
These are requirements that all Venturing Silver Award candidates must complete:
- Earn one Venturing Bronze Award.
- Earn the Venturing Gold Award, which includes knowing and living the Venturing Oath, service, personal development, and 12 months' tenure.
- Be proficient in emergency preparedness, including earning Standard First Aid and CPR certification, and knowing and using BSA Safe Swim Defense.
- Demonstrate leadership, including successfully completing the Venturing Leadership Skills course.
- Participate in the Ethics in Action program, including Ethical Controversies activities and an Ethics Forum.
- Show a crew review committee you have met the requirements for the Venturing Silver Award.
First, sit down with your Advisor to make a plan of action on how you will earn the Venturing Silver Award. On many of the requirements, you will work on your own, while some you will work on with other Venturers. Many requirements will require contacting and working with a specialty consultant, someone who has extensive knowledge and skill in a particular area.
You will learn a skill from this person, and the specialty consultant will determine your proficiency in that skill. You might find it more convenient to work with several other Venturers at the same time with this specialty consultant. Many requirements involve a time element, such as working as a volunteer for three months. Take this into consideration when you are planning. You should probably work on several requirements at the same time, such as serving as a crew leader while working on a Bronze Award requirement.
You can receive dual credit for work required in different places.
If you get certified in Standard First Aid, you can use this credit toward:
- Silver Award requirement No. 2,
- Ranger Award core requirement No. 1, and
- Youth Ministries requirement No. 8.
When you have complete a requirement, either have an Advisor or specialty consultant initial and date your track sheet to confirm your completion of that requirement.
When you have completed all Silver Award requirements, ask your Advisor or crew president for a Silver Award review. The review committee will be made up of Venturers and adults. They will determine if you have successfully completed all requirements, and then recommend to your BSA local council that the council, representing the National Court of Honor, present you the highest Venturing award a Venturer can earn -- the Venturing Silver Award.
Click here for the detailed Requirements for the Silver Award.
Venturers work with their Advisors to establish a plan of action for earning the Silver Award. Venturers can choose to work on the requirements alone or with other Venturers as in a crew activity. Venturers can work on requirements in the Bronze Award program, Gold Award program, and Silver Award program simultaneously. They could also work on each program separately. It's up to the Venturer and Advisor as to how they earn the award. After completion of all requirements, the Silver candidate will go through a formal review with Venturers and adults from the crew.
The Venturing Silver medal features a super-imposed eagle over a compass dial. It also has a red, white, and blue background behind the eagle. The medal is worn suspended from a green and white ribbon, which is suspended from a silver Venturing bar.
A cloth knot is also available, and is shown here: