What’s a pocket crew? These are formal Frontier Girls troops that are chartered to the same organization as a BSA Venturing Crew, giving the girls a Boy-Scout-like experience until they are old enough to join the Venturers. Venturing is a youth development program of the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women who are 14 years of age OR 13 years of age and have completed the eighth grade and under 21 years of age. Venturing’s purpose is to provide positive experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults. Venturing’s emphasis on high adventure helps provide team-building opportunities, new meaningful experiences, practical leadership application, and lifelong memories to young adults.
Since the Frontier Girls program honors the badge requirements of other scouting organizations, such as the Boy Scouts, they are a perfect way to introduce the girls to early training that is currently available to boys, but not to girls. Venture Crew leaders work closely with the pocket crew Frontier Girls troops to ensure that the girls are just as prepared as the boys when they are ready to advance to a Venture Crew. Frontier Girls troops are allowed to follow the Boy Scout badge requirements to earn badges within Frontier Girls instead of using the Frontier Girls requirements if they prefer so that programming can be combined on a co-ed basis when appropriate.
A great article on how to integrate a Pocket Crew with your Venture Crew was posted on the Scouting Together blog at: http://scoutingtogether.blogspot.com/2013/04/young-girls-future-venturers.html
If you would like more information on Venturing, go to http://www.scouting.org/Home/Venturing.aspx
(Additional commentary after receiving a concern via Facebook.)
Please be aware that Frontier Girls in no way takes ownership or credit for the Boy Scout requirements. We have requirements of our own for more than 1,000 badges for girls ages 3 to adult. Frontier Girls troops that partner with Boy Scout, Royal Ranger, Venture Crews or other scouting programs are still stand alone Frontier Girls troops that must follow all policies and procedures set forth by Frontier Girls. Most “Pocket Crews” or other partnered troops still use mostly Frontier Girls programming. Frontier Girls honors the badge requirements of other organizations not because we do no have our own, but because it makes life easier on the leaders who are trying to hold badge days or events on a co-ed basis for both the boys in their Boy Scout troop and the girls in their Frontier Girls troop. Some of the Frontier Girls requirements are tougher than the Boy Scouts and some of theirs are tougher than ours. In the end though, it really doesn’t matter which set of requirements they use as long as they learn the skill effectively.