Since Venturing is a youth-led program, it is essential that our leadership structure above the unit is youth-inspired and youth-led. We believe that youth should organize program events, lead entertaining trainings, and provide forums to bring the crews, districts, councils, and areas together. A Venturing Officers’ Association, or VOA, consists of a team of youth officers who are supported by advisors. It provides leadership opportunities that prepare young people for their respective futures and gives them a voice to help strengthen the Venturing program.
What Does a VOA Do?
Venturing Officers’ Associations (VOA) provide opportunities for adventure, leadership, personal growth, and service (A-L-P-S). By doing so, they serve to model best practices in programming for local crews and to provide a program resource for Venturers and Advisors throughout the VOA’s area of operation.
VOAs provide opportunities for personal growth and leadership for their officers, just as the leaders and members of the VOA provide programming of interest to their constituents. A strong VOA has a positive correlation with strong crews. Program and training events offered by the VOA give Venturers the chance to meet other Venturers, build friendships and networks, learn from their experiences, and have fun!
The purpose of VOAs is not to hold meetings, but to provide fun and informative program opportunities for Venturers. In many ways, the VOA serves as a forum for planning and carrying out great program. The VOA officers and advisors know they have done their job well when they see that the efforts of the VOA have served to strengthen the Venturing program in their area of operation.
- Works with Advisors and Staff Advisors of their own VOA and Venturing Presidents at the tiers above and below them.
- Appoints and supervises Vice Presidents, VOA liaisons, and additional optional VOA youth positions.
- Leads the youth officer selection process and interviews.
- Represents the VOA to Scouting leadership at the same tier.
- Motivates and coordinates the Vice President(s) and any other appointed VOA members in assigned tasks and conducts meetings with them as needed.
- Helps train and mentor presidents in lower tiers.
- Plans and leads regular meetings of the VOA.
- Assists VOA members with the selection of subsidiary youth members.
- Tracks all goals for the VOA and provides regular progress reports to the appropriate committees.
- In consultation with the president, appoints and supervises subsidiary youth positions needed to perform the program functions of the VOA.
- Supervises activity chairs and the planning of activities (conferences, outings, summits, and other events).
- Facilitates internal training events of the VOA.
- Manages VOA finances, if required.
- Coordinates and implements innovative ideas for development.
- Performs any other duties as assigned by the President.
- In consultation with the President, appoints and supervises subsidiary youth positions needed to perform the communication functions of the VOA.
- Actively studies and remains aware of the best way to communicate to Venturers on the VOA and in its jurisdiction, understanding that several methods of delivery must be utilized for maximum effectiveness.
- Ensures that the VOA web presence is being maintained, updated, and scaled appropriately for effective publication of information and collection of feedback.
- Periodically publishes a newsletter of past, current, and future events, including articles of noteworthy events and other items of interest to Venturers.
- Maintains groups, pages, blogs, calendars, message boards, etc., on the most relevant social media and social networking sites.
- Submits articles about VOA activities to other Scouting media (e.g., Council or Region newsletter and websites).
- Actively pursues opportunities to increase VOA exposure by submitting articles, comments, photos, and upcoming event announcements, and reports to external publications such as local newspapers and other appropriate venues.
- Develops and maintains the tools to communicate with all relevant parties using a variety of methods such as telephone, text message, email, and postal mail as appropriate.
- Maintains rosters of VOA members and frequently involved persons, including as many forms of readily available communication paths as possible, and identifies preferred methods, making it available to the VOA as needed and appropriate.
- Develops, updates, maintains, and makes readily available marketing strategies, solutions, and materials.
- Actively pursues contact information for people, groups, and businesses of interest to the VOA.
- Performs any other duties as assigned by the President
- In consultation with the President, appoints and supervises subsidiary youth positions needed to perform the administrative functions of the VOA.
- Develops and implements strategies to increase Venturing membership within the territory of the VOA.
- Actively pursues positive relationships with representatives of BSA chartered organizations, religious groups, businesses, community organizations, and other groups of interest to the VOA and Venturing.
- Develops and maintains knowledge of customs, traditions, and relevant facts about BSA chartered organizations, religious groups, businesses, community organizations, and other groups of interest to the VOA and Venturing.
- Promotes and organizes the youth officer selection application processes (at the same tier). They can also assist the President in communicating with the selection committee, organizing the call, etc.
- Promotes and facilitates the selection and presentation of the Venturing Leadership Award and other appropriate Venturing awards at the same tier.
- Maintains records of recognitions, membership, officer selections, and VOA leadership alumni.
- Takes minutes at VOA meetings.
- Performs any other duties as assigned by the President.