ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Aberdeen Proving Ground teens are invited to come learn about a high adventure and leadership club. called Venturing Crew, that will meet during an open house barbecue, 5 to 6:30 p.m. at 3801A Veteran Court in Patriot Village Aug. 21.

Col. William Montgomery, from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, said he is excited aboutforming a Venturing Crew on APG. Venturing is a great opportunity for teens to learn leadership skills and get out of their comfort zones he said. Venturing is for young men and women ages 14 or 13-year-olds who have completed the 8th grade.

Venturing gives young adults challenging, exciting adventures like scuba diving, cycling tours, climbing, and rappelling, and hobbies such as shooting sports, service projects and community service, living history, video gaming, and golfing and much more.

Venturing impacts nearly a quarter million youth every year and about one-third of Venturers are young women. Focus areas of the Venturing program include the outdoors, arts and hobbies, sports, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics.)

"The core of Venturing is that teens plan everything," Montgomery said. "The adult volunteers just facilitate the activity. There is no predetermined cookie cutter curriculum."

For instance, if teens want to go on a whitewater rafting trip, they will plan the trip from start to finish, including arranging funding and transportation.

Montgomery said that the seven leadership methods of Venturing- leadership, group activities, adult association, recognition, Scouting ideals, high adventure and sports, and teaching others, prepares teens to become responsible, caring adults.

"They all take turns being in charge and take responsibility for their activities," said 1st Sgt. Vito Pizzo 203d MI Battalion (TECHINT). "Not many fourteen year olds get that experience, and it is a lot of fun because we do things outdoors like whitewater rafting, rock climbing, camping and more."

Pizzo, who will serve as a volunteer, said teens appreciate the fact that the club is co-ed and allows for many unique opportunities.

Montgomery said the experience that teens gain from Venturing can be added to resumes, college applications and more.

He added that if the group members are willing, they can meet APG professionals and learn more about STEM careers and visit laboratories. Although outdoor activities are a major part of Venturing, the program also features life skills like leadership development, public speaking interviewing and mentoring.

"We have so much talent available on this post," he said. "It will open up their world, introduce them to career opportunities. There is so much potential here."

Montgomery said that Venturing is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America. This affiliation allows Venture Crews to visit BSA's high adventure bases across the United States. Activities on these bases include, kayaking, canoeing, zip lining, backpacking expeditions and more.

Pizzo said scouting has helped his son, Christian, become more outspoken and confident. Now he has experience speaking in public and has even participated in an open mike comedy night. He said his oldest son, Andrew, was able to help a stranger while he was at a county fair, because he was taught First Aid and CPR during scouting.

"You never know when you will use the skills you will learn," Pizzo said.

He added that there are many examples of business, military and political leaders who earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in BSA.

"Scouting can help individuals make a connection in an interview," Montgomery said. "It's going to pay dividends. Also, Venturing can also help teens learn how to seek thousands of dollars in scholarships."

Montgomery added that the advantage of having a Venturing Crew on APG is that there are many on- post resources that can be used for free or reduced cost, like MWR's Outdoor Recreation.

Venturing Crew is a community effort. For instance, Corvias Military Living has donated a hospitality home for meetings. Also a representative from the Armed Forces Communication Electronics Organization will serve as a charter member.
Adult volunteers are always needed. For more information on the program, contact the Baltimore Area Council Harford District Executive Alex Hutton at ahutton@baltimorebsa.org, call 443-573-2526 or visit www.scouting.org.