Local teen ventures into leadership with Scouting program

JOHNSTOWN?- For Sabrina Krutz, graduating from Johnstown High School in June was only the first of several highlights of this summer.

From July 16 to 23, she attended the Boys Scouts of America’s 2013 National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, and on July 28, she received the Silver Award, the highest award in Venturing, a co-ed Scouting program for teens.

The Leader-Herald recently asked Krutz about her experiences as a Venture Scout and her plans for the future: ?

The Leader-Herald:?How long have you been involved with the Venturing program, and what got you interested in Scouting in the first place?

Sabrina Krutz: I first heard about Venturing in early 2009 at my younger brother’s Blue and Gold Ceremony. Venture Crew 5013, The Eagle Dancers, had come in to perform an Arrow of Light and Crossover Ceremony.

During this ceremony, they performed several Native American dances, which is what caught my attention. It was very interesting for me, because I’m a dancer and through the years have learned many different styles but never before had I even watched Native American dances.

Crew 5013 offered a lot more than just dancing, though, as I saw them participate and run several different activities before I joined later that year. By the end of the year, I had joined and participated in monthly crew meetings, several camping trips and a Native American Pow Wow. I also had the chance to start working on my leadership skills by becoming a den chief for my brother’s pack, where I helped in running weekly meetings.

LH: What were the requirements for the Silver Award, and how did you go about accomplishing them?

SK:?The first requirement is to earn one of the five Venturing Bronze Awards – which took me awhile because my crew has never focused on the awards – but I did earn the Arts and Hobbies Bronze in early 2012.

Next, I had to earn my Gold Award … I had my board of review on the same night for both the Gold and Silver awards.

The next requirement is based on emergency preparedness. The crew has set up and taken both the First Aid and CPR courses. I took Boy Scouts of America’s Safe Swim Defense course before I went to Sweden for the World Scout Jamboree [in 2011] and have used the Safe Swim Defense as guidelines every time that I’ve gone swimming at a BSA event, such as at camp or a Scout picnic.

The fourth requirement is based on leadership, for which I had to take the Venturing Leadership Skills Course. After taking this course through council with another crew member, I brought it back to my crew and taught the course for my entire crew. Then I had to successfully hold a leadership position for six months; to date I have held the leadership roles of den chief, crew secretary, crew president twice, World Scout Jamboree Crew 70007 vice president of Administration and council venturing president and area vice president. I am currently the council vice president and area president.

The next requirement was Ethics in Action, requiring that I help in running an ethics forum and participate in two ethical controversy projects, all completed on a weekend campout with my crew.

Finally, I had to complete the Board of Review process, and it took some time and hard work to get there, but I’m glad that I did, and it was well worth all the time and energy.

LH:?You attended the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia this summer, the first time Venture crews were allowed to attend the event. How did it feel to be part of the first group of American girls to attend a historically all-male event?

SK:?Being one of 2,000 girls doesn’t seem like much of a big deal when going anywhere, but when attending a BSA-sponsored event, it always seems to end up a big deal, especially when there were 30,000 guys walking around, too. I can remember in 2010 when the boys came back from the National Jamboree how it didn’t make sense that BSA wouldn’t allow the American girls to participate.

I was told “next year there’s a World Scout Jamboree?and BSA will let you attend that.” The most confusing part of it was that BSA allowed girls from other countries to attend the 2010 National Jamboree but only because in most other countries Scouting is co-ed … After hearing that I had the chance to go to National Jamboree in July as a participant, I knew it wasn’t one I would pass up.

LH:?What were some of the highlights of the Jamboree for you?

SK:?My personal favorite activities at the Jamboree were the high adventure activities. I had the chance to go scuba diving for the very first time, definitely something I’d like to try again. Rock climbing and rappelling was really great, too. There was one rappelling-type activity up at “The Rocks” that we tried called the “Leap of Faith.” It was cool – you ran off the edge of a building, and using auto belays, it slowly lowered you to the ground as you flew forward.

Then, there was my curriculum activity, which was a canopy tour. There’s nothing better than flying through the air from tree to tree on a zipline that was over 500 feet off the ground at times.

I also had a great time at the arena shows and liked to collect the Jamboree giveaways such as a 15-patch totem pole set and a set of a hundred 2013 Jamboree trading cards.

LH:?What are your plans for the future? Do you think your experience with Venturing will have a lasting influence on your life?

SK:?This year I graduated from Johnstown High School, and during the year I also attended Fulton-Montgomery Community College as an early-admission student. This year, I chose to continue at FMCC in order to finish my two-year degree and graduate in May 2014. After graduation, I plan to transfer to Rochester Institute of Technology to get my bachelors in mechanical engineering.

My plans right now are to continue being involved with the Scouting program that I’ve grown to love and help it grow across the nation. I plan on going to the Japan World Jamboree in 2015 on staff, then in 2017 the National Jamboree, again on staff, and hopefully in 2019, the World Jamboree in the U.S. as staff.

I know that since becoming a venturer I have made a lot of friends, had some really awesome experiences, and learned a lot of great skills. I’ve gained a lot of great leadership skills from venturing, as I’ve increased my social, communication, public speaking and ability to work with and lead others’ capabilities.

It’s not every day you sit down and plan out a meeting, working on the agenda, setting up the phone conference, running an event for over a hundred people, work on recruiting others … but for me it’s something I love doing.

Not every teen can say they’re running events for kids in almost the entire state and even some out of state, but I can, and I get great feedback from all the participants every time. None of which would have been accomplished had it not been for my younger brother, who came home from school when he was in kindergarten wanting to join Cub Scouts.

For more details about Venture Crew 5013, including how to join, call Crew Adviser Charlie Heavner at 321-7654.

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