Boy Scouts of America award Venturing Leadership Award to App State student

Gianna Holiday, Reporter

Boy Scouts of America awarded the Venturing Leadership Award for the first time in almost 10 years to an App State student.

Venturing is a program of the Boy Scouts of America that serves young men and women. The program provides experiences to help youth mature and prepare for a responsible adult life.

To recognize participants and advisers who make exceptional contributions to venturing and exemplify the Scout Oath and Law, councils, areas, regions, and the BSA National Council may present individuals with the Venturing Leadership Award.

The council gave Carleigh Scott, a junior mathematics, secondary education major this award in her position as the Venturing Officer Association President.

 Scott joined Venturing at the age of 15.

“I have a leadership position as a Venturing Officers’ Association President,” Scott said. “The Venturing Officer Association is at the council-level, but we assist Venture crews by providing them with fun stuff to do or help them get established. I’ve been doing this for about two years, but before that, I’ve done a lot with the organization.”

Jesse Barber
Junior Carleigh Scott was given the Venturing Leadership Award by the Boy Scouts of America.

Venturing is strictly youth-led and is a high-adventure based co-ed program for youth ages 14-20. Activities have included shooting pistols at a range, mountain biking, canoeing and other outdoor-based exercises. 

“My mom works for our council. When we moved here, she got a job with them a few years later and pushed me and my siblings to join,” Scott said. “At first, I really didn’t want to do it, but then I started to really like it, and my sister and brother dropped it, so I was really the only one who stuck with it.”

According to Adviser Stan Gordon, the Old Hickory Council decided to revive the Venturing Officers’ Association a few years ago. 

“When we revived it, Carleigh said she was interested in helping, and the youth involved elected her as president,” Gordon said. “Venturing is totally youth-led, and I try to live by that creed.”

Scott also just was inducted into The Order of the Arrow, the National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America, which recently began to allow female youth to be a part of it. Scott said there have been instances of some male pushback.

“I recently took a leadership role in the Order of the Arrow because there will be a lot more girls joining this August, so I figured I should help them,” Scott said. “I’ve had a lot of experience in Scouting, so I wanted a new opportunity, and I knew these girls needed somebody to stand up for them, so why shouldn’t I do it?”

The Order of the Arrow became co-ed only last February.

“That has been hard to work around. I usually kill them with kindness so they don’t have a reason to like me, other than me being a girl,” Scott said. “I’m always very respectful to them even if I know they’re talking about me behind my back. Most of the people in charge, however, are very progressive.”

Scott has also been involved in National Youth Leadership Training, which became co-ed in 2010. NYLT is a program designed for councils to provide youth members with leadership skills and experience they can use in their home troops and in other situations demanding leadership of self and others.

“I am more along the lines of a coach than a mentor,” Gordon said. “The point of Venturing and Boy Scouts of America is to help them learn skills that you will need later in life, be it you’re in college, some organization, community, school even in work. What skills do you need that are going to help you?”