Story by Lido Vizzutti and Mary Matelich of the Montana Council.
Venturers Cayman F., Madison E., and Emily G., are not only the first members of their unit to earn the Ranger award, but the first in Montana Council to receive this exceptional distinction in the last decade.
The young women set out on a variety of impressive adventures, including pack rafting at the Montana High-Adventure Base (MOHAB), rock climbing and ATV riding at K-M Scout Ranch, and completing the Philmont Scout Ranch Cavalcade for the equestrian elective.
Showing true grit, the Venturers completed the wilderness survival requirement at Pipestone National Monument, Minn., in May with the temperature dropping to a chilling 32 degrees at night. Using only their survival kits, they underwent the night without sleeping bags or tents.
“Because Ranger electives are so challenging, it really takes focus to get four electives completed as well as the eight core requirements,” crew advisor Betsy Eubanks said. “The three Venturers have been working on the Ranger award for three years.”
To earn the Ranger award, Venturers first have to complete eight core requirements: first aid, emergency preparedness, “leave no trace”, land navigation, wilderness survival, communications, cooking, and conservation.
Next, they must finish four of 18 challenging electives – backpacking, cave exploring, cycling/mountain biking, ecology, equestrian, first aid, fishing, hunting, lifesaver, mountaineering, outdoor living history, physical fitness, plants and wildlife, Project COPE, scuba, shooting sports, watercraft or winter sports.
“My favorite thing we’ve done as a crew was the wilderness survival weekend and the days leading up to it,“ said Cayman. “I really loved the challenge and adventure of it!”
Training is important to these exceptional Venturers. All of them have attended the Boy Scouts of America’s National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT). They have also been active in taking and staffing the Wilderness First Aid course.
“Some requirements were easy in the way that they were almost something I would’ve done for fun – like the equestrian elective or the first aid elective,” said Madison. “Other requirements involved intensive focus in areas I’d never particularly excelled in or showed any affinity for.”
“Completing (the requirements) was difficult and required much motivation. In the end, it was those requirements that made the most impact on my skill and character,” she said.
If you had to pick one person to lead you on a wilderness expedition, you just might want to select one of these experienced and trained recipients of Venturing’s Ranger award! You can learn more about the award here.
Do you have a heart for adventure and a proclivity for the great out doors? Check out the video below, then contact your local council to learn more about Venturing in your area.
Special thanks to Lido Vizzutti and Mary Matelich of the Montana Council for submitting this story.