Venturing is different from Boy Scouting: it is coed, involves youths in an older and more mature age range (14-20), and has a program that is adaptable to youth interests that are very different from the traditional scouting program. Piedmont Council, Boy Scouts of America (BSA), operates many different Venturing Crews with the mix constantly evolving: examples include High Adventure Crew, Video/Film Production Crew, (new) Photo Crew, (new) Cooking and Food Crew, Police Explorer Post 911 and Ship 16 Sea Scouts (sailing). Piedmont Council’s VOA (Venturing Officers’ Association) is a consortium of our coed Crews that seeks collaboration between the crews in a way that provides ways that enhance the collective experience of our membership.
Crew members are encouraged to work towards the Venturing awards which promote personal growth through challenges that also benefit others around them. Members who want to work on the Venturing awards should do so in collaboration with the Crew Advisor.
Active and motivated members should seek leadership roles: the Advisor and crew officers will mentor them to grow in confidence and competence through on the job leadership experience. Crew officers are elected, but there are many non-elected ways that members can lead, from easy starter-roles to challenging responsibilities to plan and run major events. Have a discussion with the crew president and the crew advisor to develop your own path to working on your own leadership skills and making an impact within our crew and helping our community!
In the summer, we offer the chance to go on trips, attend BSA camps, and attend BSA’s renowned leadership training programs. Members are invited to be involved in the selection and planning of our summer program.
What we do
- monthly crew planning meetings
- service events
- fun/social/team-building events
- fundraising events which allow us to make a deeper impact in our service work
The palette of service events can be seen by viewing upcoming events (and the past year’s history) on our crew calendar.
We are always looking for event ideas that better match the interests and schedules of the members, and actively seek feedback and involvement of the membership in selection and planning of the events. Our events typically include:
- Food preparation and serving meals to hungry and homeless people.
- Weekly tutoring of Burmese refugee children.
- Working at the local food bank.
- Environmental work: cleaning parks, restoring native vegetation, maintaining our creeks, trail work in parks & wilderness areas.
- Helping organizations that serve children.
- Renovating homes of low income and elderly homeowners.
- Painting and construction work that benefit agencies that help others.
- Volunteering at community events (Piedmont Turkey Trot, Harvest Festival, BSA Tree Lot).
- Fundraising to help needy causes (car wash, bake sale, garage sale, soliciting donations from area businesses).
Each spring, we go on our annual “Leadership Retreat”, a weekend get-away where we have fun, cook our own meals, play team building games and leadership training exercises, hold our annual elections and planning for the next year; we often do a service project. In the fall just after school starts, we go away to a fun weekend “Rendezvous” with other Venturing Crews at a traditional camp setting and participate in activities like mountain biking, water sports, horseback riding, rock climbing, shooting arrows, shotguns, 22 rifles, eating great meals.
The adult leadership must be comprised of both male & females since our crew is coed; they all must be BSA registered and trained.
A Crew Committee comprised of crew parents provides oversight of the adult leaders, ensures that the parents’ perspectives are addressed, and keeps an eye on the long term sustainability of the crew.
Ken is the founder of PCSC and has been mentoring Piedmont teens since 2003. He was inspired to meld the success of Piedmont BSA Council’s 100+ year legacy of Boy Scouting with the chance to include girls via the coed Venturing Program. He tries to meet every crew member and for teens that contribute to the success of the crew, he promises to be a long-term champion for their future success.
Maya is a senior at Piedmont High School. She first got involved with PCSC when she attended the fall RTO event as a freshman and fell in love with the crew. Since then, she has led the RTO spring project, served as VP of Administration, and been Piedmont’s VOA President. Maya plays water polo in the fall and is involved in Piedmont’s advanced acting class. She loves history and writing. In her free time, she enjoys going on runs with her dad, reading a book, and being a foodie with her friends.
Lauren is a junior at Piedmont High School and is very excited to be working as VP Admin this year! She hopes to make PCSC a closer and more social crew for high schoolers to enjoy and to create stronger ties between crew officers and members. As a PCSC officer last year, Lauren was able to discover her interests with PCSC and is now even more motivated to include more people in the events and fundraisers PCSC has to offer.
V.P. of programming
I am a junior at Piedmont High School. As VP program I’m tasked with finding leaders for the many PCSC events that we have as well as ensuring that we have PCSC events basically every week. Moreover, it is my job to find new events for PCSC to try out. This entails talking with the members of PCSC to figure out what the general populous of PCSC wants to do.
V.P. of Communications
William, a senior at PHS, he has served for the past 2 years as the assistant to previous Communications VPs. He has led numerous PCSC events, including Tutoring in Oakland, work at the Alameda County Food Bank, St. Mary’s Center, and the Castro Valley Community Youth Court. William is committed to promoting good press for crew events, as well as encouraging new membership. Beyond the crew, William is an active member of the Speech and Debate Team, enjoys studying international relations, and often performs in the PHS musicals.
Sara Zimmerman and Sasha Liu
Sara and Sasha have been members of PCSC since freshman year. As co-web masters, they wants to help current and prospective members access the vast amount of information and events that PCSC has to offer.
Jane Simonetti and Susan Kuroda
V.P.s of accounting
Susan is a senior at Piedmont High School. She joined PCSC in 8th Grade after discovering what a united group PCSC is. She especially enjoys attending the Food Bank events and helping out at RTO. She was assistant to the VP of Finance freshman year and assistant to the VP of Program this past year. This year she will be co-running VP of Accounting with Jane. Outside of the Crew, Susan spends her time writing, reading, and playing tennis.
Jane simonetti is the co-VP of accounting in the crew. She is a junior and first became interested in PCSC spring of her freshman year. Jane has worked with the VP fundraising and accounting team. She enjoys working with the Alameda food bank and cooking events through hot meals Jane is also involved with Piedmont’s advanced acting program and also enjoys film.
Tiffany Foo and Rose Eisenbauch Fundraising V.P.s
Numbers. They surround and consume Tiffany. In and out the numbers come. Tiffany’s mission for the good of the number world of PCSC to be organized and efficient to let the crew be informed about how much money is coming in and is out. Furthermore, here are some other tasks that Tiffany is responsible for: keeping track of forms and permission slips that are signed by a crew and donations.
(Picks up the phone.)
“We would like to inform you that your numbers are off the charts.”
“Oh no! I’ll be right there”
Community service hours
PCSC is a CCC-approved service organization, and we track and record our members’ attendance to all our events as a benefit to our members. Whereas most PHS students must submit their hours for each organization that they volunteer with, PCSC members may enter their hours as a lump sum of service hours with PCSC. You can also request a copy of your own itemized PCSC service hours for the crew year to refer to later.
Follow these links for information about community service recognition for PHS students:
Being responsive to crew communications (invitations to events, voting, etc) is appreciated. Sign up for events by telling the Advisor and the event leader in advance: this helps our planning. If you are a “Maybe” for attending an event, make a decision either way a few days before the event, and tell us if you need to cancel.
1) Piedmont Council, BSA is our parent organization: Support Piedmont Council, BSA through the annual “Friends of Scouting” (FOS) fundraising drive through a financial donation. Annual participation in the FOS campaign by all members sends an important message to our community that our Crew respects the value that Piedmont BSA brings to the local youth. The council staff and local office ensures high standards of program delivery and supports the growth through the formation of new crews.
2) For nearly a decade, PCSC’s collaboration with Rebuilding Together Oakland (RTO, www.rtoakland.org), with whom we work every October and April, has been the source of the crew’s proudest annual activity. In April, we typically renovate the dilapidated home of a low income elderly Oakland resident, engaging close to 100 volunteers over two full workdays. Crew leaders (youth!) plan for months to define the project scope, recruit consultants, and plan the detailed task plan, then lead the crew members to complete the tasks. The Crew is a sponsor of RTO which teaches our members the importance of financial support for philanthropy. For 2016/17, our goal is to sponsor at the $12,000 level. We spend all year reaching this goal through fundraising from the efforts of our members (car washes, food sales, etc.), but a critical source of funding is from the generosity of our community businesses and fans of what the crew does.
The annual membership dues are kept modestly low so that PCSC families can support these organizations via tax deductible donations. A portion of the membership dues supports the cost of some of the meals that the crew plans and serves to the homeless in our area.