The Symbolic Framework of Venture

Adolescence is the time of life to dream of a better world, to appreciate new experiences, to make decisions about the future, to take risks. Teenagers have the same ideals as in the past, the same enthusiasm, and the same skill in defending victims of society. They know how to mobilize themselves for “big” cases, plan strong and useful actions, be full of sense and open-mindedness. However they are also influenced by individualism, money and society’s mentality “of getting everything immediately”.

Adolescence, the age of all possibilities

Scouting gives teenagers an opportunity to grow, independently or by encountering others, with the Patrol or with the Caravan (unit). Indeed the trust we have in them helps to make them become autonomous and responsible. That is possible by letting them take part in activities autonomously and as a patrol in a safe context. It is about giving them the chance to carry out ambitious and quality projects. It is about making dreams possible, to create a better world and stand together as useful citizens. Finally, it is about giving them the chance to take a break, to have insight into their everyday life, to grow and develop their skills while encountering others, (to be young Catholics).

1 main dynamic: the itinerancy

14-17 teenagers step out of their home and discover the world. Their itinerancy is initiation, a path to create, to live step by step. The objective is not to make it immediately, but to take the time needed to travel on a common route to reach the chosen goal, together. Stops, enriched by shared experiences, give sense to the destination. A Venture- unit is called “the Caravan”. Like in the desert, the Caravan “camp and camp” following a “PAC” project, chosen by everyone. By the Patrol system, the teenager develops his/her skills and talents and progresses through the routes/paths of the “Cairn”. Through everyone’s growth, the unit will build its Project and will dare more ambitious PAC Projects. (or will dare a more ambitious PAC Project).

The Caravan’s Short Glossary

Caravan: it’s the unit, i.e. the ventures and the leaders (in French: caravane).

Venture: in French: Pionnier-Caravelle

Patrol: a small homogenous group of Ventures (in French: équipe).

Patrol leader: a venture in charge of one patrol in the caravan, preferably a 3rd year venture (in French: chef équipe).

Responsibilities: 9 missions to be split within the unit to optimise the running of the caravan.

PAC: The project of the caravan (Plan - Act – Celebrate) (in French: CAP).

Routes: 6 personal growth paths, taken one by one, by every venture/caravel during his/her 3 years in the caravan (in French: itinéraires).

Cairn’s Stone: The stones represent the personal and concrete success of every venture/ on his/her route.

Decisive encounters: meetings with characters of the New Testament and 1 contemporary character by each venture during his routes.

Deserts: 3 themes proposed to enrich the spiritual life of the caravan. Each desert is composed of 3 faces and takes place over 1 entire year. After 3 years in the caravan, every venture will have travelled in each of the 3 deserts: Sinai, Hoggar, and Negev.

Sources: Intense time of reflection about oneself and the living environment of every venture during the camp.

Trek: Time for itinerancy in Patrol (exploration), which can last up to 3 days.

Inukshuk: the venture’s book, given during the welcoming ritual. “Inukshuk” is an Inuit word which means “which looks like a man”. Built from stones to look like a man, this cairn is used as a landmark in the big Arctic desert. Symbol of humanity, it shows a food cache. Northern Inukshuk from Canada is symbol of brotherhood, mutual aid and solidarity.