High-Adventure/Sports Program Adviser

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Program Adviser

A Varsity Scout Team High-Adventure/Sports Program Adviser is a Team Committee member and an adult counterpart to a youth High-Adventure/Sports Program Manager in the Varsity Scout team. The program adviser serves as a sounding board and adviser as the youth plans and is primary leader for his program.

Typical Varsity Scout team organization chart (click to zoom)
Typical Varsity Scout team organization chart (click to zoom)


Position description

This program adviser mets with the youth program manager. The Varsity Scout acts a primary leader by supervising one or more advancement and award activities; the adviser provides direction and encouragement for these activities. The program manager learns leadership skills by carrying out these activities, and satisfies a requirement for the Denali Award. The other Varsity Scouts on the team may also fulfill a requirement for the Denali Award by active participation in the planned event. The adviser does not need to attend the activity, but approves the activity of the primary leader and determines what is required by the other Varsity Scouts to satisfy "participation."

Worthwhile activities help the Varsity Scouts toward Boy Scout advancement, Varsity Scout Letter and Denali trail advancement. and Scouting awards and merit badges. Activities for the religious award may be also coordinated with the Chaplain Aide.


Appointed by the Team Committee Chairman (can be recommended by the Team Coach). The program adviser can be a parent of a youth member of the chartered organization; in smaller units, the team coach may serve as a program adviser. The chairman along with the team coach meets with the program adviser to review duties.


  • Serves on the team committee.
  • Guides and mentors the youth advancement program manager.
  • Meets with the youth program manager(s) to advise and encourage worthwhile high-adventure or sports activities that will help the team advance and the program manager satisfy the Denali requirement.
  • Abides by the safety guidelines of Guide to Safe Scouting and "Safety in the Outdoors" pp. 61-70 in the Varsity Scout Guidebook.
  • Makes contact with people and organizations, which will help Varsity Scouts learn proper outdoor techniques and sports ethics.
  • Organizes transportation and other logistical needs for all high-adventure/sports activities.
  • Acts as a resource to camping, high-adventure/sports activities that the team members will enjoy participating in.
  • Reaches out to Varsity Scouts who do not regularly participate.
  • Participates in boards of review on a regular basis.
  • Completes all training that is available for the adult Varsity Scout leader.
  • Sets an example for youth members by maintaining the principles of the Boys Scouts of America.


The high-adventure/sports field of emphasis especially encourages the team to earn the Varsity Scout Letter, and fulfill the leadership and participation requirement for the Denali Award.

Please make yourself available to meet the youth program manager, especially for the first time meeting. It is critical to get together with a program manager very soon after he receives this new assignment. Familiarize yourself with the Varsity Scout Team Activity Planning Worksheet; make sure that the Varsity Scout completes one for "event" activities (involving team meetings), and submits it to his Squad Leader.

Working with the youth advancement program manager

The program manager's tenure may be as short as three months, so help him make a plan and get started right away. The program manager will select an activity in one of the four areas (and remember, activities are not limited to events that have Varsity Scout Activity Pins):

  1. Long-term High-adventure. One multi-night event is required once a year. When not planning for this event, the program manager will select from the other areas below. Just a few examples include backpacking, canoe camping, snow camping, caving participating in Operation On-target, wilderness or winter survival, cross-country skiing or whitewater canoeing.
  2. Short-term High-adventure. This can be any activity that may involve an overnight campout, but the campout is not required to. Examples include cycling, fishing or waterskiing.
  3. Sports. A sports season or activity by the team members includes training or practice. A sport may be among the entire team or competition between squads (such as bowling), an interteam Varsity Challenge (such as "Frisbee golf" with another youth group), or league play (such as a community or church soccer, softball or basketball team).
  4. Ultimate Adventure. An ultimate adventure with the team can be any event including Discovering America, mechanics, or orienteering.

Big Event

A "Big Event" is a group of common-themed activities from one or all of the other program fields of emphasis, culminating in a high-adventure, sports activity or ultimate adventure. The "Program Features at a Glance" give examples how other programs can mesh together.

Varsity Challenges

Activities can be interteam with other Varsity Scout teams, other Boy Scout troops, or Venturing crews, or with young women. A Varsity Challenge can be sports or a fun competition such as a "Goofy Olympics."


Activities should be exciting and fun for the program manager. Read the Advancement Program Manager's duties and the Varsity Scout Guidebook pp. 61-70. Help the program manager choose from "Ideas for High-Adventure/Sports Activities" and the "Program Features at a Glance." Other activities may be approved by the adult program adviser that encourage advancement and allow the Scout to exercise leadership by organizing multi-step projects, making assignments, and working with Scouts and other adults.

Program helps

Event and ultimate adventure planning

See also

Varsity Scout portal

Varsity awards:

Team Advancement Leaders:

Personal tools