Pathfinder Award

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Pathfinder Award

Venturing program level III award.
Created: 2014
Award Focus: Leadership
Discovery Award
Summit Award

The Pathfinder Award is the third Venturing program level award. The Venturer’s capabilities and skills expand, and with them come increased responsibility for defining their own way forward in life, service to others, and formal planning and leadership of the crew toward its goals.

Award key points
  • Emerging leadership, challenging skills and activity level
  • Elected or appointed leadership role including advanced training
  • Participating in activity and service planning
  • Goal development, planning, and pursuit
Award intended outcomes
  • Project management training
  • Plan and lead at least one crew activity of one day or longer
  • Serve in elected leadership position for six months or more
  • Experiential training in conflict resolution, communications, group dynamics, cooperation, and ethical controversies
  • Plan and lead activity to enhance crew sustainability
  • Plan and participate in service of 36 hours or more
  • Establish and achieve two personal goals


Pathfinder Award requirements

  1. Participate in at least two additional (for a total of at least four) Tier II or III adventures at the crew, district, council, area, regional, or national level. Serve as a leader for one of the adventures.

  2. Complete Project Management Training.
  3. Since earning the Discovery Award, plan and give leadership to a Tier II or Tier III adventure. Work with a youth mentor to ensure that you have organized the adventure in advance, that you are prepared for contingencies, and that you have prepared the members of your crew to take part. In some cases, you may need to confer with an external consultant to assure the adventure is feasible for your crew. The adventure must take place over at least two consecutive nights. If an event lasts more than four nights, an additional Venturer may share in planning and leading the adventure. If two Venturers plan the adventure, they should work with their mentor to ensure that the workload is divided fairly between the two leaders. At the close of the adventure, lead a reflection with the participants in the activity to determine what was learned and how it helped them to work together as a more effective team. An experienced Venturer should serve as your mentor for the adventure..
  4. Complete one of the following:
    a. Since earning the Discovery Award, serve actively as crew president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, guide, historian, den chief, or quartermaster for a period of at least six months**. At the beginning of your term, work with your crew president (or Advisor, if you are the president) to set performance goals for the position. Any number of different positions may be held as long as the total length of service equals at least six months. Holding simultaneous positions does not shorten the required number of months. Positions need not flow from one to the other; there may be gaps in time. Once during your term of office, discuss your successes and challenges with your crew president (or Advisor, if you are the president).


    b. Participate in or serve on staff for leadership training such as National Youth Leadership Training, Kodiak Challenge, National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience, Order of the Arrow National Leadership Seminar, Sea Scout SEAL Training, or Wood Badge (for Venturers 18 or older). You may also participate in non-BSA leadership training courses such as those delivered by the National Outdoor Leadership School, if approved by your Advisor.

    Personal Growth
  5. Since earning the Discovery Award, explore the two areas (Development of Faith,*** Development of Self, or Development of Others) that you did not explore previously. Based on what you discover, prepare a set of personal reflections or thoughts on the subjects. Use your reflections and what you learned from the process to prepare for fulfilling Personal Growth requirement 7 and for your Pathfinder Award Advisor conference.
  6. Participate in an ethical controversy discussion activity that includes an extension into conflict resolution.
  7. In consultation with your Advisor, establish at least two personal goals and achieve them. The goals should be grounded in the areas you explored in Pathfinder Personal Growth requirement 5.

  8. Plan, organize, and give leadership to a project designed to sustain and grow your crew. Submit the plan to your crew president (or Advisor, if you are president), and explain how you think it will encourage more young people to join Venturing.
  9. Participate in service activities totaling at least 36 hours. This is in addition to the 24 hours of service required to earn the Discovery Award. Up to half of the service may be delivered personally; the rest must be delivered through crew activities.

    Advisor Conference and Board of Review
    Upon completion of the Adventure, Leadership, Personal Growth, and Service requirements, complete the following.

  10. Participate in an Advisor conference. As a part of this conference, discuss with your Advisor the challenges you faced and what you learned in fulfilling Pathfinder Personal Growth requirements 5 and 7.
  11. After your Advisor conference, successfully complete a crew board of review.

*If the crew does not have any youth mentors who have earned the Pathfinder Award and completed Mentoring training, and Advisor or associate Advisor may serve as a mentor to meet this requirement.
**A Venturer may substitute district, council, area, regional, or national Venturing officer or cabinet officer for the positions listed in this requirement.
***Venturers may, but are not required to, share the personal reflection associated with Development of Faith with their Advisor, during the Advisor conference, during a board of review.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Handbook for Venturers, 2017 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #637673)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.

Uniform and Level Award Insignia

2014 Pathfinder Award badge.
2014 Pathfinder Award badge.

Award are embroidered patches worn on the left pocket of the Venturing field uniform. The embroidered emblem is worn on the pocket until the Venturer turns 21, at which time the pocket patch is removed and the square know emblem is worn.

Male Venturers may wear his Boy Scout Eagle knot above the left pocket. Boy Scout rank patches cannot be simultaneously worn with the Venturing level award patches.

Venturing has an emphasis on group identity method and Venturers are encouraged but not required to wear the Venturing uniform. A crew is encouraged to develop a distinctive, common identity that represents their crew and its interests. The green shirt and gray shorts/pants may serve that purpose for the crew, and is encouraged as an option. Consistent with past practice, the Venturing field uniform is expected for participation in some council, area, region, and national Venturing events.


  1. Program level awards may be earned after May 2014.
  2. Applying for past credit: If a registered Venturer has completed a Pathfinder Award requirement, as written, prior to June 1, 2014, he or she may receive credit for requirements 1, 3 - 6, and 8. The "Since earning the Discovery Award" portion of requirements 3 and 4a will be waived for Venturers who completed these requirements prior to June 1, 2014. All other requirements must be complete after June 1, 2014.
  3. Development of Faith, Development of Self, and Development of Others: These are not separate awards but are the setting of goals within the realms of exploration in the areas of faith, self, and others. Over his or her time in the program, a Venturer carries out a reflection in each of those areas and uses what was learned through the reflection to set and achieve a goal exploring each of those areas. This is an requirement of describing the reflection process and offering examples of setting and attaining goals, and is described in the Venturer and Advisor handbooks.
  4. Requirement 8 - Project designed to sustain or grow your crew: A sustainability project, whether a long-term project or a single event, should support the crew’s ongoing viability by attracting new members and/or supporting the crew’s ability to continue with its chosen path of adventure. The purpose of the project is to help your crew continue to grow and thrive. It should involve good stewardship of crew resources and help ensure that the opportunities the crew provides for others will continue into the future.
  5. Service Hours - Definition of service: From the Handbook for Venturers: "A service is a valuable action, deed, or effort carried out to meet a need of an individual, a group of people, or an organization. An act must be both valuable and address a need of the recipient to qualify as an act of service. The variety of service project ideas is boundless. And, with your capabilities as a young adult it becomes your responsibility to choose those opportunities which best fit with your personal and crew values and to to bring about significant positive change for the individual or organization that you serve. Service is a great place to stretch your leadership muscles."
  6. Service Hours - Half of the hours may be delivered personally: This means the member is dependent on his or her crew planning service activity for half of his service hour opportunities towards completing the service requirement. The intended outcome is for the Venturer to develop an ethic of service to others through crew activities as well as through individual service contributions.
  7. Service Hours - Service delivered through crew activities: If a Venturer organizes a crew service activity, it counts as service time with the crew. Depending on the size/nature of the service project, it may also be satisfy credit as leading a Tier II or Tier III adventure.
  8. Service Hours - Service in an event not planned by the Venturer's crew: This is an example of delivering individual service. If the crew elects to take part in a community service event – and organizes crew participation in that event – then it would count as crew-delivered service.
  9. Requirement 9 - Advisor approval of service: There is no expectation of Advisor approval for service provided on an individual basis. The “how and why” of the service provided by the individual is a great topic for discussion during an Advisor conference.
  10. Requirement 9 - Service to the crew and service project hours: This is a separate service requirement for the benefit of the crew and its members and does not “count” toward accumulating service project hours.
  11. Crew board of review: This board of review is a unit board of review similar to a Boy Scout Tenderfoot through Life rank review.

See also

Expert-level awards

Requirement resources

Online Training will be available for Personal Reflections, Goal Setting, Time Management, Project Management, and Mentoring. They are included in the requirements for the program level awards.

External links

Personal tools