They come from all over the country — from Southern California to central Maine. Their tenure in the Venturing program ranges from years to decades. And while some worked tirelessly behind the scenes, others made their mark in the spotlight.

For all their differences — all the unique ways that these Venturers and Venturing Advisors supported the program — they’re about to share something in common. And what a shiny something it is.

Nine outstanding Venturers and Venturing Advisors have been named recipients of the 2021 National Venturing Leadership Award.

These Greenshirts, to use the unofficial nickname inspired by Venturing’s unique uniform color, have helped the Venturing program through major, national-level contributions to the BSA’s adventure-packed program for young men and young women ages 14 (or 13 and done with the eighth grade) to 21.

A special virtual reception honoring these outstanding Greenshirts will be held during the BSA’s National Annual Meeting in May. (The exact date and time will be announced later.) The reception will also recognize noteworthy crews, the Venturer of the Year and the 2021–22 members of the National Venturing Officers’ Association.

The best place to find updates about this event will be the Venturing Facebook page.

Who has received this award in past years?

I blogged about the 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016 recipients. For a list of all recipients since the award’s debut in the year 2000, visit this page.

Who selects the recipients?

Individuals are nominated by their peers, and a selection committee of youth Venturers and adult Advisors reviews all nominations to make the final decisions.

What do honorees receive?

You mean other than unwavering gratitude from their fellow Greenshirts?

Recipients of the National Venturing Leadership Award receive a silver medallion suspended from a red and white ribbon. This year’s recipients will be honored at a virtual reception and will receive their medallions by mail.

What about council, area and regional Venturers and Advisors?

Venturing Leadership Awards are presented at the council, area and regional levels, too.

Visit this page to learn how you can honor the outstanding Venturers and Venturing Advisors you know.

Who are the 2021 recipients of the National Venturing Leadership Award?

Let’s get to the main event. Here are the 2021 recipients, listed alphabetically, along with just a snippet of what they’ve done. This year, I’ve also included quotes from some of the nominating letters written in support of these outstanding people.

Please join me in congratulating these nine noteworthy Venturers and Advisors.

Ian Arnold

Franklin, Mass.

  • Currently serves as Northeast Region Venturing President
  • Has been a voice of calm and reason through many Venturing changes and proposed changes
  • Invites others into helping to push forward through difficult times

Quote from nomination letter: “Overall, I believe Ian represents the Venturing program in a positive light. He has represented the Venturing program in a very difficult year. He has attended many virtual meetings all over the United States. He always had words of wisdom and encourages everyone around him to do their best. He is a shining example of a Venturer.”

Elizabeth Finley

Elko, Nev.

  • Currently serves as Western Region Venturing Advisor and a member of the National Venturing Committee
  • Supports and encourages the youth in all of their plans to help make Venturing better
  • While helping Venturing in any way possible, she never oversteps her bounds — ensuring that the youth get to Lead the Adventure

Quote from nomination letter: “As my Advisor, she has made notable efforts to get to know me personally. She has taken interest in my schooling and my personal goals outside of the Scouting program. Having such a well-adjusted relationship with Liz has ensured that I can balance all of the different aspects of my life outside of Scouting while remaining on top of what is happening in my region. I credit this to Liz’s flexibility when working with me and the other officers.”

Amy Herman

Garland, Texas

  • Currently serves as the Southern Region Venturing President
  • Has led several projects, including creating a “Building Council VOA Guide,” designing additional (virtual) social interactions for Venturers during COVID-19, and deploying “SouthCast Live” events
  • Member of the Golden Key Honor Society of Southern Methodist University

Quote from nomination letter: “Amy is a high-energy individual, but she balances that high energy with compassion and concern. I have seen her delicately and diplomatically take tasks from other leaders who were feeling overwhelmed and did this without complaining or criticizing.”

Brenna Leary

Essex, Md.

  • Member of the Awards and Recognition Committee, which is part of the National Venturing Committee
  • Previously served as the Northeast Region Venturing President and has not given up on her dedication to the Venturing program
  • Served on staff for numerous leadership training events

Quote from nomination letter: “Brenna has shown exceptional commitment to furthering the Venturing program. … She continues her involvement to this day, inspiring the next generation of Venturing leaders — especially young, bold women. Brenna is a known and trusted source of knowledge within the program and continues to deliver on each project and within each team.”

Gordon Leary

Essex, Md.

  • Currently serves as Northeast Region Venturing Advisor
  • Mentors youth and helps guide them through various projects and tasks
  • Helped strengthen the Northeast Region and connect all regions to be effective nationally

Quote from nomination letter: “I’ve never seen a time when Gordon has felt defeated or down. He always conveys a positive attitude and a curiosity to learn more. When you are in doubt, he will always be there to lend a helping hand or supportive advice.”

Juliana Murillo

San Diego, Calif.

  • Currently serves as Western Region Venturing President
  • Provided outstanding leadership, including developing job descriptions for various youth and adult positions
  • Developed a template for crews to use in submitting their application for the National Noteworthy Crew project

Quote from nomination letter: “In my experience with Juliana, she always focuses on encouraging a team mindset, finds new ways to cultivate positivity, and looks for creative projects for her region VOA to work on for the betterment of the Venturing program and to be promoted regionally and nationally.”

Jamie Shearer

Cranberry Township, Pa.

  • Served as a professional for the Boy Scouts of America and as the Northeast Region Venturing Staff Advisor, demonstrating a true passion for the Venturing program throughout
  • Served on the National Venturing Committee
  • Even after retiring as a professional, has continued to volunteer, with the goal of bettering the Venturing program as a whole

Quote from nomination letter: “I don’t think anyone in

this world could not get along with him. That is a fundamental reason for his success as a tremendous Advisor and professional Scouter. … It is a leadership trait that’s difficult to put into words but is obvious as you see and work with him. He simply brings the best out in people and encourages them to challenge themselves.”

Andrew Steckner

Beechwood, Ohio

  • Currently serves as the Central Region Venturing President
  • Has collaborated successfully with his Sea Scout leadership counterparts to put on events like the Central Region Open Fishing Tournament, or CROFT
  • Used his website design and technological skills to improve the face of Venturing online

Quote from nomination letter: “In my experience with Andrew, he always focuses on streamlining efforts for his team, maintaining a positive culture of inclusivity, and developing useful tools and resources with his Region VOA for the betterment of the Venturing program.”

Samantha Troiano

Orono, Maine

  • Currently serves as National Venturing Vice President
  • An outstanding role model and leader to all of the regional vice presidents, enabling them to work effectively with each other in order to be successful and provide collaboration on projects
  • Worked with the National Venturing Committee to develop a fall recruitment campaign

“[Our leaders’] morale has been challenged, but they’ve kept the course and continued to serve Venturing. As the national vice president, Sammie has been looked to for guidance and support through all of this struggle. I will be forever grateful for her, along with the other youth officers, for their leadership during this term.”

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