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Venturing Open House/First Nighter

The Venturing Crew Open House (sometimes referred to as First Nighter) allows a Crew to swing open its doors and roll out the red carpet to welcome guests. It provides a forum to show off Crew activities and accomplishments. It is an effective tool to reach young men and women who have never tried Scouting.


The Planning

  • Set a date for the open house (best in mid-September through late October) 45 to 60 days in advance.
  • Secure names of prospective members from student-interest surveys (available for some high schools within the council), friends of Venturers, etc.
  • Check for community and school conflicts with the selected date.
  • Concentrate on making it fun.
  • Is your start time conducive to travel needs, meal times, a teenager?s schedule etc.?
  • Plan a gathering time activity or have a handout (anything beats staring at the wall).
  • Plan each part of the open house; give assignments, and be sure it is youth run.
  • Mail open house invitation letters, including an RSVP card and crew three month calendar 10 to14 days in advance.
  • The day before the event make last-minute phone calls to former members. Using the survey list, make reminder phone calls to prospective new members.
  • Plan an event to take place soon after the open house.


The Meeting

  • The young people like to be called young adults or students, not kids.
  • Have the students sign in on a roster as they are arriving.
  • Avoid language that is too technical and be careful to not ?Venturing-Speak? before they know enough about the Crew or Venturing to process the information.
  • Present a Crew three-month calendar to students during the meeting.
  • Promote attendance at the Crew event happening in the next few weeks.

Here is a sample Open House agenda for your use in planning your Crew's Open House.


The Follow-Up

  • Use the roster from the sign-in as a follow-up list to contact.
  • Send thank-you letters to everyone that helped make the evening successful.
  • Complete the registration of new youth and adults in a timely manner and ensure that they reach the Scout Service Center for processing.
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