Venture Scout is currently the highest grade attainable in the UK Scout movement, taking in those aged 15 (and a half) to 20 year old young people. It's roughly equivalent to the US Eagle Scout.
To join the
cult movement, you have to, as with other Scout groups, make the Scout Promise. Serve "your God" (we're multifaith now!) and the Queen (but still patriotic), yadayadayada. Atheists can get in as long as they are also liars. Once you've gotton in: well done! You're part of a Venture Scout unit!
What does this mean? Well, um, you have a good excuse for drinking and having fun. Which is as good a thing as any. What you're supposed to do is go out on outdoor expeditions (remember that? Outside in real life before you started noding?) go climbing and things like that. Invariably this doesn't happen with any regularity as it involves organisation by the unit itself, not by leaders as in other Scout levels. Instead, the unit I am in play football, go to the cinema and insult each other. We also do that whole camping thing in order to keep in our leader's good books.
Venture Scouts don't have the same badge system as other Scouts, you work towards awards instead. This involves creative negotiation as you try and persuade your leader that actually, yes, not breaking people's noses, even when they deserve it, is actually a community service. You also need to show activity, creativity, independance, international awareness, leadership and knowledge of relationships and values. The best liars manage to get the Queen's Scout Award, where you do actually go to see the Queen (if she turns up at Buckingham Palace). This is the original, and still the best (read: most difficult), Duke of Edinburgh Award style qualification in the UK, although no-one knows this but Scouts. This makes it terribly difficult when people ask you "Why didn't you do the Duke of Edinburgh? That's so much better."
The Venture Scout level is going to be abolished and replaced with two different levels in the year 2002 A.D. to try and accommodate older Scouts, whilst exciting the younger ones enough to not drop-out out the Scout stage.
Ta very much: The Scout Association: Badge Requirements web page, http://www.scoutbase.org.uk/library/books/badge/v_vsa.htm. Accessed on 1st May 2002.