Two sisters earn Venturing scouts’ highest honors

March 19, 2014 

Sisters Anna Lilley, left, and Nicole Lilley are the first two girls to receive the Venturing Gold and Silver awards in the Central Georgia Council and the first members of Venture Crew 247 to do so, their Venture Scouts leader said.

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Anna Lilley moved to Warner Robins in 2011, and after going on a caving trip she joined Venturing, a program of Boy Scouts of America for young people older than 14. Sister Nicole joined the next year after her 14th birthday.

Now, says their Venturing leader, Amanda Rhonemus, the two sisters are making Scouting history as the first two girls to receive the Venturing Gold and Silver awards in the Central Georgia Council and the first members of Venture Crew 247, sponsored by Trinity United Methodist Church, to do so.

Nicole, 16, received her Venturing Gold and Silver awards in a February ceremony held in conjunction with her Girl Scout Gold Award.

Anna, 18, is expected to receive her Venturing Silver Award in her own ceremony in April. She has already received her Gold Award.

The Venturing Gold Award focuses on the completion of personal goals. A Scout must have been in the Venturing program for 12 months, must have earned a Bronze Award and must have had a leadership role. In addition, a scout must have participated in a district or higher level activity.

In the area of personal goals, scouts are required to accomplish activities such as completing a personal exercise program for four months, completing a CPR course or serving as a volunteer for six months. They also have to complete activities with their crew, such as projects and social activities.

The Silver Award focuses on leadership, ethics and emergency preparedness. Both sisters had to lead a series of ethical debates with their crew. Along with serving in a leadership role, a Silver Award candidate must be certified in CPR and have completed the Safe Swim program.

Nicole, a student at Houston County High School, and Anna, a civil engineering student at Southern Polytechnic State University, both said Venturing appealed to them because of the amount of high adventure activities they could participate in.

“There is camping, climbing, caving, backpacking,” Nicole said.

Anna, who completed her Girl Scout Gold Award in the 10th grade, said she was looking for another way to stay involved in scouting.

“You can stay in Ventures until you are 21,” she said.

Being a full-time student involved in Venturing means Anna has to do a lot of time management to participate.

“I spend a lot of time studying during the week, so I can come home on the weekends,” she said.

Often her Venturing crew picks her up in Marietta on its way to north Georgia for a caving or camping trip.

While both sisters have reached the pinnacle of scouting, they say they are not finished with Venturing.

“There are other awards you can earn,” Nicole said. “One is the Ranger Award, which is more of an outdoor conservation award.”

Contact Alline Kent at 478-396-2467 or allinekent@cox.net.

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