A Venture is to Venturers what a Jamboree is to Scouts - the pinnacle of the section and not to be missed. It has a slightly different structure to other events - split into two sections that allows your Venturer to try as many things as they can. This might enhance an existing skill or interest, or drive a new one. Phase One is 5 days of targeted experiences you will choose beforehand - it might be sailing, mountain biking, photography or survivor - within small groups of all ages, genders and nationalities. Phase Two is then 6 days back together on the Venture Site with plenty of events and activities during the day and night to keep you busy.
In truth, a Venture (and Pre-Tour) is a very different experience to most other opportunities offered to teenagers (which is also why it is so life-changing). There are some similarities to a school camp, however it is much longer and less restricted in its operation. The event builds on the skills embedded in the Scouting movement - freedom and independence whilst being guided by trained and passionate adult leaders. The onus is on the participants to draw the most out of their time.
A trip of this size requires a certain level of maturity and responsibility on the part of the Venturers who attend. The trip is a learning experience, and parents always comment on how their child has returned more confident, mature and independent. The Contingent Team is aware that some Venturers will handle the three weeks differently - most will relish the time away, but some may find it slightly more challenging. That is absolutely fine - the Contingent Team is well versed in supporting this.
A Pretour and Venture recognizes the age of the participants, and provides more flexibility and choice accordingly. The most fun is had when the Venturers are afforded the freedom to do activities and challenge themselves whilst meeting new people and trying new experiences. What is needed, however, is the ability to behave responsibly in times of minimal supervision. You don't need to be totally independent and mature to attend or to have a ball, but this trip will definitely help to develop both those attributes as well as the physical and social skills - and that's the whole point.
You can rest assured that the Contingent Team has safety and welfare at the forefront of everything we do. The aim is to provide a life-changing experience for all involved, and have them return home safe and sound and wishing they could go back! The Contingent has a dedicated Welfare & First Aid team who will make sure all participants are supported to have the most fun possible. Comphrehensive travel insurance will cover the duration of our time in New Zealand, and we only engage in activities that are reputable, safe and insurable. The Venture Site will have a functioning mini-clinic and access to hospital facilities.
While the cost is substantial, it is definitely worthwhile and also excellent value for money. The fees will include all insurance, flights, transfers, meals, merchandise, and accommodation, as well as most activities for the duration of the Pre-Tour and Venture. All the money goes directly towards maximizing the experience of your child. Our size means we often negotiate costs at a considerably discounted rate, making sure you get the most bang for your buck. When you think of everything that is included, and compare it to the costs of other holidays or camps, it is great value. Check the 'Price > Fundraising' page for some tips on how to lighten the load.
Australia has sent record numbers to the last two New Zealand Ventures, and is set to do the same in 2016. This strong following is based on the experiences of all our previous participants, and how highly they speak of the trip. It is a lot of money, but any previous participant will be quick to tell you it was worth it and them some!
The Contingent Team will endeavor to provide detailed information throughout the build-up of the trip. We will be working closely with the New Zealand Organizing Team to make sure information is passed on quickly. The next 18 months will be filled with emails, mailed newsletters, and continual updates on the website. There will also be a strong social media presence, with Facebook a great way of communicating and building the excitement.
Every state will also have an Orientation Day in the November and December of 2015. This is your chance for you and your Venturer to meet the Contingent Team in person, receive a comprehensive briefing filled with tips and hints, receive all the Contingent merchandise and gear, and also start to meet some of the other participants.
Finally, our experience has showed that Venturers are often too busy having fun to even think about contacting home, so the Contingent Team will ensure you are kept up to date as we undertake our New Zealand adventure. A daily blog with photos and updates will pass on all the excitement and help you to live vicariously through your Venturers as they embark on a memorable trip!