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TOWNSEND — Venture Crew 30 is Townsend newest youth program.

Venturing is a specialized youth-development off-shoot of the BSA that focuses on outdoor activities and high adventure skills. Crews are ran by the members and overseen by advisers. Selectmen unanimously voted to support the creation of Venture Crew 30, which will be sponsored by the Townsend Fire Department.

Troop 10 Scoutmaster Tom Whittier decided to move forward with plans to start one after his experience leading Troop 10 and looking for a way to keep his Scouts involved in outdoor activities longer. And it isn’t just for boys, Venture Crew 30 is open to everyone in town between the ages of 14 and 21.

Whittier also is a past member of the Littleton Firefighters Union which sposnored an Explorer Post. Explore Posts, another extension of the BSA, focus more intensively on particular fields like fire, police, engineering or conservation.

“The reason I chose to start a Venture Crew is because they aren’t not soley occupation based, and we can get a broader selection of people who want to experience high adventure activities,” Whittier said.

By partnering with the Fire Department, the Venture Crew will get some of that professional experience alongside activities like rock climbing, white water rafting and camping.

“Hopefully the Venturers will be able to get trained ino anything a fire fighter can do, within reason of course,” Whitter said adding that the program has restrictions to keep its members safe.

Whittier said real world experience can be gained from not only observation and basic first aid, but assisting at fire scenes can be valuable for serving the community. Fire Chief Don Klein was enthusiastic about the program as well, and welcomed the creation of the crew.

“We sponsored an Explorer Post in town about 15 years ago and a good 80 to 75 percent of kids went onto work in Townsend or other area fire departments,” Klein said.

Townsend Fire could use the help too, Klein said, because of his on-call staff. All to often firefighters are hired as on-calls and leave for full-time positions in bigger departments quickly.

An information night for interested Venturers will be held on Tuesday, March 20 at 7 p.m. in the Hawthonre Brook Auditorium.

“This provides young people an opportunity to serve our community and I fully support it,” Selectmen Chairman Robert Plamondon said.

All Venturing activities are covered by BSA insurance.