Powder Horn (1999- )

With the new Venturing program's Ranger Award, a new week-long (or two long weekend or now also three regular weekend) training course was created. Donna and Larry Cunnigham are credited with creating the course along with Bill Evans (as well as the Ranger Award), for which they received National Venturing Leadership Awards. An experiemental course was run in 1998.  The first official course was run at Philmont in September of 1999.  In 2000 several regional/area-level courses were run, aimed at creating course directors and staff.  This continued into 2001 and now we have council level courses aimed at the unit-level Venturing leader and scouter.  Unlike Wood Badge, one can be on staff even if they have not gone thru the course, however to earn the Powder Horn Award, such staff MUST complete all the activities the participants do.  Since more people have had the change to go thru Powder Horn, I think we will see most staffers have already been participants.  Such policy is possible because the bulk of the teaching in the course is done by consultants who are knowledge experts.  And such consultants need not be the course staff members, and ideally most shouldn't be.  Like Wood Badge, course directors must be approved by the Regions, as well as permision to put on a course.

There is also a PH Course Directors Conference, to prepare future PH Course Directors.  The first was given in San Francisco in June of 2002.  Since then, other courses have been given in the regions.  Starting in July 2004, a new standardized CDC curriculum was rolled out in the Central and Southern Region.  A “Powder Horn Summit” in Spring of 2007 should settle on a standard syllabus for this event.   Attendance at a CDC is a requirement to be a course director.

More information, including a list of upcoming courses, can be found at the Powder Horn web site here.  There is also a Powder Horn Fact Sheet here at the National website.  Check out the Powder Horn website for information on upcoming Course Director Conference hosted in different areas.

Fact Sheet: HTML or PDF

"Powder Horn II" is being developed.  It will be named "Flintlock". It will apparently consist of a series of self-contained advanced topics workshops on several of the areas touched on by PH, these would run from several hours to several days depending on the topic.  In addition, there is talk that these workshops will be open to both youth and adult.  Uncertain when we will see them.  Apparently, the attention of those at National have been more focused on finishing Kodiak/Kodiak X.  As this is done, they will probably now refocus on Flintlock.  There will be an additional recognition item for complete these courses.  As more information is made available for this, I will be creating a separate page on this program.

Powder Horn aims to expose Venturing leaders (and Boy Scout leaders) to the outdoor skills necessary for earning the Ranger Award.  It is NOT meant to make the participants experts in these skills, but to make them familiar with them and be able to find experts to help teach the Venturers these skills.  It is a "High Adventurerer Resource Management Course". Powder Horn will:

  • Help Venturing Leaders and Scouters to safely conduct outdoor activities of a fun and challenging nature.
  • Provides an introduction to the resources necessary to successfully lead their Venturers and older Boy Scouts through a program of high adventure.
  • Familiarizes the Advisor with the Ranger program so that he or she can help the Venturer to meet the requirements of the Ranger Award.

This course is based on the Venturing Ranger requirements giving participants an exposure to outdoor/high adventure activities.

                                All Powder Horn courses will include the following Ranger Core Requirements and Electives:
                                                            (No one has to do any activity they feel uncomfortable with)
                       Backpacking                                      Land Navigation
                       Communication                                  Leave no Trace-Camping
                       Conservation Project Development      Life Saver
                       Cooking                                             Mountaineering
                       Emergency Preparedness                   Outdoor Living History
                       Expedition Planning                            Overnight
                       First Aid                                            Physical Fitness
                       Plants, Wildlife & Ecology                  Shooting Sports
                       Wilderness Survival                           Working with Teens

Program runs as either a week-long course, two long weekends (3 days), or three weekends (2 days).  Not all electives will be covered at each course.  Courses are required to provide all 8 core requirements, and at least 10 of the 14 electives.

Power Horn participants receive a silver powder horn to hang from the left pocket flap. Yes, that is correct, the left pocket.  This is stated in the Course Director's manual, and now also in the Insignia Guide (earlier editions ignored it).  It is meant as a permanent part of the scouter's uniform. Original plans were to make it pewter.  Apparently the first set were silver, the next run are aluminum.  There is also a smaller version as a sort of 'label pin' version (#4254), which is only available thru council offices.  There are no plans for any kind of staff recognition items (at least from National).

Powder Horn badgePowder Horn lapel pin

No literature apart from course syllabus exists to my knowledge.  It does not have a National Supply publication number, and like other literature items, it is a restricted item and only available from Regions to councils running the course. The Powder Horn Staff Guide is in its third revision, which was put out in September 2006.  First edition came out in 1999, and had printings in 2001 (October) and 2002 (September); the second revision came out in September of 2004.  A further revision may appear after the Spring 2007 “Powder Horn Summit”.

updated: 02/15/2007mrb