Corps of Discovery
  – Servant Leader

The object of Sage Thinking is to deliver and share positive thoughts.  Some of those will be regarding the Scouting program as I have been a registered member for over 30 years.

The first program that I want to share is the Corps of Discovery (COD).  The COD is a grassroots movement established to form a service society.  Members are youth and adults who have shown a willingness to promote service within their organizations (especially Venturing Crews), communities or within their religious institutions.  The Corps of Discovery is a service organization.  The website for this movement is www.thecorpsofdiscovery.org.

The COD is not an official part of the Boy Scouts of America but many Venturing Crews are embracing the program for several reasons.  Some of those reasons include:

  • The fact that the COD takes its name and symbolism from Lewis and Clark’s historic Voyage of Discovery.
  • It is a service organization and not an honor society.
  • Both males and females can belong.
  • To become a member, one must simply be willing to commit to doing service (a pay it forward concept).

A great deal of thanks has to go the Chris for the Guidebook and support for the program.  Chris is presently the backbone of the program and what I would call the third generation of support.  The first generation was Crew 477 of Northwest Suburban Council that got it started in 1999 follow by Crew 1984, Utah National Parks Council.  At that time, it was called the Venturing Corps of Discovery.

After some years the original Corp of Discovery had faded away, and two Scouters, Joe Garrett and myself took up the program with the intention of taking this program, centered on Kodiak training, and spread it throughout the country as a new service society for the Venturing Program.

In 2012, it was agreed that it was time to organize and define what the Corp of Discovery is, how it works, and how to handle membership.  Chris Hagerty, from the Voyager Outpost accepted leadership of this project, and after months of group input, debate and conversation, the first Guidebook was published in May of 2013.

On June 26th, 2015, Craig Murray, Joe Garrett, and Chris Hagerty announced the next evolutionary step for the Venturing Corps of Discovery at the Western Region Rendezvous at Ft. Clatsop.

In order to both ensure the service-first mission of the COD, and to offer the program to a larger number of youth, the word “Venturing” was dropped from the title, and membership was made available to and youth 14 and over willing to adhere to the Mission, Principles, and policies of the Corps of Discovery.  Any group of youth could adopt the COD, or form to become an Outpost, Company or Camp.

Much more information about the program can be obtained in the Guidebook that Chris Hagerty has put together.  The most recent version can be found on this webpage:
www.thecorpsofdiscovery.org/membership.html.