Venturing is a co-ed program administered by the Boy Scouts of America that is intended to allow for high adventure outings and permit young women and men to jointly participate. The Ner Tamid religious emblem was formerly a prerequisite for earning the Etz Chaim religious emblem. However, since the Ner Tamid religious emblem is specific to the Boy Scout program, it was not able to be earned by a female Venturer. The NJCOS recognized this inequity and no longer requires that the Ner Tamid be earned prior to working on the Etz Chaim religious emblem.
While Boy Scouts in the ninth, tenth, eleventh or twelfth grades are also entitled to earn the Etz Chaim (“tree of life”) religious emblem, it is the only Jewish religious emblem that may be earned by any Venturer and, specifically, the only one that may be earned by a female. It is the most recent of the religious emblems created by the NJCOS and is intended to be the most challenging. These rigorous requirements will take many months to achieve and can only be accomplished by working with a counselor.
It is strongly urged that the counselor be a religious leader such as a rabbi or cantor or someone familiar with the Venturer as part of a religious education school. It is ideal if coupled with learning for an upcoming Confirmation class. In this case it is urged that the presentation of the medal and certificate be presented at the synagogue or temple to which the Venturer is affiliated.
Finding a counselor for unaffiliated Jews may prove to be difficult. If a local Jewish Committee on Scouting exists at the council, the Scout or his parents may inquire as to where a suitable counselor may be found. In the event that a Jewish Scout is living in a remote area where no Jewish counselors may be found, the NJCOS chair from the respective Northeast, Central, Southern or Western region can appoint someone or work directly with the Scout via telephone, email or other correspondence in order to ensure they can earn the religious emblem in a timely fashion.