- Exploring (Learning for Life)
Learning for Life
type = program
name = Exploring
members = 172,291 youth (2006) [cite web |url=http://marketing.scouting.org/research/demog/02-030.pdf |title=2006 BSA Year in Review |accessdate=2008-01-05 |publisher=Boy Scouts of America]
f-date = 1959
website = [http://www.learningforlife.org/exploring/ LFL/Exploring]
Exploring is a worksite-based program of
Learning for Life, a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America, for young men and women who are 14 through 20 years old. Exploring units, called "posts", usually have a focus on a single career field, such as police, fire/rescue, health, law, aviation, engineering, or the like, and may be sponsored by a government or business entity.
The Explorer Motto is "Our best today for a better tomorrow!"
The Exploring program has a long history within the BSA. The program got its start in the 1930s as the "Senior Scout" Division for boys 15 and older. The Senior Scout programs included the Sea Scouts, Air Scouts, Explorer Scouts,
Rover Scoutsand a few others. Explorer Scouts focused on advanced camping and worked on advancement leading to the Ranger Award. Sea Scouts and Air Scouts were nautical and aviation focused programs, respectively. [ [http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Falls/8826/explorerscouts.html Explorer Scouts (1935-1949) ] ]
In 1949, the Senior Scout Division became the Explorer Division. Sea Scouts became Sea Explorers, Air Scouts became Air Explorers, and Explorer Scouts became just Explorers. The Explorer program became less of an advanced outdoor program, and more a broader program for young men, with the minimum age lowered to 14 years old. Explorers got a new advancement program leading to the Silver Award.
In 1959, the Explorer Program was renamed the Exploring program. Explorer advancement was dropped. In 1964, the Air Explorer program was eliminated, and the Sea Explorer program had changes made. The program was further changed to be more appealing to older youth, with career exploration becoming a bigger part of the program.
In 1969, the BSA allowed young women ages 14–20 to join special-interest Explorer posts, which caused many posts to be become co-ed. The continuing focus on career exploration was expanded to a major emphasis, and as the years progressed, Exploring focused more on career exploration posts, though outdoor and sports-oriented Posts still existed and thrived as well.
In the early 1980s, posts that primarily consisted of seminars at high school with guest speakers were designated as Career Awareness Explorer posts. This particular facet of Exploring was the fastest growing segment of Exploring and the BSA during the 1980s. In 1991, these posts were realigned into the new Learning for Life subsidiary, and the posts were then designated as High School Career Awareness groups and the youth were no longer considered to be Explorers.
In 1998, the Exploring program was completely reorganized and split into two program categories. All the career-oriented posts were moved to Learning for Life, while the rest became the new Venturing program. Exploring continues to be a worksite-based career education program for young men and women 14 through 20 years old.
Explorer Search and Rescue
Fire Service Exploring
Law Enforcement Exploring
Silver Award (Boy Scouts of America)
Young American Award
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