Starting an Exploring Post/Club
Organizing an Exploring Post or Club
Posts are organized into 12 career clusters. While you may have a post specializing in any career, it will be served by one of the 12 clusters found on the Exploring website. An example is the Engineering cluster, which includes Mechanical, Chemical, Civil, and Petroleum Engineers, and Architects. Law Enforcement and Fire Fighting safety policies are also posted on this site. Program guides are available on the Exploring website as well, designed to assist any post Advisor in conducting post programs.
Before you organize a post, you must know the interests of the students. This is best done through a Student Career Interest Survey. Once you have conducted the survey, you can approach a potential participating organization (a fire department and the fire chief, for instance) with concrete data on how many and who, including address and phone number, is interested in becoming a firefighter (or any of the careers indicated). It is possible that the school may have its own survey or that they will distribute information for you. However, it is still best that the survey be conducted. This allows a personalized letter to be sent from the organization’s head (director or chief executive officer) to the student who is interested in that career field.
Surveys should be conducted before any firstnighters are planned. Teenagers are an interesting lot, and activities must meet their interest before they will attend. Your target should be ninth- and 10th-graders. While you should invite the 11th- and 12th-graders, most of the upperclassman will not join new programs at this stage of their development.
The public Exploring website is designed for post Advisors and other volunteers. Program planning, Youth Protection training, insurance information, and many tools are found on this site.
To start an Exploring Post or Club you’ll need:
- a minimum of 5 youth, preferably 10 or more.
- Youth applications for every Explorer
- Adult applications for every adult member, committee member or Advisor. Adults will also need to complete Exploring Youth Protection.
- an Exploring New Unit Application
- an Exploring Memorandum of Understanding
Now that you have new posts in your district, who will help you service these posts? Who will provide Advisor training and post officer training, and what activities do you have planned for the post to participate in? For posts, a district camporee is a service project and not considered an activity. Explorers need activities in which they’re the prime focus. A COPE weekend, Explorer after-dark program, post blood drive, and emergency alerts are examples of the types of activities that can attract Explorers and help to ensure they will succeed. Year-round service including information and help in knowing what is available to them from the region or from the national office is a part of this service. Scholarships are available to Explorers through Law Enforcement, Fire and Emergency Services, Skilled Trades, and Aviation Exploring. Also available are numerous national Law Enforcement Explorer academies and Fire Service, Health Careers, and Science Exploring conferences, all designed to meet the needs of these youth members.
A World of Prospects
Exploring is an exciting program designed to give hands-on training in a career field to see if this is something that youth want to pursue in life. For adults who are excited about what they do for a living, it’s a wonderful experience to share their career with youth. For participating organizations (sponsors), it’s a way to attract young talent to their field of service and be recognized as a good youth-serving community organization. Exploring offers to district executives and Learning for Life professionals a world of prospects to help them achieve their goals and to help serve the needs of our teenage youth.