Today I’m happy to announce that as part of Scouting’s commitment to find innovative ways to help America’s youth identify their passion and achieve their potential, we are renewing our focus on Exploring, a unique career exploration Scouting program for young people ages 14-20.
Exploring provides one-on-one mentorship for youth looking to discover their future. I feel we have only scratched the surface of all this wonderful program has to offer. In fact, I believe Exploring has the potential to help reverse the decline in Scouting membership, which is why we investing our efforts in helping youth discover this program and the important role it can play in helping to shape their future.
You can learn more on our brand new Exploring website.
Exploring has tremendous potential to help set teens on the path to identifying and pursuing meaningful, fulfilling careers and leadership opportunities. Delivered in conjunction with Learning for Life, the program offers hands-on professional experiences that develop leadership, character and confidence by building relationships with adult mentors in thousands of organizations in the public and private sectors.
As this new era in Exploring gets underway, I am already encouraged by what many of our posts are doing to serve our communities and provide our young people with the practical knowledge they’ll need to make informed decisions about their future. Just check out these recent examples in Walla Walla, Wash., Covington, Ga. and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Sustaining the Exploring program will require an ongoing commitment of people, time and resources. We have taken a hard look at why Exploring’s membership dwindled from about 500,000 in the 1990s to less than 100,000 today. Now, we must work on reversing that decline and ensuring that Exploring delivers relevant and — this is important — fun college and career readiness for our next generation of leaders.
I hope you’ll take some time to visit the site and learn more about how to get involved. We want to spread the reach of this program to more of our youth — and to more business leaders and community organizations that can offer expanded career and training opportunities to participants.
Let’s start Exploring.