May 5, 2017 Peter Tonon


You’ve heard me talk before about how Exploring is a vehicle for growth for our organization, along with serving its primary purpose of helping Explorers grow their skills and reach their full potential. It is successfully serving this growth purpose; participation grew by 7 percent in 2016, which is very exciting. But I’m especially encouraged about the impact this program is having on its individual participants.

Recently, one particular Explorer made headlines applying the practical knowledge and life skills he learned in our program to benefit others. In this particular case, Ian B., a Law Enforcement Explorer with the La Crosse Police Department in Wisconsin, used the first aid skills he had learned to save a classmate who was choking. Not only did this Explorer make a profound difference in his classmate’s life, he also demonstrated courage, presence of mind and true skill in a very high-stress situation. That shows me that this program is successful in helping young people develop leadership, character and confidence.

Helping young people develop these traits benefits the whole community, as this story demonstrates.

Along the way, these programs also help important organizations recruit new talent and strengthen community relations. There is a small window to make a meaningful impact on young people and shape who they may become as adults. I’m grateful that this program is so successful at making the most of students’ time as they prepare for their next steps.


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