Exploring is a unique career exploration program for all local area high school students. The program provides students with an opportunity to learn about different career fields and network with professionals already working in those fields.
You get hands-on experience to determine whether or not a particular career field is right for you.
You develop valuable networking contacts with professionals working in your selected career fields, and you get to know other youth with your same interests and aspirations.
Career Fields to Explore in our Area
The Exploring program started in the La Crosse area in 2016 and we have several exploring programs so far:
- Law Enforcement - La Crosse Area
- Engineering - La Crosse Area
- Aviation - La Crosse Area
- Fire Service - Mauston Area
- Fire Service - Oakdale Area
- And more to come…
In the News
La Crosse Tribune - "Police Department starts hands-on program for teens"
Check out the key documents used for recruiting
All applicants must be currently attending high school.
- Gain exposure to various careers
- Have positive interaction with professionals.
- Obtain “hands-on” experience thereby helping them make an informed decision on a career.
- Benefit from interpersonal growth through teamwork and challenging experiences.
- Connect with the community and network with professionals.
Types of Activities
- Fun, hands-on activities to learn about some basic aspects of the career
- Tours of facilities related to the career
- Skill development that helps determine interest level in the career
Organization of the Program
Exploring is a Learning for Life program that is affiliated with Boy Scouts of America to provide career exploring programs to high school youth.
The Exploring.org organization provides the program design template and resources for each career field.
The Gateway Area Scout Council provides the volunteer organizational resources along with the liability coverage for the advisors and students.
The Host Organization provides the resources for the program (lead advisor, advisors, session content, meeting room, materials, refreshments, uniform)
The Advisors are the professionals providing the content of the sessions.
The Lead Advisor manages the schedule and communications.
The Post consists of the Lead Advisor, Advisors and Explorers with an organized program.
The Explorers are the high school student members
Meeting Schedule / Meeting Location / Time Commitment
The Exploring programs align with the school calendar, starting in October and going through the end of May.
The Exploring Post (group) usually meets twice per month in the evening for two hours each time. A Student Explorer should commit to attending at least 75% of the scheduled sessions.
The location is dependent on the different post’s calendar, so please refer to the individual post for more information on location.
The current annual dues are $37 per participant per year which covers liability insurance for the youth, the advisors, and the advising organizations.
Each Post Host Organization determines uniform requirements and provides them to the Explorers at no cost.
The parents of the Explorers need to provide transportation to and from the Exploring sessions and may be asked for help at a session or an event.
Health and Safety
A youth's Health and Safety is always an important part of the scouting program, the BSA has implemented a comprehensive program to protect youth. Every registered leader receives a background check and is required to take and renew Youth Protection Training.
For details on No One on One Contact and Two Deep Leadership review the BSA's Youth Protection Program.
Special Needs & Assistance
Youth with physical disabilities and youth and adults with developmental or cognitive challenges are welcome in the Exploring program. Various accommodations exist to facilitate advancement. These youth do not need to join a special unit oriented to serving members with disabilities, although those exist and may be beneficial in some cases. The severity of disability will indicate how members should be registered.
When knowledgeable parents, guardians, or volunteers are able to provide assistance and oversight, most anyone can be a member. While leaders should be enthusiastic about helping those with special needs, they should also recognize the demands that will be placed on their patience, understanding, and skill in working on advancement.