Exploring Information for Parents

A parent or guardian must certify that he or she has read this information for all applicants under 18 years of age.

Welcome to Exploring!

Please take the time to review this material and reflect upon its importance.

Exploring and Participating Organizations

Exploring is a program of Learning for Life – a nonprofit organization that provides character and career programs and resources to youth across the country. Exploring is made available to our nation’s youth through agreements with community organizations to operate Exploring clubs and Exploring posts.

The participating organization must provide an adequate and safe meeting place and capable adult leadership, and must adhere to the principles and policies of Exploring. The local council provides adult training, program ideas, outdoor facilities, literature, professional guidance for adult leaders, and liability insurance protection.

Exploring’s Adult Leaders and You

Exploring’s adult leaders provide leadership at the unit, district, council, and national levels. Many are parents of Explorers. Each participating organization establishes a unit committee, which operates its Exploring unit, selects leadership and provides support for a quality program. Unit committees depend on parents for membership and assistance.

The unit committee selects the post advisor or club sponsor, subject to the approval of the head of the participating organization and of Learning for Life. Adult leaders must be good role models because our children’s values and lives will be influenced by that adult. You need to know your child’s adult leaders and be involved in the unit committee’s activities so you can evaluate and help direct that influence.

Exploring uses an interactive program to promote character development, citizenship training, and career education for every participant. You can help by encouraging attendance, attending meetings for parents, and assisting when called upon to help.

Health Information.

You should inform your unit leader of any condition that might limit your child’s participating. Please fill out the Annual Health and Medical Record found on www.exploring.org and give it to the leader.

The annual national registration fee is nonrefundable.

For general questions, contact your local council.


Program Policies

Participating organizations agree to use the Exploring program in accordance with their own policies as well as those of Learning for Life. The program is flexible, but major departures from Exploring methods and policies are not permitted. As a parent, you should be aware that

  • Exploring adult participation is restricted to qualified people.
  • Citizenship activities are encouraged, but partisan political activities are prohibited.
  • Military training and drills are prohibited. Marksmanship and elementary drills for ceremonies are permitted.

Youth Protection Policies

  • Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth.
  • One-on-one activities between participants and adults are never permitted. Even personal conferences must be conducted in plain view of others.
  • Corporal punishment, hazing, and bullying are not permitted in Exploring. Only constructive discipline is acceptable. Parents and unit leaders must work together to solve discipline problems.
  • Youth Protection training must be taken every two years. This training can be taken at www.exploring.org/training-safety.
  • We encourage all parents to be involved with their Explorer. There are no “secret” organizations in Exploring and all Exploring activities are open to parental visitation.
  • If you suspect that a child has been abused, immediately contact the local authorities and the council executive.
  • Effective on the participant’s 21st birthday, he or she must register as a leader and can no longer be a youth participant.

Policy of Nondiscrimination

Youth participation is open to any youth in the prescribed age group for the particular program. Adults, 21 years of age and older, are selected by participating organizations for involvement in the Learning for Life programs. Color, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, disability, economic status, and citizenship are not criteria for participation by youth or adults.

Youth and adults involved with Learning for Life programs, including Exploring, are registered with Learning for Life as participants.

Ethnic background information. Please fill in the appropriate circle on the application to indicate ethnic background. This information helps Learning for Life and Exploring plan for success in serving all youth.

Thank You

Learning for Life appreciates you taking the time to become familiar with Exploring. We feel that an informed parent is a strong ally in delivering the Exploring program. Help us keep the unit program in accord with Exploring principles. Please do your fair share to support a quality program.