Article by Kelly Allen

As our children get older, career planning becomes an important part of their homeschooling curriculum. Although extracurricular activities add variety and interest to a child’s education, it is important to consider what activities will carry them beyond primary school and into their adult life. One interesting source of support is the Boy Scouts of America.

Even if you are not interested in camping or other outdoor activities, the scouts have developed different Explorer programs that train young people in many community service fields. If your child has any interest in serving as a police officer, firefighter, doctor, EMT, nurse, chef, FBI agent, Coast Guard or military recruit, the Boy Scouts can help. Teenagers will not only get amazing training opportunities, they will also get community service experience, build relationships with people in the field, and even potential scholarships for college. For any student hoping to work professionally in any of these fields, the training offered through these programs can be invaluable.

EMS Explorer Post 53 in Darien, Connecticut is a shining example of what Scouting can do for a community. Post members go through extensive training, and then put those skills to work in the real world serving as volunteer EMTs. In Wichita, Kansas, Explorer Post 881 has been around for almost 40 years training young people to be firefighters. Their program takes students through the same level 1 curriculum used in training new adult recruits. Post 881 even has their own fire truck to teach post members about equipment maintenance and tool functions. In Tulsa, OK, Police Explorers are trained in physical fitness, agility, crime scene investigations, crises management and community outreach. Post members compete in skills competitions, participate in “ride-alongs” with adult officers, and offer support at community events that need a large police presence to direct traffic, engage in crowd control, and monitor public safety. The Tulsa post is also working to develop a SWAT program that would cultivate a highly skilled group of teens to compete in high pressure counter terrorism and crises management simulations. The SWAT team would then be able to serve in real community crises situations, assisting local police in the event of major disasters and emergency situations.

Medical Explorer Post 901 in Norman, OK prides itself in training and mentoring future doctors, nurses, and medical technicians. Dr. Brian Yeaman was one of the first Explorer Scouts with Post 901. The post was started by Dr. Hal Belknap, a leading Physician at Norman Regional Medical Center until his death in 2008. Belknap not only started the post but also mentored young members (including Yeaman) throughout their college years. After Belknap’s passing, Yeaman took over the post continuing the work that his mentor had begun. Throughout his career, Belknap was credited with inspiring dozens of medical professionals that all had their start in the Explorer program.

Though the Sea Scouts are considered a separate branch of the Boy Scouts, it also functions as a training program for students interested in nautical careers. Sea Scouts learn about sailing, navigation, nautical history, knot tying, crewing, and ship maintenance and repair. Sea Scouts are the unofficial JROTC for the Coast Guard, and often work with local Coast Guard facilities to provide specialized training for Scout members. Though some of the largest Sea Scout crews are located in coastal communities like California, Connecticut, and Florida, there are more than 18,000 active Sea Scout crews around the country.

Here are some other interesting Explorer Post Websites you might enjoy:

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