Local Explorer programs offer big benefits

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, December 6, 2017

It seems fitting that a program call the Explorers is helping some of our youth find the right path forward in life.

The Explorer program is part of the Boy Scouts of America, though it is open to girls, and is focused on older teens and potential careers. Both the Winchester Police Department and Clark County Fire Department have individual versions of the program that give youth a clear approach to following these respective career paths.

The Explorer post attached to the Clark County Fire Department has already seen seven former members join the service full time.

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The police department has had solid success with theirs as well.

Students can join the Explorers at age 14. For the fire department program, they can acquire most of the required training hours to be a certified firefighter. For police, it offers them a hands-on learning experience that can truly help shape their future.

These professions are important to our community and help develop leaders. Exposing youth early — even those who ultimately decide they will pursue other careers — has nothing but a positive impact on these men and women, on the community and on these agencies.

Those who do pursue a career in law enforcement or as a firefighter will have a great foundation of skills to build on, making them more prepared from day one on the job.

Extracurricular activities are an important part of any youth’s development, but athletic opportunities often get all the attention.

Academic offerings are important, too, but civic-based extracurricular programs are often overlooked.

The Explorer programs have been a great asset to Clark County.

Helping our youth discover their potential and find the right path in life is truly priceless.