LFL/Exploring (1998-on)

Overview
In August of 1998, the BSA moved the many "Career Awareness" Explorer Posts to their Learning for Life subsidiary which was established in 1991, creating Learning for Life/Exploring.  By doing so, LFL/Explorers become participants in the Learning for Life program, NOT BSA members.  Learning for Life does not have the membership requirements of the BSA.  LFL/Explorers is limited to boys and girls ages 14 to 21.

More information about the LFL/Exploring program can be found at their Official Web Site.

Program
LFL/Explorer Posts build their program around five experience areas: career opportunities, life skills, service learning, character education, and leadership experience.

Each LFL/Explorer Post is a part of one of the 12 National clusters:  Fire Service, Business, Skilled Trades, Law & Government, Law Enforcement, Health, Communications, Engineering, Science, Aviation, Arts & Humanities, Social Services

The National Law Enforcement Explorer Conference was held in 2000, a continuation of the Conference started in 1979 under Exploring, and the 2002 one was held in Flagstaff, AZ, the next in 2004 in Atlanta.  The first National Fire and Emergency Services Exploring Conference was held in 2001 in Maryland, the second in 2003.  It is not clear what other clusters might have National Conferences.  Supposedly there were going to be no National Exploring Conferences for any of the clusters, but apparenly this was not true.  Most likely there will be no overall National Explorer Conference.

Uniform
As with the previous Exploring program, the LFL/Exploring has the idea of "Distinct Dress Identity" whereby each LFL/Explorer Post determines their own uniform.  This could be a police-style uniform for Law Enforcement Explorers, or a fireman-style uniform for Fire Explorers, or a lab smock for Health Career Explorers, or slacks and a polo shirt, or whatever the post wants.  Use of the BSA field uniforms are no longer allowed for LFL/Explorers as they are no longer members of the BSA.  However, insignia patches are available so that posts can create their own uniforms.

Advancement Program
LFL/Explorers would not have any specific advancement program, apart from the Career Achievement Award, which may be earned in each cluster.  The G.O.L.D. Award is no longer available to them.  See the LFL/Explorer web site for more info on this and awards.

Until December, 1999, male LFL/Explorers who have earned at least First Class in a Boy Scout Troop or Varsity Scout Team, could continue to earn Eagle Scout.  After that point, if they wanted to earn Eagle, it would have to be as a member of a Boy Scout Troop, Varsity Scout Team, or Venturing Crew.

Unit Organization
LFL/Explorer Posts continue the use of club-style offices like President, Vice President, and the like.  Adult leaders are called Advisors.  LFL/Explorer Posts will continue to be served by Service Teams.  Explorer Office Associations/Explorer President Associations are no more.

Literature
The main manual for the LFL/Exploring program is the Explorer Leaders Manual (#34637A), a rework of the previous edition.  It is loose-leaf, 192pages, with both adult and youth sections.  It was recently updated to revision B: #34637B

It is unknown if the many Program Helps from the previous Exploring program will continue.  It appears as if the information contained in them is only available from the LFL/Exploring web site.

Each of the National program clusters have their own quarterly newsletter.  These can be found at the official web site.

Explorer Leader Handbook, #34637B cover

Updated: 03/07/2003mrb