American Explorers is a program that not only teaches leadership skills, but also encourages goal setting, both of which I have found very helpful as a current tenth grader. In Montana, we learned about S.M.A.R.T goal setting (S.M.A.R.T. stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound). Recently I have changed schools, and in my new school, students are less dependent on teachers and create goals to insure work gets done. In Montana, things such as climbing mountains and living out of a backpack for seven days were goals that were actually achieved due to planning ahead and S.M.A.R.T. goal setting. The goal setting skills that I was taught through this program have been extremely useful in helping me get more work done in my new school.
I also learned that to be an effective leader, you don’t always have to be loud and bossy, as I had previously thought. I was taught ways to work with a partner and communicate with people so that no one is offended and everyone’s ideas are considered. I, along with all of the other kids who went to Montana, was given the chance to test out my leadership skills through a position called L.O.D, or Leader of the Day. This was when two people worked together throughout the day to accomplish things that usually a counselor would do, such as getting everyone to a certain place on time, or giving information to the group. Overall, I can say that I am proud to be an American Explorer because I know that the things I was taught through this program will take me far. I appreciate what I have learned and what the experience has done for me.