Houlton Region

Border Patrol Explorers welcomed to Houlton Rotary Club

HOULTON, Maine — On Monday, July 8, the Houlton Rotary Club met for its luncheon and meeting at Watson Hall. Becky Day hosted guest Mark Philips from the Border Patrol. Philips who has been in the Border Patrol for 14 years, spoke about the Explorer Program. Guests with Philips were advisor Jason Beck, and Explorer of the Year CJ Violette. Violette received his recognition while down in Washington D.C. with some of his advisors from Houlton Post 1820.

The Border Patrol’s Explorer Program is for youth between the ages of 14 and 18 who have graduated eighth grade, show good character, have a minimum GPA of 2.0; and who posses an explorers spirit. 

The focus of this program is to expose youth with these qualifications to the field of law enforcement to give them an educated guess on whether a career in this field would be of interest to them after high school. The program also puts a large emphasis on volunteering and service to the community, decision making and strong ethics.

The Explorers Program provides advisors who are registered and trained, and certified Border Patrol Agents to guide the group. The program also provides the facilities and equipment that are used, such as training rooms, marine vessels, vehicles, firearms, ammunition, transportation, planning and annual post fees. Items not provided include travel money, uniforms, and insurance.

The program is based on three areas — training, service, and having a good time. The Explorers cover 80 hours of basic law enforcement training, and then move to advanced training. A few of the skills they will be taught are: first aid/CPR, NRA basic pistol, physical training, drill and ceremony, report writing, radio operation, field interviews, ethics and decision making, marine operations, patrolling, fingerprinting, mission planning, cold weather survival, and more. 

Putting the Explorers in situations outside of their comfort zone will give them training to become future leaders. 

For community service, the Explorers are not paid, but do accept donations. They have recently volunteered at Friends of Aroostook Food Pantry, the MADD Walk, and the Rockland Father’s Day breakfast. But during all of this learning and service, the Explorers are encouraged to have a good time.

The Explorers Program is still accepting applications for this summer’s program. If you know of an individual that may be interested in the program it’s not too late to apply. The Rotarians enjoyed hearing about this program and love to hear about opportunities for youth to grow and learn.

The next Rotarian outing in the community will be Thursday, July 18, for Balloon Night at the McGill’s Concert in the Community Park. See you there!

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