What is Explore?
What is Explore?
Answering that question is easy, it just takes a while. The primary focus of the Explore program is to teach leadership from a biblical worldview, and the primary context of the program is the wilderness. In Explore, half of each semester is spent at Camp Bighorn in Plains, Montana. There, we learn various “hard skills” associated with outdoor adventure programming, such as backpacking, rock climbing, rafting, winter living, and telemark skiing. We not only learn how to do these hard skills, but also how to teach and guide other individuals and groups. We are provided real experience in this through various practicums, for example, running the camp for a weekend or designing and conducting the Wycliffe Race to 2025 alongside Wycliffe staff. We learn wilderness survival and first aid so that we can take preventative measures and guide others in safety, and so that we know how to respond if something goes wrong. We learn “soft skills” such as effective speaking, group dynamics, conflict management, team formation, leadership styles, and learning styles. In and through all of this, we are taught biblical principles that give substance to what we learn and focus to what we are expected, in turn, to teach.
That’s only half of the program. The rest of each semester is spent on campus at Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta. In our classes there, we study such subjects as the Bible, theology, spiritual development, psychology, and principles of Christian living. We are provided many opportunities for community involvement, from intramural sports to chapel; from choir membership to youth leadership at local churches. I’m not sure if that would fit in a nutshell, but that’s the Explore program.