Our own background check on the new Secret Service director turns up …

pierson-1Scouting, in all of its many varieties, can build the foundation for a lifelong career of serving others.

That’s true in the traditional Scouting programs — Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Venturing — but also in the lesser-known ones, like Exploring.

Consider Julia A. Pierson to be the latest shining example. Pierson, who became the first female director of the United States Secret Service on March 27, got her start in Exploring. She was an Explorer in Post 103 with the Orlando, Fla., Police Department as a youth and was the 1978 National Law Enforcement Exploring youth representative.

Exploring may be one of the BSA’s lesser-known programs, but it’s experiencing some encouraging growth right now. Last year, membership in the program grew by an impressive 3.4 percent.

Speaking of impressive, Pierson has built a 30-year career with the Secret Service, and she’ll now lead the male-dominated agency through its next chapter.

“I have to say that Julia’s reputation within the Service is extraordinary,” President Barack Obama was quoted as saying. “She’s come up through the ranks. She’s done just about every job there is to do at the Secret Service.”

Congratulations, Julia!

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

H/T: Thanks to Scout Wire for the tip


    • Space Scouts never gets any press!

      Seriously, Bryan, it would be awesome if you did a blog (or series) on former programs. Never even heard of Emergency Service Corps until I saw a patch and armband on eBay.

  1. My two older boys, both Eagle Scouts, like scouting and love police explorers. The oldest now has an associates degree in criminal justice including graduating from the police academy, and is now an MP in the Army. His younger brother is still involved as a senior in HS, and will follow his brother into the Army this fall.
    The police officers involved in the program are very dedicated and great role models. They teach the young adults real skills, and it has been very affordable for us.

  2. I am so excited to see this, just hope she doesn’t get fired when Mr. Obama finds out about it! (I am a 20+ year member of Scouts and am very proud of my Eagle Scout)

  3. Brian,

    While it is great that the new SS Director was in Explorers.
    And VERY successful at that.
    That was when Exploring was part the BSA family of Scouting.

    Today, it is under Learning for Life, a Subsidiary of BSA (not Scouting).
    Venturing replaced Exploring when that happened.

    Learning for Life (LFL) is a school and work-site based youth program that is a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America.

    Learning for Life is not considered a traditional Scouting program; it does not use the Scout Promise, Scout Law, uniforms or insignia of traditional Scouting. All Learning for Life programs are open to youth and adults without restriction based on gender, residence, religion, sexual orientation, or other considerations, other than minimum age requirements.

    But while you know all that, many do not.

    While this is more of a shell game in many councils, according to the settlement with the courts (Chicago?) LfL is not part of the main BSA program (Scouting).

    Your article makes it seem that Exploring is still part of Scouting, while this is not the case.

  4. Can we get a little more background on Exploring (Posts) versus Venturing (Crews)?
    How many other programs are subsidiaries of BSA?

  5. Law Enforcement Exploring was part of the BSA when the new Director of the Secret Service was a member. Learning for Life had not yet been created at that time. Exploring then morphed into two sub-component parts: Traditional Exploring and Career Awareness Exploring.

    Learning for Life is a separate corporate entity with its own board of directors who also happen to be BSA national leaders.

    American Heritage Girls did have a “memorandum of understanding” between themselves and the BSA until the latest membership standards were changed.

  6. I would suggest that you may want to revise or remove this content. Ms. Pierson should not be held up as a role model – at least until the whole story emerges. Right now, following her resignation from the U.S. Secret Service, her leadership ability is suspect.

  7. It would be great if you included in your blog about Exploring. From the beginning of it to the current state of it. Many Scouters as well as Scouts know nothing about it. And some Councils don’t even want to even acknowledge that it exists at all. Even though it is separated from Scouting as we know it; It still is part of the Boy Scouts of America. Exploring Posts have to pay for a charter, pay registration fees and insurance fee.Yet they are not recognized at all in any literature (paperwork ) the Councils that doesn’t recognize Exploring gives out. All you see is Cub Scouts Packs , Boy Scout Troops , Venturing Crews, and Sea Scout Ships. We are the step children like Cinder Ella not to be seen or heard from.

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