There are numerous awards for both Explorers and their adult volunteer leaders. Awards are typically presented each spring at the Annual Exploring Awards Banquet. Each award is listed below with a link providing the nomination form. Please be aware of the nomination submission deadline. Most deadlines are in early April.


Local Awards:

Good Spirit Award: (blue paper) Given to the Explorer with a positive attitude; always ready to pitch in and help whether or not asked to; leads by example, inspires others by hard work and dedication. No limit

Explorer of the Year: (green paper) Given to the Explorer who exhibits outstanding leadership ability; able to plan, implement, and evaluate activities effectively; leads by example; recognized by peers and adults as the group leader. 1 award given

Sparkplug Award: (yellow paper) The adult leader who, while new to the Exploring program, exhibits tremendous energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to the success of an Explorer Post. Up to 5 awarded

Advisor of the Year: (salmon paper) Given to the adult leader who shows outstanding leadership; mentors young adults and challenges them to be the best leaders they can be; gives generously of his/her time over a period of years; and welcomes the opportunity to serve youth in the community. 1 award given

Explorer Post of the Year: (grey paper) Awarded to the post with at least 3 years active registration, that includes Exploring’s five areas of emphasis in their program, and participates in local and national Exploring events. 1 award given


National Awards:

Career Achievement Awards: Learning for Life programs involve active learning and include lots of fun-filled, hands-on activities. Learning for Life promotes the conditions necessary for the growth and development of adolescents. The following are the key components of the Learning for Life Career Achievement Award programs, which allow young people to acquire and be recognized for career proficiency achievement and community service. Career Achievement Awards are available in twelve different occupational fields: Arts & Humanities, Aviation, Business, Communications, Engineering, Fire & Emergency Services, Health Careers, Law Enforcement, Law & Government, Science, Skilled Trades, Social Services.

Learning for Life Leadership Award: The Learning for Life Leadership Award is a national award presented to distinguished Explorers, high school Learning for Life participants, and adult volunteer leaders who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and outstanding leadership to Exploring or Learning for Life. 1 youth and 1 adult awarded

Young American Award: The Young American Award was first presented in 1968. It is presented to young adults, between the ages of 15 and 25, who have achieved excellence in one or more of the fields of art, athletics, business, community service, education, government, humanities, literature, music, religion, or science. The recipient must also be involved in community service that adds to quality of life, receive letters of recommendation from community leaders, and maintain an above-average grade point average. 1 award given

Russell C. Hill Award: The Russell C. Hill Award is the highest recognition for individuals and organizations making an outstanding contribution to character education at the local, state, or national level that has added to the quality of life for families through Learning for Life. 1 award given

The William H. Spurgeon III Award: is the highest recognition for individuals or organizations contributing significant leadership to the Exploring Program The William H. Spurgeon, III Award was developed in 1971 in honor of the man who is regarded as the major leader in the development of special interest Exploring. Mr. Spurgeon was a business executive at the Irvine Company in Southern California who personally organized many special interest posts in the 1960's. Mr. Spurgeon served for many years as a member of the National Council Executive Board and national Exploring Committee. His pioneering efforts led to the present contemporary Exploring Program. He devoted much of the late 1960's to promoting Exploring and is particularly remembered as a dynamic speaker for Exploring Impact Plan luncheons across America. Mr. Spurgeon passed away in 1970. 1 awarded to individual, 1 awarded to organization.