EMAs

Welcome to the EMA webpage! The EMA program has had an overhaul since last year, so please read carefully below to learn about the goals of the EMA program, the responsibilities of an EMA as well as instructions on how to sign up!

The goal of the Explorers Mentor Apprentice program is to encourage older Explorers to seek their unique style of leadership, create meaningful relationships with the younger Explorers, and tangibly reflect upon the process.

An Explorers Mentoring Apprentice (EMA) is an older participant who has chosen to take on the role of a mentor in a younger group. Participants in our Wayfinder program and members of Explorers Club who are in their last two years have the opportunity join us for outings with younger Explorers Club groups as EMA's as space is available. EMA's are introduced to mentoring techniques such as leading from behind, risk assessment, skill sharing, game facilitation, group leadership, and micro and macro guiding.

It's often said that you need to teach something in order to really know it. Many of the experiences and skills EMA's have gleaned will have a chance to more deeply develop as they help guide the younger explorers through their journey. EMA's have an opportunity to deepen their own outdoor skills, to deepen their connections, and to keep their spirit young.

As an EMA, you will manage the following responsibilities:

  1. Sustained Mentorship: You will, as an EMA, attend at least 5 outings of a younger group’s season. You will work alongside the mentors for that group as a part of their mentoring team. You will have an opportunity to explore your leadership styles and grow into new ones as well. You will arrive 15 minutes early and stay 15 minutes after the scheduled outing time in order to pre- and de-brief the outing with the rest of your mentoring team.
  2. Guided Reflection: We will provide you with prompts to help you reflect on your EMA experiences. As mentors, we recognize that you get the most out of experiences when you allow proper time and energy to reflect on them. After each outing, you will reflect on your outing using the provided journal prompts. Additionally, you will also complete a culminating reflection that happens at the end of the year.

When you attend an outing as an EMA, you are held to different expectations than when you attend an outing as an Explorer. Your job is nuanced and complex, but the expectations below should illustrate how you can show up as a supportive mentor.

  1. Youth Leadership: It is expected that you show up to each outing ready to set personal leadership goals, conduct yourself responsibly, and set an example for the younger Explorers. What areas of mentorship are you interested in refining and what tools/methods will you use to do so? The other mentors are your #1 support system here, so please utilize them.
  2. Group Support: It is expected that you are an engaged member of the mentoring team for each outing that you attend. That means being a part of outing pre-briefs, debriefs, and mentor check-ins that happen throughout the day. What does the group need right now? How should we stretch their edges? We want to hear your voice and utilize your experience.
  3. Risk Management: In Explorers Club, the most important motto is Safety First. Safety means physical safety, mental safety, and heart safety. It is our expectation that you will:
    • Act in a safe and responsible manner: Younger Explorers will follow the example you set - good or bad!
    • Help the younger Explorers make safe and smart decisions, i.e. Collaborate and Compromise and S.T.O.P. circles
    • If you notice anything happening on an outing that you feel is unsafe, say something. Never hesitate to talk to the mentors or participants about safety.

There are a limited number of EMA positions available. To be considered for a spot, please email stormie@wildwhatcom.org by no later than August 1st. If you have any questions or considerations in the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.