- What makes our program unique and different?
- A sense of belonging
- Leadership and Team development
- Uniform – A sense of Belonging and Responsibility
- Service to the Community
- The Environment – the outdoors
- Our Specific Section Programs – a Quick Overview
- Being faithful to God
- Who can join?
Please feel free to look in the Youth Programs section for more details about specific programs and special pages for those programs.
What makes our program unique and different?
In our ever evolving and complex world full of diverse electronic tools along with the hustle and bustle to excel and succeed, there is often little time left for our children to experience (outside of the family home) a very different perspective of life.
As active members of the Federation of North-American Explorers – FNE a positive life changing movement for both young and the not so young we offer a unique same gender program experience for our boys and girls at Timber Wolf (8 to 12), Explorers (12 1/2 to 16), Wayfarer Explorers (17 plus) levels. We have embraced and enhanced many proven and key program values and objectives as developed by Lord Robert Baden-Powell.
Parents, are you looking for an exciting single gender Catholic faith based youth program that allows your child to grow and develop leadership, environmental, social, spiritual, responsibility skills all while having the time of their lives? Are you looking for a safe nurturing environment where every child is treated as the special unique individual that they are? Would you like to see your child grow in their person through a physically active program that includes exploring and playing in the great outdoors? Would you like to see your child develop a sense of self dependence while making good decisions to help them better cope in an ever challenging and complex community, to help them pick the right path in life? Would you like to see your child discover and experience what it means to serve others rather than be served, to become an even better person. Parents are you potentially interested in joining the team to help your child and others experience the FNE Explorer adventure? If you answer yes to one or more of the questions noted above then read on!
The roots of our movement is tied back to 1957 in Europe is lead and operated by volunteers for volunteers. We seek out only the best leaders (with an adequate screening process in place) who place the needs of our youth as first and foremost. All fees collected and donations received directly support our youth and their volunteer leaders. We have no paid staff or related overhead costs to spend hard-earned fees or donations on.
While our program will appeal to a large percentage of our community we will not compromise our program objectives or values just to be all things to all people. Key standards and objectives remain in place to compliment parental efforts to help guide our youth to become successful, happy and responsible members of our faith and social communities!
Our program goals are many and varied, we would like to share with you some of the core program values.
A Sense of Belonging
Within our overall program we sincerely embrace the sense of belonging, and a sense of brotherhood or sisterhood. Each and every member of our Explorer family is considered to be a unique and a special member of the group. For example within the Timber Wolf Den we embrace the philosophy that The Strength of the Den is the Wolf, and the Strength of the Wolf is the Den.
Leadership and Team Development
The success of our program at the youth and adult level is based on how well the group comes together as a team or a family while actively promoting and developing leadership skills within all program levels.
Our organization actively promotes a sense of loyalty, working together to help each other, to do ones best, to live our promise and law each and every day. In addition we stress to our youth – to finish what it is that they start!
An aggressive leadership training program is in place for our youth leaders known as Patrol Chiefs at the Explorer level and to a lesser extent for Sixers at the Timber Wolf level.
At our Timber Wolf level for example we have developed a set of leadership responsibilities that we strive to help our boys achieve in a consistent and reliable basis.
Uniform – A Sense of Belonging and Responsibility
Proudly and uniquely we are a uniformed movement. While other organizations strive to eliminate a truly viable sense of belonging through the wearing of a uniform for every day program activities – we within our FNE family embrace our uniformed image. Our uniform helps our youth develop a sense of responsibility and belonging. We wear our uniforms for all indoor events and for outdoor events when suitable or logical to do so.
Our uniform is “traditional” in nature. We teach our youth to be proud, to dare to be different, to lead rather than to follow with the masses.
We would like to share with you a perspective as to “uniforms” as written by Paul Ritchi, our “Group Leader” of the 1st Four Arrows Federation of North-American Explorers (FNE) group and we quote:
As either youth or adults, do you remember joining the local sports teams and couldn’t wait to get on your uniform, to look the part, to belong? Remember how you felt, as photo’s were taken in your sports uniform and when looked at by others within the community? Or how you felt different, special, excited, as you looked forward to the next activity every time you put on that uniform?
Have you watched a parade, seen a band or group of Air Cadets march on by and remarked on how proud and sharp they look in their uniforms?
Lord Baden-Powell then (and even now as it applies to today’s world) clearly understood the impact of our uniforms on youth, our members. The impact is most profound – in a positive way – on our youth members. Once all of our youth are wearing their full and complete FNE uniform either at the Otter Lodge, Timber Wolf Den, Explorer Troop or Wayfarer Explorer level they feel that they are part of a larger family, they belong, they can demonstrate a sense of responsibility and self discipline. A few of our brother Timber Wolves have expressed their feelings to share with interested parties and we quote:
“Every time I put on my uniform I feel different, special, and I can’t wait to get to Timber Wolves and have fun. I like my uniform, it’s neat. I like it when people see us in public when we have our uniforms on, they say really nice things about us.”
“I wore my uniform in school for Remembrance Day. Although some of the older kids teased me, my friends thought that my uniform looked really neat and asked me stuff about what we do in Timber Wolves. Timber Wolves is really cool!”
“When I put on my uniform, Akela and the other old wolves expect me to take good care of it and wear it proudly. I think that’s good because it teaches us how to be responsible for ourselves. I am also a Sixer, so I help the wolves in my group look after themselves and their uniforms.”
“When we travel every spring somewhere special, like when we went to Ottawa last June, many people stopped and took pictures of us when we were in our uniform. We don’t get treated like just a bunch of little kids, people treat us special and I really like that.”
Please note — our uniforms are required for all of our members, both at the youth and at the adult level.
Service to the Community
Within our program we actively look for ways to provide some sort of a service to our community thereby promoting to our boys and girls a sense of responsibility for the community that we live in. Conversely we undertake activities that our youth members would enjoy and directly benefit from.
Environment – The Outdoors
When we go away for a weekend to go camping for example we ban all electronic games, toys and items such as junk food. We focus on enjoying the outdoors, the environment, nature, and simply being together. We strongly encourage our youth (and for many the first time) to truly discover the great outdoors and nature, to play and explore together, to interact, to live with other people who have different backgrounds and experiences, to be truly physically active! We stress lots of one to one human interactions and not the current socially common and prevalent human to computer experience. Our program that increases in the level of challenge dependent on the ages of our boys and girls will embrace the experiences or philosophies as noted below.
Our entire outdoor or environmental program is structured around the “game of life” as developed by Lord Baden-Powell. The experiences and challenges increase in magnitude and scope as the youth get older and master individual and group skill sets along with continued increased individual personal responsibility for their actions or lack thereof.
Our program will ensure in every case that our youth will experience an “education for life” program that will effectively:
- To assume a meaningful and progressive role in helping take care of the environment.
- To measurably expand individual understanding of the world around them as to plant life, animals, changing weather patterns, and much more. The youth will actively practice no trace camping, to visit, explore, enjoy and then leave the forest and its waterways in its natural state.
- Increase self-confidence and independence.
- Help our youth become much more compassionate to life’s experiences and to those around them.
- Obtain and then maintain a far greater appreciation of fellow human beings and animals.
- To be able to truly see the positives in the world around us.
- Develop initiative.
- Effective leadership development skill sets.
- Encourage teamwork, to experience and understand what it really means to work together.
Our members adopt a base line wilderness pledge that says:
I promise to:
- Keep all trails and campsites clean of litter
- Not to deface or destroy any trees, vegetation or rocks
- Always respect the cleanliness of the water
- Remain on existing trails and be careful not to create unnecessary new ones
- Insure that my fire is DEAD OUT
- Always be considerate of the campers that are to follow
- Take a moment each camping day to appreciate and give thanks for this wilderness
Our Specific Section Programs – a Quick Overview
Within our FNE program we offer the following programs:
- Timber Wolves – for boys aged 8 to 12, and Girl Timber Wolves for girls aged 8 to 12
- Explorers – for boys aged 12 1/2 to 16 and girl Explorers for girls aged 12 1/2 to 16
- Wayfarers – ages 17 and up (no designated upper age limit) with one unit for women and other for men
Our organization as a whole builds upon five key goals:
- Health – ones personality is built within a balanced body
- Sense of concrete things – manual projects and practical things
- Character development
- providing service to others and our community
- having a sense of God in every day living
A common uniform is worm for ALL FNE Explorer program sections, one for male members, and one for female members.
Boy Timber Wolf Program & Girl Timber Wolf Program
Please see the web-page for boys (Sura Timber Wolf Den) and for girls (Lahini Timber Wolf Den) for detailed information.
Our youth, as part of their Timber Wolf program, experience will participate in a wide range of activities that support five basic rules:
- A timber wolf always thinks of others first.
- A timber wolf opens his eyes and his ears (development of observational skills).
- A timber wolf is always clean (tough to do with most youth at this age, also related to wearing of their FNE Timber Wolf uniform).
- A timber wolf always tells the truth.
- A timber wolf is always happy (maintains a positive can do attitude).
Our Timber Wolf pledge that supports our sense of belonging, brotherhood or sisterhood, and all members being treated fairly and equally regardless of colour, creed, or citizenship, states and we quote “We are the same blood you and I.”
Boy Explorer and Girl Explorer Program
Our youth as part of their Explorer Troop program experience will participate in a wide range of activities that support key personal values and our FNE principles.
Key Explorer values are broken down into three distinct areas on which the program is built around to support and encourage while providing enough challenge to keep our Explorers or Guides well challenged:
Trust – in self, members of the Troop, our movement and mankind (while being self aware, to be responsible for ones actions and that of others).
Dedication – to finish what you start, to work hard, to support the troop, our FNE movement, not to give up.
Clean in thoughts, words and deeds – to live their promise and law, to become the best that they can be, to be a responsible, successful and happy member of our community.
The first responsibility of the Explorer is at home, then to take responsibility for his/her country, to stand up for a free and brotherly/ sisterly world, while also being proud of and practicing his/her faith.
There is an aggressive progression program for the Explorers to follow throughout their time starting with Promise cross requirements, 2nd Class award and then their 1st Class Award.
There are additional specialty areas to explore to ensure that our members are very well challenged. Subject areas and related program activities include but are not limited to service to the community, wood craft skills, sports, nature study, acting, tracking, camping skills, survival skills, leadership development and much more.
Our Explorer progression program is like no other program available to our youth within our community.
FNE – Wayfarer Explorer Program
The primary focus of this program is centered around providing service to the community, self development, and/or to supporting the younger groups deliver their programs. This program, one for males and one for females are for young adults ages 17 and up.
Our Wayfarers pay particular attention to life, as life is seen as a mission, to grow closer to the Lord, to assume a growing sense of responsibility for family, the group and ones community. In short they find their way forward with a sense of purpose, value, service, self development and the love to hear and serve God.
Being Faithful to God
Our program as it relates to “Being Faithful to God” is a meaningful part of our program that is presented from a Catholic Christian perspective. Throughout our program we encourage our youth to be “faithful” to God as part of every day living.
We open our weekly meetings with ceremonies that include the renewal of our promise, and sharing together an opening prayer, thought of the week to generate discussion and opportunities on a monthly basis for our youth and leaders to participate in the Sacrament of Penance.
On a regular basis our youth members and their leaders gather together to better embrace our promise as it relates to “Being faithful to God” at a camp by attending Sunday Mass, or at special gatherings for our youth such as at a Mass at a local area church or through a Pilgrimage. We encourage our youth to embrace and grow in their faith as part of their overall program experience.
Who Can Join
Interested youth within the prescribed age categories and applicable sections who are willing to embrace the ideals of our program, to do their best to fully participate in our program while being prepared to live their promise are welcome to join.
We meet in the hall (or on the grounds) of a parish church in southern New Jersey. All interested youth (South and Central New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, etc.) are welcome to join our FNE Explorer family. Parental help and support in some way from each family is requested and looked for in order to effectively support our efforts as an all volunteer organization deliver a dynamic program to our youth.