leadership

Summer Wilderness Trip Story: Conquering Fears in Year One

On the first night of our trip, we did a small zip line. One of our explorers, Luis, looked skeptical as we started to put on our harnesses and helmets. He was afraid of heights and wasn't nearly as excited as his teammates to tackle this obstacle. We explained that all of our challenges in Explore Austin were challenges by choice.

Summer Wilderness Trip Story: Explore Austin CEO

 
Every year Explore Austin CEO, Mike Braeuer, travels with a team of Explorers on a week-long Summer Wilderness Trip. Mike believes that going on trips helps keep him more connected to the Explore Austin mission, even if that means riding 70 intense miles on a mountain bike in the summer heat. See below for Mike’s story about his 2016 trip in his own words. 
 

2016 Summer Wilderness Trip Story: Climbing To Success

Karen pounded her fist against the gritty rock wall in frustration as she lost her footing on a hold and swung backward and forward on the rope like a pendulum. “It’s okay, Karen, you’ve got this!” I called up to the fourteen-year-old Explorer from below. It was Friday, the last morning of the KABP 2020 Girls’ Summer Wilderness rock climbing trip, and the New Mexican sun was hot and relentless.

2016 Summer Wilderness Trip Story: Who is Mentoring Who?

Sam Gammage joined Explore Austin as a Mentor to help change the lives of underserved youth and specifically the lives of the 2021 Austin Achieve boys. Little did he know he would encounter moments along his Mentor journey where his Explorers would return the favor. In his own words, Sam recounts his Explore Austin Story below:

Edward Shares His Story

Hello everyone, I am Edward Robledo, a Senior at KIPP Austin Collegiate, and a graduate of Explore Austin. Thank you all for being here tonight. We are all united here this evening for the same reason: to support an amazing organization that I can honestly say changed my life. 

There wasn’t a day I didn't wake up excited to be out in the wilderness, there wasn't a day I didn't wake up overjoyed to be out learning from my Mentors. I learned how to start a fire, how to rock climb, how to be myself, how to mountain bike, how to be confident, and the most important of all, I learned how to believe in myself. Being surrounded by the beautiful landscapes is something I will always remember but when I think back to all of my trips and my six years in the Explore Program, I don't remember the crystal clear lakes or the powdery snow. I remember my friends, I remember the massive pine cone fight we had and most painfully of all I remember the hot sauce eating contest in which I ended up with Cholula in my eye. 

It’s the emotions I remember the most. It’s the feeling of wanting to quit but being pushed by not just my Mentors, but my friends. It’s the family we created that will always be my treasure. There were most definitely times that I wanted to quit, times that I could not stand to be put in uncomfortable situations where I had to face my fears, but those experiences pushed me beyond my limits and molded me into a person that not only my family is proud of, but a person I am proud to be. Looking back, I see my friends faces., I see the way that I grew and the shell I came out of; I see the the shy and small person I once was. I see the growth I couldn't have achieved on my own. I cannot imagine having grown up without my Mentors. Although I only spent one Saturday per month and and one week in the Summer with them, those short  days have equated to years of wisdom that have been my guiding light. 

Explorer Receives a NOLS Scholarship

We are excited to announce that our very own Explore Austin participant, Adan, recently received a scholarship to attend a month long NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) course in the Wind River Range in Wyoming.
 

New Additions to the Board of Directors and the Advisory Council

Explore Austin Announces Newly Elected Board Members and Advisors

Becoming a Mentor: How it begins

by Thomas Smith
Mentor for Class of 2020 Explorers

My Mentors Taught Me That

Blog Archive from November 4, 2010

908 miles from home, 50 miles into a 65-mile mountain bike trip, 9 miles into a 14-mile uphill “grunt” of a day… it starts to rain. I am not a kid anymore. Playing in the rain isn’t fun like it used to be. Cold rain was never fun. Cold rain on burning quadriceps doesn’t “cool” them off. I was miserable. It was only a few moments, but those are the kind that last the longest.

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