Become an Explore Austin Mentor!

Ongoing volunteer opportunity with a 3-6 year commitment.

What makes this program unique is the length of time Explore Austin volunteer Mentors commit to their Explorers. Explorers begin in sixth grade and their mentors stay with them through the graduation of high school and beyond into their adult lives. Over the course of the six-year program, each Explorer spends more than 1,300 hours with their Mentors and fellow Explore teammates, creating lifelong growth in character, integrity, courage, and grit.

Regular programming one Saturday a month during the academic year and one week in the summer.

Once a month, Explorers and Mentors will participate in 9 adventure-based challenges. During these Saturdays, Mentors will facilitate leadership activities and discussions.

Every Summer, Explorers and Mentors apply the leadership lessons learned during Saturday Challenges on a weeklong Summer Wilderness Trip. It is on these trips that Explorers are given the opportunity to leave their neighborhoods and see parts of the country most have never seen before. It is when Mentors form a unique bond with their class of Explorers, and when the Explorers get to test their leadership abilities to the fullest.

Direct mentoring to 15 Austin-area teens, alongside 4 co-Mentors.

Explore Austin matches low-income, high potential, 6th grade “Explorers” with caring and committed adult mentors.

Mentors participate in outdoor activities alongside Explorers.

These outdoor activities are taught by professional Trip Leaders and include rock climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, backpacking, and hiking.

Involvement in a strong community of 100+ fellow Mentors.

Our Mentors…

…live in Austin,

have a love of the outdoors (or want to cultivate one!),

are committed and caring,

have experience working with youth,

hold a strong desire to give back,

demonstrated leadership experience,

and are flexible and positive in the face of unexpected weather or a week in the backcountry!

Applications for the 2020 Mentor Recruitment season are now closed. To be notified when next season’s application opens, fill out this form.

Unable to commit at this time or interested in volunteering on a less regular basis? Consider being a Sub Mentor! Sub Mentors fill in at Saturday Challenges when full-time Mentors have a conflict during their weekend. Check back in the Fall for sub opportunities when programming begins again!

Email [email protected] with any questions.

Become an Explore Austin Trip Leader!


Our Trip Leaders…

…have experience instructing rock climbing, mountain biking, navigation, canoeing, or hiking,

want to introduce their skills and passions to those who might not otherwise get the chance, and get paid to do it,

want to work part-time on Saturdays and in the summer,

and want to connect with our Explorers and Mentors.

Our paid Trip Leader position may be a better fit for you! Check out the job description and application process HERE.