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Explorer hopes Scout experience fuels career as federal agent

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Explorer hopes Scout experience fuels career as federal agent





Last modified: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:22 AM CDT


By NATALIE JORDAN, The Daily News, njordan@bgdailynews.com/783-3243


Andria Vansickle is planning to make a name for herself in the world of law enforcement.


Vansickle, 20, is one of 300 selected from more than 2,000 applicants to attend the FBI Leadership Academy, a program through the Boy Scouts of America Explorers.


I sent the application off in February after finishing it in January. I had to write an essay about what law enforcement meant to me and get letters of reference, she said. It was late March when I heard back that I was accepted. Oh my God, I was so excited. This was the second time I applied for it because the first time, I didn't get in. It's been my dream to work with the FBI. My goal is to be an FBI agent.


Leaving June 30 and returning July 7, she will travel to the nation's capital and Quantico, Va., during the academy.


I don't know all that is planned for us, she said, but I think it will be very useful to what I plan to do in life.


The Paducah native said she's been in the Boy Scouts Explorers for quite some time. She said she became interested in becoming an FBI agent at 15, when she found that a good friend was involved.


When you're 15, communicating through MSN Messenger was like the coolest thing to do. It was the hottest thing out there, and if you weren't (on it), you weren't cool. Well, (my friend) had posted (on Messenger) about learning more about law enforcement.


After going through the logistics of where to go and what to do, Vansickle said she went to a meeting.


And I was hooked, she said. And when an actual FBI agent came to speak (while she was still in high school), that's when I made up my mind I wanted to be an agent.


Vansickle joined the Explorers when she came to Western Kentucky University. As a captain of the WKU Explorers, she said she has weekly meetings and mostly works between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. doing building checks and escorts.


Vansickle came to Bowling Green to attend Western, and is seeking a double major in accounting and sociology with a minor in criminology. She will be a junior in the fall.


She said she wants to bring both aspects of her degree to the law enforcement field, and believes the classes she's taking help.


A lot of sociology classes deal with the law enforcement aspects, she said. It explains ... what you will come across, so when you become a police officer and you're responding to calls ... you'll be prepared.


Although Vansickle said she has other interests, including playing basketball, cooking and playing with her 17-month-old daughter, her goal is to be an FBI agent.


I've always been interested in law enforcement, and in high school we had electives, and I loved accounting, she said. A lot of people hated accounting, but for some reason I loved it, so I want to take what I know about law enforcement and accounting to the FBI. I want to do white collar crimes, like catch people like Martha Stewart.


Vansickle said her parents are proud of her. She said she is a first generation college-goer, and being accepted into the academy is icing on the cake. She said, however, next year she won't be able to apply to the leadership academy because she'll be 21. She said the Boy Scouts of America Explorers go from 15 to 20 years old, but you can't become a law enforcement officer until you're 21.


I'm going to become an officer first. To become an agent, you have to have skills and experience in a specialized field, she said. I like law enforcement, so I want to bring that in first and my accounting second.


I'm looking forward to becoming an officer. I like being an Explorer, but I can't wait to go to the academy, and come back and become an officer.

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Sounds like a good start for this young lady.


This does illustrate an issue I have with how Exploring is marketed. Exploring is a program of Learning for Life, a subsidiary of the BSA. My council (kinda small as we have five professionals) just lumps Exploring in with Venturing.


Also- Exploring (like Venturing/Sea Scouting) goes through age 21 (not "to" age 21 which is how all the publications show it); members are registered until their 22nd birthday or the unit charter expires, whichever comes first.


Ed(This message has been edited by epalmer84)

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Please, please ... give a hard citation on this:

"Also- Exploring (like Venturing/Sea Scouting) goes through age 21 (not "to" age 21 which is how all the publications show it); members are registered until their 22nd birthday or the unit charter expires, whichever comes first."


If "all the publications say" TO age 21, then how can it be THROUGH age 21?


Granted OA is from the Boy Scout Division, but youth program membership cuts off at the 21st Birthday.


TIA and YIS, John

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Boy Scouts of America Youth Application 28-406: "Venturers registered in a crew or ship prior to their 21st birthday may continue as members after their 21st birthday until the crew or ship recharters or they reach their 22nd birthday, whichever comes first."




There is a subtle but distinct difference between to and through. To in this context would mean that membership would stop at age 21, through would mean that membership can continue through (past) age 21. This is one of my minor pet peeves with National.


Having said that, I might be wrong about Exploring. The age for that program is "14 (and have completed the eighth grade) or 15 through 20 years old."




But at least this states through, implying that membership continues through age 20. I was thinking that Exploring had the same age requirements as Venturing, but it appears I was wrong. I can't find an Explorer application online.



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As long as we're picking nits, the same application Ed refers to also makes it clear that, if you're not already a Venturer, then you may not join after you reach 21.


The provision Ed quotes allows an existing Venturer to stay in the crew until that crew recharters, which could be as soon as the day after the kid's 21st birthday, at which point he (or she) would have to become an adult member.

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