American Explorers Feedback Day #1

It was a little bit scary flying into Montana with the strong draft coming from underneath the plane from the mountains. Thank God for great Delta planes with experienced pilots.

An hour away from Bozeman Airport in Montana is the home of American Explorers thanks to the generosity and intentionality of Arthur Blank.

Twenty students from metro Atlanta schools will be living with and loving nature for 20 days in Montana. Even the dirt road driveway is 4+ miles long surrounded by trees, peaceful creeks and deer.

This is my Day 1 blog and let me share with you the 5 things I have learned today so that I can get some much needed sleep for tomorrow.

Experts are here

Luke O’Neill serves as the executive director of American Explorers and his calling in life is navigating folks through the wilderness and ensuring that they capture lessons for life like perseverance, patience and peace to name a few. Arthur Blank didn’t just select a beginner off the streets to run this 20 day program y’all.

Great individuals make great teams

Success is always until the end of time based on the actions of people. There are some great people on this American Explorers team that are serving 20 of Atlanta’s assets. I was talking with American Explorers Educator Mark Davidson at dinner tonight and he said something that made me take a pause. “We don’t make a lot but we live a lot.”

Intentional with everything

Dinner was amazing but prior to that, the students were asked to establish a culture for eating. The do’s and don’ts. We could have just sat down and eaten the food because everyone was hungry but it was important for everyone to be on the same page on how we will respect this time of fellowship with a meal that will provide the needed nourishment for days and miles of hiking. 

Leaders are allowed to lead

This isn’t a camp. This is a place where leaders will practice leadership for 20 days. They will be stretched like never before. The old saying is true that practice makes permanent. The 20 students here will leave with some permanent habits for sure that they will be able to practice back in Atlanta.

No trash

You can’t find a single piece of trash on the ground. This might be the only place on earth for that to be true. There is a lot of pride and respect on these grounds by the people that walk them. I love it. If you don’t have people intentionally throwing trash on the ground, nobody has to bear the burden of picking it up after a disrespectful person.Thank you Arthur Blank for establishing American Explorers as a catalyst for character change in Atlanta through youth of Atlanta.