Senior Scouting was begun in 1935 to increase member retention. Once a boy turned 15, he became a Senior Scout and had several options: Sea Scouting, Explorer Scouting, Air Scouting, Rover Scouting, Troop Alumni, Senior Scouting in the Troop, Press Club, Order of the Arrow, Knights of Dunamis, and the Senior Degree Honor Society. Senior Scouting was not so much a program as a collection of programs.

In 1949, the Senior Scouting became the Explorer program. Some of Senior Scout programs continued, others were changed or dropped. The entry age was lowered from 15 to 14 and participation became optional. Where the old Explorer Scout program had an high adventure outdoor emphasis, the new Explorer program included four activity fields: Adventuring in the Outdoors, Getting Along Socially With Others, Being of Service to Others, and Exploring Lifework Possibilities. In 1959, the Explorer program became the Exploring program, with extensive changes. The most radical change was to drop the distinct Explorer advancement program. Much of a Post activities would be built around six experience areas: Citizenship, Service, Social, Vocational, Outdoor, and Personal Fitness. Explorers got their own Code and Motto as they moved farther away from Boy Scouting and into a more unique program. In 1969 the program went co-ed. Girls could participate with post programs as "Explorer Participants" not members. In 1971, Explorers officially went fully co-ed with full membership opened to girls and the upper age limit raised to 20.

In August of 1998, National split Exploring in two. All career oriented Exploring Posts were moved over to the BSA's Learning for Life subsidiary, after which they would be refereed to as the Learning for Life/Explorers. By doing so, these Explorers would no longer be members of the BSA. The rest of Exploring: the arts/hobbies, sports, youth group, outdoors, etc., plus the Sea Explorers (now renamed Sea Scouts), formed the new Venturing program.