Explorer Scouts – normally shortened to Explorers, are young people aged 14 to 18 year olds. Explorer Scouting provides a flexible and active Scouting programme with an emphasis on personal challenge and adventure.
The Explorer Scout section follows on from the Scout section, and is in turn followed by Scout Network. Explorer Scouts meet as Units, and are organised and run at the Scout District level. However, Explorer Scouts are encouraged to participate in “linking” activities with local Scout Groups. The section also runs a Young Leader programme which provides support for the junior sections.
With the support, direction and guidance of Unit leaders, Explorer Scouts are encouraged to lead themselves, design their own programme and work towards the top awards that Scouting offers. With exciting prospects like being a part of camps and expeditions both home and abroad; adventurous activities such as mountaineering, parascending and off shore sailing; Explorers offers fun and adventure for all. In addition, there are a number of activity badges and ambitious top awards that Explorer Scouts can gain to recognise their achievements.
Young Leaders are Explorer Scouts who choose to provide leadership in Beaver Scout Colonies, Cub Scout Packs or Scout Troops alongside the adult leadership team. Young Leaders have a training programme similar to that of adult leaders and consisting of eleven modules and four missions (projects).
The Scout Promise and Law
All members and leaders of Explorer Scouting undertake the Scout Promise and are expected to observe the Scout Law.
The Scout promise is:
- On my honour, I promise that I will do my best,
- to do my duty to God and to the Queen,
- to help other people
- and to keep the Cub Scout Law.
Scouting is available to people of all faiths as well as people who are humanist, atheist or have no affirmed faith and therefore must therefore take account of the different religious obligations or non religious beliefs of its Members.
Similarly, people of other nationalities resident in the United Kingdom, who may become Members of the Association, owe allegiance to their own Country. To meet these circumstances, there are different variations of the Beaver Scout, Cub Scout and Scout Promise that can be made, allowing for the individuals obligations while upholding the essential spirit of the Promise.
The Explorer Scout Promise poster or can be downloaded here.
The Scout Law
- A Scout is to be trusted.
- A Scout is loyal.
- A Scout is friendly and considerate.
- A Scout belongs to the worldwide family of Scouts.
- A Scout has courage in all difficulties.
- A Scout makes good use of time and is careful of possessions and property.
- A Scout has self-respect and respect for others.
Explorer Scouts share the general Scout motto of Be Prepared.
Explorer Scout uniform consists of a long-sleeved beige shirt, a neckerchief and woggle, and navy blue combat trousers, known officially as “activity trousers”, Scout belt/Explorer Belt and buckle/Young Leader belt and buckle once achieved.. A skirt, activity shorts and polo shirt are available as options. Sea Scout uniform differs by either a navy blue jersey or a light blue shirt; headgear is a seaman’s cap with a “Sea Scout” tally band. Air Scouts wear a light blue shirt and headgear is a blue-grey beret.
Awards and Badges
Explorer Scout Membership Award
The Membership Award is only actually received by young people new to Scouting, whereas those Explorer Scouts who have joined from a Scout Troop will undertake the Moving-On Award.
Explorer Scouts continue the Scouting programme of Progressive Awards. The requirements of each stage become more challenging, reflecting the age and abilities of the young people undertaking the Awards.
The three stages of the Awards open to Explorer Scouts are (in ascending order):
- The Chief Scout’s Platinum Award
- The Chief Scout’s Diamond Award
- The Queen’s Scout Award
Each level requires that Explorers demonstrate community, faith, self-motivation, personal discipline, and many other qualities.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award works alongside the Scout Awards, and completion of certain sections of either Award can contribute to the other.
The Explorer Belt is a long-standing award for Scouts which has now been adapted for the new programme.
It is open to all members of Scouting between the ages of 16-25, and is aimed at promoting self-reliance, teamwork, and adventurous spirit.
The Explorer Belt requires participants to undertake a 10-day expedition in a foreign country, devoting some time to travelling around and exploring. Participants also have to undertake a major project of their own choosing, along with a number of smaller projects or challenges — some of which are not revealed to them until the start of the expedition.
There are a number of activity and skill badges which can be awarded upon meeting requirements in a variety of disciplines from horse-riding to first aid. (List of badges)
Staged Activity Badges
Staged Activity Badges can be completed by any member of the Movement between the age of 6 and 18. They are completed in different stages, so after completing each stage Members are awarded the relevant badge. As they can be completed in Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts and Explorers it is possible for a Beaver Scout to attain a higher level of a Staged Activity Badge than a Member from a higher Section.
Staged Activity badges that are available are Air Activities, Community Impact, Digital Citizen, Digital Maker, Emergency Aid, Hikes Away, Musician, Nautical Skills, Navigator, Nights Away, Paddle Sports, Sailing, Swimmer and Time on the Water. The number of stages in each badge varies.