Explorer Units are the fourth Section of the Scouting family after Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. Explorer Scouts are young people aged between 14 and 18 years old. There is flexibility in the age range: young people can join from age 13½ but cannot move to Network until 18. Young people must have left the Explorer Scout section before the date of their 18th birthday.
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.
Explorers also have the opportunity to be a part of The Young Leaders’ Scheme which develops their leadership skills and sense of responsibility, by helping to run meetings for younger sections.
Structure and meetings
A group of Explorer Scouts is called a Unit and is part of the District’s provision of Scouting. An Explorer Scout Unit and a Scout Group may work together under a Partnership Agreement, which should set out clearly the links between the Unit and the Group, arrangements for communication, use of equipment, facilities and resources.
The key to running a successful Explorer Unit is flexibility. Due to the other commitments that crop up in a teenager’s life, such as exams, it is important that the programme reflects this. For example, Units may not every week, or carry out the majority of activities at weekends.
Explorer Scouts are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities as part of their programme including traditional Scouting skills, such as camping, survival and cooking, as well as a wider spectrum of adventurous activities, from abseiling to zorbing.
The Explorer programme should be supplemented and complemented by events and activities delivered across the District, allowing them the opportunity to socialise and work with other local Explorer Units.
In addition, there are a number of activity badges and ambitious top awards that Explorer Scouts can gain to recognise their achievements.