The Explorer Belt is the challenge of a lifetime

It’s a 10-day expedition that will bring you a deeper understanding of one of our European neighbours, their culture and way of life. It’s an independent exploration of a foreign country in a small team. The Explorer Belt is one of Scouting’s most challenging Top Awards.  Read about Skåne and some important pre-requisites below.  Then click the link to register for an Explorer Belt Information Session.

Dates: 10th-23rd August 2024

Skåne, the southernmost province of Sweden, is an enchanting destination that offers a captivating blend of history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture, making it an ideal expedition for young adventurers. With its picturesque landscapes, charming coastal towns, and bustling city life, Skåne has something for everyone. Explore the medieval streets of Malmö, a cosmopolitan hub brimming with trendy shops, innovative architecture, and a thriving music scene. Discover the ancient ruins and stunning castles that dot the countryside, transporting you back in time. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Skåne’s diverse landscapes, from the rolling fields of golden rapeseed to the pristine sandy beaches that stretch along the coast. Embark on exhilarating outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and even wildlife safaris, where you can spot majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Don’t forget to indulge in Skåne’s delectable culinary scene, renowned for its farm-to-table ethos and exquisite seafood dishes.

You’ll travel through Skåne as a small team of 4 or 5 Explorer Scouts or 3 to 5 Network members for 10 days. You’ll meet local people, talk to them and complete a series of projects. During your expedition, you’ll select your own route and cover about 150 km on foot. After your expedition you’ll make a presentation to gain your Explorer Belt.

The Explorer Belt is the best thing I did as part of Scouts.

Previous Expedition Members

Important pre-requisites

  • You must be either an Explorer Scout aged 16 or over before the start of the expedition, or a Scout Network member.
  • As a guide, you should have hiking, lightweight camping and expedition experience at Chief Scout’s Diamond / Silver DofE award level.
  • Ideally, you will have formed a team and will register as a team for the first training weekend in November. Explorer teams must have 4 or 5 members, Network teams can be 3, 4 or 5.
  • You must attend the two training weekends, on 18th & 19th November 2023 and 16th & 17th March 2024. They will be held in Surrey and south west London.
  • Between the two weekends, you will be expected to conduct specific training and team-building activities individually and in your team.

If you’re interested in the 2024 Explorer Belt, please sign up to attend one of the two information sessions (held on Zoom on Sunday 24th September @ 6 pm & Wednesday 4 October @ 7.30 pm) using this link.

Leadership Team

The expedition will be led by an experienced team of Greater London South West and Surrey Scouts Leaders. They have run eight successful Explorer Belts in the last 20 years including a previous Explorer Belt to Sweden. The leader team will be in-country during the expedition. They will remotely supervise you and be able to assist you if needed.  The two main leaders from Greater London South West and Surrey Scouts will be Chris Dean and Josh Goodwin.

Chris Dean Explorer Belt Leader (Greater London South West Scouts)
Chris is the overall 2024 Explorer Belt leader.  Chris has been a member of the GLSW Explorer Belt Team on eight previous Explorer Belt expeditions over the last 20 years to Lithuania, Italy, France, Sweden, Luxembourg (twice), and Galicia (twice). More than 250 Scouts from England, Wales and Northern Ireland have participated in Explorer Belts led by Chris.Chris says that the Explorer Belt “really allows participants to get under the skin of a country” and is “the perfect antidote to the package holiday”.

Josh Goodwin Explorer Belt Leader (Surrey Scouts)
Josh was a member of the leader team on the 2022 Explorer Belt expedition to Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany, and was the overall leader for the 2023 Explorer Belt to Galicia.Josh is also the Group Scout Leader of a Group in Surrey renowned for its outdoors and adventurous programme. He has been a leader on many Explorer expeditions in the UK and to Kandersteg.Josh says that “the Explorer Belt is different from the other Top Awards in Scouting. Participants engage with the residents of the area they are visiting and they find out a lot about themselves as well as about the people and places they visit”.

Andrew Carvell Assistant County Commissioner (Explorers) Surrey Scouts
Andrew is a hill-walker, mountaineer and canoeist, who has led expeditions for young people to Scotland, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland among others. He is supporting Chris and Josh to organise the 2024 Explorer Belt expedition.

Click here for additional notes about teams and organisation

Forming your team It’s your responsibility and that of your fellow team members to form your team. We will provide advice at the information sessions about forming teams, but we will not put you into a team or create teams.

Ideally, you will have formed your team ahead of the first training weekend. When you register for the training weekend, you should register as a team.

Separate Explorer Scout teams and Network teams Teams must be either 4 or 5 Explorer Scouts (aged 16 or 17) or 3, 4 or 5 Network Scouts (aged 18 to 24). Explorer teams follow the under 18s activity rules. Network teams have greater flexibility and operate under the Scouts’ adult rules.

We discourage teams containing both Network members and Explorer Scouts. If you are an Explorer team, please consider carefully when each member turns 18 and whether this is before the expedition departs.

Who can apply? We welcome Scouts from all parts of the UK. Because the number of expedition places is necessarily limited, we give some preference to teams containing Greater London South West Scouts and / or Surrey Scouts.

Explorer Belt organisation This Explorer Belt is being organised by Greater London South West Scout County in partnership with Surrey Scouts.  Greater London South West is the lead county and is responsible for governance and approval. The Explorer Belt will be run in line with the Scouts’ safety policy and rules.

Further information You can find further information about the Explorer Belt (in general) on the Scouts website at including the Reach Out and Explore guide to completing your Explorer Belt.