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Explorer Scouts

What is Explorer Scouting?

Explorer Scouts are young people, usually aged between 14 and 18 years old. There is flexibility in the ages so that you can join Explorers from 13½ depending on what is right for you!

If you're a parent, considering Explorer Scouting for your son or daughter, please see this helpful guide.

There are many different ways of being an Explorer Scout. You might be part of a unit that meets weekly and is partnered with one or more Scout Groups; or you might be part of a specialist activity Unit that meets less frequently but only takes part in certain activities (this could be water based activities, bands, gang shows, campsites - the list is almost endless).

Not all Units meet each week, because you will often be out and about at weekends or in the holidays doing activities. There will be times when you will be busy doing other things such as exams, and being an Explorer Scout will have to fit around these.

As an Explorer Scout you may decide that you want to help with a younger section, by becoming a young leader . This may be your main Scouting commitment, or you may do this as well as being a member of another Explorer Scout Unit. All Young Leaders are members of the district Young Leader Unit which will offer you training so you can work towards achieving your Young Leader Belt.

Explorer Scouting is organised at District level, lead by the District Explorer Scout Commissioner (DESC) and assisted by the District Explorer Scout Administrator (DESA). The DESC and DESA are supported by the District Executive Committee who are operationally responsible for the section, in the same way that a Group Executive Committee is responsible for the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts in the Group.

Being organised at District level means that as an Explorer Scout, you should be able to go to any activity being run by an ESU within your district! As an Explorer Scout, you will get the chance to work with other Explorer Scouts in your District, not just your Unit. By doing this, you will have access to many more activities, not just the ones your Unit organises.

What do Explorer Scouts do?

Explorer Scouts take part in a 'balanced programme' . What this means is that over a period of time, the activities that you do as an Explorer Scout cover a range of topics which are exciting and challenging. Explorer Scouting works best when young people work in partnership with adults to plan and deliver the programme.

Explorer Scouting is all about taking part rather than reaching set levels and standards. Trying new things and stretching yourself are really important. Like all of the sections within Scouting you can gain badges and awards . Explorer Scouts often enjoy working towards Scouting's Top Awards like the Chief Scout Platinum, Diamond and Queens Scout Award as well as Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

Awards and Badges

Membership and Participation Awards

The Moving on Award and the Membership Award are awarded when you move between sections or become a member of the Association for the first time.

Chief Scout's and Queen's Scout Awards

The Chief Scout's Platinum Award , the Chief Scout's Diamond Award and the Queen's Scout Award are the highest awards that are available in the Explorer Scout and Scout Network sections.

Activity Badges

There are a number of Activity Badges available to Explorer Scouts. There is a list here. These build on the requirements of the Activity Badges in the Scout Section and lead towards the requirements for National Governing Body Awards. These can be gained to show a particular interest in a specific area - you can do all of them or none of them. The choice is yours!

Explorer Belt

The Explorer Belt is the challenge of a lifetime that is available to Explorer Scouts aged over 16 and members of the Scout Network.

It is a chance to undertake an international expedition over ten days that brings a real understanding of a different country, its people and way of life.

The Explorer Belt is designed to help young people develop a real understanding of another country by travelling through that country, working as a small team to complete surprise projects, and meeting local people.


If you have any questions about Explorer Scouting in GLSW please contact one of the Assistant County Commissioners (Jane or Caroline) at acc.explorers@glswscouts.org.uk.

Explorer Scout Uniform and Badge Placement

You don't need a uniform to join Explorers. But once you've settled in, you'll start speedily earning badges, and you'll need to know where to put them.

What's coming up

Outdoor Scouting
18th June 2022, 9:30 - 16:00

County AGM
29th June 2022, 20:00 - 22:00

Explorer Belt Expedition
23rd July 2022 - 5th August 2022

Scouting Essentials
24th September 2022, 9:30 - 16:00



All of our leaders are trained volunteers working to make Scouts the best it can be, but we don't just need swashbuckling adventurers to lead our expeditions. We also need tidy-uppers and tea-makers and great listeners from all walks of life - for as much or as little time as they can spare.

Find out more about volunteering>

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