Explorers FAQ

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We hope this FAQ list has been helpful. Have you got another question? Contact us to get an answer.


How can my child benefit from joining Scouts?

In an independent survey of over 2,000 parents of Scouts, nine out of ten parents said Scouting is worthwhile and nine in ten said their children find Scouting enjoyable.

As your child progresses through Scouts you should be able to see signs of the impact their Scouting adventure has on them.

Parents tell us Scouting gives their children more confidence, responsibility and a broader set of friends. Scouting can help develop your child’s social skills and encourage self-sufficiency, and gives them access to activities and opportunities that may have been otherwise unavailable to them. A huge number of parents agreed that since their child joined Scouting family life was easier and they were ‘nicer children to live with’.

What is the age range for Explorers?

If you are between the ages of 14 and 18 you can join Explorers. There is flexibility in the age range: young people can join from age 13½, and can move to Network Scouts from age 17½. Young people must have left the Explorer Scout section before the date of their 18th birthday.

Do you have to have been in Scouts first?

No, it does not matter whether you have been in the Scout section first.

What is an Explorer Unit?

Explorers meet in a Unit which is part of the District, though many Units are linked with a Scout Group. An Explorer Scout Unit and a Scout Group often work together under a Partnership Agreement, which sets out the links between the Unit and the Group, arrangements for communication, use of equipment, facilities and resources.

How often do Explorers meet?

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 holidays and exams, it is important that the programme reflects this. For example, Units may not meet every week, or carry out the majority of activities at weekends.

What are the main Explorer activities?

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.

What badges and awards are available in Explorers?

Activity badges – these represent the pinnacle of achievement in a particular field. Whether their interests lie in Hill Walking or Performing Arts, Aviation or Public Relations, Explorers are rewarded both for developing existing strengths and undertaking new ventures. Challenge awards – involve accomplishing a number of more ambitious challenges or schemes. Examples include the Chief Scout’s Awards and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.Core badges – these are obtained upon joining or moving on from the Unit, or for time spent in the Scouting movement.

What is the Explorer Scout Promise?

The Promise is a simple way to help young people and adults keep the Fundamentals of Scouting in mind. The Promise is the oath taken by all Members as they commit to sharing the values of Scouting. It is therefore vital that every Member considers the Promise and discusses its meaning before making the Promise and being invested into Scouting.

Are there variations available for the Explorer Scout Promise?

There are a number of variations of the promise to reflect the range of faiths, beliefs and attitudes and nationalities in the UK within Scouting. Each version is written to be appropriate to the broad level of understanding of each of the age groups within the Movement. We believe that this approach is inclusive. Celebrating and understanding difference, including difference in faiths and beliefs, is an important aspect of the educational and developmental side of Scouting. For further information, see the Promise page on the Scout Association website.

What is the Explorer Scout Motto?

Be Prepared.

What is the Explorer Scout Flag?

The Explorer Scout Flag is olive green, bearing the Scout symbol and Motto.

What do Explorer Scouts wear and where can I buy the uniform?

Explorer Scouts wear a beige shirt or blouse with a Unit scarf (or a Group one if there is a partnership agreement), and navy blue activity trousers or skirt with a Scout belt. They can wear an Explorer Belt and buckle or Young Leader Buckle if either of these has been awarded. Full details about these can be viewed on our Shop page.

How should badges or awards be placed on the Explorer Scout uniform?

Please view the official diagram on the Scout Association page.

We’re moving to a new area, can I transfer to a new Explorer Scout Unit?

Firstly, you will need to tell your current Unit that you are leaving the area. Then call the Scout Information Centre on 0845 300 1818 and they will be able to put you in touch with a volunteer in the area you are moving to. If you are moving abroad we will be able to give you the details of the Scout head office in this country.

So, how do I get involved?

Why not join your local unit?