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.
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.
The Young Leader's (YL) Scheme has been carefully thought out to ensure that an Explorer Scout working with younger sections are given the support and training they require to develop as leaders. It is specially designed for this age group. However, it has also been designed to tie in with the new adult training scheme.
The Young Leaders Scheme is based around the following modules:
Each module in the scheme (with the exception of module K - First Aid Masterclass) is designed to take 1-2 hrs. They can therefore be delivered as stand alone modules in an evening - or a number of modules could be run on over a weekend.
At the end of each module each young leader's certificate of achievement is updated and perhaps a new one for each module can be issued for each module completed.
There are also a number of suggested projects - one of which must be completed each year.
Much more information is available here.
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!
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 email@example.com.