10th Croydon Scout Group

Explorer Scouts

One of the world's Oldest Groups

Introduction to Explorers

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 Explorer Scout Young Leaders’ Scheme which develops their leadership skills and sense of responsibility, by helping to run meetings for younger sections.

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 Scout Network until 18. Young people must have left the Explorer Scout section before the date of their 18th birthday. For further information, see our guidance on age range flexibility.


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.


Additional Needs

Scouting is open to all young people, regardless of their mental or physical ability. We can usually arrange things to make sure everyone can join in the fun. If you have any questions about accessibility, have a chat with your leader. By being upfront from the start, parents and carers can work in partnership with the colony leaders to make sure their young person has the best experience Scouting can offer.

Many young people will require some special consideration to enable them to fully participate in all Scouting activities. By identifying an individual’s additional need and providing them with appropriate support, we can include more young people in Scouting.

Some additional needs are not immediately obvious (behavioural problems such as ADHD and learning difficulties), these are referred to as hidden disabilities. Scouting provides a range of resources available to help us include young people with particular needs in our Group.

Explorer Scout Uniform

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You may notice that in this section no one appears to be wearing a uniform, that is pure coincidence, and I only noticed it after building the first rough draft of the page. I deliberately left it like that because it illustrates a point. Scouts do not wear uniform just for the sake of it, we wear it if and when it's appropriate, when that's not the case we do not wear uniform. As our members get older they do more and more activities where uniform would not be appropriate (but they could wear one if they wanted to).

Like all our sections Explorer Scouts do have a uniform it is comfy and practical. It means no one feels uncomfortable or left out and helps everyone feel part of Scouting. Explorer uniform consists of a Light Brown shirt, a scarf and trousers. There are various other optional accessories you can wear such as hats or hoodies.

The uniform can either be bought from Hewitts of Croydon who have a very longstanding connection with Scouting or from Scouting's online shop - or Scout Stores, as well as Ebay, Facebook, Market Place as well as Shpock if you’re not sure where to start talk to your leaders.

Uniform Recycling Scheme

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The 10th Croydon also operates its own uniform recycling scheme, which is especially popular considering how quickly young people grow. There can also be grants available for parents who need help to buy a uniform, ask your leader for more details.

Explorer Badges & Awards

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There are a number of activity badges and ambitious top awards that Explorer Scouts can gain to recognise their achievements. Further information about Explorer Scout badges and awards can be found here.

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The Explorer Scout Promise

The Explorer Promise is the same as that made by adults in Scouting. It 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. 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.

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Joining Explorers

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 is supplemented and complemented by events and activities delivered across the District, allowing them the opportunity to socialise and work with other local Explorer Units.

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Making the Promise

Making the promise is a big celebration within the Explorer Unit. Every time a new Explorer decides to join, they talk through their promise with their Unit Leader before saying it out loud in front of their fellow Explorers. Family and friends might come along to see this, too. Doing this is called being ‘invested’ into Explorers, and it usually takes place once you’ve had a few weeks to settle in.

Everyone is unique but there are some things all Explorers agree on – such as treating everyone with kindness and promising to do their best. Depending on their own beliefs, they might also promise to live by their faith.



No one knows better than a Scout Group that has been operation for more than 100 years about the natural exuberance of young people especially when undertaking exciting activities. That said we need to maintain order, and there are lines that we cannot allow to be crossed. So first and foremost, we make certain that our members are fully aware of the expected standards of behaviour, Young people will always "push a bit", and that is a natural part of understanding their limits.

Explorer Scouts at the 10th Croydon will be there as Young Leaders, and form a valuable part of our team. That said we would expect them to adhere to the same standards of conduct an behaviour that we expect from anyone else at the group. Perhaps we have been fortunate, or perhaps it is because we treat them with the extra respect their age deserves, but so far we have not had any issues with behaviour. However if we did, we would use the same system we use with the other sections, the only real difference being we would warn them in private, and not in front of the younger members.

So IF they go too far, first they will be issued a very clear verbal warning which is usually enough. If that does not deal with the matter and the bad behaviour persists, they will be shown a "yellow card" (like in football) so now they clearly know they are out of line, in the unlikely event that’s not enough they will be shown a "red card", which like football means they will be sent home straight away and have to miss the next meeting. Unlike in football, verbal warnings and Yellow Cards carry over to then next meeting attended, and are then wiped clean, assuming there are no further problems.

We use the same system at Camps, but when cards are shown, the young person is offered the "opportunity" to do extra chores to "work off the card", rather than being sent home in disgrace. In our 100 year history I can't find any record of a young person ever being sent home from camp due to behaviour problems, so I guess the system works.

Explorer Scouts




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How much does it cost?

While we do not actually have an Explorer Unit, we do have a fair few Explorer Scouts at the Group, so if you are interested you are welcome to ome own and talk to them. We work very closely with the Local Explorer Unit so if you want to give it a try we will make you welcome.

Explorer Scouts would pay subs to their Explorer Unit, which are calculated in the same way all subs are, and cover the same things

Camps, outings and expeditions and some activities will be charged for separately.

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We all know that everything costs more every year, prices increase all the time. Well when you pay your Subs by standing order, the amount will remain fixed, IT NEVER INCREASES, for as long as that standing order runs. Over the years this will save you a considerable amount, and makes it easy to fit Scouting into the household budget.

Trips, camps and special activities are charged separately. Cost should not be a barrier to anyone taking part in Scouting and if this is an issue, you can speak to the local Section Leader in confidence.