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.
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.