Explorers are the fourth section of the Scouting movement. Right from the time of Baden-Powell, there have been arrangements for young people who wanted to continue after their time in the Scout  Section, and in 1967, Venture Scouts were formed from the existing Senior Scout and Rover Scout Sections.

During the late 1990s Scouting  decided that, to meet the changing needs of young people, there should  be two sections for the over-14s: Explorer Scouts for 14 to  18-year-olds, and the Scout Network for 18 to 25s.

Structure and meetings

A group of Explorer Scouts is called a Unit and although they often meet in Scout headquarters and have their own leaders, they are managed by The District Explorer Scout Commissioner (DESC) Andy Taylor and District Explorer Scout Administrator (DESA) Simone Foster-Jowett.

Not all Units meet every week, partly due to activities, holidays, exams and the other commitments that crop up in a teenager’s life, and also because Explorers tend to get out and about at weekends more often than other sections, as they are a District provision they often get the chance to work with other Explorer Scouts in their District, not just their own Unit, so can take part in an even wider spectrum of activities.


There is also a range of ambitious badges and awards, through which Explorers can demonstrate their proficiencies and expand their interests. Many of the badges available are activity badges, which 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. They also have the opportunity to become Young Leaders and work towards their Duke of Edinburgh Awards.


Explorer Scouts wear a beige shirt or blouse with a Unit scarf and navy blue activity trousers or skirt with a Scout belt. They can  wear an Explorer Belt or Young Leader Belt and buckle if this has been awarded.



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

Explorer Scout (YOUNG LEADERS) Scheme

The Young Leaders’ Scheme is just one of the exciting programme elements in the Explorer Scout section. All Young Leaders must be members of an Explorer Scout Young Leaders’ Unit. They are Explorer Scouts who choose to devote a large proportion of their time in Scouting to service in another section. The Young Leaders’ Scheme helps Explorer Scouts to develop and grow as individuals. It allows them to make a valuable contribution to their community and give service to others. The scheme also helps them fulfil the service elements of their awards.

Who can take part in the scheme?

Explorer Scouts aged between 14 to 18 years can become Young Leaders. They can help in the Beaver Scout, Cub Scout, and Scout Sections. Young Leaders are still Explorer Scouts and are encouraged to take part in the Balanced Programme provided by their District. They are also members of the District Young Leaders Unit.

What is the Young Leaders’ Scheme?

The Young Leader scheme is an ongoing programme of training, designed to enable Young Leaders to work effectively in the Section that they choose. As part of the Young Leaders Scheme there are eleven modules and four missions to be completed alongside them.

Missions are designed to allow the Young Leaders to put the learning from the Modules into practice. By doing so, they will gain in confidence and become an integral part of the leadership team within their Section and Group.

Why do Explorer Scouts become Young Leaders?

Explorer Scouts become Young Leaders to:

  • gain the knowledge, skills and confidence required to become an effective Leader
  • further their own personal development
  • work towards other Awards for example Duke of Edinburgh
  • acquire the skills that are needed for the Adult Training Scheme
  • have fun!

Duke Of Edinburgh Award Scheme

The Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award scheme can play an important part in an Explorer Scouts life. The award scheme is linked to the Explorers range of activities.

What is the DofE all about?

 A DofE programme is a real adventure from beginning to end.  It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from.  You just need to be aged between 14 and 24 and realise there’s more to life than sitting on a sofa watching life pass you by.


You can do programmes at three levels, which when completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.


You achieve your Award by completing a personal programme of activities in four sections (five if you’re going for Gold) – Volunteering, Physical, Skills, Expedition and for Gold, a Residential. You’ll find yourself helping people or the community, getting fitter, developing skills, going on an expedition and taking part in a residential activity (Gold only).

The best bit is – you get to choose what you do!

Your programme can be full of activities and projects that get you buzzing, and along the way you’ll pick up experiences, friends and talents that will stay with you for the rest of your life.