Being an Explorer

Who are Explorers?

Explorers are a go-getting group of young people aged 14 to 18. Together, they make up the fourth section of the Scouts.

Week in and week out, they gather in groups called Units to try new things, make new friends and conquer the small task of changing the world.



What do Explorers get up to?

Discover the world.

Being an Explorer is all about discovering the world on your own terms and making the most of what you have, wherever and whoever you are.

Alongside your new friends, you’ll master the skills that will make you feel stronger and happier in the long run, and try things you’d never get the chance to do at home or at school.

Whether you’re hiking to faraway lands or building a robot in your local town hall, you’ll have the freedom to choose what you’d like to do, and work together with adults to make it happen.


Start small but think big.

Explorers start small but think big.

They stand up for what they believe and make a difference on their own doorstops, confident in the knowledge that their daily actions add up.


Seek out the answers to big questions.

Explorers seek out the answers to the big questions, and to the smaller questions that don’t seem to matter but really should.

Most importantly, they say yes more often than they say no - whether they’re signing up for their first major hike across Europe, or writing their first line of code, or accepting the last of the toasted marshmallows.

Sound like fun? That’s because it is. All that’s missing is you.



Who leads Explorers?

Each Explorer Unit is made up of young people aged 14 to 18, led by adult volunteers who are on hand to share their skills and keep everyone safe.

Within their Unit, Explorers are part of a Patrol - smaller groups of Explorers who look out for one another, and help each other grow. Explorers usually gather in their Patrols at the beginning and end of meetings. They might also stick together on expeditions or trips away, or during certain activities.


Can young people become leaders?

Absolutely. If taking the lead sounds like something you’d like to try for yourself, sign up for the Explorer Scout Young Leader’s Scheme to get some hands-on experience volunteering with the younger Scout sections.


The bigger Scout family

Explorers are part of the global Scout family. Closer to home, they’re part of the wider Scout District, alongside Network members (aged 18 to 25).



Promises and ceremonies

Every Explorer is unique, but they find common ground in their shared Scout values, and make a promise to stick by them.

Making a promise when you join the Unit is a way of celebrating these values.

Every time a new Explorer decides to join, they chat through their promise with their leader before saying it out loud in front of their fellow Explorers. Family and friends might come along to see this, too. The process usually takes place once you’ve had a few weeks to settle in, and is known as being ‘invested’ into Explorers.

Options for the promise can be found by clicking the Promise and Law link on the left of this page.



How to join

To join Explorers, please fill in the Join Us form, linked to the left of this page.

Not sure if you have time to fit Explorers into your week? Being a person is busy work, and being a teenage person is even busier. We get it. That’s why Explorer Units are generally more flexible than the other Scout sections, especially when important landmarks like exams roll around.


Is Explorers suitable for me?

Explorers is for everyone. If you have any questions about accessibility, have a chat with your leader. By being upfront about additional needs from the start, we can work together to make sure everyone can join in the fun on their own terms.


Is there a waiting list?

Lots of young people are itching to join Explorers, so you might need to wait for a space to become available.

If the Unit has a waiting list, parents and other adults might be able to solve the problem. We don’t just need swashbuckling adventurers to lead expeditions. We also need listeners, tidy-uppers and tea-makers, for as little or as much time as they can spare.


What should I wear?

Once you’ve had time to settle in, you’ll get your own uniform to wear during meetings and on trips away. Explorers usually wear a beige shirt or blouse with their badges sewn on, which they pair with the Unit scarf. They might wear blue uniform trousers or a skirt, or they might save their uniform bottoms for special occasions like awards ceremonies and public events – choosing to wear something more casual with their shirt during the week.


How much does it cost?

There is a basic fee covering the cost of the hire and upkeep of the place where you meet. Trips, camps and activities that take place away from the usual meeting place are usually charged separately.

Explorers is designed to be an affordable way to learn lots of new skills through a single membership. Nobody should feel excluded because of money worries. If they’re concerned about costs, adults should speak to their leader in confidence, to see what they can do to help. In most cases, support is available to make sure nobody misses out.

Harpenden and Wheathampstead District Scouts

District Commissioner, 65 Station Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 4XF

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