Explorer Scouts are young people, usually aged between 14 and 18 years old. They make up the fourth section of the Scouting family. Explorer Scouts wear a brown shirt or blouse with a Unit necker and navy blue activity trousers or skirt with a Scout belt. They can wear an Explorer Belt/Young Leader Belt and buckle if this has been awarded.
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. During the late 1990s we 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.
A group of Explorer Scouts is called a Unit. 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.
Explorer Scouts 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.
Explorers are encouraged to lead themselves in deciding the programme and direction of the Unit, with support and guidance from leaders. The section also includes the Young Leaders’ Scheme, where young people are able to take on a leadership role in one of the younger sections.
This is the highest award a young person can achieve in Scouting and really is something to be proud of and should be the aim of any serious Explorer Scout. Naturally, it's not an easy award to achieve, but for those that have, the benefits during life are great. After all, what an achievement to be able to mention on a CV, at a job interview, or when you're looking for that extra something that makes you different to the next person looking for promotion opportunities during your career.