Explorers - What is it?
Explorer Scouts is the training section for young people aged from 14 to 18 years, although Scouts can move up once they are 13.5 years old.
The Explorer Scouts in Gravesham have continued to meet on and off during the last year or so, either face to face when allowed, or online. All 4 Gravesham units are now getting back to regular weekly meetings and unit leaders are starting to get new interest from Scouts who have already reached the Explorer age range or are getting near it and want to know more about the Explorer section. So here is a brief Q & A on Gravesham Explorer Scouts:
Q1 - What is Explorers?
A – This is the section for young people aged 14 to 18. Generally, Explorers will have learnt the basics of Scouting by the time they are 14 and this is the section where all their earlier training comes together and they can do more adventurous activities which are challenging, but fun. Leaders remain important in the running of the section, but the Explorers are encouraged to think more for themselves and to start to plan their own activities and programmes.
Q2 – What is the age range?
A – Scouts can move up to Explorers once they are 13.5 years old, subject to the agreement of their Scout Leader and the Explorer Scout Unit Leader. However, if a Scout wants to remain with their troop until they are 14 that is no problem as there is flexibility in the move up date. Often Scouts move on at the end of a Scouting term, ie Christmas, Easter or the Summer School break. Once an Explorer reaches their 18th birthday they leave their unit and can move on to the next section, Network.
Q3 – Where are the Gravesham Explorer Units based?
A – There are 4 units in Gravesham as follows:
Apollo – based at Hopehill Camp Site, Meopham
Kipling – based at 5th Northfleet Scout Group HQ, Painters Ash Estate, Northfleet
Phoenix – based at Shorne Scout Group HQ, Shorne Village
Sputnik – based at Windmill Hill Scout Group HQ, Gravesend
Q4 – When do they meet?
A – All the units meet on a Monday night from 7.30 to 9.30pm.
Q5 – How do you join?
Q6 – What is the Young Leader scheme
A – Some Explorers choose to help one of the more junior training sections as Young Leaders, alongside their Explorer unit activities. In this role they work alongside the adult leaders and take part in a training plan to develop their understanding of leadership and the skills required. Almost 50% of Explorers volunteer as Young Leaders and in addition some Scouts who choose not to join a unit still volunteer as Young Leaders with their local Beavers, Cubs or Scouts.
Q7 – Can Explorers do the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme?
A – Yes. The DofE award scheme fits neatly alongside the Scout scheme and enables Explorers (and Network members) to gain awards in the widely recognised national scheme. Participation in DofE is actively encouraged and specific training is provided to Explorers.
I hope this Q&A has been helpful. There is obviously a lot of work needed to get all the Scout sections in Gravesham back to where they were pre-Covid. This will take some time to achieve in the Explorer section, but we hope in due course to once again be able to provide the range of activities and events which existed back in 2019. Watch this space.
District Explorer Scout Commissioner