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Explorer Scout Units

  1. Explorer Scout Units are part of a District’s provision of Scouting.

  2. Explorer Scout Units may be attached to a Scout Group but are not a formal part of the Group.

  3. An Explorer Scout Unit consists of a number of Explorer Scouts.

  4. They may be divided into smaller groups but these should be flexible.

  5. All Explorer Scout Units are required to be open to male and female membership except in special situations. Special situations include those where there are specific cultural or religious requirements for single sex Explorer Scout Units.

  6. The operation of the Unit must be overseen by a Leader or team of Leaders.

    A Section Leadership team comprises of all Section Leaders, Assistant Section Leaders and Section/Unit Assistants working with the Unit. Working with the Section Leadership team, the Section Leader(s) have responsibility for the planning of the programme and the management of the Unit.

    Where there is more than one Section Leader appointed, only one of the Section Leaders may opt-in to be an ex officio member of the Group Executive Committee (rule 3.23(b)(iii)).

  7. The delivery of the Unit programme is the responsibility of the Section Leadership team, led by the Section Leader. Additional adults (for example parents, subject experts from the community) may be used on a regular or occasional basis to support the programme delivery. All additional adults need to conform to the Personal Enquiry and criminal records disclosures checks requirements detailed in Rule 4.28(b).

  8. The Section Leader(s) have a responsibility to ensure at least two adults (aged 18 or over) are present at each Unit meeting, at least one of whom holds a FULL appointment with the Unit (normally a Section Leader but on occasion may be an Assistant Section Leader or a Section/Unit Assistant).

  9. In the event of no Leader or Section Assistant with a FULL appointment from the Unit Leadership team being able to attend a Unit meeting, it is possible on occasions for another adult member of Scouting, with appropriate youth leadership experience (not necessarily in the same section), to take their place at the meeting or similar event, as long as the District Explorer Scout Commissioner is consulted as soon as practicable in advance and supports the arrangement. Such adults must have satisfactorily completed the Personal Enquiry process and have a FULL appointment.

    It is expected that this situation will only occur infrequently – if that is not the case the District Explorer Scout Commissioner must take appropriate action to strengthen the Section Leadership team of the Unit.

  10. Other than two adults being present there is no minimum ratio of adults to Explorers set for regular indoor Unit meetings, but for all meetings and activities Leaders should assess the risk and arrange for sufficient adults (aged 18 or over) to ensure a safe environment for the operation of the Unit, which may vary depending on the programme being delivered.

    It is good practice to have a mixed leadership team.

  11. There is no recommended minimum ratio for outdoor activities held away from the usual meeting place or nights away experiences. However, as a minimum, for all Nights Away experiences led by a Nights Away Permit Holder at least two adults must be present overnight. Only in the event of an emergency should an adult be alone overnight with young people on a residential experience.

  12. For all Scouting activities a risk assessment should be carried out as stated in Rule 9.4. This risk assessment cannot override the minimum requirements stated in Rule 4.7h or those required by the activity rules in chapter 9.

  13. The age range of the Section is from 14 years to 18 years old. The age for moving from the Scout Section is between 13½ and 14½ years and moving to the Scout Network at 18 years. The leaving age is upon reaching the 18th birthday. Under no circumstances can anyone aged 18 years or over, regardless of ability remain in a youth section (i.e. Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts or Explorer Scouts).

    NOTE: A young person who turns 18 during an event or residential activity (of no more than one month’s duration) shall be treated as under 18, and be subject to all rules applicable to under 18 year olds, for the duration of that event.

  14. The Explorer Scout Unit should have opportunities for the members to take part in the decision making process. Any forum or committee should have both Explorer Scouts and Leaders working together.

  15. Explorer Scouts wear the approved Explorer Scout, Sea Scout or Air Scout uniform with distinguishing emblems and scarves as described in the Chapter 10.

  16. The following minimum standards are laid down for Explorer Scout Units

    • Operation overseen by a leader (Rule 4.7f).
    • Two adults present (Rule 4.7g).
    • The delivery of a high quality balanced Programme run in accordance with the Association's official publications for the Section.
    • Opportunities for the members to take part in the decision making process. (Rule 4.7m).
    • The opportunity for every Explorer Scout to attend at least one nights away experience every year.
  17. The District Commissioner, with the District Team, is required where necessary to assist Explorer Scout Units to reach the required standard.

  18. If an Explorer Scout Unit fails to reach the minimum standard for two consecutive years it may be closed by the District Commissioner with the approval of the District Executive Committee. If an Explorer Scout Unit fails to reach the minimum standard for three years it must be closed.