The Explorer Belt is a challenge of a lifetime. It's a chance to take part in a ten-day expedition that brings you a real understanding of a different country, its culture and way of life.
How to earn your badge:
Be an Explorer Scout aged 16 or over, a Scout Network member*, or a member of Girlguiding aged 16 to 25.
*Scout Network members must be registered on Compass to qualify.
Undertake a 10-day expedition as part of a team* outside the UK with a minimum travelling time of 50 hours over the 10 days, by foot, cycle, horse, canoe, boat or dinghy.
If aged 16–18 years old, you may only participate in an organised expedition supported by an in-country leadership team, rather than being self-led.
The use of public transport is acceptable as part of the travelling time, where opportunities to meet people would otherwise be missed.
*Minimum starting number of young people per team is three with the minimum of two per team completing the expedition.
You should cover the following areas during your preparation and expedition:
Show that you are competent in the following areas:
- Navigation skills
- Expedition cooking
- Lightweight camping
- Acceptable hosted hospitality
- Proficiency in mode of travel
- Team building
- First Aid (covering First Response as a minimum)
Agree the budget before the expedition and record spending throughout the trip.
- Log book
Keep a logbook of the expedition which records places visited, the route taken, project work undertaken and personal thoughts.
- Complete at least ten minor projects which may be chosen by the team, leadership team, peers or a mixture of these.
- Complete one major project selected by the team which is undertaken throughout the expedition.
Take part in a debrief of the expedition with your mentor and leadership team. Ideally this should be within 24 hours of the 10th day of the expedition or within 24 hours of return to the UK.
Make a presentation including all elements of your award to the assessment panel and other invited guests of your experiences and achievements.
Your expedition, project work, and presentation will be assessed by an assessment panel including your mentor to determine if you have successfully achieved your Explorer Belt. Final sign off of the award is the responsibility of a Commissioner at County level or District Commissioner in Scotland, who can request Explorer Belt certificates and completion codes (for ordering belts and badges from Scout Store) using this form.
If you're working towards your Explorer Belt, it's a good idea to have a read of our Reach Out and Explore guide to completing your award. This will tell you everything you need to know before embarking on your Explorer Belt journey, and has tons of tips and templates to help you on your way. If you're an adult supporting young members through their Explorer Belt, we also have a guide for Helping Them Reach Out and Explore.
If you're a member of the UK Scout Network (UKSN), you can join up with Network members around the country to take on the Explorer Belt. Speak to Ruth.Slaney@scouts.org.uk to get approval to start your Explorer Belt, and for support completing the award.
Each young person who participates in the Programme, including badges and awards, should face a similar degree of challenge, and requirements can be adapted according to each young person’s abilities. For more information and practical tips see our guidance on reasonable adjustments and flexibility.
Requirements can be adapted to suit each young persons abilities. See our guidance on flexibility.