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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

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King's Scout Award

King's Scout Award

King's Scout Award badge

The King’s Scout Award is the top achievement for Explorer Scouts and Scout Network members and comprises a variety of activities to complete. It’s closely linked to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award, so it’s worth considering working on the two awards together. To gain the award, you must complete all of the following requirements before your 25th birthday.

How to earn your badge:

  1. Award participants must:
    • Be aged 16 or older to start the award and complete the award before your 25th birthday 
    • Be a member of either Explorer Scouts or Scout Network (or a combination of both) for at least 18 months to complete the award
    • Be a member of Explorer Scouts or Scout Network at the time you complete the award

    This means members can only start working towards and count activities undertaken in achieving the KSA from their 16th Birthday. Activities and nights away completed in achievement of the Chief Scout Platinum and Diamond Awards can be counted towards the KSA. 

  2. Nights away

    Complete 18 nights away as an Explorer Scout or Scout Network member, of which at least 12 must be camping.

    Nights  away  used for  this  requirement  must  be  different  from nights away  undertaken for  one  of  the  five challenge activities (such as expedition and residential) or those used for the ICV list, but can include those nights away used for the nights away requirement of the Chief Scout’s Platinum or Chief Scout’s Diamond Awards. 

    Nights  away  undertaken  as  an  Explorer  Scout  Young  Leader  or  by  Scout  Network members  who  are  also  an  adult leader in Scouting may count towards this requirement, ie a night away with a Cub Pack where you volunteer. 

  3. International, community & values (ICV) list

    Complete six activities in total, two from each topic area of the ICV activities list. View the ICV list for the King's Scout Award. A minimum of two must be from the KSA ICV list and the others from any of the KSA, or Chief Scout Platinum or Diamond ICV lists.

    If you have completed your Chief Scout’s Platinum Award, you will have already done two activities and will only need to do a further four activities.

    If you have completed your Chief Scout’s Diamond Award, you will have already done four activities and will only need to do a further two activities.

  4. Presentation

    Make a presentation covering all elements of your award to a suitable audience, with the aim of inspiring and motivating others to achieve the award. The presentation should be the final activity you complete.

  5. Sign-off

    Each  requirement  needs  to  be  signed  off  by  an  assessor. This  is   someone  who  can vouch  for  the  activities  you  have undertaken and provide some basic evidence (a short statement) about your participation. This is often your Explorer Leader or your  District Scout  Network  Commissioner. 

    However,  assessors  can  be anyone  who  has  witnessed the  activities  you’ve undertaken for the specific requirement.

    Once  you  have  completed  all  of  the  above  requirements,  a Commissioner (appropriate to the section you’re a member of) must approve your award as complete by filling out the 'Commissioner approval' section of the using the KSA Logbook and Completion form.

Choose 1 of the following options:

  1. Hold the Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
  2. Complete the King's Scout Award Challenges:
    1. Skill

      Take up a skill for six or 12 months*, and show progress and lasting interest. The skill can be an existing interest or something entirely new.

    2. Physical activity

      Take up a physical activity for six or 12 months*, completing an agreed programme by taking part and achieving your objectives.

    3. Service

      Provide service to an individual or the community for 12 months. Briefing and training should be given in order to gain the necessary skills. This may include helping with another section of the Movement as an Explorer Scout Young Leader or adult volunteer.

    4. Expedition

      Undertake training, a practice expedition and a four-day, three-night self-led final expedition, including a project. You should undertake training to show you are ready to do your expedition, a practice expedition and then the final expedition. 

      • Training

        Before you undertake any expedition you should demonstrate that you are competent in the following areas:

        1. First aid (covering First Response as a minimum) and emergency procedures
        2. Risk assessment/health and safety
        3. Navigation and route planning
        4. Camp craft, equipment and hygiene
        5. Food and cooking
        6. Country, highway and water sports codes
        7. Observation, recording and presentation
        8. Team building
        9. Proficiency in mode of travel
      • Practice

        Undertake a minimum three-day, two-night (consecutive) self-led expedition in wild country by foot, cycle, horse, canoe, boat or dinghy.

      • Final

        Undertake a four-day, three-night (consecutive) self-led expedition with an aim. The expedition should be completed in wild country by the same method used in your practice. Expeditions should have a minimum of eight hours of activity per day, of  which  at  least half must  be  journeying.  The  final  expedition  must  be  undertaken in a  different  area  to the  practice with  similar conditions, and ideally with the same team of people. 

    5. Residential

      Undertake a five-day, four-night residential project in an unfamiliar environment with people that are unknown to you. This project could be environmental work, project-based, service to others or personal training. In exceptional circumstances this can be done over two consecutive weekends, as long as the activity is the same and the majority of people are unknown to you. 


  • All members should complete 12 months in either the skill or the physical activity challenges.

  • If you're doing your King's Scout Expedition by foot, why not see if you qualify for the Hill Walker Activity Badge? Check out the full requirements for the Hill Walker Activity Badge.

  • Members who’ve not completed the Silver Duke of Edinburgh's Award or the Chief Scout's Diamond Award must undertake an extra six months in either the Service Challenge or the longer of the Skills or Physical Recreation Challenge, so 18 months in total.

  • It's strongly recommended that you read the Reach The Top guide before starting to work towards your award to make sure you fully understand what you need to do. The materials provide more advice and guidance on the award requirements, as well as some ideas for what you could do to meet them.

  • Download the KSA Logbook and Completion form to start keeping track of your progress towards the King's Scout Award.

    In order to get approval locally and by headquarters, don’t forget to double-check your logbook against the KSA sign-off checklist.

May 2024.

Requirements can be adapted to suit each young persons abilities. See our guidance on flexibility.

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