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What are Explorer Scouts?

Young people of both sexes aged from 14 to 18 years of age who share some common ideas and views. They are members of the newest section of the Scout Association created when it was radically restructured in 2002. The Scout section now has an upper age limit of 14 instead of the previous 16, and Venture Scout sections which used to cover from 16 to 20 no longer exist. Two new sections were formed, Explorers for 14-18 year olds and Scout Network for 18 to 25. These age limits fit in much better with the educational break point at 18 when most young people move on to further or higher education or start a job or an apprenticeship. In the Network section 25 is also the age limit for completing the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

How is Scouting organised?

The UK Scout Association is organised on a pyramid structure with the top National level based at Gilwell Park in NE London. It then works downwards through Regions, Counties, Districts, and Groups to the three sections of Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts which make up most Groups.

When Explorers were set up, it was decided that as many Groups don’t have enough Scouts to make having their own Explorer Unit a viable proposition, Explorers would be run by Districts and not Groups. This means we’re not tied to taking Scouts exclusively from one Group and can also have members who are ex-Guides or people who’ve never been involved in either movement before.

Brocks is one Explorer Unit out of four in Ampthill and Woburn District and we’re based in Maulden (the others are in Toddington, Aspley Guise, and Flitwick) . Although we’re not a section of Badger Hill Scout Group like Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts we have an agreement with them to use their headquarters for our regular meetings and other events.

Our Explorers will tell you that exams and tests seem almost non-stop at school nowadays so Explorer Scouts can provide a vital break to do something totally different. Explorers can get an enormous amount of enjoyment and satisfaction even if they’re members of the Unit just for recreation, but as an Explorer you can also undertake all levels of the Duke of Edinburgh's award which is universally recognised by Universities and employers. There are numerous instances where Explorers have found that just being involved in the activities and taking part in the running of the Unit have been picked out during Uni and job interviews, and viewed favourably as a demonstration of personal qualities.