Explorer Scouts

Explorers are young people, usually aged between 14 and 18 years old. They make up the fourth section of the Scouting family after Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.

Structure and meetings

A group of Explorers is called a Unit.

Not all Units meet every week, partly due to activities, holidays, exams and the other commitments that crop up in a teenager's life, and also because Explorers tend to get out and about at weekends more often than other sections.


Explorers often get the chance to work with other Explorers in their District, not just their own Unit, so can take part in an even wider spectrum of activities.

There is also a range of ambitious badges and awards, through which Explorers can demonstrate their proficiencies and expand their interests.

News & Blogs

More info in early 2021


Scout Network Meon Valley

scout.network@meonvalleyscouts.org.uk https://twitter.com/ukscoutnetwork https://www.scouts.org.uk/network

Scout Network - 18 to 25 years

Try more. See more. Do more.

You’ll stand on your own two feet and make memories to last a lifetime.


What do Network members get up to?

Scout Network connects 20,000 18-25-year olds across the UK and gives them the opportunity to take part in a huge range of exciting projects and events centred on the themes of ‘Adventure’, ‘Community’ and ‘International’. Whether you’re organising a local meet-up or a once in a lifetime trip to the Amazon, it’s all about working together to build new skills, seek out new experiences and make a difference in the world.


Network groups are flexibly run and self-led. Members can create profiles on the Scout Network website, using the platform to meet others with similar goals and share their progress. There are 395 virtual badges currently available to achieve, and members can also work towards a number of Top Awards. A full list of badges and awards can be found here.


How often do Network members meet up?

Local arrangements will vary. Network members don’t necessarily meet every week. Some might meet a few times a year to complete a single project together. Others might dive into lots of different projects at once or meet locally more regularly.

No matter how you’d like to do things, advice on how to get the most out of projects and events can be found here.


Who runs Scout Networks?

Members manage their own journey, organising their own projects with the support of a District Scout Network Commissioner and Programme Coordinator (if one is in place). Throughout their journey, they might also interact with Assistant County Commissioners (Network) – who assist with Network activity throughout the wider County – and the UK Scout Network Commissioner, who oversees Network activity across the whole of the UK.


How do I find my local group?

Not sure where to start? Search for a group that best suits you here. If you’d rather not be affiliated with a specific group, you can still take part by signing up to be a part of the wider UK Scout Network only.


Is there a uniform?

Yes. Network members wear a stone shirt or blouse with an added Scout Network uniform badge. If they like, they can also wear the nationwide UK Scout Network Scarf or their local District Scout Network scarf (known as a necker). M


The journey continues

If you were a Beaver Scout, Cub Scout, Scout or Explorer Scout, you'll already know that being a Scout is all about completing awards at every step of the journey.

As an Explorer, there are more chances to soar than ever before, as you'll be introduced to a whole new range of Top Awards. 

You can work towards as many awards as you like, at your own pace.


Are you ready? Let’s get stuck in.

Chief Scout's Diamond Award

The Chief Scout's Diamond Award is the highest of the Chief Scout's Awards. 

Queen's Scout Award

The Queen's Scout Award is the top achievement for Explorer Scouts and Scout Network members. Earning it is a huge achievement!

For more information on the Chief Scout’s Diamond and Queen’s Scout Award, download the Reach The Top guide for Explorer Scouts, Scout Network members, Leaders and Commissioners.

Download Reach The Top Nov 2019

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme

Test yourself with an Award for every level of challenge.

Explorer Belt

The Explorer Belt is the challenge of a lifetime. Explore untrodden ground over a ten-day period, test your limits and get to grips with a new culture.

Scouts of the World Award

Be a global citizen and make an impact on the world while learning new skills.

Membership Award

Once you've made your Promise, you'll earn your Membership Award, featuring an image of the fleur de lis. This is the international Scout symbol, worn by Scouts all over the world. 

Digital Badges

There are 395 virtual badges currently available to achieve from a wide variety of activities, events and countries. How many can you earn?


Taking on a leadership role

Eventually, it’ll be time embrace your next big adventure.


Share your skills, gain new ones

Quick links

Volunteer vacancies


Week by week, our volunteers empower thousands of young people to learn new skills, make new friends and stand on their own two feet. They’re our everyday heroes. They shape young people’s lives for the better and find out a whole lot about themselves in the process, too.

Today, there are nearly 60,000 young people on the waiting list to join us in the UK. We’re more relevant and more needed than ever, but it’s not always easy to keep up with the demand.


That’s where you come in.

You don’t need to be Bear Grylls to join us. You don’t need to have been a Scout when you were younger. You don’t even need to know how to put up a tent.  Our door is open to people of all ages, genders, races and backgrounds, and we’re only able to change lives because people like you lend a hand. We’re talking about tea makers, tidy-uppers and skill sharers. We’re talking about minibus drivers and first aiders. We’re talking about students who want to boost their CV, and parents who volunteer so they can spend more time together as a family.

Whatever your skillset, lend a hand for as little or as much time as you can spare, and we promise you’ll get more out than you put in.  Because whether you’re helping a leader to run an activity in the local town hall, organising a night away, or buttering 120 slices of bread a group of very hungry eleven-year olds - no two Scout meetings are the same. The difference you make, though, is always great.

We provide the training. You show up, get stuck in, and make memories for life.


Sounds fun? Worthwhile? It is.

Find out more and be a pioneer by starting the first ever Meon Valley Scout Network, RSVP to this invitation.

RSVP by 01 December 2020 to scout.network@meonvalleyscouts.org.uk to register your interest. In the meantime please read the enclosed information and please visit the UK Scout Network website scouts.org.uk/network

Read full story
District AGM - 15th September
09/09/2020 By Angela Knight
Hello Everyone,
Unfortunately this year under these unusual circumstances during the Covid-19 pandemic, we are unable to hold the annual AGM in the usual manner, therefore our first (and hopefully last) virtual AGM will be held on 15th September @ 19:00 
The District Executive would like you all to join us for a short zoom session - Click here to send an email to obtain the log in details for the Zoom details from Angela.
For the annual report, please click here.
1. Introduction 
2. Apologies
3. Trustees' Annual Report
4. Receive and adopt the Annual Report for the previous financial year
5. Receive and adopt the Financial Statements for the previous financial year
6. Standing down of existing Executive Committee Appointments
7. Elections and Nominations for Executive Committee Appointments for 2020-2021
8. DCs' nomination of District Chairperson
9. Nominations and Election of Treasurer and Secretary
10. Nominations and Election of Executive Committee Members
11. Nomination and Election of Independent Examiner
12. Nominations and Election of Solent Scout Training centre (Lyons Copse) Management Committee
13. Close of Meeting
Read full story
Corona Virus Update 11September 2020
27/06/2020 By Angela Knight

District events cancelled due to Corona Virus .

District Camp - Rearranged for the 30th April to 2/3rd May (Bank holiday weekend) 2021.

·         HQ’s framework and guidance on getting everyone back together safely is out and County’s aim is: to ensure that every adult volunteer and young person can return to face-to-face Scouting confident that it is safe to do so.


·         Join the HQ webinar on 2 Jul to find out more about the approvals process.


·         County is already working on how to support Districts but there is more to do. Cluster meetings in the next two weeks.


·         We need a collaborative approach to share expertise and meet the County’s aim by getting 251 groups and 27 districts to work together.


·         Risk assessments are key, and Districts have a central role.


·         Safety, safeguarding and, where required, first aid training are compulsory. Risk assessments can’t be signed off until those leaders delivering face-to-face Scouting are in date.


·         There is no rush and remember, face-to-face Scouting is still suspended.  We are at Risk Level RED.


1.         National framework and County aim.  On Thu 25 Jun, you received HQ’s framework that outlines the overall approach – with guidance documents – on how face-to-face activities could take place safely.  There is a lot of information to take on board, but it is clear that Districts have a big part to play.  We are conscious that there will be a range of experiences in the County with some people being professional experts in risk assessment whilst for others, given the importance of getting this right, they might find the whole thing overwhelming.  County’s aim is: to ensure that every adult volunteer and young person can return to face-to-face Scouting confident that it is safe to do so.


2.         National approvals webinar. On 2 Jul, HQ will be running a webinar explaining how the approvals system will work which I recommend that you, your Executive teams, and your GSLs join.  So that we can work together on this, we will be arranging Cluster meetings in the next two weeks for DCs and District Chairs to discuss how we share best practice, experiences and expertise.  I truly see this as a time to work across Districts and not just within Districts.  I also think that Groups will need to take the same approach.   


3.         What is County already doing?  Some things that County is already doing to help are:


·         Communicating the readiness level.  Our County website will be updated to reflect the current readiness level. This will also be communicated in HSU. I encourage you to regularly remind people what the readiness level is and what it means.

·         Activity site risk assessments.  The Ferny Croft team will look at their own site risk assessments for each of the readiness levels and will be available to work with all camping and activity sites in Hampshire on their risk assessments in order to share best practice and to enable economy of effort.  If you would like sites in your District to be part of this approach please contact: ops.manager@fernycrofts.org.uk.  The Ferny Croft team will be hosting a webinar for all Districts with Camp Sites or Activity Centres so that they can discuss the requirements needed for these facilities to be reopened.  Please reach out to them for any advice or guidance. 

·         Our pitch. As we start preparing for a return, Matt Hyde (CEO TSA) talked about ‘our pitch’. The County media and communication (perception) team will be working on the following areas in Hampshire: 

  • Our 'pitch' as Hampshire Scouts - securing public support. Who we are and what we do - and why the public should support
  • Retention of volunteers 
  • Retention of young people 
  • Digital content - both for Programme and general promo 
  • How can we be more proactive to find, and share positive stories? 
  • Positive publicity / good news stories for local news outlets 
  • Cohesion with other county teams, such as the growth and development team, to support their intentions moving forward

4.         A collaborative approach.  We will be arranging Cluster meetings over the next couple of weeks to discuss and agree our approach.  We need a collaborative approach to share expertise and meet the County’s aim by getting 251 groups and 27 districts working together. We need to share expertise and economise our effort.  Let’s do this together especially where Groups don’t have a full Exec Committee or a GSL in place. 


5.         Compliance training.  Page 5 of this document under the people section is clear.  Not in date for safety, safeguarding or, where required, first aid training, then a person can’t deliver face-to-face Scouting.  As DCs need to approve Risk Assessments, they now need to make sure that all adults are in date when we start face-to-face Scouting.  Now is the time to push that message and, where people are not willing to do so then they can’t deliver Scouting.  A risk assessment can’t be approved unless people are in date for compliance training.


6.        There is no rush.  There is a lot of information to digest, but there is no rush.  As you will read in the documentation, our return to Scouting will be progressive so our plans need to prepared in the order of the readiness levels.  One thing that we have spotted in the Getting back together safely framework document (paragraph 3.4) is that ‘Adult volunteers may meet together in line with current Government Guidance regarding adults in social settings’.  You may wish to encourage your adult volunteers to take up this opportunity to meet to discuss their plans for a safe return to Scouting in line with the current guidance. 


7.         Talk to people. As per the Scout Headquarters calls this week please take this opportunity to reach out to all of their members, both Adult and Young People and confirm with them that they will be interested in becoming involved in Scouting when face to face activities are able to restart.  Please take the time to update OSM with this information and also details of any new members that have become involved in your online activities over the last three months.


8.         Census update.  Please note that Scout Headquarters have informed us that the Annual Census will be moved to 15th October, so please do ensure that your membership records are up to date.  If your OSM records are up to date it will make taking the Census numbers a much easier task.  Payments for the Annual Subscription will still be made in April each year. 


9.         2021 HQ fee.  The National Scout Council is due to vote over the coming weeks on whether to increase the Annual Subscription fee to £6.00 or to £7.50 (which will include £1.50 ringfenced for hardship funding for Groups).  As soon as we have the details confirmed we will let you know.  Please do let your Group Executive, District Executive know of any impending funding issues or hardship cases and feed them back up to the County level, we can only act on what we know.  


10.       And finally, to repeat my comment above, face-to-face scouting is still suspended (we are at readiness level RED) and we should not expect that to change in the very near future.  The work that we all now need to do is about preparing for a safe return. I therefore respectfully ask you to hold the HQ line and do not side with those who argue we should be opening up now.  Instead, please explain to them the steps we, along with other Youth Organisations, are taking to ensure that we all make a safe return to face-to-face Scouting.


Together we will return to face-to-face Scouting safely and ensure everyone feels confident enough to do so.


Thank you and keep well. 






Martin Mackey

County Commissioner

Hampshire Scouts


A couple of Risk Assesments for Guidance



Covid hike

Read full story
Our New DC
16/04/2020 By Kevin Gillkerson

We are pleased to announce that Meon Valley Scouts now has a new District Commissioner Angela Knight who joins us from Easter.  Our thanks go to Robin Cook who has acted as our DC over the past year while we found a suitable candidate.Angela started her scouting journey almost 30 years ago as a venture scout at Shedfield, a few of you may well recognise her as she has also held roles at Wickham and was also our District Explorer Scout Leader, along her scouting journey Angela has supported all sections both at District and County level.

Angela can be contacted on  DC@MeonValleyScouts.org.uk
Read full story

Dear all,


I am sure that you have all now heard of the tragic death of Ben, an Explorer Scout from elsewhere in the country, in August 2018 and share in deepest sympathy for his family and friends as Tim Kidd has expressed in his emails that I understand came to all of us.


In Tim’s second email, he reminds us of our collective responsibility for safety and the need to keep our training records up to date. I am already feeling the flow of requirements on us from the Association’s central team through County and expect there will be significant changes and clarifications as the Association tightens its rules in order to reduce the risk of such events happening again.


Hence I would like to refresh everyone’s memory of (a) our activity approval system and (b) our competency validation (commonly known as training) requirements. Please read carefully to see what applies to you; there have been some changes in the last few years. If you wish to check the training requirements, the authoritative version can be found in Section 4.9 of the last chapter (The Appointment Process) in the Scout Association’s Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR), January 2020, available from www.scouts.org.uk or use your favourite search engine. I appreciate that this is tedious and this email is over-long but it is important and all of us have a part to play as our current state is open to criticism and the only sensible way forward is to address these two issues – they are not just bureaucracy and red tape – they are how we show that we are providing safe and relevant activities for our young people.


Activity approval

We do need to tighten up on our activity approvals. We have a governance system with checking and approval in order to ensure and maintain high levels of safety and an appropriate programme. This can be seen as three tiers:

  1. Each activity is planned and run by or overseen (in the case of activities planned and run by young people or adults gaining experience) by adults whose competence has been validated. This includes the production or identifying of an appropriate risk assessment and incorporating the relevant risk reduction/control measures into the activity. Such a competent person shall be nominated as the leader-in-charge and be responsible for ensuring that the Association’s safety policy [rule 2.3] is adhered to with respect to the activity.


  1. Each activity is reviewed and approved under arrangements set in place by the District Commissioner. No activity may take place without prior approval.

This is why sections have to make their programmes visible to their GSL.

POR Rule 9.1(b) states: The District Commissioner is responsible for approving all activities for Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts and Explorer Scouts. This will usually be by means of an informal system agreed between the District Commissioner and each Group Scout Leader or District Explorer Scout Commissioner.

Currently (including more delegations than previously gathered together):

  1. In Winchester, the District Commissioner retains the approval of all activities involving nights away;
  2. In Meon Valley, Alan Crabb is delegated for the approval of all activities involving nights away;
  3. ADCs and DDCs are delegated for the approval of each other’s activities organised at District level as long as they do not involve nights away;
  4. All Group Scout Leaders, District Explorer Scout Commissioners and District Scout Network Commissioners are delegated for the approval of activities within their Group or area of responsibility (for a joint activity, the approval of both GSLs is required) as long as they do not involve nights away and the leader-in-charge is not also the approver;
  5. In Winchester, the Chris Floyd (as Activities Manager) is delegated for the approval of activities managed by the Activities Team as long as they do not involve nights away and the leader-in-charge is not also the approver;
  6. In Winchester, the Ian Johnson (as Camp Site Manager) and Martyn Inglis (as Camp Warden) are delegated for the approval of activities (particularly development and maintenance activities) associated with Pinsent Campsite and its environs (this does not restrict the GSLs, DESC, DSNC or ADCs from approving activities at the site – that is the standard approval route for a section’s activities) as long as they do not involve nights away and the leader-in-charge is not also the approver;
  7. In Winchester, the District Commissioner, Ian Johnson (as Camp Site Manager) and Martyn Inglis (as Camp Warden) are authorised to represent the owner of Pinsent Campsite with respect to rule 9.37(f) (Shooting – providing permission to take firearms on to Scout premises).

Approval is not automatic and the approver may require to see a risk assessment, method statement/programme and the arrangements put in place, particularly for safety but also for any other aspect that they have a concern about. Where a delegate is unsure about approving an activity, they should talk to the District Commissioner and may request the District Commissioner to provide approval directly.

Delegates may further delegate low risk activities and the detail of activities so that they are not overwhelmed by detail, e.g. for a beaver craft night in the normal meeting place, the GSL needs to know that information plus be assured that sufficient adults/young leaders will be present to monitor any scissors, knives etc. and any hazardous materials (glues etc.).


  1. Executive Committees are required to manage and implement the Safety Policy locally [rule 3.23(b)(ii)]. The safety policy [rule 2.3] requires that:
    1. (d) Every Executive Committee in Scouting is to satisfy itself through appropriate assurance and monitoring activities that this policy is being put into effective use and to engage and consult with members on day-to-day health and safety conditions and ensure it is on the agenda at all meetings.
    2. (e) The responsible body for making sure that these requirements are met for every premises or location operated by a Scouting concern, and therefore deemed to be the Managing Controller of the premises, is the relevant executive committee.

This provides a longer term check on the provision for health and safety. The Executive Committee may require those directly planning, running and approving activities to improve the standards being applied.


Competency validation (also known as Training)

Safeguarding and Safety training and validation is required for all those roles/appointments identified in the table below within five months of the role start date recorded in Compass and thereafter refreshed no longer than five years after the previous safeguarding/safety training. The initial training and validation is part of module 1 and 1e. Safeguarding ‘Refresher’ training is in more depth and should alternate between the face-to-face workshops and the on-line training.


First Aid training and validation (to at least the first response level) is required for all those roles/appointments identified in the table below within three years of the role start date recorded in Compass and thereafter refreshed no longer than three years after the previous safeguarding/safety training. Some activities require a higher level of first aid training. The District encourages others, e.g. section assistants, to obtain and retain competence in first aid but this is not a requirement.


The Module 1, 1EX, 2, 3, 4 and remaining Wood Badge module validations, which differ for leaders and managers/supporters, are required for all those roles/appointments identified in the table below within three years of the role start date recorded in Compass. These do not require refreshing, However several modules require to be revalidated when an adult moves to an age range that they have not validated for (or have not being working with for a significant number of years).


An adult who has validated Module 1 counts as having validated Module 1EX. However they are encouraged to look at the online learning for 1EX, especially the section on being a trustee for Executive Committee members.


There is no training requirement for Sub-Committee Members, Occasional Helpers or Scout Network Members.




Complete within 5 months of role start date

Complete with 3 years of role start date


Refresh within 5 years

Module 3 revalidation for new age range
Module 2 required for each relevant role

Refresh within 3 years

Revalidation of some modules for new age range only


Safeguarding & Safety

Module 1 & GDPR

Module 1EX & GDPR

Module 2

Module 3

Module 4

First aid

Remaining Wood Badge Modules

Remaining Wood Badge Modules (S&M)

Section Leader

Explorer Scout Leader

District Leader










Assistant Section Leader

Assistant Explorer Scout Leader










Section Assistant

Unit Assistant










Group Scout Leader

Assistant Group Scout Leader










District Commissioner

District Commissioner

District Youth Commissioner

Deputy District Youth Commissioner

District Explorer Scout Commissioner

District Scout Network Commissioner

Assistant District Commissioner

District Scouter














District Appointments Chair

District Appointments Secretary

District Appointments Assistant Secretary











Deputy Chair

Trustee/Executive Member

District Appointments Advisory Committee Member












Skills Instructor











Scout Active Support Manager











Scout Active Support Coordinator













Communications Manager


Vice President

District Badge Secretary

District Camp Warden

Assistant District Camp Warden`

Centre Manager (e.g. Camp-site Manager)

Scout Active Support Member











Note that the emphasis is not on training for the sake of it but on competence and the validation of that competence. Training is a route to competence. Training is not required if you can demonstrate competence without it. Some items (notably first aid) do require attendance at a training session but relatively few. Although you may consider yourself competent and others may also consider you to be so, it is important that we secure those validations. Currently Winchester is highly vulnerable to criticism due to number of validations that should have taken place and have not but are overdue. We are very much in need of a cultural shift to securing validations on time.


The District Commissioner and Appointments Advisory Committee can provide extensions to the timescales, a second five months for initial training or up to two years for wood badge training in exceptional circumstances. There have been no applications for extensions.


The rulebook (POR) is quite clear on the action to take if training is not completed on time. Unfortunately, a large number of our adults are vulnerable to having their roles cancelled. The Gt Orme tragedy makes such cancellation more likely. Everyone with a relevant role has access to Compass, the Association’s adult database, although they may have to register or obtain a new password. Compass holds the master copy of your training record. So actions please:

  1. Please ensure that you have identified the competencies that you should have validated and make sure that they are validated.
  2. If there are any items listed in Compass as not validated that you believe you have validated with then please see your GSL, a Training Advisor or myself as DC and get them corrected. That is likely to involve a validation.
  3. Please also address any gaps in your validation record.


In Winchester, we provide good Scouting under many criteria. However, we are currently vulnerable to an accusation of having a poor competency validation culture. We need to urgently turn that round such that we can show that our adults are competent. That needs everyone to promote a good validation culture starting with themselves.


In summary

Please ensure that all your activities are properly approved and that you and your team have validated their competence within the required timescales.


Yours in Scouting



Robin Cook

District Commissioner - Meon Valley



Registered charity number: 1149592

We prepare young people with skills for life



Read full story

Meon Valley Scouts
c/o Lyons Copse Scout Campsite, Sandy Lane, Shedfield, Southampton, Hampshire, SO32 2HQ

Material on this website has been reproduced by permission of The Scout Association

Website Powered by www.ScoutsOnline.co.uk © 2014