Explorer Belt Award

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Members of The Scout Association aged 16 – 25.


The Explorer Belt is a challenge of a lifetime. It is a chance for young people to take part in a ten-day expedition that brings a real understanding of a different country, its culture and way of life. Young people develop this understanding by travelling (with a minimum of 50 hours travel time) through their chosen country, working as part of a small team to complete a series of projects and meeting local people.

Education context

The Scout Association is the UK's largest mixed youth organisation. They offer 6 to 25 year olds fun and challenging activities, unique experiences, everyday adventure, and the chance to help others so they are able to make a positive impact in communities.

Awarding providers
  • The Scout Association

Young people undertake a ten-day expedition as part of a team outside the UK by foot, cycle, horse, canoe, boat, or dinghy.

Participants must undertake the following requirements:

  • Complete one major project, and at least ten minor projects, undertaken throughout the expedition (to be decided by the participants).
  • Agree a budget and record expenditure throughout the trip.
  • Keep a logbook of the expedition to record places visited, the route taken, project work undertaken, and personal thoughts.
  • Take part in a debrief of the expedition with their mentor and leadership team.
  • Give a presentation, including all elements of the award, to the assessment panel.
Subject areas

 During the preparation and expedition participants need to show competence in the following areas:

  • Navigation skills
  • Time keeping skills
  • Effective team working
  • Expedition cooking
  • Lightweight camping
  • Language
  • Acceptable home hospitality
  • Fitness
  • Proficiency in mode of travel
  • Team building
  • First aid (covering First Response as a minimum)

The award can be completed by young people in scouting aged 16 – 25, and is one of the top awards in scouting for this age group. 


Awards are presented on completion of the requirements.


The expedition, project work, and presentation will be assessed by a panel, including the participant's mentor, to determine if they have successfully achieved the Explorer Belt. Final sign off of the award is the responsibility of a local volunteer manager.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

All components must be achieved to complete the award.

Programme size

The award constitutes a ten-day expedition (minimum travelling time of 50 hours over the ten days), plus pre-departure training.

Key issues for UK HE admissions

By undertaking the Explorer Belt, young people gain transferable skills, including:

  • teamwork
  • cultural awareness
  • self-motivation
  • the ability to motivate others in a challenging situation
  • independence
  • resilience
  • decision-making
  • presentation skills
  • research skills
  • the ability to cope with new and unknown challenges
Timing of assessments and results

The Explorer Belt must be completed before the participant’s 25th birthday.

Qualification dates notes

This award is current.

Certification information

Certificates are presented at a suitable occasion by the local volunteer manager.

Further information

 Further information can be found at http://members.scouts.org.uk/explorerbelt