Back to top

Specific issues Scouts to Explorer Scouts

Scouts may have to venture a little further to meet with their new Unit. This creates an amazing opportunity for Scouts to widen their friendship circle and meet Explorers who have not been a part of their previous Group.

This transition between sections may be more challenging than others because Explorers operate at a District level so it’s really important that Explorer Scouts are visible in the District and that Unit’s visit local Scout Groups.

The importance of adults

Adults have an important role to play in the successful retention of young people between sections. A particularly important aspect of this is to plan ahead to ensure that young people move at the right time for them rather than the time that suits the leaders.

Change can be difficult and as leaders, it is our responsibility to do all we can to continue to support our young people throughout their scouting journey. Remember to use the Moving On Awards when a young person joins a new section in conjunction with our Link Badges and to develop those all-important links between section leaders.  

Here are some practical things that all Leaders can do to support young people moving between the sections.

  • Regularly update your Group Scout Leader and District Explorer Scout Leader on who in your section who is getting ready to move on
  • Your District Explorer Scout Commissioner can point you in the right direction when helping to transition from Scouts to Explorers
  • Attending District meetings or events will give you the opportunity to meet leaders in your local area
  • Joint activities help members of both sections get to know each other and feel comfortable with others outside their own section
  • If a young people needs a bit of extra support in preparing to move on, our visual resources may come in use.  They are available with or without symbols, on the Print Centre. The resources are easy to understand and can help to put young people at ease when thinking of making the big move.  These may be particularly useful for a young person with additional needs or a young person on the autism spectrum, as this often involves increased anxiety about change or new situations.

  • The youth resources for each section provide key information for the young person, about their new section.

Role of the Scout Leader

  • Make/maintain contact with the Explorer Scout Leaders of the local Unit(s)
  • Arrange regular joint activities with your local unit for the Scouts and Explorers to join in together
  • Pass on your Troop membership list to the District Explorer Scout Administrator (or the person appointed to look after Explorer Scout records in the District) to allow the Explorer Scout Section to plan future intake
  • Invite the Explorer Scout Leader(s) from the local Unit(s) to come along to Scout Troop meetings on a termly basis with a small group of Explorer Scouts or Young Leaders to run or join in with an activity with the Scouts

The role of the Explorer Scout Team

  • Produce ‘Welcome Packs’ (or use the national version, for young people, their parents (and Scout Leaders) to introduce the Explorer Scout Section, the activities and awards available.
  • Invite Scout Leaders to attend Explorer Scout Unit meetings with their Scouts for their first meeting.
  • Send an Explorer Scout Leader or assistant to attend Group Leaders’ meetings for local partnered Groups.
  • Ensure that the programme being run is inclusive and exciting on the evenings that you are expecting new people to join.

Moving from Scouts to becoming a Young Leader

The role of the Scout Leader

  • Speak to the Explorer Scout Leader (Young Leaders) about Scouts who wish to become Young Leaders so they can contact them to discuss the scheme, register them, start their training, and start helping with a section
  • Support the new Young Leaders as best you can by mentoring them and helping then with their decision-making
  • Encouraging them to take part in Young Leader training

The role of the Explorer Scout Leader (Young Leaders)

  • Attend Group Scout Leader meetings to cascade information about the Young Leaders’ scheme to all the sections
  • Develop an exciting programme to support the training of new Young Leaders
  • Develop a process for registering new Young Leaders and ensuring that they will be supported
  • Produce ‘Welcome Packs’ for young people, their parents to introduce the the Young Leader Scheme, the activities and Young Leaders award


Some great ideas


  • Your District Explorer Scout Commissioner or your District Commissioner will be the best person to speak to for guidance on contacting Explorer Units in your District. 


  • As Explorer Scouting is District-based, young people may feel that they lose part of the Group identity they have built throughout their time within the Movement. It is vital that Explorer Scouts are visible in the district and that members and leaders visit Scout Troops regularly. A lack of communication can be the greatest barrier to successful transitions if not managed appropriately. The Young Leaders’ Scheme helps younger members identify with the Explorer Scout section and makes it something they aspire to be part of.