Explorer Scouts (shortened to Explorers) are members of the UK’s Scout Association between the age of 14 and 18. The section was introduced in 2001 to replace Venture Scouts (which was for 15.5 to 20 year olds). This was part of a greater change in programme, including the introduction of Scout Network for 18 to 25 year olds. The aim of Explorer Scouts is to provide a flexible and active Scouting programme for adolescents, with an emphasis on personal challenge and adventure.
The Explorer Scout section follows on from the Scout section, and is in turn followed by Scout Network. Explorer Scouts meet as Units, and are organised and run at the District level. In Reading most Explorer Scout Units are linked with local Scout Groups, but district-level activities do occur.
Many explorer scouts also volunteer to help out with the Young Leader programme.
Explorer Scouts are able to attain the Queen’s Scout Award, which is the highest Scouting Award in The Scout Association. There are also a number of activity and skill badges which can be awarded to the young people upon meeting requirements in a variety of disciplines from horse-riding to first aid.