Moving up to Explorers

Eventually, it’ll be time to say farewell to Scouts and embrace your next big adventure.

Scouts generally move up to Explorers between the age of 14-14½ but this is flexible dependant on their ability and attitude. They may be able to move a little bit before, or stay with us a little bit after. Just just like we do in other sections, we’ll have a chat with you and whoever looks after you at home to work out the best option for you.

I’m a Scout moving up to Explorers. What will happen?

Around the age of 14 we’ll start to discuss with you about when you might want to move up to Explorers. This might be soon after the discussion, or you might want to wait until some of your friends are ready to move up. You also might want a taster session or two with the Explorers.

Once we’ve worked out a plan, we’ll communicate this to your parent/carer, just to keep them in the loop with with what’s happening, and to give them a chance to ask any questions.

Just like moving from Beaver to Cubs, or Cubs to Scouts, you’ll spend 2-4 weeks linking. Just as a reminder, linking is where you’ll attend Scouts and Explorers. It gives you a chance to see what Explorers is like, but also have the comfort of seeing your friends every week too. You’ll complete your Moving on Award whilst your linking.

What should I expect or what is different about Explorers?

Some things won’t change when you move. Your uniform will change, but you’ll still earn badges and awards. And you’ll still run around and getting your hands dirty once in a while, because having fun doesn’t stop just because you’re a little older and wiser.

The main thing that will change is the amount of freedom you have. Between the ages of 14 and 18, you’re fast approaching adulthood, and you’ll be treated as such. You’ll make more decisions, you’ll plan your own activities, you’ll travel and you’ll conquer the trickiest of expeditions. You’ll also focus harder on the skills that are most valuable and transferrable in life. The activities you take part in will give you many opportunities to grab life with both hands, and see where you end up.

I’m a parent of a Scout with additional needs. I’m not sure if they’re ready for Explorers yet. Is there flexibility around the age that they move up?

In the right circumstances, yes. Everyone at Scouts should face a similar amount of challenge, and everyone’s individual needs are always taken in account when making decisions. More information on flexibility and reasonable adjustments can be found at Generally, leaders will keep to the suggested age ranges, unless young people need a little extra time due to additional needs or exceptional circumstances.

When the time to take the leap does come, our visual resources are ideal for those who need a bit of extra help. They’re particularly useful for young people with additional needs – and young people on the autism spectrum – especially if prone to increased anxiety around change.