The Explorer Belt

Explorer Belt badge

The Explorer Belt is a challenge of a lifetime for Explorers over 16 years old and members of the Scout Network.

It is a chance to take part in a ten day expedition that brings you a real understanding of a different country, its culture and way of life. You will develop this understanding by travelling through your chosen country.

Working as a small team to complete a main project pre-agreed before leaving and a series of short mini projects which may be surprise projects set just before you leave and most importantly by meeting local people.

This is an experience and an achievement that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Requirements

REGISTRATION

Explorer Belt expeditions in Kent are overseen by Vicky Soames. You should contact Vicky at the very start of your preparations to discuss your expedition. Vicky and her team will help to guide you through the process and provide support where required using the experience of past expeditions.


MEMBERSHIP
Be an Explorer Scout aged 16 or over, a Scout Network member, or a member of the Senior Section of Girlguiding aged
16 or over.

EXPEDITION
Undertake a 10-day expedition as part of a team* outside of the UK with a minimum travelling time of 50 hours over the 10 days, by foot, cycle, horse, canoe, boat or dinghy.

If aged 1618 years old, you may only participate in an organised expedition supported by an in-country leadership team, rather than being self-led.

The use of public transport is acceptable as part of the travelling time, where opportunities to meet people would otherwise be missed.

*Minimum starting number of young people per team is three with the minimum of two per team completing the expedition.

More information about the Explorer Belt and the requirements can be found at:
http://members.scouts.org.uk/explorerbelt

Norway Explorer Belt - Pulpit RockNorway Safari Explorer Belt 2008

In April, 2 Explorer Scouts and 2 Network members from across Kent ventured to Norway for a 12 day Explorer Belt Expedition.

The trip started in Stavanger travelling to Oslo and finishing in Bergen. During the journey the team stayed with families, Scout Groups and in youth hostals.

Key facts:

  • Rough cost per person: 1200 - 1500 (heavily subsidised by fundraising)
  • Project: Find out what young people do to have fun in Norway
  • Mini projects: 10 surprise mini-projects/challenges given just before leaving. These included:
    • crewing on a ship and interviewing the captain
    • broadcasting on Norwegian radio
    • meeting a local celebrity
    • learning a song and dance
    • making a traditional Norwegian delicacy
    • try a Norwegian cottage industry.

Tips:

  • Plan ahead - we arranged a lot of our hoho in advance, and although we did manage to do a lot of things whilst away by chance, having some destinations pre-planned opened up many more opportunities and meant we met a lot more people
  • Apply for funding - we were lucky to receive money towards our trip from the Scout Association Explorer Belt fund, local Scout councils and charity organisations. We also carried out fundraising to help pay for the trip.
  • Write a diary - Even if you have to prop your eyes open with matchsticks each evening.grab every chance you can to write down your thoughts and experiences...if you leave it, it becomes very hard to catch up. A diary is a really useful record when you get back.
  • Be cheeky - If you don't ask, you won't get
  • Be prepared - We took a lot of equipment we never used but could have been essential given the cold conditions.
  • Train - we had a number of training weekends where we got used to lightweight camping and walking long distances with full kit.
  • Take photos - Pictures are a great way of conveying what you did and saw to others - we saw the most amazing scenery!
  • Pack 'thank-you' presents - We took badges, Kent and UK scarves for those who hosted us and helped us out. They loved the presents and also swapped us items giving us souvenirs to take home. We also thought up some English meals we cooked whilst there to share some of our culture.
  • Tell others - Inspire others to go out and try something different!

Read more about the Expedition at:
http://www.sevenoaksscouts.org.uk/article-Norway_Safari.html

More information about the Explorer Belt can be found at:

http://members.scouts.org.uk/explorerbelt


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