Links Between Scout Troop & Explorer Scout Unit
The aim is for all Scouts to become Explorer Scouts. The Scout Leader (SL) and Explorer Scout Leader (ESL) will, with the support of the Group Scout Leader (GSL) and District Explorer Scout Commissioner (DESC), or their representatives, ensure that effective transfer of Members takes place in a timely manner.
Every year the SL will provide details of Scouts aged 13 and over to the ESL and to the District Explorer Scout Administrator (DESA).
Encouraging Moving on From Scouts to Explorers – An Important Update
Recent surveys and discussions with Explorers at District and Regional level have given a good insight into the transition process. The dropout level between Scouts and Explorers is much higher than between the younger Sections. The SL and ESL should consider the following and develop co-ordinated programmes and communication relevant to their members to increase retention:
Factors preventing Scouts from moving on to Explorers:
- Lack of information about Explorers.
- Fear of the unknown – moving out of their comfort zone.
- Moving on is not promoted by Scout Leaders.
- Scouts leave before completing their time there (14) because:
- They have nothing to look forward to (lack of information).
- There is no special consideration given to the older group in Scouts.
- The programme is repeating for the benefit of the younger group.
- They feel disengaged.
- Their own cohort leaves or ages out.
- They do not know enough people outside their own troop.
What might help
Scouts meet Explorers on a number of occasions, including information sessions.
- Scouts meet Explorers on a number of occasions, including information sessions
- The people making contact should be engaging and passionate about Explorers.
- There are joint events involving older Scouts and Explorers:
- Taster sessions.
- Explorer participation in District (Scout) camps.
- Ensure that older Scouts keep in touch with friends who have moved up.
- Scouts know people who have joined Explorers.
- Scouts know who else will be joining – “The more people you know the more likely you will join.”
What the ESL, SL and Explorer Scout Leader – Young Leaders (ESL-YL) can do:
- Leaders should celebrate moving on.
- Scout leaders should not regard this as ‘losing their Scouts’.
- Scout leaders should engage fully with District and local Explorer Unit(s).
- Scout and Explorer Scout Leaders should plan their programmes actively to promote transition.
- Leaders should encourage ESYLs on placement at the Scout Troop to talk about Explorers and possibly “buddy up” with Scouts during their early weeks in Explorers.
- All leaders should know about the Chief Scout’s Award and include it in the programme.
- Scout Leaders should inform Scouts that they can complete the Chief Scout’s Gold Award in Explorers, and Explorer Leaders should know and support this.
- Scouts are more likely to transfer if they move with their friends and those in the same school cohort/year (typically S2), so we should do everything possible to inform and encourage the cohort to consider transitioning together, rather than basing it on specific age. There is flexibility and this should be discussed well in advance by the SL and ESL.
- Don’t delay transfer to allow completion of the CSA Gold Award – this can and should be completed in Explorers and allows them to start Explorers as part of their school cohort [in their S2 year].
- Make sure Scouts are aware there are Top Awards in Explorers and that the ones relevant for them as new Explorers are the DofE Bronze Award, the linked Platinum Award, and the Young Leader’s Training Scheme.
- DofE Bronze and the YL Training Scheme are very popular with Explorer Scouts and their parents and usually seen as important opportunities to gain Skills for Life and evidence them in personal statements and applications for college, jobs etc. We should, therefore, promote these and encourage them to register at the point they transfer, and have support to allow them to get started and engaged with Explorers quickly.
Include parents in this communication so they are aware of these opportunities. They have an important role to support/encourage younger Explorer Scout to increase their skills in these more self-directed Awards. This has also proven an excellent means to recruit parents as additional adult volunteers.
- Consider opportunities to provide a taste of Explorer Scouts and to continue and build on achievements in the Scout section, such as:
- Blair Atholl satellite camp
- Zodiac Award
- Activity badges that span the sections – First Aid, Water Activities, Camping