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Skills for Life and Youth without Limits

Skills for Life and Youth without Limits

Picture of SEEE Team


South East Explorers Expeditions

Duke of Edinburgh's Award

Explorers are very active across our Region and are involved in a huge range of activities.  DofE often provides a focus for their interests, with Bronze, Silver and Gold levels providing internationally recognised certification that dovetails perfectly with the Chief Scout’s Award Platinum and Diamond, and the King’s Scout Award.   

Though some Explorers choose to do DofE through their school, many do it through Scouting, thanks to the efforts of a large group of adults who take on the task of organising DofE locally.  As a result, from August 2023 to June 2024, the following Awards were gained in the Region:




Total number of Awards 145

Twelve of our Golds will be attending the ceremony at Holyrood on 5 July.


Hillwalking and Biking

This is the most high-profile section of DofE, and one which is often hard to organise at a local level.  Because of this, we encourage Units and/or Districts to run their own Bronze expeditions, with assistance, if necessary, but we run expeditions for Silver and Gold at Regional level through SEEE (South East Explorer Expeditions).  We have built up a strong team of excellent adult volunteers who have already been very active this season. We ran two training days in March plus one Silver Qualifier, and we are nearing completion of the June Practice expeditions: 

7 Hillwalking Expeditions:



2 Biking Expeditions:



These include several candidates with Additional Needs, and we are very keen to emphasise that both DofE and Scouting will do everything possible to ensure that every young person can complete an expedition, regardless of the specific challenges they may face. 


This season’s DofE canoeing is well underway, with 32 Explorers from across the Region undertaking training for their Silver or Gold Expedition.  The training we provide in canoe expedition campcraft, navigation, route planning and paddle skills is helping the Explorers develop their knowledge of something that’s new to many of them, and whilst the Explorers all have different paddling abilities they share a common goal of wanting a new challenge in how they do their next DofE expedition.  

Starting out with training sessions on the Union Canal, the Explorers have been learning (or improving) their paddling skills and then putting them into practice in more challenging conditions (and learning capsize rescues) on open water at Lochore Meadows and Loch Venachar ahead of their Practice and Qualifying Expeditions later in the summer.  Our special programme this season involves the Gold paddlers gaining moving-water paddling skills ahead of the chance to paddle the Lough Erne Canoe Trail in Northern Ireland next year for their Qualifying Expedition.  

If any adults are interested in joining our welcoming Leader Team providing Explorers with a fun, challenging and memorable experience paddling on Scotland’s lochs, camping in castles on islands and achieving new skills, or have Explorers looking to do their expedition by canoe in the future, get in touch! Our programme of training and expeditions can be seen on the Longcraig Explorers website ( 

Steve Hankin, DofE Canoeing Lead for SEEE 


First Aid

SEEE recently ran a first aid course for 32 Explorers and 3 volunteers. One of main aims for DofE expeditions is that the participants are trained and have the skills to complete their expeditions without direct adult supervision – and having a holder of an advanced First Aid qualification in each expedition group allows expeditions to be held in some of the more remote and adventurous terrain that Scotland has available.

We’re indebted to FAST Training (First Aid School Training), a community interest company (CIC) who focus on training many hundreds of young people each year in Scottish schools, and have expert trainers drawn from the emergency services and mountain rescue.  

We’re delighted to announce that everyone gained two externally recognised qualifications: 

  • First Aid at Work which would allow them to be a First Aider in any workplace. 
  • Outdoor First Aid (16 Hours). 

For our expeditions, it means they have the highest level of First Aid qualification required in Scouting for adventurous and remote activities, and the technical knowledge to act a trainer for First Response. 


This key section of DofE is also fundamental in Scouting.  Many Explorers are Young Leaders, and they make a huge contribution to the younger sections they help.  Others are sports coaches in schools or clubs, assistants in charity shops, part of an environmental team … the list is endless.  Each year DofE adds up the hours of volunteering and this certificate shows the hours recorded in our Region: 

It is worth noting that the actual time given could be much more.  For instance, a Young Leader helping for 3 months with a Cub Pack meeting for one hour is likely to be doing nearer an hour and a half per week, plus work on their YL Training, though it counts as only one hour per week for DofE.


The Residential, an extra section for Gold DofE, can be tricky to arrange, and covers many areas.  The Blair Atholl Jamborette has always been a popular option for adult leaders, but Explorers can now use it, too, so long as they have arranged it properly in advance.  Others have attended the excellent Bushcraft course at Meggernie, or the Environmental course at Fordell Firs, or have helped with events at Lochgoilhead. 



Explorers live up to their name, and many Units are quite hard to track down, as they do not meet that often in their hall. Apart from doing expeditions, being Young Leaders and completing DofE, they are currently focused on things such as: 

  • Blair Atholl Jamborette 
  • International trips like Kandersteg 
  • All sorts of camps, hikes and adventurous activities 
  • Meeting with Explorers from other Units 

These wonderfully varied activities certainly build the Skills for Life that we aim to provide in Scouting, for Youth without Limits as envisaged by DofE.


None of the above would happen without the involvement of our dedicated adult leaders, assistants, trainers and helpers, and we can always use more.  There are opportunities to be a Leader with a Unit, to support DofE or, of course, to help run the Expedition section. For expeditions, we would be very happy to hear from anyone with skills in hillwalking, biking or paddling who could offer at least one day.  Note that it is not necessary to have a permit to assist, and we would advise on any Scouting procedures required. If you are interested in any of the above, please contact us using

John Buchanan and the SEEE team