Top Awards for Explorers and Network

Logo of South East Scotland Scouts 2018


Information on all the awards is available below, and on the Scouts Scotland site. You are welcome to contact the Region to discuss the best way to support individuals or groups. It is worth noting that the Mencap Gateway Award is available for people (of any age) with a learning disability and that it can be done along with DofE.

DofE Bronze

DofE Bronze award badgeDofE Bronze can be the main part of CSA Platinum, and leads on to DofE Silver.

CSA Platinum

Chief Scout's Award PlatinumThe Chief Scout’s Platinum Award leads on to CSA Diamond.

DofE Silver

DofE Silver award badgeDofE Silver can be the main part of CSA Diamond.

CSA Diamond

Chief Scouts Diamond AwardThe Chief Scout’s Diamond Award leads on to the Queen’s Scout Award.

DofE Gold

DofE Gold Award badgeDofE Gold is the highest level of DofE and can be the main part of the Queen’s Scout Award.


Queen's Scout Award badge The Queen’s Scout Award is the highest in Scouting.

Explorer Belt

Badge of the Explorer Belt award The Explorer Belt is an expedition abroad for Explorers and Network aged 16-25.


Badge of the Scouts of the World award The Scouts of the World Award is for members of Network, working individually.

Get advice on awards

Chief Scout’s Award, Queen’s Scout Award and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is complementary to the Chief Scout’s Awards and the Queen’s Scout Award, and both sets of awards fit perfectly within the Explorer Scout programme.

Scouting and DofE

The Adventure Begins: Explore and Achieve with the Scout Association and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award

The Adventure Begins

Two awards at the same time

The requirements of the two sets of awards are very similar: for example, an Explorer who completes DofE Bronze has only a few extra requirements to complete Chief Scout’s Platinum. The best explanation is given in The Adventure Begins. Many Explorers count being a Young Leader for the Volunteering section of DofE. All Explorers, including Young Leaders, are encouraged to do both DofE and the Scouting awards.  Those who do DofE at school can ask their Explorer Leader to use it towards the equivalent Scouting award.  Network members who are Leaders can count this for Volunteering or Service.


Expeditions are part of most of the Awards and there is a lot of advice available.  Much of it provided by DofE but it is relevant to any expedition. See our Expedition Information page. All expeditions must be carried out in keeping with the requirements of The Scout Association, including Activity Permits and Nights Away; for Explorers this may involve the issuing of an Event Passport.

Scouting Awards

Information about CSA and QSA for Explorers, Network, Leaders and Commissioners

Reach the Top!

The Queen’s Scout Award

Queen's Scout Award logo

The Queen’s Scout Award

Please note that you must register for QSA to start, and have a mentor in place to help you.  If you are an Explorer, your leader is likely to do this.  Those over 18 should contact their District or the Region for help.

QSA and DofE Gold

DofE Gold Award badgeQueen's Scout Award badge

It should be remembered that candidates have until they are 25 to complete DofE Gold and The Queen’s Scout Award, so they should not give up if they have not completed them when they leave Explorers.  Any Network member can do the awards.

The other Awards

The Explorer Belt – an international experience

Badge of the Explorer Belt award The Explorer Belt is not just for Explorers!  In fact it can be done by Explorers aged 16 and over, by Network members and by members of Girlguiding aged 16 and over.

The Explorer Belt is a challenge of a lifetime. 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 part of a small team to complete a series of projects and most importantly by meeting local people. It is an experience and an achievement that you will remember for the rest of your life.

For full information and to register, see Explorer Belt on Scouts UK.

SOWA – Scouts of the World Award

Just for Network!

Scouts of the World Badge SOWA is an individual award, and the project can be completed at home or abroad.  It does not require an expedition. Here is a summary of what is required:

  • Be a member of Scout Network.
  • Attend a residential weekend Scouts of the World Discovery, based on the three themes: development, environment and peace.
  • With the support of your mentor, finalise your plans for your voluntary project based on the theme from your discovery weekend.
  • Undertake Scouts of the World voluntary service, either in the UK or abroad, lasting a minimum of 80 hours, recording and evaluating your experiences in the participant handbook.
  • Undertake a presentation locally.

For full information and to register, see SOWA on Scouts UK.

Bonaly Assistants – Explorers

You can still be a Bonaly Assistant Instructor!

High ropes course at Bonaly

High ropes course at Bonaly

What is the Bonaly Assistants project?

It will enable Explorer Scouts (including Young Leaders) to train to be Assistant Instructors and receive a Bonaly permit in a number of activities:

  • Archery
  • Bushcraft
  • Mountain Boarding
  • Orienteering
  • Low Ropes
  • Climbing Wall
  • High Ropes
  • Axe-throwing

You can choose the activities that suit you best – for instance: Low Ropes, Archery and Orienteering.  Training for some activities will take longer than others.

Flying on the rope at Bonaly

Flying on the rope


Where and when?

Training has started at Bonaly and will run till June. There is no charge as we have received funding from the Scottish Development Fund.  You will have to attend on different days depending on what activities you choose. Sundays till 26 March are already booked, from 10:00 to 16:00 each day, and a detailed timetable will be available to those involved.

If you would like to join in, please SIGN UP NOW and we shall be in touch.

What training is provided?

  • Practical training, mainly outdoors;
  • Theoretical training, mainly indoors.

You will train to help with Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and other ‘clients’ in your chosen activities, and also do some more general training including First Aid and how to work with younger sections.


We will ask for feedback after every training day, to help us improve on what we provide.

Mountain boarding at Bonaly Outdoor Centre

Mountain boarding at Bonaly

What is expected of you

To do the training

You must commit to train for each activity you choose:

  1. Attend relevant training sessions.
  2. Gain experience at Bonaly as an Assistant Instructor with client groups until the Adult Instructor in charge is ready to assess you and ‘sign you off’.
  3. You will then be awarded a Bonaly permit in the activity.

You must provide/arrange:

  • Suitable warm and waterproof outdoor clothing (see kit list)
  • Packed lunch (hot drinks and biscuits etc will be provided)
  • Transport to and from Bonaly.  It is hoped families will be able to cooperate to help with this.

When you have your permit

You will be expected to help at Bonaly as a volunteer Assistant on a regular basis, though you will always be able to choose when and give priority to exam commitments etc.  You will be able to help at weekends, in the evening or during school holidays.

Fun and teamwork at Bonaly

Fun and teamwork at Bonaly

Where to next?

When you have a Bonaly permit, you can work to achieve an adult instructor qualification.  How this happens and what age you must be depends on the activity, but there may well be some support available to help you fund this.

Enjoying archery at Bonaly

Archery at Bonaly


  • Your training could count as the Skill section of DofE, though this should be discussed in advance.
  • Acting as an Assistant Instructor would allow you to cover the first two sections of the  Activity Centre Service Badge and the Bonaly staff would be happy to help with section 3.
  • Acting as an Assistant Instructor would count for section 3 of the Leadership Activity Badge.

Balancing at Bonaly

Balancing on the platform

How to apply

  • Apply here and give us your basic details.
  • We will contact you with further information
  • You will complete an application form and sign up for the training dates you require.

New Badges

A number of new badges are being introduced for Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers, and the badges for Young Leaders are being re-designed. You can see the badges on the UK Scout website.