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The Explorer Belt

Explorer BeltThe Explorer Belt is an international challenge for Explorers over 16 years old and members of the Scout Network.

The belt involves undertaking an international expedition of at least 10 days to find out about another county, its people and culture. Whilst there you 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.



Requirements

  • plan and train for an international expedition as part of a small team
  • travel to another country of their choice and travel through that country over ten days
  • complete a major project of their own choice
  • complete around ten smaller projects
  • keep a notebook or diary during the expedition
  • take part in a debriefing after the expedition
  • make a presentation about the expedition.

Explorer Belt Expeditions should be overseen by a local District sponsor and the County Awards Co-ordinator to help guide your preparations and validate the completition of the award.

More information about the Explorer Belt can be found at:
http://www2.scouts.org.uk/explorers/resources/ExplorerBelt.htm


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://www2.scouts.org.uk/explorers/resources/ExplorerBelt.htm


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