Review 2015-16: Explorers

John Daoud

Much has been on offer to the Explorers: they’ve climbed, cycled, paddled, cooked, burned, scavenged, swam, shot and trekked their way through the last year!

The Unit had a large influx of new members joining from the Troop and also from ‘outside’. All Explorers are enrolled in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and many have completed (or are very near) their Bronze or Silver Awards and also working on the Chief Scouts Platinum and Diamond Awards. These are aligned with the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze & Silver Awards, so members have the bonus of being able to collect D of E awards on their way to the Scouting awards. The Unit is dedicated to helping our Explorers Scouts to achieve these and then aim towards the coveted Queens Scout Award (and Gold ‘DofE’).

All Explorers are expected to complete Young Leader Module A training which is a requirement for Unit members who give service by helping with other Sections. This is important for those who want to complete their DofE volunteering and in addition many have taken a number of the other 11 modules available.

The incorporation of the Duke of Edinburgh Award within the Explorer award scheme has had the spin-off of numbers of experienced Explorers keen to do the volunteering section with the younger Sections. The Beaver and Cub Sections in particular have received help from young people (from inside and outside Scouting) giving service for Scout Awards and/or ‘D of E’.

Unit members have taken part in a full range of District activities, here are the results:

May 2015 Cooking Comp Second
June Raftless Race First
September Fishing Comp First
October Shooting Comp Second
November Five-A-Side First
December Games Comp Third
Year 2015 Scope Trophy First
February 2016 Cross Country No Entry
March Shooting Comp First

In May the Unit joined in the Group Camp at Walton Firs and in July they attended the Summer Camp in North Wales. Many expeditions and other adventures took place.

“The Unit were very pleased to regain the District Annual Scope Trophy.”

Unit members and older scouts run the Christmas Post not only as a service for the local area but also to raise funds for good causes. This year the proceeds were given to Kent Sussex & Surrey Air Ambulance and the explorers are working towards the Fundraiser Badge. As traditional we saw off 2015 with a Christmas Dinner, held at HQ and catered for by Michelin star chef Hanna. The event was well attended by Explorers past and present.
In March the Explorers attended Fulham police station receiving road safety advice, a trip to the cells and a brief lesson on riot policing, only breaking one truncheon in the process.

As with every year we had a foolhardy bunch doing that gruelling and rewarding trek across the Peak District. A record 7 teams from Hinchley Wood set off early one March Saturday morning to complete the 40-plus-mile-in-one-day Four Inns Walk across the Peak District National Park. Besides our adult walkers, 2 Network Scouts, 11 Explorers and 3 Scouts took part. The scouts and younger explorers made up three teams on the new 35Km short course for U18 teams and all completed the walk. Not all the older walkers made it to the end, but there’s always 2017!

The 1st Hinchley Wood Explorer Unit is led by John Daoud with Fabio Randolfi helping out as a section assistant. Simon Heather puts in cameo appearances when he can as he’s now married and moved even further away. More leadership is an urgent need for the expanding Unit.

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