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Expedition Challenge

  1. Take part in either an expedition or an exploration over two days with at least three other Scouts. This should include a night away at a campsite or hostel.
  2. Take an active part in planning the expedition. Do any training you need and be well prepared. Training should include:

    • planning a route, including rest and meal stops. Being able to work out how long it should take you to travel that route.
    • choosing suitable equipment for an expedition. You might consider tents, stoves, rucksacks, walking equipment, emergency equipment, first aid kit, wet weather gear, appropriate food and a camera.
    • navigation and using things like maps and timetables for your
    • expedition. You might want to brush up on using an Ordnance Survey or similar map, a compass, a GPS device, a street map or A-Z, and rail or bus timetables.
    • knowing what to do in an emergency.
  3. During the expedition or exploration:

    • play a full part in the team
    • use a map or other navigation device to keep track of where you are
    • cook and eat at least one hot meal
    • do a task, investigation or exploration as agreed with your leader.
  4. Produce an individual report or presentation within the three weeks following your expedition. You could present your work as a project, performance, video recording, oral presentation, blog or website.

Exploration or expedition?

An expedition is a journey with a purpose. The expedition should involve travelling for at least four hours on each day, by foot, cycle, canoe, horse or other agreed means. For more information on using all these forms of transport in Scouting, check out our rules and guidance at scouts.org.uk/a-z.

An exploration is a purpose with a journey. The exploration should involve travelling for at least ninety minutes to reach the destination, by foot, cycle, public transport or other agreed means. Scouts could explore somewhere in the UK or abroad. Having reached the destination, at least five hours of investigation should be carried out over the two days, following up on previously undertaking research.

For either option, Scouts must have appropriate adult supervision bearing in mind their age, experience, the terrain and activity. As a minimum, such supervision should involve a visual check at the beginning and end of the day, and an adult being available in the local area. It would not usually be an appropriate challenge for the Scouts to be accompanied at all times by an adult.

Exploration Expedition
Group Size 4+
Time 2 days, 90+ minutes travel to destination, 5+ hours of investigation over 2 days (following previous research) 2 days, 4+ hours travel per day
Night away 1
Accommodation Campsite, bunk house, hostel or similar
Location Countryside, town or city area not well known to team Countryside or suburban area, ideally not well known to team
Transport Foot, cycle, public transport, other Foot, cycle, canoe, horse, other
Route planning Rest/meal stops and timings
Equipment Appropriate for terrain, mode of travel, and to deal with emergencies. Nb. If camping, Scouts are not required to carry camping equipment.
Navigation Timetables, street map, A-Z, compass, GPS OS map, compass, GPS
Emergencies Emergency plan
Catering Cooking and eating 1+ hot meal themselves (eg. using kitchen; lightweight stove; campfire)
Purpose An investigation of an area Task or small project
Permits needed Nights Away plus possibly Hillwalking or Canoeing Nights Away plus possibly Hillwalking, Cycling or Canoeing
Event Passport May be issued to a Scout who will lead the rest of the team during Nights Away. Overnight venue should be aware and agree to this if the Scouts are to be unsupervised.
Report back Report, performance, video, presentation, blog, website

Further information

To make completing the award a meaningful challenge, the area visited for either option should not be well known to the Scouts.

The level of supervision should be considered as part of the risk assessment and Scouts should have a clear plan for if things go wrong, including knowing how to contact one of the leadership team and emergency services if necessary. Why not plan an incident hike into your programme, to help Scouts prepare for challenges they might experience.

You should ensure that you follow the rules and guidance for running Nights Away experiences, such as relevant activity permits and nights away permits, InTouch, parental permission and first aid arrangements. Guidance can be found at scouts.org.uk/nightsaway.

If appropriate, Scouts can stay by themselves overnight, if an Event Passport is issued to the whole group or a named young person. Further information can be found in chapter 9 of POR. The Nights Away permit holder must provide support during both the preparation and the event itself and be satisfied that the young person has the required abilities.

If Scouts are completing their expedition or expedition abroad, refer to the guidance on the visits abroad page.