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Expedition Challenge Award

How to earn your award

  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
    • 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.

Each young person who participates in the Programme, including badges and awards, should face a similar degree of challenge, and requirements can be adapted according to each young person’s abilities.  For more information and practical tips see our guidance on flexibility.

Guidance for Leaders:

Expedition: A journey with a purpose. If undertaking an expedition travel by foot, cycle, canoe, horse or other agreed means is acceptable, travelling for at least four hours on each day. For more information on using all these forms of transport in Scouting, check out our rules and guidance on our A-Z of activities.

A task or small project should be completed whilst on the journey.

Example expeditions include:

Exploration: A purpose with a journey. If undertaking an exploration travel by foot, cycle, public transport or other agreed means for at least ninety minutes to reach the destination is acceptable. Having reached the  destination carry out at least five hours investigation over the two days following up on previously undertaking research.

They could explore a new city in the UK, or even abroad. For guidance on taking your Scouts abroad go to scouts.org.uk/visitsabroad

Example investigations include:

You could present your purpose work as a project, performance (song, dance or drama), video recording, oral presentation, blog or website.

The area visited for the expedition or exploration should not be well known to the Scouts.

Both options must include a night away – which could be at a campsite, bunk house, hostel or similar. If camping, Scouts are not required to carry their camping equipment during the expedition or exploration. They should carry suitable equipment for their mode of travel, and for dealing with emergency situations.

Scouts should cater for themselves, including cooking and eating at least one hot meal during the course of their expedition or exploration. For example this could be over a lightweight stove, or in a kitchen in the place they are staying. Consideration must be given to an overnight venue which allows them the ability to do this. A number of teams could stay in the same venue, but should be able to sort out their own food. Leaders should not centrally cater for Scouts as part of this challenge.

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. Rules and guidance on peer led activities can be found in POR.

You should ensure that you follow the rules 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 here, and within the publication ‘Nights Away’.

Support and resources

Scouts who have particularly enjoyed this Challenge Award may like to try these Activity Badges:


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Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW