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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:
  1. During the expedition or exploration:
  1. 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 participating 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.

Further information

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

There are two options within the award; an expedition (a journey with a purpose) or an exploration (a purpose with a journey). You can see a table showing the differences between the options here.

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. 

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. Read some tips and ideas here.

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, and within the Nights Away publication.

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.

For information, guidance and resources on the following topics, check the links below:

Getting started
Nights Away

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

  • Air and Sea Navigation
  • Cyclist
  • Geocaching
  • Hill Walker
  • Orienteer


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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