Explorer Belt – Sweden 2024
Between: 10th August 2024 – 23rd August 2024 Location: Sweden
Sections: Explorer Scouts, Scout Network
The Explorer Belt is the challenge of a lifetime
It’s a 10-day expedition that will bring you a deeper understanding of one of our European neighbours, its culture and way of life. It’s an independent exploration of a foreign country in a small team. It’s one of Scouting’s most challenging Top Awards.
Read about the 2024 Explorer Belt to Sweden below. Then click the link to register your interest and to attend an Explorer Belt Information Session in September or early October.
Skåne in southern Sweden is the location for the 2024 Explorer Belt
Skåne, the southernmost province of Sweden, offers a blend of history, natural beauty and vibrant culture. You’ll find monuments from the Viking era, medieval churches, picture perfect villages and Danish influences from when the region was part of Denmark.
Rural Skåne, where you will spend most of your Explorer Belt, is a diverse, patchwork of farmland, forests and lakes. Villages of half-timbered and brightly coloured houses are surrounded by golden fields of crops, sparkling blue lakes and deep green woods. Skåne’s coast dramatically contrasts rocky shores, sandy beaches and the open sea.
Skåne’s towns and its main city of Malmö combine old and new architecture, trendy markets, and a thriving music and cultural scene. Typical August temperatures are the same as London and the south-east of the UK.
Your Explorer Belt expedition
You’ll travel through Skåne as a small team of 4 or 5 Explorer Scouts or 3 to 5 Network members for 10 days.
You’ll meet local people, talk to them and complete a series of projects. These will help you gain a deeper understanding of this area of Sweden, its people, culture and way of life.
During your expedition, you’ll select your own route and cover about 150 km on foot.
After your expedition you’ll make a presentation to gain your Explorer Belt
Previous expedition members have said the Explorer Belt is the best thing they did as part of Scouts.
- You must be either an Explorer Scout aged 16 or over before the start of the expedition, or a Scout Network member.
- As a guide, you should have hiking, lightweight camping and expedition experience at Chief Scout’s Diamond / Silver DofE award level.
- Ideally, you will have formed a team and will register as a team for the first training weekend in November. Explorer teams must have 4 or 5 members, Network teams can be 3, 4 or 5.
- You must attend the two training weekends, on November 18th and 19th 2023 and March 16th and 17th They will be held in Surrey and south west London.
- Between the two weekends, you will be expected to conduct specific training and team-building activities individually and in your team.
Register your interest and start your Explorer Belt journey here
If you’re interested in the 2024 Explorer Belt, sign up for one of the two information sessions using this link. These are on zoom on Saturday 24th September at 6pm and Wednesday 4th October at 7:30pm.
Click here for additional notes about teams and organisation
Forming your team It’s your responsibility and that of your fellow team members to form your team. We will provide advice at the information sessions about forming teams, but we will not put you into a team or create teams.
Ideally, you will have formed your team ahead of the first training weekend. When you register for the training weekend, you should register as a team.
Separate Explorer Scout teams and Network teams Teams must be either 4 or 5 Explorer Scouts (aged 16 or 17) or 3, 4 or 5 Network Scouts (aged 18 to 24). Explorer teams follow the under 18s activity rules. Network teams have greater flexibility and operate under the Scouts’ adult rules.
We discourage teams containing both Network members and Explorer Scouts. If you are an Explorer team, please consider carefully when each member turns 18 and whether this is before the expedition departs.
Who can apply? We welcome Scouts from all parts of the UK. Because the number of expedition places is necessarily limited, we give some preference to teams containing Greater London South West Scouts and / or Surrey Scouts.
Explorer Belt organisation This Explorer Belt is being organised by Greater London South West Scout County in partnership with Surrey Scouts. Greater London South West is the lead county and is responsible for governance and approval. The Explorer Belt will be run in line with the Scouts’ safety policy and rules.
Further information You can find further information about the Explorer Belt (in general) on the Scouts website at https://www.scouts.org.uk/top-awards/explorer-belt/ including the Reach Out and Explore guide to completing your Explorer Belt.
Explorer Belt Leader Team
The expedition will be led by an experienced team of Greater London South West and Surrey Scouts Leaders. They have run eight successful Explorer Belts in the last 20 years including a previous Explorer Belt to Sweden. The leader team will be in-country during the expedition. They will remotely supervise you and be able to assist you if needed. The two main leaders from Greater London South West and Surrey Scouts will be Chris Dean and Josh Goodwin.
Explorer Belt Leader (Greater London South West Scouts)
Chris is the overall 2024 Explorer Belt leader. Chris has been a member of the GLSW Explorer Belt Team on eight previous Explorer Belt expeditions over the last 20 years to Lithuania, Italy, France, Sweden, Luxembourg (twice), and Galicia (twice). More than 250 Scouts from England, Wales and Northern Ireland have participated in Explorer Belts led by Chris.
Chris says that the Explorer Belt “really allows participants to get under the skin of a country” and is “the perfect antidote to the package holiday”.
Explorer Belt Leader (Surrey Scouts)
Josh was a member of the leader team on the 2022 Explorer Belt expedition to Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany, and was the overall leader for the 2023 Explorer Belt to Galicia.
Josh is also the Group Scout Leader of a Group in Surrey renowned for its outdoors and adventurous programme. He has been a leader on many Explorer expeditions in the UK and to Kandersteg.
Josh says that “the Explorer Belt is different from the other Top Awards in Scouting. Participants engage with the residents of the area they are visiting and they find out a lot about themselves as well as about the people and places they visit”.
Assistant County Commissioner (Explorers) Surrey Scouts
Andrew is a hill-walker, mountaineer and canoeist, who has led expeditions for young people to Scotland, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland among others.
He is supporting Chris and Josh to organise the 2024 Explorer Belt expedition.