Welcome to Benton District Explorer Unit at 2nd Wideopen
Our Explorer Unit meets every Thursday evening from 7:30 - 9:15 pm and also meets every other Monday evening from 7:30 - 9:30 pm.
Our Explorer Scout Unit is for young people, aged between 14 and 18 years and operates jointly under the guidance of both the Scout Group and Benton District.
The Explorer Scouts are encouraged to take part in a wide range of adventurous activities, from learning traditional Scouting skills, to building and racing a Soap Box Racer or a Land Yacht for a Scrapheap Challenge!
The Unit works towards activity badges and awards such as the Chief Scouts Awards, the Queen's Scout Award and Duke Of Edinburgh's Awards - Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Whilst in Explorers you will also get the chance to be involved as a Young Leader, for which you will be trained in leadership skills to help in younger sections of the Group and other Youth Organisations.
Typically, our programme of activities will include:
- Adventure Weekends and Camps
- Wide Games
- Climbing, Abseiling and Prussicking
- Crate Stacking
- Canoeing, Kayaking and Rowing
- Driving Experiences / Quad Biking / Argocats
- Raft Building and Rafting
- Fire Lighting and Survival Skills
- Land-yachting / Power-kiting
- Expeditions, Hiking and Mountaineering
- Commando Bridges and Aerial Runways
- Assault Courses / High Ropes
- Landboarding, Turfboarding and Street Surfing
- Orienteering and Navigating
- Environmental and Conservation Work
- Team Building
- Leadership and Life Skills
- Sports Activities
- First / Emergency Aid Training
- Cooking, Lightweight Stove and Camp Cooking Skills
- A Wide Range of Activity Badge Courses
Explorers and Scouts Go Paintballing at Delta Force
On a cold Sunday morning in November, somewhere in the heart of some dark woods on the outskirts of Seaton Burn, mayhem and carnage took place.
After a comprehensive set of safety briefings and getting fully kitted up - both the Explorers and the Scouts from the Group, along with a few very brave (no - this should perhaps read stupid) leaders took part in a full day of paintballing missions, along with others at the Delta Force facility in Seaton Burn.
Amid screams and shouts, as well as the sounds of paintball guns going off, over a six hour period everyone proceeded to aviod getting hit, whilst causing major problems for the opposition.
One leader who shall remain nameless, whilst not watching behind - got it right in his behind, so we are sure he'll not make that mistake a second time and has been the butt of a number of jokes since!
With the participants split into two teams, it was the Blues (mainly made up of Explorers) who won the day, with the Reds (containing all three leaders) coming off second best. There was also an element of suspicion that some of the Reds were also after their leader team mates - although they of course deny this!
Due to the great success, we hope to be able to undertake this activity again soon!
Explorers Work on Community Garden
As part of their Community and Fundraising Activity Badges, the Explorers have been working on the development of a Community Garden at St John's Church in Wideopen for a number of weeks.
After removing years of overgrown plants, cutting back hedges and removing sprawling weeds from the garden, Explorers have replanted a number of wildlife friendly shrubs and wild flowers, in-filled gaps in hedges to increase security and create a more user friendly space for young and old people alike.
The Explorers are being helped by a very generous offer from Garden Centre chain - Dobbies in Ponteland, who have offered technical advice on which plants and shrubs are best to thrive in various locations in the garden and have also kindly offered the Explorers £200+ of plants / equipment from the Garden Centre plus a range fo free seeds, to enable them to carry out the work.
Equipment including a range of hand tools such as trowels, forks and a watering can will help to make the space more attractive and usable.. Additionally, it is envisaged that hanging baskets, lighting, raised planters and improved grassed areas will be developed over the course of the project.
The Explorers are also being extremely resourceful, trawling on line sites such as Freecycle, to see what they can pick up from people who no longer require them.
Explorers Get Involved in Scouts Against Malaria
2016 and 17 saw the Explorers at Wideopen joining the Scouts Against Malaria campaign to help fight and defeat Malaria across the third world.
Bu understanding about the causes of Malaria and how it can be tackled, those taking part have started to do their bit to help those less fortunate in parts of Africa.
The national 'Scouts Against Malaria' initiative enables members here in the United Kingdom to find out for themselves about this horrible discease and then help fundraise for anti-malaria nets for families and communities in sub-saharan Africa. In these countries, Scouts then go out into their local communities and help to install anti-malaria nets in homes, whilst teaching families about how to stay safe from this debilitating discease.
The initiative within the Scout Group will eventually involve members from all four of our sections finding out about and fundraising for this great cause.. You will also qualify for the fantastic badge to wear on your uniform.- but be warned it's a bit bigger than your usual badges!
Explorers Sign Up for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme
All the members of the Explorer Unit are signed up to work towards their Duke of Edinburgh's Awards, which run alongside our own Scouting programme of activities - including the Platinum and Diamond Chief Scout's Awards and of course the Queen's Scout Award. At present, members are registered to work towards the Bronze and Silver levels and in time hopefully the Gold!
This should not involve any additional work for the Explorers - just smarter thinking about what they undertake as their chosen skills interests, what they do as part of their volunteering / community service and finally their chosen physical fitness - all of which they do over a number of months. As the saying goes - you 'buy one you get one free!'
We look forward to seeing all the Explorers gaining their Awards and you can find out more about how the Explorers get on in due course. You can also check out the web link below, to find out more about the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme for yourself
Have You Thought About Trying To Get The Scout Mate or Northumberland Challenge Badges?
Scout Mate Badge Northumberland Scout Challenge Badge
Did you know you can work towards and gain some very special badges in Explorers which are specific to our County of Northumberland?
In Explorers you can gain your Scout Mate badge by bringing along a friend who is old enough and interested in joining the Unit.
Once they stay (hopefully they will!) and they get Invested as an Explorer Scout - you will qualify for the Scout Mate badge - which you can wear on your right sleeve, below your District and Nametape badges.
You will also be working towards the Northumberland Scout Challenge badge over the next year, as part of our Programme - when we will visit a number of tourist attractions, sample some local foods, sing some local songs, camp at a number of campsites in Northumberland and do other things like the Lookwide Walk, to help you to gain the badge.
You can download all the details of what you have to do, to complete this special badge, which can be gained by Beavers, Cubs, Scouts or Explorers.
Intrepid Explorers In The Lake District
In August, four of the Unit's Explorers completed a two day 16 mile expedition (as part of the Platinum Chief Scouts Award) in the Lake District.
Starting their expedition on the western shore of Thirlmere Reservoir, they hiked over the fells to Borrowdale, where they joined up with the Cumbria Way and Allerdale Ramble footpaths, passing through the pretty hamlets and villages of Watendlath, Rosthwaite, Seatoller, Grange and Portinscale, before eventually ending up in Keswick, having camped overnight in the Stonethwaite Valley, not far from the head of the Borrowdale Valley and the wettest place in England.
Well done all four of you!
Explorer Unit Facebook Page
Following discussions - a Facebook Page has been set up for Explorers, Leaders (and parents) to communicate.
The Page will quickly allow us to share information about events, meetings, activities and other Explorer related issues.
Access to the Facebook page will be restricted and by invite only ( it will not available to the general public).
Members are reminded that the content will not only be shared with others, including leaders, it will also be monitored and as such you will be responsible for what you post.
The Page will follow the guidelines set by the Scout Association and members will have access on a privileged basis.
My Badges App - suitable for Apple and Android
Scout Association Launches New Guide To Help Explorers & Young Leaders To Get Ahead In Life
The Scout Association has recently launched a new Guide called 'Get Ahead', aimed at helping Explorer Scouts and Young Leaders to enhance their chances of gaining a job, an apprenticeship opportunity or accessing further and higher education courses.
The Get Ahead Guide will help to remind and prompt you about the many skills and aptitudes that you have developed and gained as a result of your experience in Scouting over a number of years.
The 13 page Guide is well written by a number of experts and will provide you with some real life examples that you should be able to put on your CV, an application form or to talk about in an interview situation.
At a time when it is increasingly challenging for young people to find a job or an apprenticeship opportunity and similarly, gain access to further and higher education opportunities at college or university, the Guide may just make the difference between you getting that opportunity or not!
Dowload your copy of the Get Ahead Guide by using using the link below.
Explorer Scout Promise and Law
In Explorer Scouts, we try to follow our Promise and the Scout Law - which are:
On My Honour, I promise that I will do my best
To do my duty to God and to the Queen
To help other people
And to keep the Scout Law
A Scout is to be trusted
A Scout is loyal
A Scout is friendly and considerate
A Scout belongs to the worldwide family of Scouts
A Scout has courage in all difficulties
A Scout makes good use of time and is careful of possession's and property
A Scout has self-respect and respect for others
Really Useful Links To Help You In Explorer Scouts
Below are a number of really useful website links which will help with you to gain activity badges and awards and improve both your Scouting skills and knowledge!
They contain plenty of things you can download, as well as games and challenges linked to your Chief Scouts Awards, Young Leaders Award and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme.
- Check out the Scout Association's website for details on badge requirements and loads of handy bits of Scouting information - http://www.scouts.org.uk/
- Find out about global conservation, sustainability and wildlife from the World Wildlife Fund - http://www.wwf.org.uk/
- Check out the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, which runs alongside the Chief Scout and Queen Scout Awards in this section - http://dofe.org/