Go on an adventure with the Explore skills builder

Get ready for your unit's next adventure

04 January 2022

Ahead of the start of next term, we’re taking a close-up look at the Explore skills builder so you can feel confident getting out and exploring in a way that works for everyone. Get your unit ready for its next adventure!

What is the Explore skills builder?

The Explore skills builder is all about exploring new places, developing navigational skills, and building confidence. This includes all sorts of adventurous activities, from finding out about women explorers and navigating without using technology, to exploring landmarks and planning a trip. It’s a great way for girls to engage in the outside world and to get excited about discovering what’s on their doorstep and beyond.

We spoke to some leaders who adapted the Explore skills builder to better suit their units so nobody missed out on an adventure. Keep reading to find out how they got on and the advice they have to share.

Running the Explore skills builder

Gemma, a leader at 2nd Limbury (St Augustine’s) Brownies, ran activities from the Explore skills builder online and in-person socially distanced.

For stage three activity, Suss out the symbols, girls have to identify map symbols for different places such as car parks, schools and castles. To do this socially distanced, Gemma adapted the activity into a treasure hunt, spreading map symbols and their names across a field. Each girl then had to match the words and symbols with a list they’d been given. A week later Gemma continued the activity in an online meeting, asking girls to use the whiteboard on zoom to draw symbols of places in their local community.

And Gemma has this advice for other leaders thinking about running the Explore skills builder.

It isn’t just about doing walks and exploring the local area, it’s also about how to look after yourself. It’s actually one of the easiest ones for adaptations where it needs to be socially distanced or online. The activities can be as complicated or as easy as you want them to be. All that matters is making sure you meet the aim of the activity and the girls have fun.

Claire, a Brownie leader at 21st Bromley Brownies, ran the Explore skills builder stage two online.

To adapt the activity, I made some slides to go with the cards and where possible made it into a game or quiz. Our unit likes role-playing, so we made sure to incorporate lots of role-playing activities.

The Brownies enjoyed Mapping it out in stage two, especially when given a local map and they had to give grid references to the others to find local landmarks. Using breakout rooms to help facilitate group discussions was great. It allowed the quiet girls to contribute.

Take it further

Our new badge booster activities, created with the Royal Navy, are available to all Guides and Rangers who achieve their Explorer badge for stages four, five, and six, to take their skills a step further. They’re designed to be completed in their own time, with activities focused on planning an adventure, using the moon and stars to navigate, and finding someone who’s lost.

Share this video of G.P. Yes! in your unit meetings from stage five of the Explore skills builder. Girls can have a go at planning a route using GPS and latitude and longitude.