Turning 18 - happy birthday!

You've turned 18 and think that's the end of your Scouting journey. However, Scouting is a worldwide movement, with upwards of 38 million members across the world, so chances are wherever you go in the world, you won't be far from some kind of Scouting provision. There are plenty of options for you once you turn 18, some of which are listed below. No matter if you decide to move away from home for university, college, a job, and wish to stay involved in Scouting, we will help you as much as possible. Think of all the amazing opportunities Scouting has given you. Play your part in helping the next generation of Scouting participants.

Volunteer Roles in Scouting

There are so many different roles in Scouting to choose from, each of which utilises and develops different skills, abilities and offers countless opportunities to enhance these to suit you. The Scouts website has an online tool here which asks a few questions and suggests a role which might be suitable for you. Not sure? Get in touch with us.

For any adult role, you need to complete an adult application form, which can be found here.

Scout Network

Scout Network is the fifth section of The Scout Associations youth programme and is for all young adults aged 18-25. Scouting exists to make young people’s lives better, helping them realise their full potential and make an impact on their community. Scout Network enables this to happen through a programme of projects and events divided into three Programme Areas: Adventure, International and Community.

As a member, you can expect to have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of exciting projects and events with 20,000 other 18 to 25 year olds across the UK. You will have the chance to get involved in various activities and can earn virtual badges for your contribution. Whilst participating in the programme of projects and events, you will build a network of friends through working as part of a team. You’ll also learn invaluable life skills and have the opportunity to take the lead and build your leadership skills.

Scout Network allows members to connect with other 18 to 25 year olds locally. The District Scout Network Commissioner, Assistant County Commissioner (Scout Network) and Programme Coordinators are roles available to support Scout Network members in creating, delivering and participating in the programme of projects and events. They are a great support through this website but also with regular face to face local meetings in your area, just another way to meet members and make friends.

There are a wide variety of projects and events that make up the Scout Network programme on offer. Participating in projects and events is also the way to collect virtual badges. Examples of projects and events you can get involved with:


  • Gaining National Governing Body qualifications such as Mountain Leader as well as for Scouting’s in house scheme enabling you to become an Activity Leader.
  • Camping and developing practical Scouting skills through Survival Skills weekends or being part of an Expedition team to help complete a Scouting top award such as DofE Gold or Queen’s Scout Award.


  • Visiting a country abroad to explore the culture, meet other Scouting members from around the world or get involved in a community project to make a positive impact. If you and other Network members plan an overseas expedition for 10 days, to explore the culture and undertake some projects you are planning an Explorer Belt Award expedition!
  • Exploring global issues in the world around us and how we can make a difference and share our knowledge with others.


  • Taking part and leading a community project in our society and world that will make a positive difference and impact to those in need of our support. Our Million Hands campaign aims to mobilise half a million Scouts!
  • Supporting Scouting to build a more inclusive society, that is open to all. This could include attending events to demonstrate our commitment to equality.

There are 395 virtual badges currently available to achieve from a wide variety of activities, events and countries.


You've still got plenty of time to finish your Scouting top awards, so no need to panic. You are able to complete your Explorer Belt and Queen's Scout Award right up until your 25th birthday, which is when you officially stop being a Scout Network member of The Scouts. It would probably be best to have a discussion with your Explorer Scout Leader and work out a plan that's going to work for both parties in achieving your award - i.e. your former Explorer Scout Unit / Scout Network so they are able to provide appropriate support and guidance and for you depending on your circumstances, if you've moved award from home etc.


What next?

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with Gordon. You are the leaders of the future and if you have enjoyed your time in Scouting, perhaps you'd like to give something back.