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Award Leader Training - Adventurous Journey Section

What's it all about?

The Adventurous Journey section gives participants the opportunity to engage in adventurous activities in new environments. The idea is to take them out of their comfort zones - to travel away from habitation, using any non-motorised mode of transport (which can be mixed to make the journey more interesting) - all while staying within a safe setting achieved through suitable training and supervision.

Non-motorised modes of transport include walking, cycling (not e-bikes), horse riding and self-powered water transport such as kayaking, rafting and canoeing.

What types of journey are involved?

There are three types of Adventurous Journeys:

  • Expeditions - a journey with a purpose (where most of the time is spent on the journey itself)
  • Explorations - a purpose with a journey (where most of the time is spent observing and collecting information relevant to the purpose - e.g. an outdoor scientific study or survey - and less time spent journeying from one place to another)
  • Other Adventurous Journeys (only at Gold level, for participants aged 18+ years)

What are the requirements for an Adventurous Journey?

Participants are required to:

  • have a purpose - this needs to be something that encourages them to notice their surroundings. This could take the form of an arduous journey or other physical challenge (Expedition), or a practical research study (Exploration). Early on in the process, participants need to give thought to what their purpose will be and consider whether it relates to the interests and abilities of the other team members.
  • undertake the journey in a group of between four and seven young people.
  • involve all team members in planning and preparation for the trip.
  • camp in a tent or hut throughout the journey. If the journey is an Expedition, the group must camp in a different place each night. If the journey is an Exploration, the group can camp in one place (base camp) for the duration of the journey.
  • prepare a substantial meal each day.
  • undergo Preliminary Training, then enough Practice Journeys to ensure they will be self-reliant and safe when they finally set off on their Qualifying Journeys.
  • pack and take equipment that is suitable for their journey and the environment they will be living in.

How long does it take to complete an Adventurous Journey?

Every Adventurous Journey (both Practice and Qualifying) has a required number of hours that must be spent in 'purposeful effort'. This is defined as time spent towards accomplishing the purpose of the journey.

The time requirements will depend on the type of journey being undertaken and the level of the Award. The total hours of purposeful effort are made up of the time spent journeying and everything else that occurs throughout the journey - from loading the transport (e.g. horses, bikes, canoes) to setting up camp and preparing a meal. The table below gives a quick summary of the hours required (for both Practice and Qualifying Journeys):

The total hours of purposeful effort are made up of the time spent journeying, plus everything else that happens throughout the journey - from loading the transport (e.g. horses, bikes, canoes) to setting up camp and preparing a meal.

If the group arrives at their destination early, they can continue to explore around the area to make up the hours.

How far does the group have to travel?

Adventurous Journeys are defined by hours of activity (see table above) rather than by compulsory distance.



What are the requirements for direct entrants?

There are additional requirements for participants who are starting their Silver or Gold Awards without having completed any previous levels (this is known as 'direct entry'). These requirements are outlined in full here.



What's the process?

Preliminary Training

Practice Journeys

Qualifying Journeys



Who approves the participant's activity?

An Assessor must approve the activity in the participant's Online Record Book to show that he or she has completed it. An Assessor is a responsible adult that is not a family member and who has considerable (usually three years or more) knowledge of the chosen activity, or is able to supervise the activity if it is non-skilled.


Ready to take the quiz?!

Click the link below to go to the Physical Recreation quiz, then log in using the username and password that were sent to you when you signed up for this online training. Forgotten your username or password? Email

Take the quiz!

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