We deliver exceptional learning through exploration with life-defining impact to an increasing number and diversity of young people.
Who are we?
British Exploring Society is a world class youth development charity with a unique heritage, founded on the belief that challenging experiences can transform lives, empowering and equipping young people with the courage, skills, resilience and determination to make the most of their future.
Most young people return with increased self-belief, a dynamic peer group and the determination and ability to make the most of their future, regardless of where they started out.
Visit our Impact page to see just how successful we are at unlocking young people’s potential.
Is for all young people to be able to contribute confidently in the world. We want equal access to challenging learning and adventure in the wilderness as an unbeatable preparation for adult life.
Is to grow and celebrate a diverse, inclusive community of young people with the skills, resilience and determination to make lasting positive decisions in their own lives, and to deliver community benefit and positive environmental change.
What do we do?
A model developed over nearly 100 years
We provide young people with access to challenging learning in wild and remote locations using an approach refined through nearly a century of experience, to deliver a mix of adventure, knowledge, and personal development.
Training and preparation for the needs of each young person
We establish what skills and support a young person will need to feel prepared to take part in an expedition, be it their first time camping in the wilderness or their first travel away from home. This includes joining a UK-based induction and training event and working towards a fundraising challenge, supported by British Exploring Society HQ Staff and our professional volunteer Leaders. It may also involve a UK expedition.
Developing knowledge and living with difference
While on expedition, Young Explorers are split into groups called “Fires” which enable them to mix with other young people from diverse backgrounds. We want to help young people to appreciate their own strengths and skills within a group setting and be able to support those of the other Young Explorers around them.
With us, they acquire empowering real-life knowledge, ideas and understanding about the world, and are introduced to different perspectives.
What do we do?
A unique opportunity to make decisions and learn new skills
None of our expeditions have an itinerary. We aim to provide Young Explorers with skills which enable them to have the confidence and agency to shape their own expeditions, focusing on positive risk-taking, increased responsibility and overcoming challenges.
The support of unpaid professional Leaders throughout
Our highly skilled Leaders work in a variety of different fields, including archaeology, biological sciences, geography, law, education, social work, media and medicine, providing Young Explorers with individual support, rich learning opportunities and illuminating perspectives on potential paths through adult life. They volunteer hundreds of hours to support our training and expedition delivery.
Thinking about next steps and transferrable skills
Young Explorers can reunite with their Fire at our Next Steps celebration event at the end of the expedition season. At this event, we support them to consider what they have learned, and how they are going to make the most of their learning as they take their next steps in life.
A community for life
Our emphasis on community continues to be fostered after expedition. All who participate on an expedition with a sufficient degree of engagement and commitment are awarded Membership to our global network which spans generations.
A Wild Future is the narrative of the strategy for British Exploring Society from 2021-2031. We have set ourselves the ambitious challenge of engineering a model for purposeful, inclusive exploration for young people which we can sustain into our second century of operation. We will use this to guide our operational plans, decision making and review of progress each year.
"One of the reasons I went on expedition was to prove to myself that I can do the things that at first glance I feel like I wouldn’t be able to. I like to take going up the mountain really literally - many times I’ve heard that 'problems are like climbing a mountain' and there is something so rewarding and freeing knowing I’ve actually done that!"
Grace - Young Explorer, Dangoor Next Generation Iceland 2022
I completely opened myself up in an entirely new and thrilling environment. Not only did I return as a person who had developed a great deal and who had in many ways matured, I did so with many new friends at my side.
Gus - Young Explorer, Canadian Yukon 2019
"What I have found the most interesting post-expedition is realising how much I’ve learnt from the other people in my fire and on expedition. 5 weeks is a long time to be around people you don’t know very well 24/7, so there’s a lot of time for talking, sometimes about trivial things but also about some serious issues and debates. I’ve found this is what I have been applying to life back home the most – reminiscing on these conversations and applying new world views to my own thinking."
Edie - Young Explorer, Kyrgyzstan 2022
"After the expedition I really do feel that I have a greater sense of self-confidence. The expedition has made me happy with who I am and confirmed the journey I want to embark on. I felt as though I could see my goals more clearly making me want to go on more expeditions in the future. On top of this I am even engaged in geographical dilemmas facing the world, which has made me more motivated to succeed in my studies and pursue a Geography degree."
Nye - Young Explorer, Hartz Scottish Explorers 2022
“My life goals became a lot clearer and I understand myself a lot more now. I know that in the future wherever I go and whatever I am doing this experience will still be holding a positive influence on my mindset. At the start of this expedition I was in the middle of nowhere with a large group of strangers, at the end I was in an amazing place with friends I now have for life.”
Ilayda - Young Explorer, Canadian Yukon 2019
“We’ve embraced others, ourselves, but finally the stunning nature that has submerged us these last three weeks. Seeing the complete wilderness of this beautiful landscape has revealed… the little things can have such a big impact, which can be easily ignored when living in a fast-paced city… [it] has inspired us all to change our ways to conserve the wonderful world we live in.”
Kyle - Young Explorer, Dangoor Next Generation Iceland 2019
“Things changed for me this summer and my life was transformed when I found the inner strength to ignore the negativity of bullies and overcome my self-doubt and anxiety, to put myself forward and join the awe-inspiring, mixed ability, month-long Dangoor Infinity sea and land expedition of self-discovery to Iceland.”
Joshua - Young Explorer, Dangoor Infinity 2019
"Challenging myself to go on an expedition was the best thing I could have done at this stage in my life. The expedition, and everything that led up to it, was an incredibly rewarding, and life-affirming experience. I feel incredibly lucky to have spent such an extraordinary three weeks with a truly brilliant group of people, who I hope to stay in contact with and hopefully go on more adventures with in future."
Izzy - Young Explorer, Canadian Yukon 2022
Life changing. I have learnt more about myself than I ever thought I could know, a journey of self-discovery. British Exploring attracts such a unique blend of people, you are definitely going to meet some friends for life - like minded people you never knew were out there that are just like you.
Dasha - Young Explorer, Amazon 2017
To see how far we had come in 3 weeks in terms of fitness was incredible but also seeing how much stronger we were emotionally was unbelievable. This experience proved that I can do anything I put my mind to and with determination and support from those around me anything is possible.
Charlotte - Young Explorer, Canadian Yukon 2019