An Introduction to the Beaver Scout Section
Beavers started in Canada. Since Beaver Scouts became a part of The Scout Association in 1986, it has been one of the quickest growing Sections. A group of Beavers is known as a Colony. There are currently in the region of 100,000 members in 7,000 Colonies. The Beaver Scout Colony generally meets weekly for about an hour, with the chance to go on a residential experience every year and on day trips away.
Who is Beaver Scouting for?
Beaver Scouting is open to young people aged between six and eight years old who want to join and can make the Beaver Scout Promise.
The Beaver Scout Promise
Scouting differs from many organisations in that it requires its Members to make a Promise. The wording for Beaver Scouts is simpler than that of the Scout Promise. There are several versions, designed for different faiths:
- I promise to do my best to be kind and helpful and to love God.
- I promise to do my best to be kind and helpful and to love Allah.
- I promise to do my best to be kind and helpful and to love my Dharma.
- I promise to do my best to be kind and helpful and to love our world.
By making the promise a young person becomes a Member of the worldwide Movement; they become a Scout.
The motto for all Members of the Movement is:
The Beaver Scout Uniform
Beaver Scouts wear a turquoise sweatshirt. They also wear a the Group scarf (sometimes called a “necker”). They have a woggle, to keep their scarf up. Traditionally all Beaver Scouts wear a maroon coloured woggle*, but they may also wear a woggle of the colour of the Lodge they are in (see below on how Beaver Scouts are organised). There are several other items of optional uniform.
*In Stocksfield, a yellow woggle is worn by all Beavers.
How Beaver Scouts are organised
Beaver Scouts meet together as a Colony and work within a variety of small groups called “Lodges”*. A team of adults will run the Beaver Scout Colony. Some will be uniformed Leaders, others may be informal Assistants or helpers. Explorer Scouts who are Young Leaders might also assist the leadership team in the running of the Colony.
*Currently the Colony in Stocksfield is not split into Lodges.
Making the Promise is the most important act in Scouting and is common to every Section. Scouting has a special ceremony for making the Promise called Investiture or being invested. When a young person makes their Promise they receive their Group Scarf, The Membership Award and are welcomed as a new Member into the Scout family.
What do Beaver Scouts do?
Beavers take part in a wide range of activities. These include making things, singing, playing games, going out on visits, investigating nature, listening to stories, learning how to be safe and most importantly, making new friends. They do this through taking part in a programme of activities provided by the leadership team.
Beaver Scout Programme
The philosophy underpinning the programme is that every Beaver Scout should participate in a Balanced Programme over a period of time. This ensures that all young people experience a quality programme covering a wide range of subjects, so that they develop in all of the Personal Development Areas. To help, the Balanced Programme is divided into a number of Programme Zones and Methods.
The programme zones for Beaver Scouts are listed below. As part of the Balanced Programme they will take part in activities from all the zones regularly.
- My Skills
Outdoors & Adventure
- My Outdoors
- My Adventure
Being in the outdoors and taking part in adventurous activities is fundamental to Scouting and plays a big part in the other zones.??????
These Zones are delivered using 12 methods, which give the programme variety and range. The Zones give Beaver Scouts the opportunity to:
- Help others
- Play games
- Explore their world
- Undertake prayer and worship Listen to stories
- Follow themes
- Badges and Awards
- Go on visits
- Make things
- Meet new people
- Act, sing and make music
- Go outdoors
Badges and Awards
Even though the emphasis is on a Programme that is balanced with a variety of activities, there are still badges and awards for Beaver Scouts to aim for during their time with the Colony. Badges and awards are given in recognition of the effort made by each young person at their own level.
The Membership Award
This Award helps the young person understand the commitment they are making when they make the Promise and become a Member of the Movement. It covers the history, traditions and practices of Scouting.
?Joining In Awards
The Joining In Awards recognise a commitment to Scouting. They celebrate Beaver Scouts participating in a Balanced Programme over a period of time. They are awarded on the anniversary of the young person joining Scouting.
Note that the Scout Association changed the programme in 2015. As such Beavers who joined before this date may hold badges from the old syllabus, which do not appear here, or look slightly different. This is not a problem and they can keep them on their uniform. All activities from Easter 2015 use the new programme.
The Challenges complement the Balanced Programme. These have been developed to extend Beaver Scouts’ skills and experience in a particular area. There are six Challenges in the Beaver Scout Section:
Activity Badges are optional, but they provide an opportunity to reward a young person who has taken part in an activity over a period of time. They should raise interest and extend a young person’s skills throughout their time in Scouting. There are 19 Beaver Scout Activity Badges:
- Animal Friend
- Camp Craft
- Disability Awareness
- Global Issues
Staged Activity Badges
In addition to the Beaver Scout Activity Badges, there are 14 Activity Badges staged across all the Sections, which gives a young person the opportunity to develop an area of interest throughout their time in Scouting from 6 – 18. They are:
- Air Activities
- Community Impact
- Digital Citizen
- Digital Maker
- Emergency Aid
- Hills Away
- Nautical Skills
- Nights Away
- Paddle Sports
- Time on Water
Chief Scout’s Bronze Award
This badge is the highest award available in the Beaver Scout Section. It is gained by completing all the Challenge Awards, plus any four activity or staged activity badges.
The Chief Scout’s Bronze Award can be worn on the Cub Scout Uniform once they move onto Cubs.
The Moving-On Award
This helps ease the transfer of a Beaver Scout to the Cub Scout Pack. It also allows the Beaver Scout to be invested into the Pack immediately, recognising that they are already Members of the Scout Movement.
Beaver Scout Sleepovers
Sleepovers give young people their first experience of a night away from home without their parents/carers. They are intended to plant a ‘seed’, which then grows as the young person moves through the Sections. Leaders have to be specially trained before they may take young people away, so you know they will always be in safe hands. Sleepovers in the Beaver Scout Section must be indoors and must not exceed 24 hours. They provide an excellent opportunity for young people to try out activities that are not possible at the regular Colony Meeting. As you might imagine, the whole atmosphere of living together even for a short while as a Colony is very special for the young people involved.
Beaver Scouting…it’s just the start!
While a young person is in Beavers they will have fun, make friends and get to do exciting activities that they wouldn’t get to do anywhere else. But this is just the start! Beavers is the first step in Scouting for future development as individuals and Scouts. It will seem that they have only just started before it will be time to ‘swim up’ to Cubs!
Scout Association Publications
If you (or your Beaver) want to know more there are two publications that you might want to consider buying from the Scout Shop. We have a copy of each at the hut if you want a closer look first. Neither of these are required purchases.
Badges and Awards
This A6-sized book fits into your pocket. Aiming at both Beavers and their parents, it lists the requirements for every single badge in the Beavers section, with coloured pictures of each one. This book uses the new 2015 requirements that we are now following in Stocksfield. It is useful to have all this information available in a book, and at £4.00 it is reasonably priced. It can be purchased online from:
Please note that details of all the badges and their requirements are also available free online at:
Adventures all the Way
This soft back book is aimed squarely at Beavers. It contains information about the Promise, activities, games and nights away, expressed as a series of cartoons. There are sections for your Beaver to fill in, including a badge chart at the back that they can tick off. It uses the updated 2015 requirements. Also priced at £4.00 it is also available online at: http://shop.scouts.org.uk/p-13577-beavers-adventure-all-the-way-book-2015.aspx