The Beavers section of the Scouts caters for children aged six to eight years old. It is the first Section of our Scouts Group, and therefore the beginning of any child's Scouting experience. We currently have two Beaver Colonies, the Pond and River Beavers.
In the Beaver section all activities are age appropriate, and the first few months are all about settling in and making new friends whilst doing fun activities. For some children this can be the first time they have been left alone without a parent present, and so they find the experience a bit daunting. We will work with you to help your child settle in, and it won't be long before they are joining in and gaining confidence as they take part in games and activities.
In Beavers, activities are generally Leader-led rather than child-led, and the idea is to learn #skillsfor life in a fun, friendly, and inclusive way. Being a keen teaching environment for camping and pioneering skills, there will be some activities which will use fire; cutting tools; or have a greater risk of injury. All such activities are risk-assessed and suitable mitigation is put in place to avoid accidents. We teach children to respect the dangers inherent with such activities and to develop the ability to assess dangers for themselves.
Each Beaver Colony contains Lodges - which are made up of small groups of Beavers. Each Lodge has a Lodge Leader who is responsible for making sure their Lodge pays attention when necessary and behaves correctly. If your child is selected to be a Lodge Leader, they will be given a special badge to sew on to their uniform.
After a few visits to meetings your child will hopefully want to keep coming. If this is the case, your child will then be invested into Scouting in a short ceremony at the end of a meeting. It is at this point you will need to buy your child the Beaver jumper (see our FAQs page for details on where you can purchase it).
At their Investiture, your child will be asked to recite the Beaver Scout promise (see side bar) and then they will be given their Neckerchief, and three "starter" badges: The Scouting membership badge, the District Badge and the 6th Farnborough Scouts Group name tape badge.
The Beaver uniform is made up of the official Beaver sweatshirt, and the 6th Farnborough Scouts Group neckerchief and woggle. There are other optional items you can buy - such as the official Scouts trousers (which are hard wearing and stand up to the out door activities well!), but this is up to you.
Your child's Neckerchief and woggle will be provided by the group as part of their Investiture.
Within the Beavers Section there are three types of badge Beavers can earn:
If your child completes all six challenge badges and at least four of the activity badges (including staged activity badges) - they can earn the Cheif Scout Bronze Award, which is the highest award a Beaver can get.
To find out more about badges and what your child need to do to achieve them, please visit The Scouts Association website - or look at the parents section of OSM.
Below is a screen shot from OSM showing a child's badges and their progress on them so far. Badges start off "greyed out" and "fill-up" with colour as activities are completed so you can easily see how they are progressing towards completeing a badge. To find out more about OSM, please see our (see our FAQs page).
At around eight-years old, if your child wishes to continue in Scouting they will attend a special Swimming up ceremony and move into our Cubs Section. At this time your child will be offered the chance to attend both Beaver and Cubs meetings for a few weeks, to help with the transition and to give them a chance to make new friends in Cubs. For the ceremony you will need to purchase the Cub sweatshirt, as your child will "swim" under a blanket in their Beaver uniform and take off their Beaver jumper and put on their Cub one - emerging from the "water" a Cub. They will then be greeted by one of our Cub Leaders who will welcome them to the Cubs section.