The Beaver Colony continues in excellent health. We currently have 24 members, including 6 girls.
We are accepting new applicants to our joining list as usual, as we are back down to our preferred Colony size of 24 now. The leadership team is largely unchanged; myself, Chil, Rosie and Alicia as leaders, with Alex Hoad and Zander Grylls (both former Beavers/Cubs/Scouts) in attendance most meetings to qualify for their volunteering section of DofE scheme. We currently have high demand for DofE places, and have referred more recent ones to Cub leaders.
Rosie and Alicia are progressing very well with their adult leader training, and I would anticipate they will both complete this by the end of the Autumn term.
Projected numbers for the remainder of this year do not exceed 24, and will be down to only 20 by beginning 2020 unless further applications received this year.
1/ Sleepovers. Three were held this year, all very well supported:
i)Group Camp June 2018. This was a Group event with all BGH sections represented. In total 19 Beavers attended, participating in shelter building, rocket making & launching, cyclist activity badge and wide games in the woods.
ii) Brownsea Island Sleepover September 2018. 20 Beavers attended, enjoying ‘explore the coast’ activity, Outdoor Adventure activities based on BP’s experimental 1907 camp etc. Our young leaders, Rosie and Alicia were formally invested as assistant Beaver Leaders in front of the BP memorial stone by Chil.
iii)Boomerang Softplay Centre, Bowerhill, October 2018. District event organised by Chil, (as last year) with approximately 100 beavers attending. The Centre has been rebooked
2/ Hikes. This year we have again completed 4 hikes, as previous year, but including one night hike to Chalfield Manor, where a scout grandmum , Carole Quinlan, provided superb refreshments – including hot chocolate made to Chil’s recipe and very nearly as good! (but not quite, obviously)
3/ Visits. This year we visited BG St Mary’s Church to discover ‘5 facts’ about it, and in May we were visited by owl handlers who ‘flew’ the owl in the Scout Hut! We again visited ‘Doddy’s’ model railway in Broughton Village, enjoying his son Kevin’s giant Lego models as well as the model trains. In September we went to Moley’s house where we learnt about goats, chickens, cows, fish and various other animals. In November we had a visit by the police with firearms and squad cars – sadly no dogs this time but to be arranged for future visit.
4/ District Challenge, March 2019. This was hosted at our HQ as we were winners the previous year. 5 of our oldest Beavers took part, Melksham winning the event this year. A good time had by all.
5/ Skills. We have learnt: about science, looking after our teeth, healthy foods, some basic French, and how to tie simple knots.
Ceremonies/Beaver Promise. We have adopted the alternative Beaver Promise, promising to ‘love our World’ instead of ‘love God’, so that we can cater for all faiths and none, in keeping with POR Scouting for All. We are now closing our meetings with the Beaver promise, as for some time there had been no formal closing ceremony at all.
For investitures, the investees now repeat their Promise after the leader instead of everyone reciting it (as a Colony). This makes it seem more meaningful and is a bit easier for the investees.
Badges/Awards. The Bronze Chief Scout Award scheme continues to be very challenging. Invariably I’m having to set ‘homework’ for older Beavers in their final weeks before Swimming Up to Cubs. Many Bronzes have been awarded this year though, and apart from those who have missed a significant number of Beaver meetings, most are gaining their award as or before they move up to Cubs.
Most Beavers this year completed the Cyclist activity badge and Animal Friend badge.
All in all another very rewarding year with lots going on and great support from other section leaders and parents alike.
Jon Giles BSL /(Brock). �