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History of Beaver Scouts

Beaver Scouts were officially made part of the Scouting family in 1986, but Greenock District has had under-8s groups for over 30 years having such names as Mini-Cubs, 6s and 7s, and Pathfinders.

In the early 1980s DC Ian Black was a great supporter of under 8s and through his encouragement more of a structure started to emerge with a Beaver Advisor appointed and leaders of these under-8s groups meeting together to share ideas and arrange events.

The 7 colonies in existence in 1982 were invited to take part in the ‘Year of the Scout’ public awareness day in the Town Hall.

A District uniform was devised – a black jumper with a yellow neckie – and we compiled a District Challenge badge which encouraged boys to develop various skills, both domestic and Scouting.

Ideas from Northern Ireland were used and a District Prayer was compiled, to be said at the end of meetings, with colonies developing their own ceremonies for opening and closing meetings as well as for going up to Cubs.

In 1983 Greenock Beavers designed their own flags based on their own colours, which were used at Beaver Day and Founder’s Day parades, although at that time the flags were just left at the front door of the college or church.

By 1986 the national uniform was a grey sweatshirt with turquoise neckie; a group of Beaver Scouts became known as a colony; still boys only.

Beaver Days at Everton had been started by Skipper Douglas McGougan in 1980 and by 1983 had developed into a competition for the Jean King Trophy – it was always a day of fun, games and meeting other Beavers – and in the early days it was usually sunny!

In 1996 we celebrated 10 years of Beaver Scouting and in Greenock we set a challenge to the colonies. They were to make a banner and then see how many miles it could travel before Beaver Day. 6th Renfrew and Inverclyde won the Challenge as their banner went to Australia with the late Donald King and saw many exciting places!

Over the years Greenock Beavers have had lots of fun in their own colonies learning lots of new skills, making new friends and visiting a variety of places in the local area.

Each year the District does a Good Turn for other people – sometimes for people in Inverclyde and sometimes for those in other countries. These have included filling shoe boxes for Romania, doing odd jobs to buy garden furniture for the Little Sisters of the Poor and a bench for Bagatelle, collecting over 2000 pencils which Tommy Boag took to Uganda and giving a fair amount of money to local charities.

We have had District Christmas parties for many years now and Santa has even had to use a trolley to come visit us.

For the last few years we have taken over the Waterfront Cinema for a Saturday morning and Mr McNeill has shown us a film. This year we saw Mr Bean’s Holiday

Beavers have had chances to do badges since …. e.g. Animal Lover; Swimmer; IT; and more recently Healthy Eating; Adventure; and Emergency Aid. The Highest Award is Chief Scout’s Bronze Award, started in 1995, and to date Beavers in Greenock District have attained this badge.

Beavers have seen many changes since they were formed and while the motto is now ‘Be Prepared’ the original motto of ‘Fun and Friends’ is still at the heart of every colony, for leaders as well as youngsters. What will the next 100 years bring the Beaver section?

Click on the photo below and view a selection of photographs etc.

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