Beaver Scout History
Beavering Away – A history of Beaver Scouting in the U.K.
Even after 1916 and the formation of the Wolf Cubs the pressure from younger brothers to join in the fun of Scouting never really went away. The U.K.’s answer to this was the Beaver Scout Section. Many people think that the section started in the early eighties, but in reality, it started as early as 1963 in Northern Ireland.
The first Pre-Cub section was started by the 1st Dromore Group in N. Ireland, it was initially known as The Little Brothers. Two years later seven more Groups started up in Belfast. In 1966 (the year of the great shake up in U.K. Scouting) the name Beavers was adopted (this had been one of the names that Baden-Powell had considered fifty years earlier when starting the Wolf Cubs), and the final details of uniform, age-range and basic organisation adopted. In the following few years the support was set up to help the Leaders, and reports were made to the Scout Association with details of the progress. Five years later, in 1971, there were approximately 900 boys and 150 leaders in 60 teams.
1973 saw the formation of Beavers across the Atlantic, and the next year the Scout Association of Ireland started Beavers up in the Republic of Ireland. The following year saw an important step along the road to full integration when the sections name changed to Beaver Scouts. It also saw a national working party set up to consider provisions for under eights in the rest of the U.K. The Wellbeloved Report was commissioned to consider this, and was generally in support of Pre-Cub organisations and recommended further action to be taken, this was taken up by the working party. The first stage was to set up a trial on mainland Britain, and has become quite common, Scotland was chosen to start the ball rolling.
Beavering really got underway in October 1982, when they were officially introduced throughout the U.K., with the introduction of the new uniform (of a grey sweatshirt and turquoise necker with a maroon woggle – and optional jogging bottoms) for boys. Three and a half years later (on April 1st, 1986) the Beaver Scouts finally became an official section throughout the U.K., with the adoption of a simple promise, and so the Beavers became official members of the World Scout Organisation.
The first Beaver training scheme of consisted of just the membership badge and one other badge. The later awarded after the boy had been (active) in the Colony for at least a year. For a long time just one badge was felt to be not enough, as a whole year was viewed as a long time for a boy to wait for his Beaver Badge; and what would you do with a boy who had finished his Beaver badge, as he no longer had anything to work for. Some Colonies added their own badges to their scheme to recognise the progress of the boys.
In 1995 as part of a relaunch of the section (with new handouts and booklets) this was rectified to a certain extent with the introduction of a new badge scheme, very similar to the old, but with the single Beaver Scout badge being split into two halves (of six months each) and the introduction of a new Beaver Scout Challenge.
Other minor changes in the first ten years of Beaver Scouting on the mainland UK have been: the option of replacing the turquoise necker with the Group necker (about 1990); the acceptance of girls in all sections of the movement in 1992; and (when the section was relaunched in 1995) the option for lodge coloured woggles instead of the maroon beaver woggle.
Beaver Scout Badge Requirements (1986-1995)
Beaver Scout Membership Badge
The Beaver Scout Membership Badge is presented to the Beaver Scout at a Beaver Scout Promise Ceremony, when he makes the Beaver Scout Promise.
1. Be told about the beaver animal.
2. Know the Colony opening ceremony.
3. Know the Beaver Scout motto.
4. Know the Beaver Scout promise.
Beaver Scout Badge
1. Have been a Beaver Scout for at least nine months.
2. Have been in a Colony which has had a variety of activities, including singing and acting, making something, local nature and local knowledge, home and road safety.
3. Have taken part in a Colony visit or day out.
4. Have taken part in a Colony good turn.
Beaver Scout Badge Requirements (1995-2002)
Beaver Scout Membership Badge
Note: This is awarded at a Promise Ceremony after four-six weeks in the Colony.
1. Know and understand the Beaver Scout Promise, the Motto and the Scout Sign and talk about them with a Leader.
2. Know the Badges you will receive at your Investiture and know how to wear your scarf.
3. Take part in a Colony opening and/or closing ceremony and know what to do at your Investiture.
4. Know the Leader’s names in the Colony.
5. Find out about the beaver animal and life in a real beaver colony.
First Beaver Scout Badge
To take part with your Colony in an active and balanced Colony programme for approximately six-eight months.
Note:The first Beaver Scout badge is not usually awarded to any Beaver Scout joining the Colony after their seventh birthday.
Second Beaver Scout Badge
To continue to take part with your Colony in an active and balanced Colony programme for a further six-eight months.
Beaver Scout Challenge
Note: The Beaver Scout Challenge is optional. It is awarded to individual Beaver Scouts who are both willing and able to complete the four challenges. If attempted, the challenge should be completed during the Beaver Scout’s last few months in the Colony. The challenges may be planned and done in groups but each Beaver Scout must complete all four challenges.
With your Leader discuss the challenges you would like to try.
Achieve something you have not done before by setting yourself a personal challenge.
Take part in an activity with other Members of your Scout Group.
Take part in an exciting activity out of doors that you have helped choose.
Carry out a good turn that you have helped to choose.
The Beaver Scout Promise
I promise to do my best
to be kind and helpful
and to love God.
The Beaver Scout Motto
Until 2002 the Beaver Scout Motto was:
Fun and Friends!
The Beaver Scouts now use the Scout Motto: