Beaver Scouts (Baden-Powell Scouts' Association)
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Beaver Scouts, usually referred to as Beavers, is the youngest section of Scouting operated by the Baden-Powell Scouts' Association. The core age range for Beaver Scouts is five to eight years, though exceptions can be granted. Individual sections of Beaver Scouts, known as a Colony, are run by the local Scout Group. After reaching the age of eight, a Beaver Scout will then move on to Wolf Cubs.
Originating in Canada in 1973, Beaver Scouts have been a section of the Baden-Powell Scouts' Association since 1982 as a response to other Youth Organisations, such as the Boy's Brigade opening their doors to younger children.
A Beaver Colony is a section of the Scout Group aimed at children from 5 to 8 years. The Scout Officer in charge of the Colony will be a Beavermaster, assisted by Assistant Beavermasters and Instructors.
Beaver Scout Colonies are controlled by the local Scout Group, with each colony being divided into a number of Lodges. The Beaver in charge of a Lodge is known as a 'Leading Beaver', who is assisted by a 'Second Beaver'. Where there is an outstanding Beaver, in the latter stages of the Training Scheme, they may be appointed as 'Colony Leader'. This is a similar role to that of Senior Sixer in the Wolf Cub pack. The Colony Leader will assist the Beavermaster.
The Beaver Scout promise is a simpler version of the Scout promise:
- I promise to do my best,
- To obey my Leaders and my parents,
- and to be a good Beaver.
The Beaver Scouts motto is Busy and Bright.
UK Beaver Prayer
- Dear Lord, help me to be a good Beaver,
- always busy and bright.
- Be with those so dear to me
- and help me do things right. Amen.
The Beaver Scout uniform is a grey jumper and group scarf (neckerchief), a cap or beret, with navy blue activity trousers.
International sections of the Baden-Powell Scouts' Association have variations on the above, an example of which being B-PSA Ireland's Beaver Promise of, "I promise to love God and to Help take care of the World."
Awards and Badges
Beaver Scouts can earn a number of awards and badges. Upon investiture, Beaver Scouts are awarded the Kitten Badge, which is worn on the left breast and in the central panel of a Wolf Cub cap, or a similar position on a beret.
The First, Second and Third Footprint badges are awarded on the completion of activities from four activity areas which are; Learning, Developing, Exploring and Discovering. Each badge should take four to six months to complete.
Once a Beaver Scout has completed all four Footprint Badges, they are eligible to complete the Dam Builder badge, which is a link between the Beaver Colony and the Wolf Cub Pack. This badge is worn in the Wolf Cub section until it is replaced by the Leaping Wolf badge.
There are seven award badges that can be earned by Beaver Scouts. These are the Colony Holiday Award (Silver), Pack Holiday Award (Gold), Project Award, Service Award, Hobby Award, Friendship Badge, and the Citizenship Award.
B-P Beavers', The Handbook for Beavermasters, BPSA (1993)