The 1st Henley Beavers meet on Sunday evenings during term-time between 5 and 6.30. Girls and boys are eligible to join when they turn six, and leave us to join Cubs when they turn eight.
We currently have 26 Beavers and a team of five enthusiastic adult leaders, and there are several volunteering options for parents keen to get involved. We run a rolling two-year programme of activities which aims to develop the confidence and skills of the Beavers. We try to spend as much time as possible outside, enjoying hikes, campfires and wide games in the woods. In the winter months we usually meet in the Scouts HQ and focus on building teamwork and practical skills, learning about the world, and, of course, earning badges!
Highlights from 2022 included learning about planes (and sitting in them!) at Waltham airfield, bell-boating on the river, songs by the campfire at our Youlbury camp, a walkie-talkie treasure hunt, shooting the firehose at Henley fire station, and epic games of capture the flag in Harpsden wood.
Beavers are encouraged to work in teams and to develop confidence in speaking to an audience and sharing their ideas. For the older ones there are opportunities to learn about leadership as Lodge Leaders. Of course, we also have lots of fun playing games.
Beavers attend Henley’s annual Remembrance Parade with the rest of the 1st Henley Scouts group, as well as a range of other groupwide events, and we have arranged visits to venues as varied as RAF Benson, Reading Climbing Wall and Pizza Express.
Each year we aim to have at least one overnight residential experience just for Beavers, and another as part of a groupwide camp. For most of the children these are their first experiences of a ’night away’ and we often have parent volunteers staying over to help out. Sometimes we also run sleepovers in the Scouts HQ as a first step.
Beavers is a great introduction to the world of Scouting, and it’s amazing to see how much the youngsters’ confidence grows over their two years with us.