What a year for 1st Hinchley Wood Beavers!
Normally when writing the annual report we think of the badges awarded and then can remember the activities we enjoyed to achieve these badges. As the scout movement have decided to revamp the provision of badges I’ll just have to try and remember as best I can. Any omissions and errors are down to me.
This year the beavers were asked to use their brains, learn the theory of map reading and put it into practice by not getting lost in a trek in the woods. They also did some eggsperiments – blowing, throwing and showing the strength of eggs. They also had to design an apparatus to move eggs 5 metres without touching the ground or breaking using recyclable waste and junk modelling materials.
They learnt about disability and how much more difficult life can be for children with disabilities by visiting the Dysart school for children with profound learning difficulties. The staff members were extremely welcoming and stayed after work to allow the beavers to experience their mucky science lessons, interactive floor projection room, safe play area and physical therapy room. The beavers wanted all schools to be kitted out this well! The school had a garden area which wasn’t very exciting so we decided to see if we could help to improve this area by planting a sensory garden, decorating the existing containers and designing, painting and erecting a mural to add some colour to the space. The colony bought lots of nautical-themed wooden shapes and the beavers painted and decorated these. We then revisited the school with drills, screwdrivers and Dads and mounted all their hard work. The advantage of the shapes, with their tactile nature, was to make them accessible to children with visual impairment. When the beavers had finished the teachers came to have a look and immediately burst into tears at the transformation – if they didn’t like it they only had to say!!
As part of our disability badge, local father Alex Smith came to talk to us about the modifications he had to make to his life after he found out that his son, Harrison, had Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. Alex also told the beavers about his recent world record attempt where he completed an Ironman pulling and pushing Harrison with him. Some of the parents may have seen him in the recent Documentary ‘My Ironman Dad’
Burns night was celebrated by Scottish dancing and eating haggis. We had two expert dancers come and show us how to do a Scottish dance in complete traditional highland dress. We can’t say that the beavers were excellent at Scottish dancing but they certainly gave it a go.
The explorers who had gone to the world jamboree in Japan came back to tell us of their adventure complete with kimono for dressing up and practicing kung fu kicks.
Of course we also had the old stalwarts – cooking pancakes , District cross-country , Remembrance Day , Esher fire station visit , beavers Fun Day, Mothers Day, Father’s Day – and of course Group Camp at Walton Firs. No wonder the District Commissioner was called in to present lots of Chief Scout Bronze Awards over the course of the year.
None of this could take place without Leaders and volunteers to help make it possible. The Beaver leader team of Heidi Smith, Samantha Emmerson and Wendy Vincze, headed up by Ian Broderick, has welcomed new leader Deepa Solanki. Since last year Gill Wills and Fiona Smales have moved to other sections to help out there.
Another parent is needed to help long-serving rep Katie Sweeting. Although we have appealed for new parent reps none have come forward. The role is mainly an administrative & organisational one passing on information between leaders and parents, ensuring parent volunteers are in place and returning lost property. Can you help the beavers?