Friday, 9 September 2016

Urban Hike - Manchester

As  a mum I love to get my kids out of the house and off for a walk, most Friday's you'll find me sat on the laptop whilst they are at school trying to find somewhere new to go or even an unknown walk  with things to see and do around Sheffield.

At the beginning of the year our Beavers set out for a JOTT walk, which they really enjoyed (you can find out more here). When I was told about Manchester's Urban Hike that Regatta launched earlier this month (working alongside Anja Phoenix).  I was intrigued, so me and the boys set off for Manchester on a glorious summers day to find out more.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Essex International Jamboree 2016 - Junior Jam

The Essex International Jamboree happens every 4 years in Chelmsford, Essex bringing together Scouts and Guides from all over the world for a week of activities, camping and friendships.  For the first time ever they opened their doors to organised groups of Beavers, Cubs, Brownies and Rainbows for their very own Junior Jam (a Jamboree in a day).   The children had an absolutely amazing day and all want to go back in 4 years time for the main Jamboree, I've started the savings account so I can also make it back.

So what happens at a Junior Jam?  Read on to find out more.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Campfires and Marshmallows

When we went on our camp the lovely Innovative Bites sent us some Mega Marshmallows so we could toast them on our campfire.  Who would have known that June in Sheffield was to turn into monsoon season.  Needless to say we didn't get a campfire :(

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

The Beavers go to Space

.. ok so they didn't actually go to space but they did go to a fantastic (if I do say so myself) Space Camp.


The Beavers arrived on Friday and helped the leaders and helpers to pitch the patrol tents that they would be staying in  .......

(well that was the theory) ... some took the opportunity to enjoy their freedom and see how much camp mud they could gather in the first hour.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Run, dodge or throw, 150th (Wadsley Church) Sheffield Beavers are dodgeball pros for the British Heart Foundation!

Children from 150th (Wadsley Church) Sheffield Beaver Colony are ready to battle it out on Saturday 25th June in an Ultimate Dodgeball tournament for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

In You Go ..................!

As a new recruit to the Scouting volunteer circle I love to hear of other peoples experiences so when I discovered John Hemming-Clark had written a book all about being a new Scouting volunteer it went straight to the top of my Birthday List (and yay, my mummy bought it for me).

Although John is a Scout Master in his role I couldn't help but think "that would be my Beavers" to some of the experiences he recalls..... I also can't help thinking just how pleased I am to be working with the younger section :)

I don't get time to read at home so the book came to and from work with me for the best part of a month, this was probably not the best idea as it involved many journeys sitting on the tram laughing to myself.

From tales of rogue poos to desperate wees, from Wellygate to Motor Homes, cheating parents to competitive helpers and impromptu fundraising and even the time he met a Bear, the book has it all.  And yes John (if you read this) - I did spend my lunch time at work trying to find the London Badge your colony won as I'm looking for a good one for when I take my kids (Beavers) away in the Summer - I was hoping there would be a set of Beaver requirements ...... before finishing the chapter on my way home!!

Friday, 20 May 2016

WWF - One Planet Future

With the introduction of the new Beavers Badges we were finding it difficult this year to cover the Community elements.  Whenever we thought of an idea to help locally we were hit with a stumbling block so we decided to look further afield and select the WWF as our charity of choice.

The WWF have a lot of resources for Youth Groups but the one that stood out for me was the "One Planet Future" badge.  This is a series of tasks for the children to complete and a badge that can be purchased for their Camp Blankets.  It's also really easy to tie in with other Beaver badges.  We decided that 3 weeks was about the right amount of time to spend on this, considering how many elements it included.

The Challenge is split into 4 sections:
- Introducing the WWF and One Planet Future film
- Safeguarding the natural world
- Tackling Climate Change
- Changing the way we live.

The pack contains lots of ideas for children from 6 - 14 years old and the idea is that you choose the activities best suited to your group, at least one from each section to raise awareness of all the issues.  If you need the printed pack make sure you order it well in advance as it took mine 3 months to arrive.  Also order the badges as soon as possible as I had problems with mine.

Fairtrade Night

One of the things I've come to learn in my relatively short time as a Assistant Beaver Leader is that some badges are easier to cover during meetings then others, some just lend themselves to children having fun.  The Global badge is one that sits on the line - there are some really boring elements "keep a recycling diary" and then there is "Try different kinds of Fairtrade products".  One thing you'll know about (most) 6-8 year olds is that if it involves food or mess they will be up for the challenge.  The Plan was to make Chocolate Bananas (a scouting favourite), except then I realised we had children who were allergic/ intolerant to Bananas and Chocolate, so the plan had to change to a tasting platter.

Then we hit the stumbling block.. we had already overspent on this terms budget and we weren't even up to half term.  There was no way we could spend lots of money on Fairtrade foods, unless we could get some help.....

Sunday, 15 May 2016

JOTT (Jamboree On The Trail) 2016

Whoever said Beavers can't do as much as Cubs and Scouts had clearly never met our Beaver Scouts.
My first major activity as an Assistant Beaver Leader was to plan the JOTT walk for 2016.  It's the first time our colony have taken part and it's not going to be the last.

For those who have never heard of it, and I've met quite a few leaders who haven't, JOTT (Jamboree On The Trail) is "an annual day for the World Scout Movement to hike together. All Scouts, whatever their age and wherever they may be in the world, are invited to participate in whatever way they can. Beaver Scouts could visit a local park, walking the trails and playing games. Cub Scouts could visit a local nature trail as part of a weekend camp. A Scout Troop might check out a hiking trail while working on badge requirements. An Explorer Unit might make a Service Project out of restoring or maintaining a hiking trail. In their own way, everyone will be hiking the same direction; towards a better future through Scouting."

JOTT is held on the second Saturday of May each year so it one of those activities that is really easy to plan into the calender well in advance and with no restrictions other than your own risk assessments it's a great opportunity to show your children how they are part of the wider Scouting community.

And as an added bonus it comes with it's own special badge for leaders to order for anyone who took part.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Scouting needs you

One thing I've discovered since becoming an Assistant Beaver Scout Leader is how unwilling (or unable) people are to give up their time to help with meetings.  I'm not talking about everyone obviously as there are 100,000 volunteers in Scouting across the world who do an amazing job - if you are nodding along to this sentence you are one of them.

This week one of out brilliant assistant leaders had to step down due to work pressures (we all know that feeling don't we) so for the last 2 weeks I've been putting messages on my emails and in newsletters asking for parents to help out, I've also been using social media to recruit, tweeting and emailing out to voluntary groups I know of and even asking the church we are next to to get the message out and yet no one has come forward, not even to say "I can do next week for you".

Don't get me wrong some of our parents will help, they just like to wait until 10 minutes before the meeting to make that decision and I'm a bit of a planning freak - I like to know who to expect so I can assign them roles in my planning (my brain turns to mush about 5.30pm). One night we had an amazing 4 parents stay, last week the local uni sent us 5 volunteers - I almost didn't know what to do with them all, they seemed to enjoy themselves but as yet none have got in touch to say "Sign me up"!!!!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Bringing the Teddy Bears Hospital to Beavers

With 2 boys of my own (1 a Beaver and 1 in training) I have spent more than my fair share of time at the Sheffield Children's Hospital in the last 2 years.  From X-rays to bandages my boys haven't been scared at all, and I really do think the Teddy Bears Hospital (TBH) has had something to do with this.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Campfire Songs: My Name's Jo

This week we started our mission to teach the Beavers a campfire song every week to build up
their repertoire.

I started with a favourite of mine from my Brownie days - "My Name's Jo". There's various versions of this on the internet, however the version I remembered went like this.

It's a repeat after me song so leader says the line and the Beavers say it back.

And like I said to my Beavers - you have to sing it with a silly accent to make it a really silly song!!

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Cook Badge (activity)

This weekend me and Ben have been really busy working on his Cook activity badge for Beavers. With part 4 already ticked off it was a case of proving his knowledge and getting it evidenced on paper.

This is how we did it - it's a really easy one to tick off through meetings or to send home with resources/ links for your parents.

Friday, 22 January 2016

The Big Beaver (Scouts) Postcard Swap - part 3

And they're off....................

This week the Beavers had a great time filling in the postcard proformas and posting them off to Beaver Colonies around the UK and Internationally.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Navigator - Stage 1 badge

 Ahead of the postcard swap starting for us next week we introduced the Beavers to basic navigation
skills tonight.

We used the compasses to find North but ran out of time to go into a lot of details (however we play North, South, East, West quite a lot).

We got out the large OS maps and asked them to guess what they thought symbols meant before looking them up in the key to check and see if they could find them on the map (we have a shortage of lighthouses in central Sheffield much to their amazement!).