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.