Cyndy Lloyd writes ……. This weekend 15/16th February 2020, our beaver colony held a sleepover in our Scout Hall. Despite the programme changes that had to be made thanks to Storm Dennis, all the beavers seemed to enjoy themselves.
On arrival, they were put into different tribes – Apache, Navajo and Cherokee and each tribe had a slightly different headdress. Beavers had to undertake different challenges to gain the feathers for their headdress.
So, the first order of the day, was make their headdress and gain their first feather! Saturday afternoon was spent learning to use a flint and steel, how to build a fire , making their own twists (which had to be cooked in the oven due to the high winds and rain). They made their own clay woggles and pots, and making placemats.
Tea time proved to be a bit of a challenge when they realised they had to help set the tables first. The aforementioned twists became a popular addition to tea!
We had a quiet session after tea and our giant lego collection was popular as always, keeping everyone happy and creative. (Not so much for the cleaner who keeps finding random bits of lego under the benches!)
Then it was time to sort out our accommodation for the night. This is where Pop-up tents really come into their own. The beavers chose a partner to share with and from a leaders point of view, it was lovely to see some of our older beavers looking after our youngest ones.
By the time the tents were sorted out and they had all found their pyjamas and set out their sleeping bags, which had already been in and out of their bags several times already, it was time to get ready for the film show. No popcorn though, they had had quite enough sugar for one day!
As always happens, getting them to sleep is always a challenge. Some go straight to sleep, some have to make multiple visits to the toilets, some are just so excited they find it hard to settle down. The first two were asleep within 10 minutes of going to bed, which was around 10 o’clock and the last one finally dropped off to sleep at 12.38am! That was quite a record, I have known it be 2.30am before they settled! I’m sure the elephants tripping to the toilet during the night were in competition with the strong winds. Needless to say, the leaders did not get much sleep!
Sunday morning was a hive of activity before breakfast.
All the kit and tents had to be cleared and packed away before we could have breakfast. Some of the beavers had learned the trick of stuffing their sleeping bags back into their stuffsacs, but the fancy sleeping mats (the self inflating ones) did prove a bit of a challenge, but were easily sorted when they realised they had to let the air out before they could roll them up! The downside of a pop up tent is putting it away! There is a skill to it and unfortunately, its not something that can be achieved by a small beaver scout! (or a grown up leader either!) Thank goodness the GSL had the knack!
The focus on Sunday was creative skills and cooking! The beavers tried out their weaving skills and the pots and woggles had to be painted and left to dry.
Then everyone got involved in making cookies! We couldnt locate our kitchen scales, so Tilly (our Young Leader) turned to Mr Google and we worked out how to measure everything with what we had available – a measuring jug for liquids!
Beavers also made their own sandwiches for lunch, some fruit kebabs and milkshakes. The verdict on the cookies? Well we only had crumbs left, so they must have been good!
After the washing up was done – another skill they were not expecting to practise, they had free time with games, table activities and lego by request.
Then it was time to get back into uniform. Everyone managed to keep track of their head dresses, not so much their neckers!
After some more games, it was time for the Investitures and badge presentation. Curtis and William our two newest beavers were invested and everyone was awarded their Nights Away 1 badge, Cooks badge and Campcraft. Well done Beavers – you were great!
Beaver Sleepovers don’t just happen, they take a team of leaders to make sure everything runs to plan.
Thanks are due to Julia and Andrew, our Section Assistants, Tilly our Explorer Scout Young Leader, Suzy our Explorer, Josef one of our volunteer helpers and Rob, my husband and our long suffering GSL and Geoff our Scout leader who always acts as our Home Contact.
My beavers and I are extremely grateful for your continued support and I know all the Beavers thoroughly enjoyed their weekend.