How old are we? Beavers at 25.

Reigate College became temporary home to numerous colonies of Beavers, all eager to have fun celebrating the 25th Birthday of Beaver Scouts, at their district event. What an array of things to do: craft, sport, food and fun activities. Over 160 eager little Beavers were dropped off by parents and handed into the care of a variety of other animals. The foxes, otters, moles, rabbits, birds and badgers welcomed the beavers to their temporary new lodge and began a busy day of action.

P1010138Beavers all took part in events with 25 as the theme. These included getting to know 25 new friends, taking part in making a 25th birthday cake by decorating cupcakes to make one huge, sugary, crunchy, chewy, colourful cake to share. For more sustenance for the body, we all ate a packed lunch in warm bright sunshine, and the evening meal and breakfast were served in the college refectory. What feasts we all enjoyed! Beavers and leaders ate well and many thanks are due to the friendly chef and his staff who cooked and served us all so efficiently and generously.

Splatting rats (25 times), blindfold ball into bucket dropping (25 times) and other diverse sporting events, such as obstacle races (yes, 25 of them) burnt off the energy always present at Beaver events and the stunning results of related quieter crafts were tucked into a brown bag of goodies for each Beaver to take home. Somehow the leaders managed to keep up with the Beavers until nightfall.

The 6 year olds then returned home and the older beavers stayed on for the sleepover.

Did it stop there? Of course not! We sang along to 25 camp-fire songs. Washing was done in relays, sleeping bags shaken out and wriggled into. A hall full of Beavers settled down with a fun film to send them to sleep. All the other animals and birds noted how well the Beavers settled down and slept after a day brimming with good humour and filled with new exciting games and crafts.

Morning broke and the Beavers, after a really good long sleep, woke lively and ready for more 25 challenges. The other animals and youth helpers woke and dragged themselves somewhat less enthusiastically, from their overnight dens and after breakfast we all did more 25s. We learned to say hello in 25 languages and to recognise 25 flags. We did 25 keep fit movements, the Beavers seemed better at these than the leaders, hmmm?

After a Scout’s Own, where every colony had its say, some thoughtful insights were heard, then Beavers were collected by carers and parents.

Left behind the foxes, otters, moles, rabbits, birds and badgers cleared away the craft, collected the crayons, gathered in the glue sticks, swept the giant lodge, now just a quiet sports hall, somewhat sad that it had all ended. No lively eager boys and girls rushing here and there, no noisy encouraging shouts in team events, not even a crumb of birthday cake remained – just a feeling of quiet satisfaction and a strengthening of the knowledge of what a privilege it is to be part of the Beaver Scouts.

With very grateful thanks to the three leaders taking their over-nights challenge, and all the others involved in providing such a fitting and fun 25th Birthday Party Event.