Rainbows or Beavers?

(23 Posts)
Allegrogirl Tue 27-Nov-12 14:27:31

I'd really like my DDs to experience guiding or scouting and have been looking into groups for DD1 who is 5. I loved the all girl nature of brownies or guides (missed out on rainbows as it wasn't invented when I was young). I loved outdoorsy stuff and wasn't a pink and girly girl but I was shy and boys made me very nervous! I was much more confident in an all girl setting.

My DD1 is very lively and physical. She has at least as many male friends as female and I think Beavers would really suit her. I feel a bit disloyal to guiding as I got so much from the movement and I feel that we may be pinching a Beavers place that a boy could have taken.

Can I ask whether you chose Beavers or Brownies for your DDs and why?

timetosmile Tue 27-Nov-12 14:32:28

I would say that you have to see exactly what the specific beaver colony and collective word for rainbows do, as they vary so much from town to town. See what parents' of current members think, and find out where her current friends go, if any!

DD was in a gluing-and-glittering brownie pack and was getting fed up with DSs fish gutting, firelighting scout escapades, but now a new Brown Owl has taken over, she comes home with more twigs and woodsmoke in her hair and is blisfully happy.

Its very very hard to generalise.

hellsbells99 Tue 27-Nov-12 14:33:11

I think you should leave Beavers for the boys to be honest! It is good for boys to have time with boys and like wise the same applies for girls. My girls did Rainbows for this reason and have carried on through Guides. I got involved so that I could have some say in what activities they did! They have done activity holidays, normal pack holidays, camping, canoeing, campfires, painting nails, science trips, orienteering, fashion shows, Big Gig concerts etc etc

madwomanintheattic Tue 27-Nov-12 14:47:50

Dd2 did both.
Dd1 did rainbows.
Ds1 did beavers.

Houseworkprocrastinator Tue 27-Nov-12 14:54:19

i might be wrong but i think they have to be 6 to start beavers but can join rainbows at 5. i agree it totally depends on who is running it, my daughters rainbows do loads of things and i really like the whole being kind ethos.

Chopstheduck Tue 27-Nov-12 14:56:05

I think you should leave Beavers for the boys to be honest! It is good for boys to have time with boys and like wise the same applies for girls.

^^ this

I resent it a bit that there are a couple of girls in the dts beaver colony. ds1 never got a place there because it was oversubscribed, yet i couldn't very well apply for him to go to rainbows! There are two rainbows groups for this area, and only one beavers, it seems unfair for the girls to be taking beaver places.

sausagesandwich34 Tue 27-Nov-12 15:01:19

I would be amazed if you could get DD into either to be honest if you don't already have their name down

I'm a brownie leader and the rainbows attached to my brownies has a 3 year waiting list and if they aren't on it by the time they are 3 they won't get in (but if anyone wants to voulnteer as an adult helper and get the waiting lists down it would be appreciated)

I stuck with guiding because I think that it's fantastic that girls get to be girls and this becomes more important as they get older and don't have the added dynamic of wondering what the boys think

I've just taken my brownies away and they were building fires, playing in a stream etc etc

they loved it

I think it's huge shame that boys don't have the same single sex opportunity anymore -our local cubs the girls outnumber the boys 2:1 and consequently it's a very crafty pack

Houseworkprocrastinator Tue 27-Nov-12 15:40:52

Can boys join rainbows if they wanted to?

Allegrogirl Tue 27-Nov-12 15:42:23

Thanks all for your thoughts.

I don't know anyone locally in Beavers or Rainbows. Most of our friends have DCs just turned 5 like DD1 and they live in other areas of the city. DD has just started reception and as I only do pick up twice a week I haven't met any other parents in the playground yet. I hope to at some point but with 90 children including a new YR class it's a bit hectic and I don't even know who are the parents of DDs classmates.

The local Rainbows is at 4.45 on a day I work. GPs pick up one day a week and I could get them to swap their day to take DD. I would be happy to help the unit out if it was one the days I'm not at work. There is no waiting list for this unit. I have asked for the details of other units that may meet on other days but it would be nice to start meeting people in our immediate community.

The local scout website says a new unit has opened up in my area. It looks like the meet in the next street to us so would be very convenient. I'm waiting to hear back what night they meet on.

I appreciate what people are saying about the benefits of single sex actiivty as boys and girls grow older. It certainly benefitted me to be in a girls only environment. I would also not want us to prevent a boy from taking up a place. It may be as Rainbows is undersubsribed that scouting and guiding aren't that popular here. I will wait to here what the local scout group contact replies to me.

Is it still the case that Cubs can camp but Brownies can't? This always seemed terribly unfair to me.

BadRoly Tue 27-Nov-12 15:44:39

Mine do both because I am a Brownie leader and dh is a Cub leader. If they wanted to drop either they could.

Actually that's a slight lie as the eldest dd does Guides/Scouts because she is 11!

Floralnomad Tue 27-Nov-12 15:48:13

It's not girls that make a beavers/ cubs "crafty" it's all down to the leaders . Even within groups if there is 2 or 3 packs there can be vast differences in oppurtunities. I was a beaver and cub leader for several years and we always camped with our cubs at least 3 times a year , the other pack in the group were averaging about 1 camp per year . We took girls and did mainly outdoors stuff , if they didn't like it they left!

BadRoly Tue 27-Nov-12 15:51:18

Cross posted. I don't have a camp permit because I have 4 children and a husband who works away Mon-Fri. I don't want to spend valuable family time doing the training and then subsequent camps. But that is my personal choice. When we find someone willing, we have sleepovers but they are in buildings (far more civilised here in rainy Cornwall). Our girls seem happy with this.

Dh also does not have a camp permit but because the akela at his pack does, he goes on cub camp. In fact we ALL go on cub camp where possible as I get roped into the kitchen side of things so that the leaders can get on and do their thing.

Like someone up thread said, try it and see. Every unit will depend largely on who is running it and what they like to do. Although they are meant to be led by the children, there will be a fair amount of encouraging wink by the leaders...

sausagesandwich34 Tue 27-Nov-12 16:02:32

you're right it's not the girls that make it crafty but the children are involved in planning (certainly in guiding they are anyway) and if you get a batch of very crafty children it does go that way

we used to be crafty then turned sporty

brownies can camp but there are not many leaders willing to camp which is sad

Allegrogirl Tue 27-Nov-12 16:03:16

BadRoly so can Brownies camp if there is a leader with a camping permit? My DDs are Devon born with a DH from windy West Wales. They have no fear of wind and rain. They love camping and have done so in Cornwall in the pouring rain. The lack of camping thing was the only thing that made me jealous of Cubs! I was a Cornish (ish as not by birth) Girl Guide so familiar with weather down there.

sausagesandwich34 Tue 27-Nov-12 16:04:39

and no boys can't join rainbows/brownies/guides

Allegrogirl Tue 27-Nov-12 16:05:16

sausagesandwich34 cross post regarding the camping. I'd be happy to help on a Brownie camp bit not sure I'd be brave enough to be in charge.

BadRoly Tue 27-Nov-12 16:05:44

Don't know to be honest as its never been something I've wanted to do with them blush. I suspect they can't, not under canvas anyway but I genuinely don't know blush

BadRoly Tue 27-Nov-12 16:07:42

guidingmanual.guk.org.uk/activities/residential_events/brownie_camp.aspx

If that works then according to Guiding manual, yes they can!

sausagesandwich34 Tue 27-Nov-12 16:14:13

I've helped on one brownie camp and won't do it again for a looooong time

the girls weren't too bad, got less sleep than on pack holidays but were pretty well behaved and enjoyed themselves

the leaders on the other hand did nothing but moan about how cold they were, how uncomfortable etc etc

none had ever been camping before and only 1 had done pack holiday so not entirely sure why they thought it would be a good idea hmm

it's really sad because when I was 14-18 I camped and hiked all over the place and was away at least once a month on various camps and activities

timetosmile Tue 27-Nov-12 19:34:24

Just want to give a brew and thanks to all you guiding and scouting leaders and helpers. You give up a huge amount of your free time, and thousands of 5-16+ year olds have a fantastic time because of it x

ChiefOwl Wed 28-Nov-12 14:46:38

Brownies can do overnights (sleepovers) camps or pack holiday depending on which licenses the leader holds. Rainbows can only do overnights I believe. I would go and look at some units as they will be very different!

ByTheWay1 Wed 28-Nov-12 14:54:51

If you want to go on through Brownies you need to get their name on a list somewhere - I go a call last week saying they now had a place for my Youngest - she is 10 - went on the list 4 years ago...! we are now busy doing other things...

Allegrogirl Wed 28-Nov-12 20:33:48

ByTheWay1 both Beavers and Rainbows have got back to me to say they have places so maybe they're not popular here.

I think we'll give Beavers a go as it is in the next street. They're new and really want new members. As it's the closest it's likely there will be other children from her school. It's the most convenient night of the week too.

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