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to let DS1 join the Beavers

(43 Posts)
TheHouseofMirth Tue 24-Jan-12 20:16:19

when DH & I are atheist republicans? Don't they have to swear an oath to god and the Queen? Or can they opt out of that bit? Or am I overthinking it all?!

Bunbaker Tue 24-Jan-12 20:19:51

"Or am I overthinking it all?!"
Yes. You aren't joining Beavers your son is.

MrsJamesMartin Tue 24-Jan-12 20:20:38

When they are invested Beavers say
I promise to do my best, to be kind and helpful and to love God.

It is a lot of fun and my DS loves it, seems a shame to make him miss out. Our beaver colony say the promise as one when a new child is invested. Think you are over thinking it tbh

ABigGirlDoneItAndRanAway Tue 24-Jan-12 20:23:21

It depends how much of a problem it would be if he did choose to make the promise in order to join and then again to move up to scouts. I think most of the scouting organisations are religious in that we were expected to say a goodnight prayer at the end of guides and attend a church service every remembrance day so if this aspect of it would be a real problem for you then maybe discourage him from joining and get him to join a different sort of club.

mojitomania Tue 24-Jan-12 20:24:34

I'm an athiest and my son has been to Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and now Explorers. It's a wonderful organisation run by very dedicated people. None of which have come across as very religious. In fact I know they aren't wink

mummymeister Tue 24-Jan-12 20:26:08

If you are worried have a word with the leader. one of my sons buddies affirmed when he joined and no one batted an eyelid. it would be such a shame for him to miss out on such a great club for boys because of this. (he will probably grow up to be Archbishop of Canterbury!!)

Onetwothreeoops Tue 24-Jan-12 20:27:33

I think maybe you are over thinking it. Surely as atheists the words are meaningless rather than offensive in any way. I don't think you can opt out, my DH who is a leader thinks not but it's only used when they get invested. On a normal night they have a non-religious "yell" at the start and then one person says a prayer at the end. I don't know if this is standard for all groups though.


cantspel Tue 24-Jan-12 20:28:21

You are atheist republicans not your son so if he wants to join beavers then let him. Your son might grow up to be a atheist republicans or he might grow into a christan rightwing tory or somewhere inbetween and i doubt beavers will be the over riding influence in his decision.

EduStudent Tue 24-Jan-12 20:28:42

I help at Brownies. I don't believe in God. The Brownie promise is slightly different, as it states 'my God', rather than simply God like the Beaver promise.

Personally, I take it all very loosely, so to me, when I am promising to love God, I am promising to think of others and act in a good way. Similarly, I take the promise to 'serve the Queen and my country' in a similar way, by taking it as helping others and the community etc.

They are, in the main, not religious organisations, although some units/colonies which meet in church halls may be involved in some church activities. I personally feel that the benefits of joining what is actually quite a diverse organisation outweigh having to promise to love something I don't believe in.

TheHouseofMirth Tue 24-Jan-12 20:28:52

I'm not bothered about the religious aspect (actually he attends a Cof E school) but I guess it just feels rather wrong to encourage him take a vow which is meaningless to him.

cece Tue 24-Jan-12 20:29:37

We are atheist and I have two DC in the Guides/Scouts and one on the waiting list.

It is so fab, your DS will miss a lot for the sake of one word???

MrsJamesMartin Tue 24-Jan-12 20:32:18

He must pray at school if he goes to a C of E school. He must ask God to 'forgive his trespasses and lead him not into temptation,' the beaver promise is no different. If the school prayers mean nothing then does it matter if the beaver promise means nothing? Although promising to be kind and helpful and doing your best are not bad promises.

sodapops Tue 24-Jan-12 20:35:43

DS2 went and loved it. We are atheist too and I never had a problem with it.
I think you are over thinking it TBH.

TheHouseofMirth Tue 24-Jan-12 20:37:48

MrsJamesMartin you're right. The other bits of the promise are lovely and we can talk about the god bit in the same way we do school prayers etc (Daddy & I don't believe in that but some people do and it's up to you to decide what you think yourself).

Yes, I am overthinking it! Though that's no worse than not thinking about it at all.

YouOldSlag Tue 24-Jan-12 20:39:32

* I guess it just feels rather wrong to encourage him take a vow which is meaningless to him.* What if he wants to get married in church one day? smile

Anyway, I think you are overthinking. It's tradition, not brain washing. As cantspel says, Beavers won't be an overriding influence on his future beliefs. The benefits however, will be amazing and character building.

Dustinthewind Tue 24-Jan-12 20:39:39

Ditto what mojitomania posted.

berylmuspratt Tue 24-Jan-12 20:58:01

My OH is an atheist, my ds is 6 and joined the Beavers last June - he flippin loves it, he is making friends and gaining in confidence in a big group - this has been a major hurdle at school. I can't recommend that you let your boy join enough.
I've just been on rota this evening and we spent the session making Chinese dragon puppets - wish I could become a member, it's ace smile

laptopdancer Tue 24-Jan-12 21:00:20

I know someone who wont let her son join because its a protestant organisation.
No joke.

TheHouseofMirth Tue 24-Jan-12 21:14:52

Youoldslag I'm kind of assuming he'll be an adult by the time he gets married and will be capable of making his owns choices about making meaningless vows!

ReindeerBollocks Tue 24-Jan-12 21:17:00

I struggled (20+ years ago) as they always handed out the badges at Church on Sunday. I earnt a fair few badges but they wouldn't let me have them as I didn't attend the Church - we weere Catholic and were at another church on Sunday, but they still refused.

I'd check they didn't have a policy similar to that, and if not, then I'd let them go.

ReindeerBollocks Tue 24-Jan-12 21:17:18


EllenJaneisnotmyname Tue 24-Jan-12 22:45:54

My ex and I are atheists and I bloody love the scouting movement. Who else would take DS2 with ASD camping, canoeing and up mountains etc. I've got one in cubs, scouts and explorers at the moment. My take is, I'm an atheist so whatever promises they make to God are a load of balony, anyway. So long as they become nice people.

Bunbaker Wed 25-Jan-12 12:21:50

"I'd check they didn't have a policy similar to that, and if not, then I'd let them go."

I have never come across that in my years in the Guiding movement, neither has DD and neither does my sister who is a group scout leader. Badges are given out at the meetings.

GnomeDePlume Wed 25-Jan-12 12:45:46

I would say it depends on the group. Our local groups are very church oriented:

- Prepare for Sunday Church Parade
- Perform Sunday Church Parade
- Debrief from Sunday Church Parade
- Prepare for Sunday Church Parade

DD1 got fed up and also found it difficult as she wouldnt be attending Sunday Church Parade.

IME the problem with many of these groups is that they know how to deal with a different religion not with an absence of religion.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 25-Jan-12 12:50:52

You're overthinking it. My cubs say their promise once at investiture. Deities of any form rarely get a look-in the rest of the time as we're far too busy doing other things. Church parade (once a month), St George's Day events and the Remembrance Service are obviously god-oriented but not compulsory.

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