New Beavers Leader earns stressed Activity badge!(12 Posts)
I've got my very first Beavers group on Wednesday. I've never been a Beaver, know nothing about Beavers and I am a complete and utter novice however no-one else would step up to the make and now here I am planning for the boys for the next few weeks. Does anyone have any ideas based on their own experiences especially as I have one or two boys who are a little mischievous and keeping their attention is a full time occupation. But they do make me smile and they have lovely manners
Has anyone got any tips for me? I have 7 boys and would love more to join but Im not sure how to go about it. Im thinking a Bring a friend night. Im also trying to arrange trips for them but with only 7 kids its quite expensive. What sort of money is acceptable for these trips? Can I join up with other groups in the area to reduce prices?
We are starting with our cyclist badge this week, health and fitness next week, and then after easter we going to blow things up for our science badge.
Ive got my appointments interview soon, and Im busy training. Someone said it was only an hour a week!
Have you not got any girls?
I haven't done Beavers for years, I do Rainbows these days, but my sister does Cubs, so hopefully i can be some help.
Yes you can join with other groups for trips, sisters cubs often join with the same groups beavers and/or scouts so that could be an option too.
Trips wise, it doesn't always have to be expensive, if you have a school with a young farmers group they'll sometimes do quite hand on sessions cheaply (my local one charges £1.50 per person) fire station do free tours, tesco do a free thing called farm to fork, they take them on a tour behind the scenes usually do some food tasting, give them a goody bag and a badge. Metro bank do an evening where they'll show you behind the scenes, again free and with goody bags at the end. hikes, nature reserves and trips to the park are usually a hit too.
Not cheap ideas - tobogganing has been my Rainbows favourite activity so far, you will need 1:1 ratio though as Beavers are too young to go on on their own
Acceptable price depends on your area and how affluent it is, plus what you are doing, we generally subsidise trips from unit funds and try to keep it under £10, unless it's something really special.
Bring a friend night sounds good, you could also try asking local schools if they can let you do an assembly (maybe wait til you've been there a bit first) and advertise that you have spaces in school/church/community newsletters and any shops that will stick a poster up for you.
Are they doing a badge every week? or did i misread that? everyone loves a badge
apart from the parents sewing them on but you need to remember that they are meant to be a challenge so maybe stretch them out a bit, and that badge costs start to add up. also that there are only so many badges and you don't want to end up having to repeat things.
glad to see Scouts conning people in with 'it's only an hour a week, i thought it was just us Guiders getting caught out on that one
You should have a District Beaver Leader (possibly called an Assistant District Commissioner - Beavers) who you can turn to for help. They may also arrange trips and events during the year. Ask about it at the Appointments Committee when you attend.
I wouldn't worry about recruitment yet. Just concentrate on running good meetings. If you do it right, the kids (boys and girls) will flock to you. Bring a Friend works very well too, but don't run before you can walk!
The Scout Association has a database of ideas called Programmes Online that you can search for ideas, some being better than others.
Whoever recruited you should be pointing you at a lot of this stuff. If they aren't, PM me.
An hour a week? Of course ...
an hour a week?????
Get signed up to online scout manager as it's the best way of keeping track of what you are doing. You can link badge requirements to each session and keep track of who has done what.
Have a routine for the meetings and stick to it. Some do a quiet activity, we have s massive hall do run off the extra energy before riverbank.
Trips- free is good (remember 1 adults to every 6 Beavers plus an extra adult). We like: police station, fire station, pets at home, churches (esp if they have s tower to climb and look down from), backstage of the local theatre, Tesco farm to fork....
Also join the facebook beaver colony if you use FB. It's a mine of information!
Oh and remember to book out 23rd April (or nearest Sunday) for church parade...
I was suckered in nearly 5 years ago- mostly it's great fun!
Agree with others who are asking who recruited you, and how they are helping.
Has there been no hand over?
Does the other Leader have any experience?
Are there not resources and planning left by the previous Leader?
Is the GSL or ADC Beavers or DBSL not helping you?
SO many issues with this I don't know where to begin.
Have you done any of the Getting Started Modules?
Do you know how that Colony's opening / closing Cermonies go?
Have you got some games ideas?
Do you know enough about the building to have risk assessed whatever you are doing? / Do you know where the fire exits / fire alarm / etc are?
Lurking somewhere in a cupboard there will be a copy of 'Colony Essentials' and a full guide to the badge requirements too. Programmes on line is a great resource, as is the resources section of the Scout Association website. I spent nearly 10 years as a leader trainer, and around 12 as a leader within the movement - feel free to PM if you'd like any additional support or help.
I assume you are not there on your own.
We have a parent rota, helps with crowd control 😄
A game (or 3 or 4) of dodge ball always used to go down well when DS was a Beaver.
DS's scout group is in a village so has links with the village primary school. So we can place notices about events, vacancies etc in the school newsletter. Also the primary school lets the children wear their Beaver uniform to school on St George's Day which is also a nice link and can encourage other children to join. Not all schools do this though.
Sorry, to answer your more specific questions....
Don't start doing any trips until you've been doing this a while.
Not sure what trips you are thinking about, but 'expensive ones' (say, involving a coach) tend to need subsidising a lot - it's the sort of thing that your District might organise. Don't worry about that. If you mean 'a walk to the local fire station' then that won't cost in money, but you need to do all the appropriate risk assessments, etc. How much parents are willing / are able to pay, depends hugely on the financial circumstances of the dc in the Colony.
I wouldn't do a concerted effort to increase numbers until you know what you are doing/ have gained confidence and have started to build your team of support.
Re money generally - ask the cubs what they charge. Each Group have a different way of working things, in terms of how much each section 'holds' and what is paid out of that money. How you pay rent and how the Beavers pay for their capitation etc is different in each group.
In terms of prgramme, I wouldn't try and do too many badges one after the other (you mention starting 2 badges in 2 weeks) - generally one in a half term (or even term) is plenty with other things going on, and most badges needing more than a week to do, some will be done over several weeks.
On your training (and at your AAC Panel) you'll get lots of advice as to where to go for help, but linking up with an experienced leader near by is really helpful. They will have local knowledge.
It doesn't need to be Badge work every week. We do maybe one every term or half term. They can do them in their own time too and bring you the evidence. You can give them pointers on this.
Some weeks we just play games and do junk modelling or craft stuff like making poppies for Remembrance Sunday.
Plan a night hike or games in a park so long as you get plenty of parent help. A bag of chips at the end is always popular if you have a nearby chippy and £1 for chips is a cheap outing!
Parent rotas can be done on line and are to be encouraged!
Personally i find big expensive trips aren't really what it's about but I know some colonies and packs do that frequently. My kids always mostly liked wide games outside and time to muck about with friends in the hut!
When I was a leader I advertised on a local for sale Facebook site which worked well, however that first week post advert we went from 5 to 30 kids who came for the free taster. I would advise you to work with those kids you already have for a month or so before actively trying to recruit.
I aimed for an activity badge every half term. The kids would often pick between them which badge to aim for. Listen to what your group want, let them decide some basic rules that they agree on e.g. Being kind etc.. Have a way of controlling the pack. For me I would raise my arm up without saying anything. On doing this when A kid spotted me they would have to stop what they are doing, look at me, be quiet and raise their hand. I would stand there silent until every kid was still, quiet and with rised hand. It's probably not needed so much with a small group but if you aim to expand its best to get those kids used to it. New ones will quickly catch on. I have heard of
At beaver age I wouldn't worry to much about trips. If you do keep them local and see if you can join up with other nearby groups.
My trick was to get outside agencies / charities etc to come in. It meant I could take a back seat that week. We had a women and her guide dog come in which was organised though contacting guide dogs for the blind, we had the local police come in to give advice, a trip to the fire station, mountain rescue came to give a talk, Tesco do a great 'farm to fork' thing that they get a badge for. I also made every parent tell me what there job / hobbies were. From this I had parents coming in teaching the kids sign language (mum had a daughter who used makaton), first aid (dad was an ambulance technician), talk on planes (dad was something in the raf), planting acorns (mum like gardening), a trip to a local fishing leg (dad was a keen fisher), art week (mum liked painting) etc. Use your parents and get them involved.
Take a look what is nearby in your local town and use them. We had museums willing to stay open late to accommodate us, a painting clay place gave us a good discount, local libraries love having groups come in (with notice), local walking group might organise a little walk for you, a bike hire shop might be willing to offer you a good rate or lead a ride, a lesuire centre might be willing for you to look at there disabled access facilities (disability awareness badge), costa coffee will give you a free guided tour and explain how coffee is made with a free hot chocolate, any local running or orienteering groups nearby who could help. Don't be afraid to ask, you have to be cheeky!
Play lots of games, at beaver age that's what they love. When the noise and chaos all got to much we used to play 'guess the time'. They all sat down quietly and stood up once they thought 1 min, or 5 mins or whatever was up, they actually all enjoyed this!
Look up armpit fudge, that's great fun. We had a private Facebook site which worked well with sharing photos of what the kids had been doing and reminding parents about various things.
...... i have heard of other leaders using a whistle. And lake not leg! Sorry. Good luck!
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