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Beavers vs Brownies/Cubs

(45 Posts)
iliketrees Tue 18-Aug-09 09:49:03

I have DD aged almost 7 and DS 4.5. Want DD to do beavers or brownies but then when DS is old enough want him to do Cubs or Beavers. Basically would be lots easier if they could do it together rather than me ferrying them to different places. Is Beavers any good - hadn't really heard about it before and until what age can they do it? Is Beavers mainly boys? Any thoughts or advcie would be great - thanks!

Lilymaid Tue 18-Aug-09 09:58:51

Beavers is part of the Scout Association and is for children aged 6-8. It used to be for boys only but now is mixed. At 8 you can then go on to Cubs. The Girl Guide organisation for that age group is the Rainbows, but Rainbows is for girls only.
There are often quite long waiting lists to join Beavers.

mumwhereareyou Tue 18-Aug-09 10:03:59

My DD joined Beavers when she was 6 and was the only girl for just over a year but loved it. I think it tends to be a bit more bositrous(Sp) than Brownies. She went on 3 camps and loved the independence, she encouraged her school friends to join so didn't feel left out.

She has just turned 8 and started cubs and adores it, her friend has left and joined brownies but says it is boring.

Since joing cubs in march this year she has done 3 camps and has a PGl trip in oct which the brownies in our area don't do.

Like you i choose beavers so that all 3 of mine can do it, plus it is only 200 metres away from house so very easy to get do.

I would reccommend beavers any day.

Goblinchild Tue 18-Aug-09 10:24:52

DS has done the whole lot, from Beavers to Explorers. There have always been several girls in the groups. They seem to have a very exciting and varied selection of activities.
DD did Rainbows and Brownies, getting increasingly bored and fed up. Quit Guides within a year, as did her two friends.
I think it depends very much on where you are and who runs the group, but I'd recommend the beavers/cubs/scouts over the female alternative unless she's very pink and fluffy and domestic.

FritesMenthe Tue 18-Aug-09 10:38:31

Our scout group is very active and does loads of stuff like canoeing, camping, days out, sports coaching, football tournaments etc. I would hate DD to miss out on all the opportunities that her brothers have just because she's a girl, so she will going to Beavers with at least one of her girlfriends.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 18-Aug-09 11:34:43

I think a very outdoorsy, sporty girl might enjoy Beavers more than Rainbows and Brownies, but on the other hand, as a Rainbow and Brownie leader myself I'd like to dispell the myth that guiding is 'girly'. Last term my Brownie pack did a three-day holiday which involved campfires, building dens in the woods, going on very muddy walks and all the rest. We also had several rounders sessions in the park, a scavanger hunt and marshmallow toasting session with the local guides, a demo from the local police dog handling team and a visit to the local fire station.
Our Rainbows also do outdoor activities including tag rugby.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Tue 18-Aug-09 11:42:43

Another Brownie leader here. Like LadyGlencora, I try hard to ensure that our programme is not all pink fluffiness. Of course, we want the girls to feel positive about their gender but we also want to broaden their horizons and challenge stereotypes.

Goblinchild Tue 18-Aug-09 11:46:20

Our group produces a programme for the term. so you could ask for a copy of last term's activities and see what both had to offer, and which suited your daughter better.
Or you could look at the awards and badges for Brownies/cubs on their websites,and see what the differences are.
My DS is rubbish at most team sports, hasn't stopped him having a wonderful experience.

Goblinchild Tue 18-Aug-09 11:48:09

As I said, it depends hugely on who is running the groups. I felt my daughter was unlucky to have a WI stereotype that wanted 'Her Gels' to be molded in a particular form.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Tue 18-Aug-09 19:27:58

Yes, Goblinchild, I agree. When we get together for district meetings, it's obvious that different groups run quite different activities, reflecting the interests or skills of the leaders. I just wouldn't want anyone to go away with the idea that official Brownie policy is to be pink and girlie at all times. It isn't.

grin and hmm at WI Juniors!

Hulababy Tue 18-Aug-09 19:33:31

My 7y DD des Brownies and loves it, although has only doen a term. She has done loads of stuff and it is all very active and fun, very different now to what it was when I was little. They do Brownie camp and trips, etc.

We had long waiting lists for Brownies,a nd there were for Rainbows too, although DD didn't do this.

I looked into the Beavers and then Cubs route for DD but our local troops are boys only, with no girl members at all.

I guess what each troop does very much depends on the leaders.

notagrannyyet Tue 18-Aug-09 20:54:30

Beavers, cubs and scouts now have to take girls. No colony/pack/troop can refuse girl members. I supposes being the first or only girl could be a bit daunting though!

It's a win win situation for the girls isn't it. They can have both the girls only time and the more adventurous stuff with the boys.

Shame the boys don't have a choice.

Goblinchild Tue 18-Aug-09 20:58:32

"I just wouldn't want anyone to go away with the idea that official Brownie policy is to be pink and girlie at all times. It isn't."

Heaven Forbid that I should be so stereotypical, this is the 21st Century.
wink grin grin

Hulababy Tue 18-Aug-09 22:08:13

exactly notagranny - DD didn't want to be the only girl

bruffin Tue 18-Aug-09 22:11:18

My DD was a brownie and a cub for a while.
Our pack decided to allow girls and as DD was well known to most of them, they asked her to join. She stayed until it was time to join scouts.
Some of the guide leaders were not happy but we ignored them.

She went on just to do guides for various reasons. I don't mind girls joining scouts/beavers/cubs just as long as they don't take over and feminise it IYSWIM. Scouts give DS a chance to run off his excess energy and testosterone at the end of the week.

stealthsquiggle Tue 18-Aug-09 22:14:02

DS's beaver colony has a couple of girls at any one time (there is also a Rainbows troop). Presumably in theory boys could do Rainbows/Brownies if they wanted to?

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Tue 18-Aug-09 22:32:52

Actually no, stealthsquiggle. The Guiding movement is only open to girls. The argument, in a nutshell, is that girls (or some girls, at least) want or need a girls-only space.

stealthsquiggle Tue 18-Aug-09 22:36:48

but boys aren't allowed to want/need a boys only space hmm? (not that I object to girls being allowed to do beavers/cubs you understand, I am glad DD will have a choice, but it seems a tad unfair)

TheDailyMailHatesWomenAndLemon Tue 18-Aug-09 22:43:07

Are Brownies allowed to camp under canvas now? (I remember being particularly aggrieved about that as a child; my younger brothers got to go on proper camping trips while I got to go and stay in church halls. Woo-hoo angry.)

<<allows self brief PMSL @Goblinchild>>

bruffin Tue 18-Aug-09 22:48:02

DD never got to camp under canvas until she was a guide, although went with the cubs to camp.I don't think they have anyone in their pack who has a license for camp.

TsarChasm Tue 18-Aug-09 22:51:57

With a ds and dd's we've tried them all.

Tbh the girls settled much more happily into Beavers and Cubs (and soon Scouts) than Brownies. It does depend on who is running them though it's true.

We found Brownies was rather tame in comparison to what was going on over in Beavers and Cubs, but I'm sure others packs are run differently.

There are a good amount of girls in Beavers and Cubs. More boys it's true, but dd's have not had any problem with this. They are outdoorsy/sporty types, but still very girly and they seem to fit in very well with what's going on.

We did go through a tricky time when dd2 got into a situation where she was a Brownie and a Beaver. It was far too much - the ferrying about and commitment to two things at once got ridiculous. So she made a choice to leave Brownies and the ferrying about scaled down as a result. What relief!

seeker Tue 18-Aug-09 22:55:02

I find this very interesting. In our area there is a very definite demarcation between Rainbows,Brownies and Guides, who tend to be a bit more indoorsy and craft oriented and Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, who are more yomping through woods and getting wet-ish. My dd is a very enthusiastic Scout and has a great time. When she joined there were only a few girls, but now it is half and half and the girls take most of the positions of responsibility. I do feel sad that the boys seem to have been taken over by the invading girls - it's a very different troop now. I do wonder whether it's fair that girls have their own girls only place but boys don't. Ds is a Cub and it so happens that there are no girls in his pack. It is a very "boy-y" place "It was cool, mum. We lit fires and made toast and Akela gave us chocolate spread then we hit each other with sticks until it was time to fall in".

rasputin Tue 18-Aug-09 22:55:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

1dilemma Tue 18-Aug-09 23:07:31

I agree too
I'm quite shocked that the girls can go to one but the boys can't go to the other
what seeker said about her troop sounds a bit sad TBH
after reading/watching on TV all the stuff about school being more girl orientated etc it's sad for boys that something else is being taken over

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Tue 18-Aug-09 23:08:01

Is it unfair, though? I'm assuming (as I don't know the history) that the Scouts consulted their own members about whether to admit girls and the members voted to let them in. And it's the members of Guiding who want to remain a girls-only organisation. So, even though the two organisations reached different decisions, they both (as far as I know) did so in line with their members' wishes.

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