Beavers (Scouting)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Beavers is one name for programs associated with Scouting for very young children usually aged 5 to 8. A participant in the program is called a Beaver. A group of Beavers is often called a "Colony". The programme is based on co-operating and sharing. Some Scouting organizations have programs for similar ages but use different names such as Keas or Joeys.

The Beavers program was originated by the Boy Scouts of Canada in the 1960s to provide a program for boys who were too young to be Cubs. Beavers or similar programs were adopted by a few other Scouting organizations. Most Scouting organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America and many Traditional Scouting organizations, have not adopted programs for ever younger age children. Baden-Powell-ist Traditional Scouting rejects Beavers or similar programs because they are not one of Robert Baden-Powell's programs. Some organizations have adopted Beavers or similar programs but distinguish and disassociate them in identity from Scouting.

Beavers include a ceremony with a "beaver dam" in which the Beavers work together to fix a breach in the dam.

Originally, the Beavers program was open only to boys but, in most organizations operating Beavers or similar programs, the programs have been opened to both girls and boys.


The Beaver program was originated by the Boy Scouts of Canada in the 1960s. A Beaver program was started in Northern Ireland in the 1960s. Beavers and programs for similar ages spread to a few other Scouting organizations around the world. Beavers were not formally recognized by many Scouting organizations until well into the 1980s.

Beaver programs around the world[edit]


Baden-Powell Scouts' Association in Australia[edit]

The Baden-Powell Scouts' Association in Australia has a programme called Koalas, although some Groups do not operate Koalas as they were not part of Baden-Powell's concept. The programme serves 5 to eight year olds, and is followed by Wolf Cubs. The Koalas program uses a catch phrase and themes around "Koalas climb high" with participants reciting the phrase and mimicking the motions of a climbing Koala.

Scouts Australia[edit]

In Scouts Australia, this age section is called Joeys. A joey is an infant kangaroo. The Joeys programme uses a catch phrase and themes around "Hop, Hop, Hop" such as Help Other People with participants reciting the phrase and mimicking the motions of a hopping joey kangaroo.


Scouts Canada[edit]

In Scouts Canada Beavers are aged five to seven. Members normally wear a brown vest as a uniform with a cream T-shirt and a blue Beaver Hat. The programme is based on a specially written story called Friends of the Forest.

Beaver Promise: I promise to love God and help take care of the world.

Beaver Law: A Beaver has fun, works hard and helps their family and friends.

Beaver Motto: Sharing, Sharing, Sharing

A new Beaver is called a "Kit"; a Kit must learn the Beaver Promise, Law, and Motto and go through an investiture ceremony to become an "Eager Beaver". The investiture ceremony officially welcomes the Beaver into the Beaver programme and during this ceremony the Beaver receives a tail, neckerchief, and badges for his uniform.

A five-year-old Beaver is a brown tail, a six-year-old is a blue tail and a seven-year-old is a white tail. The tail is attached to the back brim of the Beaver Hat.

The beavers "swim up" to Cubs towards the end of the year that they are white tails.

Association des Scouts du Canada[edit]

In the Association des Scouts du Canada Castors (Beavers in French) are aged from seven to nine. Members normally wear a yellow T-shirt and tan or brown pants. The programme is based on a specially written story called Les aventures de Cartouche et Namor (The Adventures of Cartouche and Namor).

Castor Promise: Je m'engage à faire des efforts pour jouer avec et comme les autres. (I promise to do my best to play with and like others)

Castor Motto: Effort (Effort)

The new Beaver receives his neckerchief and uniform at a promise ceremony where the Beaver, generally, must demonstrate that he has joined the unit. From that moment, the new Beavers have entered the Beaver programme.

Beavers collect individual badges following a four-step programme:

  • Source (spring) which is for objective integration
  • Ruisseau (stream) which is for objective participation
  • Cascades (waterfall) which is for objective initiative
  • Étang (pond) which is for objective sharing

They can also collect two technique badges which are called buchettes (splint): Security and Environnement.

When they climb to Cubs, they receive a badge called "Castor découvreur" (discovering beaver).


In Asociación de Scouts de México, A.C. there was a Beaver Section, but it has been closed down.[1] However, there are many beaver groups or "castores" in Spanish working unofficially in parallel.

New Zealand[edit]

In Scouts New Zealand, this section is called Keas. A kea is a New Zealand parrot.

United Kingdom[edit]

The Scout Association[edit]

The Scout Association officially recognised Beavers in 1986, but there had been informal colonies around the country for some years beforehand. The programme is run for 5¾ to 8 year olds, and precedes Cubs.

The Beavers section currently makes up the largest proportion of participants within The Scout Association in the United Kingdom, with many colonies having waiting lists, some of which may have several times as many waiting as there are actual members.[citation needed]

The uniform is a turquoise sweatshirt or T-shirt, with the group colours for the neckerchief. The motto, shared with the rest of the UK Scout Association sections, is "Be Prepared".

Baden-Powell Scouts' Association[edit]

The Baden-Powell Scouts' Association recognised Beavers in 1982, although some Groups do not operate Beaver colonies as they were not part of Baden-Powell's concept. The programme serves five to eight year olds, and is followed by Wolf Cubs.[2]

The uniform is a vest that can be many colours, with the group colours for the neckerchief. Some groups also issue Beavers with caps.


Various troops in Switzerland also have Beavers (in some Cantons also called Fünkli, Füchse or Murmeli), but they are not officially recognised by the Swiss Guide and Scout Movement.[3]

They usually only wear the troop's neckerchief but have no uniform.

United States[edit]

Boy Scouts of America does not operate a Beaver program. Tiger Cubs started in 1982 as a Cub pack associated program for seven year old boys. It continued as a separate program section until 2001 when it was moved into the Cub Scouting division.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Canadian Leader Magazine, August/September 2006, page 37.
  2. ^ Baden-Powell Beavers
  3. ^ " - Entry on Beaver Scouts". (Independent Swiss Scout wiki). Retrieved 2007-05-08. 

External links[edit]