Cambridge District Scout Archives
The first Pre-Cub scheme was set up in Northern Ireland by the 1st Dromore Group in 1963 and was called The Little Brothers; it was given the official name of ‘Beavers’ in 1966, this name having been considered by Robert Baden-Powell when creating Wolf Cubs. The section was renamed Beaver Scouts in 1974. Beaver Scouts were trialled in Scotland after the Wellbeloved Report supported Pre-Cub organisations.
1974 CSG reports the ‘Association is still looking at younger section or reducing the age range (of Cubs)’
1976 Under eights After lengthy and full consideration ‘Any provision by Scout Groups or District for boys under that age must be a service to the local community.’
1982 In October 1982 Beavers were introduced throughout the United Kingdom following trials in Northern Ireland and Scotland before officially becoming part of The Scout Association and the World Scout Organisation on 1 April 1986. To start a Beaver Colony ‘the Group must get DC permission’.
Before Beavers The involvement of under eight year old’s prior to 1983 is evident from archive records. A Cub leader, ‘enthusiastic but misguided’, was found to have been recruiting boys under eight and advising them to say, if asked, that they were eight. In 1964 a line in the County minutes stated ‘Cubs under 8 are not covered by insurance’, which suggests some concern that some joined early.
1983 The 26th Cambridge completed the first and only census returns for Beavers in Cambridge District for that year. It was stressed that it was not purely a feeder Lodge for the 26th pack.
1984 54th Opened Beaver colony. ‘Beavers will now wear a grey sweatshirt in addition to the turquoise scarf.’ A District ‘special Beaver day’ to Chessington Zoo was planned.
1986 29th opened first in Cambridge South District, 28th had a BSL in place in November of that year, 13th by December 1986. By 1989 Beaverees were being held in Cambridge South.
Census for South Cambridge 1986 report 0 Beavers, in 1987 78 Beavers.
1987 North Cambridge had Colonies at 14th, 26th, 32nd, 50th, and 54th. At this point their Capitation was £1, in contrast to £5+ for Cubs, Scouts etc. 27th Cambridge (South Cambs.) started this year.
1994 Fen Ditton started a Colony
1996/97 44th started a Colony
Census returns for years after 1983 are not yet available in the Cambridge District archives.
JWR Archivist Jan 2019