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Beaver Scouts in Ipswich celebrate 30th anniversary in swine style

PUBLISHED: 17:21 28 June 2016 | UPDATED: 17:21 28 June 2016

Sebastian Beaumont-Hewitt and Tobey Bloomfield.

Sebastian Beaumont-Hewitt and Tobey Bloomfield.

Beaver Scouts in Ipswich celebrate 30th anniversary in swine style.

5th Ipswich Beavers posing with their pig and a special badge they have for the 30th anniversary of Beavers5th Ipswich Beavers posing with their pig and a special badge they have for the 30th anniversary of Beavers

Any Beaver would be proud to have such a collection of badges but there is one in particular that sticks out on Pig In Camp Blanket’s uniform – the 30th anniversary badge.

Also showing off the badge this week were members of the 5th Ipswich Beavers who have been busy celebrating this landmark year along with fellow members of Orwell District and neighbouring Wolsey District.

Beavers from the two districts worked together to paint their junior pig at Hallowtree back in April and he is now on display at Crown Pools, making up part of the St Elizabeth Hospice Pigs Gone Wild trail.

“Once the trail has finished, we are hoping to build a weather-proof pig sty at Hallowtree Scout Campsite and then we will take him out to certain events throughout the year,” said Brian Harvey, assistant county commissioner for Beavers.

He explained the pig has already become a mascot for the anniversary and said: “He will be coming to Bewilderwood in the autumn term.”

Brian, who was one of the first Beavers in Suffolk, hopes the pig will also help the organisation to recruit new members and ensure it continues for another 30 years, or more.

“My father was a Cub leader and I was encouraged to take up Beavers in Claydon when I was six-years-old.

“Back then the uniform was a grey tracksuit with a turquoise scarf. Nowadays they wear a turquoise jumper and navy bottoms, and they can wear their own group scarves.

“This does make them easier to identify when we go somewhere en masse.”

While Beavers are celebrating their 30th anniversary, their older siblings in the Cubs are turning 100 – the organisation as a whole was founded nearly 110 years ago after Lord Robert Baden-Powell hosted a camp on Brownsea Island in 1907 and then went on to publish his book Scouting for Boys.

Leader Tina MacDonald has been running the 5th Ipswich Beavers for 14 years and she said: “We have seen some big changes even in that time.

“We have an official programme that we have to cover nowadays, which we didn’t have in the past.”

She added: “We have more children now, we have 25 Beavers in our colony. And we didn’t have girls when I first started.”

The decision to allow girls to join was made back in 1991 but made compulsory in 2007.

So why is Scouting so popular with both boys and girls?

“They get to do a lot of activities they might not do at home, and the programme is very varied so it caters for all hobbies and interests.

“Our Beavers have just completed their communicator badge for which they had to send a text message, phone someone from a mobile phone, and make an emergency call. We also did a bit on safety too,” said Tina.

The pig project has covered several sections of the programme – those who played a part in painting him covered the creative element, it also ticks the community box amongst others.

Niki Moir, mum to twins Thomas and Finley, seven, said her boys are very enthusiastic members.

“They have been in Beavers for just over a year, and their older brother is in Cubs. They love it, every week they come home excited about the activity they have done.

“They have just been on Beaver camp, which they were really excited about, it is great for them

“They do some really traditional things like tying knots and other skills that are good for them to learn and then they do more modern, fun things.

“There was a massive Easter egg hunt at Easter, they have done orienteering, been on sleepovers and making fires – all brilliant for boys.”

For anyone interesting in joining this fantastic organisation email the county office or visit the Scout website

Follow the adventures of Pig In Camp Blanket on Facebook and twitter @camp_blanket

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