Squirrels join Scouting family in Ipswich as new section opens

The Ipswich Squirrels made their scouting promises this week, and were awarded their very first badges.

The Ipswich Squirrels made their scouting promises this week, and were awarded their very first badges and the treasured scouting scarf. - Credit: 10th Ipswich Scout Group

Excited youngsters have taken their place as Squirrels at an Ipswich Scout group.

Last year, it was announced 200 new ‘Squirrel Dreys’ would be opening all over the country for children aged four to five.

The 10th Ipswich Scout Group have now welcomed 12 Squirrels to begin their Scouting journey. 

The Ipswich Squirrels made their solemn promises this week, pledging to be kind, helpful and to look after our world.

The Ipswich Squirrels made their solemn promises this week, pledging to be kind, helpful and to look after our world. - Credit: 10th Ipswich Scout Group

“Their parents came, and the children made their scouting promise and were presented with their scout scarf, which will hopefully see them right through their Scouting life,” says Group Scout Leader, Kevin Bean. 

“They’re really enthusiastic,” he continued. “They will be doing a scaled-down version of everything that a Scout would do.  

“Crafts, projects to serve the community and charities, learning to cook, and teamwork skills. They’ll be learning a lot about themselves, which will help to grow their confidence.” 

These four- and five-year-old Squirrels are the youngest members of the scouting family in Ipswich.

These four- and five-year-old Squirrels are the youngest members of the scouting family in Ipswich. - Credit: 10th Ipswich Scout Group

Kevin himself has been involved in Scouting for over 30 years, and says it is “a huge part of my life”. 

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“It’s the same for a lot of leaders,” he said. “There's nothing better when you’re feeling a bit blue than getting stuck in. It's almost like getting back to your own childhood.” 

He has watched many of his young Cubs and Scouts grow to achieve great things. 

“Right now, four of our young people who have been with us since they were six years old are at university,” he said proudly. “Some of them are actually volunteering with local Scout groups in their university towns, because it's just so rewarding and they’ve taken that with them.” 

The Squirrels were excited to meet 'Magic Dan.'

The Squirrels were excited to meet 'Magic Dan.' - Credit: 10th Ipswich Scout Group

Kevin would encourage anybody who is interested in volunteering to give it a try, so that the Scouts have the resources to accommodate every child who wants to start their Scouting journey. 

“Nationally, there are around 60,000 children on waiting lists because adult volunteers are in short supply,” he says,  

“It's very lively in this corner of Suffolk, and the whole county, really. We do very well with young people wanting to take part. 

“I’ve now got the next generation coming along. There are children who I had with me as cubs, and now their children are with us.”