By James Traynor

“This weekend the population of St Ives saw an increase, as roughly 200 Beaver Scouts and their leaders from all over Cambridgeshire descended on Copley Scouting Centre for the annual Beavers in Tents camp, forming part of “Damboree”, a network of events happening this weekend which saw thousands of Beavers from all over the country taking part.

For many Beavers, this was their first time away from home and sleeping outside and their first task was to pitch their tents. In order to satisfy hundreds of rumbly tummies, next on the agenda was to cook their sausages. First poked onto sticks and then suspended above hot coals of a fire, they were all the more yummy for having cooked them themselves.

The Beavers carefully and artistically decorated their recycled jam jars with tissue paper and hung them on the bridge. As you can see, once lit, these provided a beautiful twinkling walkway across the river.

The next morning, the Beavers were careful to keep their wooden spoons used to eat breakfast as these were then combined with lollipop sticks and rubber bands to make a form of catapult. They were also able to try firelighting, backwoods cooking and orienteering- by which time, after a tiring weekend, they were ready to go home.

Adult volunteers had a great time too, and enjoyed the chance to share ideas and challenges with others from across the county. Some were experiences but for some it was their first time camping with their Colony, in fact one Colony was brought along by a team of parent helps (leaders in the making we hope!)

Beavers from 1st Fenstanton and Hilton said Beavers in Tents was “exciting” although when asked if they had had much sleep they giggled and answered “NO”.

Their leader, Matt Wynn said “BiTs is such a great opportunity for Beavers from across Cambridgeshire to mix and make new friends whilst enjoying some great activities plus getting to sleep away from home in a tent. Everyone taking part worked together to make the most of the event, and some Beavers are just upset they will be too old to take part next year. Didn’t like to tell them I can keep coming back year after year!

“We loved making the bread on the fire” said Beavers from 1st Wyton (RAF).”

Why not pop the date in your diary for next year if you think you might like to bring your Colony, or even if you just fancy joining the team that helps make it all happen.