Karuna Badges is the badge partner for Damboree, they work with scouting organisations to provide bespoke badges for events and fundraising.
“Damboree is a great project to enable more leaders to give their kids a sense of what true scouting is. I was very fortunate to have a set of leaders who through their knowledge and the experiences we lived together made me into the man I am today, and for that I will be forever grateful and hope that with my support more children will become good men and women of character .”
Andy Sissons, should need no introduction, but we’ve allowed him one anyway, as you can see his passion for Damboree is deep-seated, but after a while we had to let someone else have a turn with the soapbox .
“My name is Andy Sissons and I am one of the two UK Scout Association Technical Advisors for Nights Away. I am also a Scout Section Leader.
When I was a child, my Dad was a Scout Leader. He always said my Brother and I were Scouts long before we were ever Cubs. When he went on camp, we went on camp. Back in those days money was tight and the Scout camp was our family holiday.
I was a little younger than Beaver age when I first remember being on camp with him. I really do remember the freedom it gave and the fun and laughter, the games, the sounds made by everything that moved, the smell of the mornings (bacon and damp grass), the total darkness and a billion stars.
I have never lost the passion for being ‘under canvas’ and all I ever wanted to do when I became a Leader was to enthuse youngsters so they too appreciate the great outdoors and want to look after it as their own.
In this ever restrictive world, I do want kids to still be able to experience this freedom. I want them to open the tent door on a beautiful sunny morning and have their breath just taken away by the sheer beauty of what they see. (Even if that is at 4 am! )
When the Scout Association rules changed in 2015, it received quite a lot of negativity from many leaders who didn’t believe Beavers should be allowed to camp. There were people who wouldn’t accept the changes and some who still oppose it.
The Beaver Damboree is our way of making the concept of Beavers Camping so big that nobody will ever again doubt how awesome these little creatures and their Leaders are.”
Like many parents, I got back involved in Scouts when his children joined Cubs and Beavers. It was my way of paying back in to the community. To keep an eye on my son, I started helping out at Beavers, and was soon running my own Colony. At weekend I help support the other sections and have regularly camped with Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. My second concurrent role in Scouting was to take up an appointment as an Assistant Regional Commissioner (Sections), which confirms that I live in sunny Scotland. More recently I have been involved in organising District Camps, running activity zones @ Lone Events, or sharing my love of paracord (only 53 colours) as a base.
I loved Andy’s idea of a Beaver Damboree. The challenge was to see if we could get others interested. It’s one thing on Facebook to post a comment, but something else to make a difference. I pulled together the questionnaire which quickly showed there was real interest out there. The desire has been to provide accurate and material virtual support and encouragement, to energise Beaver Leaders to think about camping with their Beavers and qualifying for their Campsite Permit. I don’t think any of us thought it would get ‘this big’.
So having been in scouts since a cub some 42 years ago, beaver not being around then, the best bit about scouting is getting out in tents with your mates enjoying the fun and outdoors.
I believe it getting this started as soon as possible, beavers getting used to camping outside, cubs learning to put up tents, scouts can then spend more time doing activities as they are already competent with tents meaning they can start doing passport camps earlier. True progression.
And of course it’s fun!
Beavers are capable of much more than they are given credit for, this is a chance to demonstrate this and I fully support it
Sam is the genius behind our graphics, badges imagery, and the gorgeous PDF with the badge requirements on.
“All About Me and why I’m doing Damboree.
Since returning to Scouting with my own children I have been enthralled by the opportunities available to the Beaver section. The changes to POR in 2015 promoted me to follow the NAA path with a particular focus on Beaver events. Thanks to Andy Sissons’ guidance I have been been vocal in supporting this cause and challenging old held beliefs and myths. Having recently become one of Hampshire’s County NAA to allow current thinking to be taken to a larger audience and spread the good word further. While Beavers our currently the youngest section of Scouting they are not babies and should not be treated that way.
Beavers are Scouts and Scouts camp…”
One of my earliest scout memories was been lucky enough to take my son camping with his beaver group.
My son now 23years old can remember that night more than any expensive holiday abroad and still says it was the best holiday he had ever been on.
Sat around the fire and sleeping under canvas with his friends. Which most he still has as good friends.
It’s not just a camp but a bond is created
We’re supporting this so we can encourage both the kids and there great leaders to not only get there permits but that camping is not only possible in tents for beavers it is also fun, awesome, exciting, adventurous, not to be missed any year and you get a badge for it to boot!
Milton Keynes Scout District is supporting Damboree through the loan of their Asst District Commissioner for Special Projects.
Stuart Ball manages the website, and looks after the stats.
I’ve been made to write something under duress. I am a returner to scouting after a long break. Was a scout leader for a spell and now I am Assistant District Commissioner – Special Projects for Milton Keynes, under their new DC. I do techie-stuff, but I am crap at colours.
Before becoming ADC, I done up and did some Beavering, helping out at Great Linford Beavers, so I fully appreciate how important getting Beavers right is. Good beavering, leads to good cubbing, which leads to awesome scouting. Beavers camping is the best way to embed the start of that journey, so I am right behind Andy and the rest of the Damboree Team…..nudging them in the back.