Newest and youngest ever recruits join 2nd Fareham Sea Scouts as organisation launches Squirrels movement for four and five year olds
CHILDREN as young as four can now join Scouts through a new project aimed at kickstarting children’s interest in trying new things after 18 months of Covid restrictions.
It has launched Squirrels in a bid to build early years education and is accepting children aged four and five into around 200 groups across the country.
The children will be learning key skills like working together, communication, and language, as well as creativity and community awareness. And they will be collecting badges just like other Scouts.
One of the groups to start accepting four and five years olds is 2nd Fareham Sea Scouts, in Lower Quay.
On Monday, October 4, 2nd Fareham Sea Scouts opened its newest and youngest section.
Sian Edey, squirrel scout leader and assistant beaver scout leader, said the response was great.
She said: ‘We started by learning about Scouts and the adventures that they could expect. We made campfire models, pretended to toast marshmallows on them and read a story about a hike.
‘Squirrels offers the best of Scouts – learning by doing and getting into the great outdoors – combined with early years best practice of storytelling, routine, and play. It’s a huge leap forward for us: our first new age range in 35 years. And it is a key part of our response to the challenges facing young people.
‘This is an age when minds are fizzing, when energy and curiosity levels are sky high, when little lives are full of wow and wonder. At 2nd Fareham Sea Scouts, we want to tap into this.
'Squirrels offers skills for life when and where it’s needed most. This is our opportunity to help enrich the lives of young people, preparing them for a brighter future.’
The Squirrels project is aiming to reach at least 12,000 families in the first three years, with priority given to setting up groups in the most deprived areas across the UK.
To support the roll out of Squirrels, more adults are being asked to volunteer.
Bear Grylls, the TV adventurer and chief scout, said: ‘We know from our pilot programme that four- to five-year-olds can really benefit from the activities that Squirrels offers.
‘All of us at the Scouts believe that by offering opportunities at this early age, inspiring a sense of wonder, fun and curiosity, we can have a long-lasting, positive impact on young people’s lives. To make this work we need more volunteers to join the team and donors to get behind us.’
For more information go to scouts.org.uk/