The opening of the Squirrel Scouts at the 2nd Gosport Scout Group took place on November 3 at Alver Valley School.
The group joins the 6th Gosport Rowner Air Scout Group as the only two in the town with permission to run a Squirrel group – a new Scouts initiative for younger children.
Kelly Haycock is the assistant Cub Scout leader at the 2nd Gosport Scout Group.
‘Cubs was started for younger siblings and it’s just progressed from there as activities grew more adventurous and exciting we realised actually younger people and parents are really wanting this,’ Kelly said.
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She added younger children have been ‘desperate’ to join in and they are confident this initiative will be a great success.
‘It gives them an introduction to the independence you can get through scouting, and all the activities,’ Kelly said.
The opening event was attended by the Mayor of Gosport Cllr Mark Hook, who got stuck in with the arts and crafts.
Kelly added: ‘We got them to make their own campfires using recyclable cups and tissue paper, a scout activity for small people.
‘We discussed names for the new leaders – there is always a theme.
‘Our Cub leaders are always based on Jungle Book. Beaver leaders are all Winnie the Pooh names.
‘We want the children to help choose the new theme.’
The introduction of the early years initiative is due to be a big hit, as demand for a younger faction of the Scouts has been growing amongst parents and younger siblings.
The event was attended by Kerry Budd, on behalf of the County Scouts.
She is a leader from Eastleigh who has been involved in the pilot scheme since its inception.
Kerry came down to offer support and provide hints and tips for creating a successful Squirrel Drey.
A drey is the name for a squirrel’s nest and is being used by the scouting movement as a name for its new groups.
On December 15, the group will be holding a mass investiture when the Squirrels will make their promises.
Parents and Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage have been invited to watch.