Cardrona Scouts forming new Squirrel unit in the Scottish Borders

Cardrona Scout Group is launching Squirrels, a brand-new branch of the Scouting family for 4 and 5 year olds, in the Scottish Borders. This is the first new age range for 35 years – an historic moment.

On Monday 17th January 2022 the Cardona Scout Group opened its doors at the Cardrona Village Hall to 11 new Squirrels – girls and boys ages 4 and 5. They are the very first in the Scottish Borders to be part of the exciting new Squirrel programme from Scouts.   

During their first meeting they had fun playing together, listening to a story about a hike, making mini campfires and eating marshmallows. The Squirrels, leaders and parents finished the evening with campfire song classic – Alice the Camel.  

The Cardrona Scout Group has been running in Cardrona Village since 2006 when the Beaver Section opened. Since then, over 200 young people from Cardrona and the surrounding areas have been able to participate in Scouting and now it’s the turn of the girls and boys in the village that are ages 4 and 5.   

The introduction of Squirrels aims to support early years children after lockdown and help them learn skills for life. Squirrels will get to be active, explore nature and have fun learning with friends, earning badges like all other Scouts. 

The emphasis for Squirrels will be on having outdoor adventures, making new friends and learning new things, recognised by a new set of badges. Squirrels creates a positive, safe environment for young children to develop, as they learn essential skills for life. 

Cheryl Turpie, Group Scout Leader at Cardrona Scout Group said: “Many of this age group will have sadly spent a great deal of their young life in lockdown or under restrictions so it is fantastic to be able to offer them the new Scouting programme in Cardrona. The leadership team are really excited to be able to start our Squirrel Drey. It’s going to be great fun to get our young people together, having fun, making new friends and work towards their badges and Chief Scout Acorn Award.” 

Once invested into Scouts, the new Squirrels members will wear red uniforms and have their own set of badges including Feel Good, Be Active, Explore Outdoors, Brilliant Builder and Exciting Experiments.  

To support the expanded programme, Scouts are calling for grown-up helpers to step forward as part of its #GoodForYou campaign. Scouts want to recruit over 5,000 new volunteers. Volunteering for Scouts not only helps young people, but is good for adults too, supporting wellbeing and building skills for employment. 

Andy Beaumont, District Commissioner for Borders Scout District, said: “We couldn’t be prouder to announce Squirrels. It’s an historic milestone for Scouts, We’re helping young people gain skills for life where and when it matters most.” 

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: “We know from our pilot programme that 4-5-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.”  

If you’d like to volunteer, find our more, or support the roll out of Squirrels, we’d love to hear from you. Join us as we start this exciting new journey, on the newest branch on Scouts’ family tree: 

More information: 

The Cardrona Scout Group Squirrel meet on Monday evenings during school term times from 5.30pm to 6.15pm. Other Squirrel Dreys are now open in Edinburgh at the 25th Braid and 21st Craigalmond (South Queensferry), with other Dreys to follow in Lauderdale and the Pentlands area this year.     

Jen Noble said: ‘My Son loved the Squirrels meeting and went to bed with his (mini tealight) campfire beside his bed.‘ 

Louise Sibley commented: ‘My son (and his Dad) really enjoyed Squirrels and he absolutely loves his campfire!”