Meet the Volunteer: Caroline Danks

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Learn about being a Beaver Leader

Think you know what it’s like to be a Beaver Leader? Well, you’ll only truly know if you become one. In one word, it’s awesome! 

Officially, the Beaver Leader(s) take great care to ensure they give a balanced programme of indoor and outdoor activities. All of this is aimed at developing their confidence in a social and safe environment. 

In reality, they help young people aged 6 to 8 to hop, skip and jump their way through lots of different games and activities – achieving anything they set their minds to, and having lots of fun along the way. They master new skills, go on adventures, make friends, are curious about the world around them, help others and make a difference, on their own doorsteps and beyond. Sounds good right!

One person doing this in East Lothian at the 1st North Berwick Scout Group is Caroline. Read her story and find the perfect volunteer role for yourself. Whether you want to work with young people directly or help behind the scenes, there’s something for everyone at Scouts.

Caroline with her Beaver Colony

Name – Caroline Danks

– Beaver Leader

– 1st North Berwick Scout Group, East Lothian Scout District

I have been in the role since 2016 when I joined after my son joined the Monday Beaver Colony.  

I had previously been involved in Scouting with Longniddry Scout Group in my early 20s, as a group of friends had been Scout Leaders there for many years.  I enjoyed helping with camps and eventually joined the Cubs as Baloo.  I remember there being a lot of noise, but it was always happy noise!  I had to give up as work commitments took over, but I always had an interest in my children joining the Scouting movement. 

Were you involved with Scouting as a child?
I was never involved in Scouting as a child, nor had I been in Guiding, but I love the opportunities that it provides for our youngsters and the challenges they meet.  I also love the fact that it is also an inclusive group, allowing children from all dynamics of life to join.  It doesn’t matter if you are not sporty, if you’re not academic, or if you’re not outgoing – everyone is catered for.

What’s it like being a Beaver Leader?
As a Beaver Leader, I work with the rest of the team (along with our other Colony that runs on a Tuesday), to run a termly plan that works towards various badges.  Although I’ve been doing it for 6 and a half years, we always manage to come up with new and innovative ideas to keep us interested, as well as the children!  We also plan camps, community events, visits and/or District events.  Some people are put off by the commitment, but if you work together as a team, and share tasks, it really isn’t that onerous.  As a team, I plan perhaps 2 sessions a term, and can contribute or help others.  

How have you benefited from being involved in Scouts?
I achieved my Wood Badge in 2019 and found that as you continue through the week-to-week sessions, you achieve many of the learning points as part of this.  Along with the various online courses you can do, it gives you an excellent grounding in not just Scouting, but also many transferrable skills such as planning and budgeting. 

I have also been able to use my own work skills and was asked to be on the Appointments Committee for the District.  I hold interviews for newly appointed Leaders throughout the whole of East Lothian and this is done on a rota basis.  It is great to meet the wider community and to be able to welcome and encourage new Leaders.   

What is it about Scouts that you like?
My son is now a Scout, but I decided to stay with Beavers.  I love the sense of wonder that you get with any snippet of information you can give them, and the excitement of making a machine out of toilet roll tubes!  I feel very supported in my role and am lucky to have a great team around me.  I feel part of our team, but also a wider team in the Scout Group, and I love nothing more than a camp where you get to interact with not just the leaders, but to watch how many of “your” Beavers have progressed into Cubs, Scouts and even Explorers.  I’ve also made friends for life! 

What would you say to someone considering volunteering with Scouts?
If you are unsure about becoming a volunteer in Scouting, come with an open mind.  Don’t worry about the training, don’t worry about dealing with children, don’t worry about not having the right skills – just give it a go!  There is so much knowledge and support out there, that you are never on your own.  The reward of hearing laughter, seeing smiles and seeing them develop confidence and new skills far outweighs any restricting concerns that you might have.  There are many ways to get involved, and we always listen to what you feel you can commit to. Good luck! 


There are lots of ways you can get more involved with Scouts as a parent, carer or family member. From helping out occasionally on a family rota or playing a vital role behind the scenes, to stepping up as a leader, our volunteering activities are as varied as you.

We’re talking tidy uppers and tea makers, session planners and Zoom navigators, fundraisers and treasurers, and all round team players to support our young people.

The good news is you shape what you do and the time you have to give. Scouts happens when a lot of us give a little (and no, you don’t have to be a Scout or outdoors expert to volunteer).

Across the East Lothian District, the current vacancies include:

  • * Explorer Leaders
  • * Section Leaders – Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts
  • * Section Assistants – Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts
  • * Group Scout Leaders and Assistant
  • * Occasional helpers
  • * Executive Members – Secretary, Treasurer, Chair

What to expect:

  • * A warm welcome
  • * Flexibility to get involved in a way that works for you
  • * Easy access to training and resources online
  • * Friendly ongoing support from local volunteers

* No two weeks are the same, but the impact you make is always great.

Make a difference, volunteer today

To find out more about helping out, speak to the leader at your local group or use our volunteer enquiry form which can be found using the option below. Share your details and a volunteer from your local team will be in touch soon.