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Sunshine Coast Beavers part of 50th anniversary celebrations June 1

Young members of Sunshine Coast Beaver Scouts headed to Richmond last weekend to take part in a celebration, including a nation-wide campfire, in honour of the Beavers’ 50th anniversary in Canada.

Young members of the Sunshine Coast Beavers headed to Richmond last weekend to take part in a celebration, including a nation-wide campfire, in honour of the Beavers’ 50th anniversary in Canada.

Katharine Trueman, group commissioner of the 6th Roberts Creek Scout Group, helped coordinate the Beavers 50th Birthday Party Beaveree, on behalf of the Pacific Coast Council, which represents more than 3,500 youth and volunteers based across the Lower Mainland, Greater Vancouver, Sea to Sky Corridor and the Sunshine Coast.

Trueman says the campfire was one of the highlights of the event.

“There was some singing and storytelling around the fire,” says Trueman. “Other highlights were the opening ceremony and we gave out 650 cupcakes to the kids and the leaders. We had about 20 activities for the kids to do, it was all well received.”

Trueman says after being involved with Scouts Canada for many years, that she’s seen a lot of changes, but there are some core basics that have remained a constant.

“There's always changes and we try to bring it up to date, to the modern times, but the basic elements of the program have not changed,” says Trueman. “We're an outdoor organization, trying to instill community and that everybody has something to present or provide to the community.”

She adds, Scouts Canada was a very early adapter of taking care of the environment, especially when it comes to recycling. She notes Lt. Gen. Robert Baden-Powell, who started the Scouts movement in England in 1907, followed by Canada in 1908, was dedicated to preserving the wilderness and environment through recycling.

“Lord Baden-Powell certainly instilled that into the program and that's still here today,” says Trueman. “The kids really haven't changed. They're a little bit more knowledgeable at five, but they're still kids at heart. They like adventure. And they like mystery, and they like having someone pay attention.”

Also in attendance from the Sunshine Coast was Councillor Alton Toth, who represented the District of Sechelt, as well as Justine Gabias, who attended on behalf of the Sunshine Coast Regional District.

“I was very proud that they sent their representatives from the Sunshine Coast to the event,” says Trueman. “It was a wonderful event.”

Gabias agrees it was a “wonderful event.”

In an email to the Coast Reporter, Gabias said having never been a Guide or Scout, the day was a good opportunity to learn about the Beavers and their ways.

“The best part of the celebration for me was when all the colonies made a big dam in the park to hear Katherine explain the origins of the Beaver Scouts, her passion for the program and her love for the children filled the pond,” wrote Gabias. “Katherine and Elliot are forces of nature and set such a powerful example of kindness, generosity and industriousness for all of us.”

She added, the Beavers spent the day enjoying the different activity stations hosted by the visiting “colonies,” including bucket drumming and sack races.

“It was a pleasure to see the children so engaged, and the motto of “sharing, sharing, sharing!” on full display,” Gabias said. “I shared cake (beaver-shaped of course) with folks who have been involved in Beaver Scouts for decades, some since the very beginning. Their unwavering dedication is so inspiring and highlighted the power of the program. Seeing them give their time and energy year after year to allow children an opportunity to connect, learn, make friends and have fun really drove home the fact that volunteerism is the backbone of our communities.”

Another highlight?

“I also got to meet Bucky the Beaver!”