Over the last 12 days I’ve had the honour of camping with Derwent and Dove scout District on our Sweden trip. This consisted of 39 scouts and explorers and 1 beaver scout.
Please meet Matthew ?

Both of Matthews parents are leaders and was on the camp. So the little brave man joined in 12 days, 10 nights on camp with us.

Every day I had the conversation with him of which beaver badge we could look at today, and we are looking at over 20 badges earned including the union flag ?? on his uniform which he is very proud of.

Matthew slept with the scouts and joined in all the activities without a moan or a tear, including all the chores of taking rubbish across fields to the skips, getting water containers filled, washing dishes and cooking food for 46 of us.

I can see an experienced scouter for the future.

Matthew’s Mum had this to say:

Matthew is a seven year old Beaver Scout with Autism Spectrum Disorder. As a child of a leader, he was fortunate to be able to experience Derwent and Dove’s UK Contingent attending ‘Vildmark 2018’ in Malungen Sweden. Hosted by the Alno Scoutkar, Matthew travelled with the Contingent by bus, plane and then train to Sundsvall and camped at Alno Scout House. The journey time was 12-13 hours, so amusing himself with only a book and his imagination was difficult at times, but he coped fabulously! Then he travelled to Malungen camp. Matthew has helped to fell trees to make a table, pitch bell tents, whittle wood into spoons, canoe, join in when they held Swedish campfires (with no fire because of the forest fires in the local area) and embrace the countryside around him in the way that any Scout could!

Matthew enjoyed every moment of this journey to Sweden and did so independently with very little support from his parent leader. He took his responsibilities seriously when given his daily duty of cooking, washing up, fetching water to drink and take waste away, and did so with a smile and a spring in his step. He’s come away from camp an accomplish camper, craftsperson and general grafter, proud of what he achieved – which includes being able to tie his shoelaces independently!

When Matthew had a little accident with his whittling of a stick, he was a brave young man, staying calm and asking for help – he says that his first aid stage 1 helped him to know what to do. He was soon stitched up and back to camp enjoying swimming in the lake every night to wash and cool off, and playing Swedish Viking Rock Paper Scissors. Matthew recommends camping and especially when its overseas. Anyone can camp abroad, even a Beaver Scout!

The above report was by Suzanne B. A member of the Damboree Team & Karuna Badges.

In 2018 the restrictions on Beavers being only allowed to camp in the UK was lifted, as part of the POR 2018 updates.