Damboree grew out of the drive to ensure Beavers, and Beaver Leaders, could camp. Over 15,000 participants later and over 200+ newly permitted leaders have enjoyed the activity that makes us Scouts.

Camping in Scouting is special. Our traditions, our skills, our songs, our enjoyment of the outdoors is key to who we are and why we do what we do, as part of our #SkillsforLife.

Now, with the new Early Years pilot project going mainstream, our newest section, Squirrels, has the potential to be part of the #EveryoneInTents experience, but not quite yet.

Squirrels are unlikely to be to be able to camp from the off. Currently there is currently no framework or guidance that would enable 4-5 year olds to camp, leaders to lead that camp, and parents to feel comfortable letting their young ones loose camping.

This presents an opportunity for Damboree to use it’s annual fundraiser to contribute to funds for Squirrels Nights Away trials. So this year our auction and raffle, which will run through September and early October, is to fund such trials. Working through Liam Burns, Head of Programme, and Alan Hands, Senior Programme Delivery Manager the money will hopefully be funds matched with Lottery funding. This means every raffle ticket you buy will be matched and the winning auction bids too.

Squirrels Nights Away, and particularly camping, is going to be a huge challenge. The trials may ultimately not succeed in enabling Squirrels the full Nights Away experience of camping in tents that the other sections are able to enjoy. However, the funds from this will enable The Scouts, The Squirrel Drey teams and Damboree ASU to hold our collective heads high, and say:

“We’ve tried, but couldn’t make it work…yet”.

We’ll be releasing information about Damboree 2022, and an expressions of interest form later this year as we cautiously head back to Nights Away Experiences at local, county and Scout Adventures campsites around the UK, and with our British Scouting Overseas colleagues, Europe, Malaysia and beyond.