A NEW Scouting section has opened for the very youngest children in Lifton, with the launch of Squirrels on Monday nights.

The first-ever meeting of the Squirrels took place on Monday last week at Lifton Community Centre. And the fun continued this Monday night when the children held an indoor version of We’re All Going on a Bear Hunt, complete with pretend fire and marshmallows.

‘They seemed to really love it, said Nastasha Hulme, who leads the group with Caroline Moulds.

The weekly hour-long sessions are for four to six year old and are open to both girls and boys.

Natasha said: ‘We were concerned to get everything in place before we launched so a couple of us went across to Callington Squirrels to see how they organised their meetings, it was really helpful. An hour is the perfect time together, long enough to do quite a few different activities, we meet from 4.30 until 5.30pm. The first session was so calm and we were amazed how smoothly things went.We deliberately kept our advertising very low key, because we wanted to start with a maximum of ten Squirrels. so we quietly launched on Monday, November 7 with seven spaces taken. I’m confident that we will fill those three places very soon as we have seen such support for our group in the past two years,’

Rob Weston, who runs Lifton Scout Group, said the group was booming since the end of the pandemic.

‘In total our group has over 100 young people supported by over 25 leaders. Support for the new Squirrels has come from special grants from both Scout Headquarters and the West Devon District Scout Executive. These start up grants have been wisely used to invest in new, age-appropriate resources for the group. We are fortunate that as a group we already have a good selection of resources that are shared by various age groups.

’In 2021 two of our Scouts were selected to be part of the Devon Scouts’ contingent at the next World Jamboree in South Korea in 2023. This is a wonderful international camping opportunity for these two Scouts, who have continued to develop their skills and aptitude for this adventure. I’m delighted that both of these older Scouts have offered to help with younger sections such as Cubs or Beavers.’

The 1st Lifton Scout Group meet at Lifton Community Centre plus other local venues including the Lifton Recreation Ground and Lifton Methodist Church in Liftondown. ‘The Scout motto is “Be Prepared” and in 2022 the 1st Lifton Scout Group celebrated its 50th Anniversary,’ said Rob.

‘We are grateful to all the young people and leaders that have been part of our group over the years and I feel that we are in a good position to offer Scouting activities for the next 50 years or more! It is all down to the wonderful volunteer team and the parents for the support that they provide.’