Cub and Scout groups struggling to survive because of a lack of adult volunteers is a familiar story.

Around the country, thousands of young people are having to wait for a place.

One Cumbrian group is suffering a different problem - plenty of volunteers, but not enough children.

The 1st Hesket in the Forest Cub Scouts has been going for more than 10 years.

There are Beavers, aged six to eight, and Cubs, aged eight to 10.

They meet weekly at Ivegill Village Hall, between Dalston and Calthwaite, on Mondays during term time.

Its catchment area mainly draws children who attend Ivegill, Raughton Head, Calthwaite and Low Hesket schools.

“We’re probably in the opposite situation to a lot of groups,” says volunteer Lesley Phillips.

“A lot of groups are looking for leaders. We have a strong and enthusiastic leadership team.

“We have two Beaver leaders and three Cub leaders. We also have one Young Leader. That’s an Explorer Scout who works with the Cubs.

“But the numbers of young people are very low at the moment. There’s a danger that the group might not be sustainable in future.

“We have had up to 20 Cubs. At the moment there are nine, and a similar number of Beavers.

“The Cubs are meant to have an annual weekend camp. This is the first year it won’t happen because numbers are so low.”

Lesley has been with Hesket in the Forest Cubs for nearly 10 years and has been involved in Scouting for more than 30 years.

“I haven’t heard of any groups in the same situation,” she says. “I just think it’s because we’re quite a rural area.

“I don’t know if we’re having one of those years where the birth rate was lower.

“And there’s so many things for young people to do these days.”

She gives an enthusiastic assessment of how children can benefit from time with Beavers and Cubs.

“Scouting is just great. It equips young people with skills for life.

“We’ve sent a flyer to local parents explaining that it builds confidence and teaches new skills. Children have fun and make friends.

“The Beavers sometimes do outdoor activities in the woods. Our Cubs have visited the climbing wall in Carlisle and the fire station in Penrith.

“They’ve gone on short hikes and treasure hunts, put up tents and laid trails.”

Explorer Bear Grylls is the Scouting Movement’s Chief Scout. He says: “The Scouting Movement is a massive force for good. It gives millions of kids the chance to live and learn about the wild and to experience real adventure.”

Hesket in the Forest Beavers meet on Mondays from 5.15-6.20pm. Cubs meet from 6.30-8pm.

For more information, call Karen Shepherd on 01228 710134 or Lesley Phillips on 016974 76172.