The Otter program is optional; and if decided by the Scout Group—and there is enough interest—a section may be started. Their motto is “Busy and Bright.” The Otters are the youngest section in our Association with children joining at the age of 5 years and going to the Timberwolf program at the age of 8 (Kindergarten through 2nd grade). The Otter Section is referred to as a “Raft” (much like the Timberwolf “Pack”) and the smaller units within the Raft are known as “Dens”; and both boys or girls may join (with the ideal number being 6–8 per Den). Otters learn useful family skills, community skills, and learn to play safely together while introducing them to the concepts of Scouting and preparing them for the Timberwolf program.
The Otter Raft should meet as a unit at least once a month outside of the larger Group meeting (not counting at least one day trip or service outing per month), and be led by the Raft Leader (Akela) with help from the Assistant Raft Leader. The Assistant may also serve as a “Den Leader” of one of the Otter Dens. Separate parents should serve as Den Leaders of the other Raft’s Dens, if more than one exists. At the Raft Meetings, the Otters can, after the opening ceremony, announcements, etc., break out into their smaller units (Dens) to work on whatever it is they’re learning at the time.
All adult leaders will need to register with BPSA as Rover Scouts and will need to complete a Brownsea Training Course within their first year of membership.
Our Otter handbook is geared towards the Otter Leaders and Parents and is not intended to be a handbook for the Otter Scout. Leaders and parents should use this book as a guide to the program, training, and requirements when working with the Otters and putting together a program. Currently, the handbook is in a very “rough” draft format and is subject to change in the future. We welcome feedback on the handbook from those Groups choosing to implement an Otter Section to help us improve the program.