One Chestermere Beaver Scout got a big surprise when his design was chosen as the 2018 badge for the annual Beaver’s gathering at Camp Gardner May 5.
Seven-year-old Mitch Maga, submitted his design for the annual gathering, known as the Beaveree, but didn’t know his had been chosen until he was called up to the front just before the Beaveree’s closing ceremonies.
“It was a big surprise,” he said.
Maga was announced as the winner and given the first 2018 Beaveree crest based on his design while the crowd, the rest of the Chestermere Beavers, and his mom looked on.
“I was pretty proud,” said Mitch’s mom Ninette Maga who is one of the troupe’s leaders.
“You’re proud enough as a beaver leader when any of your beavers step up and does something great, whether its overcoming their shyness and participating for the first time or working on some of their individual badges, it’s always nice when they step up.
“But as a mother it makes it even that more special,” she said.
Mitch, who is in his second year as a Beaver Scout, really likes drawing which is why he decided to enter a crest design when the competition was announced.
It was his second year doing so, although he didn’t win the first time.
The design contest had a few guidelines that Mitch had to follow but allowed him to be as creative as he wanted.
Designs submitted to the contest had to include the word Beaveree, include the image of a beaver and show some connection to wildlife conservation.
With the help of his mom, Mitch’s design came together over the course of about a week.
“It started out by him with some ideas,” said Ninette.
When it came to drawing a beaver, mitch wasn’t happy with his first few attempts.
With his mom’s help he took to the internet to find inspiration.
“He found one he really liked,” said Ninette, “he kind of traced part of it, changed part of it, worked with that, made it hugging.”
Behind the beaver, Mitch drew a red maple leaf against an orange and yellow sunset to represent nature.
He added hands in the shape of a heart and a paw print on the leaf to finish the design.
Those last two parts of his design hold special meaning for Mitch.
The hands in a heart shape is the same shape Mitch makes to tell his mom he loves her, which is why he wanted to use it to show a love for nature on the crest.
Mitch and his mom traced the shadow of Mitch making the sign to use on the crest.
The final piece, the paw print was for Mitch’s dog Diesel, who has passed away.
While Mitch’s design won, the Beaver Scouts did make a couple of changes to his design.
“The maple leaf was red not green,” said Mitch of the most obvious change.
They also moved the words Chinook Beaveree to an arch across the top of the crest.
Even with the changes, Mitch was both happy and surprised to win.
Ninette said neither she nor anyone else in the troupe were told in advance that Mitch’s design had been selected.
“There was no warning at all,” she said, “it was a surprise to all of us.”
After Mitch received his crest and prize, the Beaveree continued with the closing ceremonies and all attendees of the Beaveree were given a crest.
Along with being really proud of her son, Ninette hopes that his success shines as an example and motivation to the rest of the Chestermere Beaver Scouts.
“I think that any time that somebody that they know wins its quite motivating for them so hopefully…next year all the Chestermere beavers will know it is possible to win,” she said.