Wolf Cubs and the Jungle Book
Gino Lucrezi (lucrezi@DSIAQ1.ING.UNIVAQ.IT)
Tue, 7 Jun 1994 04:51:41 +0100
I am writing something on the Jungle Book issue.
It was one of BP's great intuitions (even though he often borrowed
from other pedagogists) to use as rarely as possible "directs". One
can see this in the Scout Law, which is always about "being", and
never prohibitions list.
When adaping scouting to boys aged 8 to 12, he realized however that
"as rarely as possible" was still too often, and the Scout Law still
too abstract. This led him to adopt "morals by characters", i.e.
having good behaviour exemplified by some characters. He found them in
Kipling's Jungle Book (with some adaptations), and so all "Man Cubs"
were to live an experience similar to Mowgli's with the Seonee Pack,
with leaders taking the roles of Akela, Baloo, Bagheera and Kaa.
I am leaving out other minor jungle characters on purpose, since these
four perfectly epitomize BP's four points as he described them in
_Aids to Scoutmastership_.
So, Akela stands for Character, Bagheera for Strength and Fitnes,
Baloo for Service to Others, and Bagheera for Handicraft.
Most scout associations have been using this "fantastic environment"
for a lot of time, even though some of them are now changing it.
When BP decided to do something like Wolf Cubs for young girls, he
decided to find a more suitable environment, and so he invented the
"Brownies". I don't know too much about them, but I am sure that the
same pedagogical considerations went into their creation.
Brownies didn't enjoy the same success as Wolf Cubs, instead many
national associations developed different environments. In Italy, AGI
(Italian Guides Associations) had "Ladybugs", which were inherited by
AGESCI (Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts Association) when it was born
from the merger of AGI and ASCI (Italian Catholic Scouts Association).
Nowadays, both boys and girls can be either Wolf Cubs or Ladybugs,
depending on the Fantastical Environment chosen by that group. In the
Netherlands they have two more environments for Cub-age children, as
Olaf Tuinder described some time ago. And so on in various countries.
As for Disney's rendition of the Jungle Book, it is really unfaithful to
Kipling's novel. I think all Baloos and Kaas in the world should have
sued them :-) Akela too came out as a secondary character!!!
Gino Lucrezi @ Universita` "V. Rivera" - L'Aquila - Italy
FIDO: 2:335/602.1 2:335/601.4
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