Re: CUB SCOUT HISTORY
Ian N Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Sat, 11 Oct 1997 19:30:49 +0100
When B-P started Wolf Cubs ( as they were then called) in England in 1916
he looked for a theme that would appeal to the age range ( then 8 - 11 )
and would put across some of the Scouting values. He found a theme in
the Jungle Book, written by his friend Rudyard Kipling. Originally the
first award was Tenderpad (equivalent to tenderfoot in Boy Scouts ) then
the boys earned Stars which they wore in their caps. The stars were the
two eyes that the young wolf cub opened as he learned about the world.
They also had proficiency badges, similiar to those of Boy Scouts. When
you earned three badges and two stars that entitled you to the Leaping
Wolf, which could be worn on the Boy Scout uniform ... I think until
First Class was earned, but I am not totally sure about that.
The training resources were The Jungle Book and B-P's Wolf Cub's Handbook.
The pack was divided into Sixes with a Sixer ( denner) in charge and a
Seconder ( second in command ) to help him. These were indicated by
bands of braid worn on the arm.
The Cub Master / Mistress was traditionally called Akela ( not Mr or
Miss Smith or by their first name, nor as Sir or Ma'm ) and the other
leaders took other Jungle names , Baloo, Bagheera, Chil, Kaa and so on.
As a Cub Scout Instructor ( a bit like a Junior Assistant Cub Leader )
my name was Rama ( the buffalo ) which I kept until I eventually became
Akela of my own pack. When I am involved in District or County Cub Scout
activities I sometimes use my " Pack name " of Rama.
Originally there was an advanced training course for Cub Masters leading
to the award of two wolf's fangs on a thong, the equivalent of Wood Badge,
known as the Akela Badge. They looked fairly gruesome, and after a few
years the Wood Badge was awarded to all Leaders. The director of the
Wolf Cub training program was the Akela Leader at Gilwell Park.
For some reason BSA did not start Cub Scouts until 1930. Although BSA did
not adopt the Jungle theme which was common in many other parts of the
world, the name Akela seems to have been imported but without the full
symbolism that it has in other countries.
In UK the program changed in 1966 and we now have Cub Scouts ( both male
and female ) The jungle story has not been lost, but it now has less
emphasis. Many other countries still use the wolf cub theme, and no
doubt our Canadian friends will explain their tradition.
Ian N Ford
Special Needs Adviser, Greenwicxh District Scout Council, London UK
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City