Cub Scouts, Cubs or Wolf Cubs are programmes associated with Scouting for young children usually between 7 and 12, depending on the organisation to which they belong. A participant in the programme is called a Cub. A group of Cubs is called a "Pack".

Vietnamese Cubs

Hong Kong Cubs in uniform
Indonesian Cubs

The Wolf Cub program was originated by The Boy Scouts Association in the United Kingdom in 1916 to provide a programme for boys who were too young to be Boy Scouts. It was adopted by many other Scouting organisations. Many Scouting organisations, including The Scout Association, no longer use the Wolf Cub programme and have replaced it with other programmes but have retained the name Cubs. Others, including Traditional Scouting organisations, maintain the original Wolf Cubs programme.

Originally Cubs programmes were open only to boys, while young girls could join the Brownies. Some Cub organisations are open to both girls and boys, although not necessarily in the same unit. A few organisations also operate a Sea Cub version of Cubs.[1]

Foundation edit

A British Wolf Cub in the late 1960s

The Wolf Cub scheme was started by The Boy Scouts Association in 1916, nine years after the idea of the Boy Scouts was conceived, to cater to the many younger boys who were too young to be Boy Scouts. During these first years, many troops had either allowed younger boys to join or had set up an unofficial junior or cadet Scout troops. In 1916, articles in the Headquarters Gazette (a then regular journal for leaders) outlined official "Junior Scout" and then "Wolf Cub" schemes. However, Robert Baden-Powell wanted something quite different from a watered-down Boy Scout programme and recognised that too close of an association between the junior programme and the Boy Scouts would detract from both. Baden-Powell wanted a junior scheme with a distinct name, uniform and other identity and programme.

In 1916, Baden-Powell published his outlines for such a scheme, it was to be called Wolf Cubs. Baden-Powell asked his friend Rudyard Kipling[2] for the use of his Jungle Book history and universe as a motivational frame for the Wolf Cub scheme. The scheme was given a publicity launch at The Boy Scouts Association's Imperial Headquarters in Buckingham Palace Road, Westminster, on Saturday 24 June 1916.[3] Baden-Powell wrote a new book, The Wolf Cub's Handbook, the first edition of which was published in December 1916. He collaborated with Vera Barclay in devising the Wolf Cub training programme and badges, which were published in the second edition.[4] On 16 December 1916, a public display of the new section was held at Caxton Hall, Westminster,[3] to which Kipling was invited; he was unable to attend but sent Baden-Powell a letter of apology, praising his work with the Scout Movement.[5] Vera Barclay co-founded Wolf Cubs with Baden-Powell in 1916.

From the 1960s, many organisations varied or abandoned the Wolf Cub Jungle Book theme. Some organisations changed the name to Cubs, Cub Scouts or something similar but retained the Jungle Stories and Cub ceremony as tradition—such as the use of Jungle Book names (as described below); and the Grand Howl which signals the start and end of Cub Meetings. Other organisations kept the name but dropped the Jungle Book theme.

Originally, Cub membership was open only to boys while the Brownies were set up as a parallel section for young girls. This remains the situation in some places. Most member organisations of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) admitted girls to Cubs while others have separate co-ed sections with a different theme. Most member organisations of the Union Internationale des Guides et Scouts d'Europe (UIGSE) have two single-sex sections both named Wolf Cubs and both in the jungle theme.

Cub Scouting has ideals of spiritual and character growth, citizenship training, and personal fitness.[citation needed] Cub Scouting provides a positive, encouraging peer group, carefully selected leaders [citation needed] who provide good role models and a group setting where values are taught to reinforce positive qualities of character.[citation needed]

Organisation edit

Cubs are organised in packs, which are sometimes linked to a Scout group, providing a community with all age sections known as a "Scouting family". Adult leaders of Cub packs take the names of The Jungle Book's main characters. In many countries the leader of the Pack is called Akela; subordinate leaders are named Bagheera, Baloo, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, etc., by how many sub-leaders the pack has. A few very big packs need so many sub-leaders that their names must extend to include Tabaqui and Shere Khan, but that tends to be the cue for the pack to split into two packs. Cubs have a distinctive two-finger salute according to the Jungle theme, in contrast to the three-finger salute of the Boy Scouts. However, in The Scout Association of the United Kingdom (UK) and some of its overseas branches, the two-finger salute was later replaced by the three-finger salute. Historically, Cubs wear a distinctive headdress, which is a tight-fitting green felt cap with green felt visor, yellow pipings, and an emblem at the front — although in some countries this has been replaced by more contemporary headgear or dispensed with entirely.

Just as Scout troops are subdivided into patrols, Cub packs are divided into small teams. Baden-Powell named the team a Six, which refers to the six members in each team. In most countries Sixes are mixed-age groups with the oldest as sixer ("leader"). In the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the teams are called dens, with each den serving either boys or girls in the same school grade.

Youth leaders from more senior sections of Scouting are actively encouraged to assist as Cub leaders. In the UK and in Australia these were originally called Cub Instructors. Within Scouts Australia the term Youth Helper is now formally applied to such persons, whilst in the United Kingdom they are called Young Leaders. In Canada, a Scout who assists in the Cub programme is designated as a Kim. In the United States, the term Den Chief is used.

In many European countries (especially where the Jungle theme still has a strong part in the programme), St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of Cubs, because of his relationship with wolves.

Cub Camp, Crivitz, Germany, 2007

Cubs in national organizations edit

Australia edit

Baden-Powell Scouts' Association edit

The Baden-Powell Scouts' Association in Australia operate a "Wolf Cub" section between its Koalas' programme and Boy Scout. Wolf Cub packs are themed on "The Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling, a friend of Baden-Powell. Wolf Cub packs are divided into Sixes, with each six being identified by a coloured triangular patch on the member's arm. Each Six is led by a "Sixer" and a "Seconder", who have their rank indicated by horizontal yellow stripes sewn onto their left arm.

Scouts Australia edit

In Scouts Australia, the Cub Scout programme is open to all children (girls and boys) ages 8–11.[6] The uniform is a navy blue, button-up or polo-style, short-sleeved shirt with a yellow collar, sleeves and shoulders.[7] Patrols are identified by a coloured band/ring (red, yellow, green, orange, blue, black, white, grey, tan, purple) worn around their scarf, above their woggle.[8] Patrol Leaders wear a second band/ring on the other side of their scarf which is white with two blue stripes. They are supported by their Assistant Patrol Leader, who will step into the leadership role if the Patrol Leader is away, and will help at Unit Councils. They wear a white band/ring with one blue stripe.

Together, the Patrol Leaders and Assistant Patrol Leaders from every patrol make up the Unit Council. They take a leading role in planning and running activities.

Austria edit

In Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs Cub Scouting is the section for children between the ages of 7 to 10. The jungle theme is the symbolic framework. The first pack was started in the autumn of 1920 in Vienna. In the beginning, there were different symbolic frameworks: red Indians (taken from "Kibbo Kift" written by John Hargrave) and Robinson Crusoe. In the 1930s the Jungle theme was introduced.

Canada edit

In 1916, the Cub Scout programme was introduced as part of Scouts Canada with a programme similar to that of the UK. Cub Scouting is open to youth of both sexes, ages 8 to 10 inclusive.[9] Sixes wear a coloured triangular patch, rather than a distinctive woggle. (If brown, for example, the six is known as Brown Six.) The Cub motto is "Do Your Best" and the promise, the vow recited in opening ceremonies is:[10]

"I promise to do my best,
to do my duty to God and the King,
to keep the law of the Wolfcub pack,
and do a good turn every day."

Hong Kong edit

The tradition of Cub Scouting in Hong Kong was inherited from the British. It is the largest section of the Scout Movement in Hong Kong. A Pack is headed by a Cub Scout Leader (團長), with several Assistant Cub Scout Leaders (副團長) and Instructors (教練員). The division within a Pack is called a Six (小隊). Each Six has a Sixer (隊長) and a Seconder (隊副 or 副隊長). Each Six is distinguished by a colour and is named after it. Each member of the Six wears a woggle with the colour of his Six. The Promise and Law for the Cub Scouts are simplified from those for Scouts. Traditionally, the logo of the Wolf Cub denotes the Cub Scouts, but it is rarely used.[11][12]

Ireland edit

In Ireland, the section is known as both Cub Scouts and Macaoimh, depending on the tradition from which the particular Scout troop comes.

Netherlands edit

The jungle theme is the symbolic framework of the Welpen (Cubs). Welpen wear green uniforms. Among a horde ("pack") of Cub Scouts, the cubs are divided into nesten ("nests"). Each nest has a Gids (Guide) and a Helper. Like all sections, Welpen is open to both boys and girls, but Scout Groups can have single-sex sections. Starting in 2010, the symbolic framework of the Welpen will be based on a modified version of the Jungle Book with two main characters: the boy Mowgli and the girl Shanti. The new Welpen section will gradually replace the four sections in the age group Scouting Nederland had before Welpen, Kabouters (Brownies), Dolfijnen ("Dolphins") and Esta's. Dolfijnen has a water-based symbolic framework, and Esta's has a specially developed co-ed symbolic framework. The new Welpen contains elements from all four previous sections.

New Zealand edit

In New Zealand, the Cubs section is known as Cub Scouts, and largely follows the format of the United Kingdom, though it is administered under the main Scouts New Zealand association. The Cub section is for children aged 8 to 11 years. They meet weekly at their Scout Hall and take part in all sorts of activities. There are approximately 410[13] scout groups in New Zealand, all of which have a cub section, typically along with other sections for younger kids (Keas) and older members (Scouts, Venturers and Rovers) .Scouts New Zealand Sections Archived 2018-12-13 at the Wayback Machine.

Poland edit

Cub from Poland, 2009

In the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association, the Cub Scouts and Brownies' section is called "zuchy" and is open to children ages 6–10. Members are organised into cub packs where they learn to integrate into a collective of friends. Any kind of learning is accomplished by playing games. They can earn three Cub Scout Stars "Gwiazdki zuchowe" and a lot of individual and group merit badges.[14]

Singapore edit

In Singapore, the junior section of the Scouting movement was known as the Cadet Scouts, until 2005 when it was renamed to Cub Scouts in line with international practice.

Cub Scout's age group is from 7–12, following the Jungle Book Theme. Each Cub Scout Pack is led by a Cub Scout Leader assisted by Asst. Cub Scout Leaders. Packs are subdivided into small groups of six cubs, called Sixes. Sixes are led by the Sixer and the Asst. Sixer. Most Cub Scout Packs in Singapore are affiliated with schools and the teachers are the Cub Scout Leaders and Asst. Cub Scout Leaders. Some parents are also involved and actively serve as Volunteer Adult Leaders (VAL).

The highest Award for a Cub Scout is the Akela Award. It is awarded to the Cub Scouts who complete the badge scheme and assessment criteria.

United Kingdom edit

Baden-Powell Scouts' Association edit

The Baden-Powell Scouts' Association operate a "Wolf Cub" section between Beavers and Scouts. Wolf Cub packs are themed on "The Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling, a friend of Baden-Powell. Wolf Cub packs are divided into Sixes, with each six being identified by a coloured triangular patch on the member's arm. Each Six is led by a "Sixer" and a "Seconder", who have their rank indicated by horizontal yellow stripes sewn onto their left arm.[15]

British Boy Scouts edit

The British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association allows the use of the Wolf Cubs programme as an alternative to its Junior Scout section.[16]

The Scout Association edit

In the Scout Association, Sixes are led by a "Sixer" and have a "Seconder" (or "Second") as a backup. The Sixer wears two stripes on his/her uniform and the Seconder one stripe. When a Cub Scout is made a Sixer, the Second's badge (with one stripe) should be removed and replaced with the Sixer's badge. The members of a six are distinguished by the colour of the woggle they wear on their Group neckerchief (known elsewhere as a Group scarf).

The three points of the fleur-de-lys, Scout salute and Scout sign remind the Cub Scout of the three points of the Cub Scout's Promise: "Duty to God and King, Helpfulness to other people, and Obedience to the Cub Scout Law."[17]

An American Cub in uniform, 1968

United States edit

Detroit, U.S. Cubs around 1942

Boy Scouts of America edit

Cub Scouting is a division of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Starting in 1918, several experiments operated until 1930, when the first official Cub Scout packs were registered.[18] Today, it is a family programme for children in kindergarten through fifth grade, with each den admitting boys, girls or coed through 4th grade and single gender for 5th grade. Parents, leaders, and organizations work together to achieve the purposes of Cub Scouting. Families are a core part of Cub Scouts and are included in many activities. Currently, Cub Scouting is the largest of the BSA's three membership divisions.[19]

Baden-Powell Service Association edit

In the Baden-Powell Service Association, the corresponding section for this age group is called Timberwolves.[20] As with the Scout Association, each pack is divided into Sixes led by a "Sixer" with a "Seconder" assisting. The Pack retains Baden-Powell's original Jungle Book theme, with its leader called Akela and assistant leaders using names like Raksha, Bagheera, or Baloo.[21]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "The History of Scouting". ScoutBaseUK. Archived from the original on 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2006-07-22.
  2. ^ "Rudyard Kipling and Baden-Powell". Scouting Milestones. Colin Walker (Johnny). Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  3. ^ a b "The Diamond Jubilee Book of Scouting (pp. 26-27)" (PDF). Pearson, London. 1966. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  4. ^ Moynihan, Paul (editor) 2006, An Official History of Scouting, Hamlyn, ISBN 978-0-600-61398-5 (p. 56)
  5. ^ Moynihan 2006 p. 59
  6. ^ "Cub Scouts 8-11 Years Scouts Victoria | Australia". Scouts Victoria | Australia. Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  7. ^ "Scouts Australia". Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  8. ^ "Patrol Scarf Ring - The Scout Shop". Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  9. ^ "Scouts Canada Programs - Scouts Canada". Scouts Canada. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  10. ^ "Cup Pack Section Snapshot for Parents" (PDF). Scouts Canada. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  11. ^ "More on Historical Scout Groups" (PDF) (in Chinese). Public Relation Committee, Scout Association of Hong Kong. Retrieved 18 January 2007.
  12. ^ "Milestones of Cub Scouting" (PDF). The Scout Association. 2003. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
  13. ^ NZ scout groups in New Zealand
  14. ^ "Summary". The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  15. ^ Baden-Powell Scouts' Wolf Cubs Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ The Constitution of the British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association. Archived 2009-03-27 at the Wayback Machine Version 18/06/2002. page 10, 20. British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association.
  17. ^ The Scout Association, The Cub Scout Promise, accessed 19 November 2022
  18. ^ "A Brief History of the Boy Scouts of America". Three Fires Council. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved July 27, 2006.
  19. ^ "BSA Fact Sheet: What Is Cub Scouting?". Boy Scouts of America. Archived from the original on 2008-02-21. Retrieved 2006-02-06.
  20. ^ "Timberwolf". Baden-Powell Service Association. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  21. ^ "TIMBERWOLF HANDBOOK" (PDF). Baden-Powell Service Association. Retrieved 21 November 2016.