In response to the success of the Boy Scouts, and to meet the needs of older Scouts younger siblings, in 1916 Lord Baden Powell published the “Wolf Cubs” Handbook.

It is fact the Cub Section of the Scouting Movement with its names taken from Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Books” – Baloo, Rikki, Hathi, Shere Kahn and of course Akela (Kipling’s Lone Wolf) to name but a few which perhaps resonates most strongly with the average man or woman in the street.

Indeed Baden Powell encouraged Cub Leaders to read Kipling’s books to the young cubs in their charge.

Many of the traditions which we still follow today appeared for the very first time in the original Handbook. Including, for those people who happen to be passing by our Church Hall on a Friday evening and have the pleasure of hearing it, the “Grand Howl”.


One of the more “interesting” sections of the Handbook provides a diagram of “Failing common in Young Boys” together with the associated “Cub Remedy”. Thus one particular failing given as apparently common to most young boys in 1916 ” Cruelty ” is, according to the handbook, to be remedied by “ Doing things for others”, one suggestion of something that might be done for others being “knitting”!

Despite our love for the traditional, the Cubs section has moved on and the focus is now upon young people developing their individual talents.

The highest award it is possible to achieve in the Cubs Section is the Chief Scouts Silver Award. Achieving this honour comes following a considerable amount to hard work and commitment on the Cub’s part. As the award citation records to have successfully gained the Silver Award a cub should be “creative, fit, learning about the world and their communities, exploring the outdoors and have understood their Promise”.

Although clearly a biased observer I believe our Cubs have these qualities in abundance. They have worked hard to achieve that Chief Scouts Silver Award and they are a credit to themselves, their parents and in my view the whole of 12th Bury Tottington St Anne Scout Group.

An inscription in a 6000 year old Jewish tomb reads “We live in a decaying age. Young People no longer respect their parents. They are rude and impatient. They have no self-control”, and in 2Kings 2.23 the Bible records that Elisha is mocked by some young boys for being bald.

It appears that throughout history the young have faced criticism, I suspect that they always will, but the author of the inscription need not have worried as clearly membership of the cubs or at the very least a good dose of knitting is a remedy open to all.

Richard Moffat