We all know that the Boy Scout movement in America was started by William Boyce after he was directed to an address in London by a boy who refused a tip because he was a Scout. Mr. Boyce was so impressed by his talk with Lord Baden‑Powell that he helped incorporate the Boy Scouts of America of February 8, 1910. It is this date that we celebrate each year with our Blue and Gold Banquet.
Almost as soon as Scouting began, younger boys started clamoring for a chance to participate in Scouting. This resulted in the Wolf Cub program being started in England in 1916. It wasn't until August 1,1929 that the first demonstration Cub units were started. By 1933, it was felt the time had come for promoting Cub Scouting as a part of the Boy Scout program.
As we read in the Wolf book the basis for much of the program came from THE JUNGLE BOOK by Rudyard Kipling. In this book is the story of two wolves who find a man cub who is being hunted by SHEREKAN, the tiger. They take in the boy, whom they name Mowgli, (which means frog) and raise him as part of their family.
The wolves are part of a pack which is led by Akela, the great gray Lone Wolf. Once a month, the new cubs are presented to the pack for acceptance. If they are not accepted by two members of the pack they are turned out. When Mowgli was presented to the council, none of the other wolves would speak for him. Just as Mother wolf was ready to give up. Baloo, the kindly brown bear who taught the wolf cubs the Law of the Jungle stood up and said, "I will speak for the man cub." When no one else spoke, Bagheera, the black panther rose and offered to pay one bull if the man cub would be accepted into the pack. And so it was that Mowgli came a part of the Wolf Pack, for the price of a bull and on Baloo's good word.
In looking back at old Cub Scout books, we are reminded that the Cub Scout program has survived with very little change. In a 1934 Cub Book, the rules for becoming a Bobcat are: 1. He has taken the Cub Promise. 2. Explained & repeated the Law of the Pack. 3. Explained the meaning of the ranks. 4. Shown the Cub sign and Handclasp. 5. Given the Cub Motto and Cub Salute.
Today as Bobcats, we must do the same requirements. When Akela says that we are ready, we are presented to the Pack or recognition. Will the following Cubs and their parents please come forward.
Just as the Wolf cubs learned about the world around them by taking short trips into the woods, so have our own Cubs grown in their understanding of nature and of their families. Will the following Cubs and their parents please come forward? Originally, only two arrow points could be earned for each rank. The basic rank was called the Bronze Badge. The first ten electives earned the Cub the Gold Rank, and the next ten elective the Silver Rank. Today we award the Gold Arrow Point for the first ten elective and Silver Arrow Points for each ten additional electives Will the following Cubs please come forward?
Just as Baloo the kindly Bear, taught the young Wolves the secret names of the trees, the calls of the birds and the language of the air so must each of you help others in you Den in order to meet the requirements for Bear. Will the following Cubs and their parents come forward?
Up until a few years ago, the next rank was Lion. In 1967, this was dropped and the Webelos program expanded to cover an entire year. The Webelos Colors (GOLD representing the Pack; GREEN, the Troop, and RED the Explorers) and 15 activity badges were added at this time. A new Webelos Badge was also created and the original Webelos Badge retained as the Arrow Of Light.
The Webelos rank is the transition between Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting. Originally the name was derived from the three ranks: Wolf, Bear, Lion and Scouts. To become a Webelos requires a further expanding of one's horizons. Activity Pins must be earned and involvement in Church and Civic activities are encouraged. Will the following Cubs and their parents please come forward?
The Arrow of Light is the highest award in Cub Scouting. It can also be worn on the Boy Scout uniform in recognition of your achievement. To be standing here tonight, means that you have reached the highest point along the Cub Scout trail. Do not stop here for the trail leads on to Boy Scouting and great new adventures which can only be dreamed about for now. Will the following Cubs and their parents please come forward?