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guyww

New to Scouting Again ...... Akela???

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Hello all,

 

It's been a long, long time since I was in Cub Scouts. My 8 year old just joined the scouts, and of course during the recruitment meeting, a plea from the senior leaders saying there was not enough den leaders and would someone please volunteer, if not, they wouldn't be able to start up a new den, and all our kids looked at the parents disappointed. I had no problem with volunteering. I'm active duty Army, and the pack is located on an Army post, so all the kids are military dependents.... my neighbors and co-workers kids.

 

Well, trying to brush up on my old knowledge of Scouting, I keep coming across the term "Akela". I don't remember ever hearing this when I was a kid, so I start to do some research, and in some of the stuff I find on the net, Akela is referred to as a leader within the pack, or school, or family (Mom and Dad). The phrase used in the Law of the Pack made me raise an eyebrow though ... "The Cub Scout follows Akela." Wasn't there a better way to phrase this? It seems to me that this is used in a singular voice to reference a person or thing, not a title as in an authority figure. Ok. Then I start reading some transition ceremony stuff from Cubs to Webelos and Webelos to Boy Scouts... and time and time again when I run across the term Akela... it's almost used in a way as to address a "Great Warrior Spirit" or something other than the leader conducting the ceremony which obviously got me worried. Can anyone shed any light on this for me.

 

Thanks.

 

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The reference in the Cub Scout Program to Akela is on it's basis in the "Jungle Book" by Rudland Kippling. Akela was the the chief wolf of the pack that Mogli was made a part of.

 

"The Cub Scout follows Akela" from the Law of the Pack refers to any authority figure in the Cub Scout's life, Den Leader, parents, teachers, police officers, etc.

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I don't know how long ago you were a Cub Scout guyw but do you recall reciting the Cub Scout Oath? It ends with the promise "to obey the Law of the Pack". The Law starts with "the Cub Scout follows Akela...". This Oath and the Law go back to the 1930's when cub scouting began.

 

Although many of the names and animal characters of cubbing come from Kipling's Jungle Book that is not the legend of Akela first used in early cubbing. For the first 3 or 4 decades an American Indian story line was used. Akela The infant son of Arrow of Light (a great brave) and his wife Bright Eyes were set upon by enemies from another tribe. The parents were slain and Akela using a small bow and arrow made by his father killed the final enemy. Alone in the woods he was found by a Wolf who raised him. from the wolf, the bear, and the lion Akela learned wisdom, strength and bravery. As an adult he returned to his tribe and became a great chief. As Cubs you promised to follow Akela, to learn from those around you, and grow in wisdom, strength and courage.

 

Bob White

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Shemgren, Rudland Kipling is the lesser known of the Kipling boys. He wrote "Ocean Book," the story of a boy raised by dolphins; "Gunga Quiet," which was about a regimental singer who lost his voice; and most famous of all, a poem entitled "When."

 

Rudyard Kipling stole his brother's thunder and published "Jungle Book."

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guyww,

 

Welcome to the formums, and it's nice to have another military member aboard. There are a few active duty military guys and vets.

 

I work with three Troops and a Cub Pack here at Scott AFB. "Military" Scout units can be a challenge when it comes to leaders deploying, Scouts only staying in the Pack/Troop for a 1 - 2 years due to PCSs....well enough of my ramblings.

 

Shemgren has a great answer for Akela.

 

Yours in Scouting

 

Cary P

 

 

 

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Following up on BobWhite's post.

I remember the name of the tribe was Webelos (which at that time was an acronym for Wolf-Bear-Lion-Scout, the rank progression a Cub Scout was supposed to follow).

And the original story may have been written by Seton.

 

And Bonnie Tyler had nothing to do with it at all.

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Hey Bob whay did scouting change the cub story line? The boys I had in the pack (prior to my troop days) love native american lore. I think this line would have maed it simpler to keep them paying attention during pack meetings. also much more exciting to tell at a cmapfire.

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As I recall the emphasis shifted to follow more the Jungle Book rendition in the early 80's (it was more politically correct to eliminate the violence and gore of the original story).

 

BW(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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FOG,

 

That is the best post that I have read today. Were there only two Kipling brothers?

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There were three Kipling brothers, at least three from the right side of the sheets: Rudyard, Rudland, and Rudway. Rudway was the youngest and became famous as a fashion designer and invented the "catwalk" or "runway" that is used in today's fashion shows.

 

The youngest Kipling's invention was originally called the "Rudway" after its inventor but early on a reporter told his editor about the new device, calling it a "Rudway." The editor thought the reporter had a head cold and wrote it down as "runway."

 

Just think, if it hadn't been for that editor, aircraft all over the world would be landing on "Rudways."(This message has been edited by Fat Old Guy)

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My memories of cub scouting as a youth are, needless to say, quite vague. I always thought the word Akela referred to the cubmaster specifically. I do not recall ever hearing of the legend recounted by BW, but it certainly provides an alternative explanation of the source of the word Akela.

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You can find the story of Akela in nearly every Cub handbook of the past. The indian legend used was simply an Americanized version of the story of Mogli being raised in a forest rather than a jungle. But as Shemgren said Akela came from the lead wolf of the pack that raised young Mogli in the Jungle Book by you know who and his three brothers.

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The indian version of the story is the one I remember and is included in my old Wolf book. I joined Cubs in '67 which was the frst year that edition was used, and I believe the first year they dropped Lion and went to the current progression.

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Going out on a limb here - son't know how poetry will play with this group, but sometimes a good poem can set just the right tone at campfires or ceremonies... this'un's a favorite of mine :)

 

Seal Lullaby

Rudyard Kipling

 

OH! hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us,

And black are the waters that sparkled so green.

The moon, oer the combers, looks downward to find us

At rest in the hollows that rustle between.

Where billow meets billow, there soft be thy pillow;

Ah, weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!

The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee,

Asleep in the arms of the slow-swinging seas.

 

 

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