(The junglebook)


The play of the cubs is base don the story of Rudyard Kipling from 1894: “The Jungle book”.





The jungle story


The jungle story tells the history of a little boy, who lived in India amongst a real pack of wolves. This boy was the son of a lumberjack.


Shere Khan, the tiger, had left his hunting area to go hunting in the vicinity of the wolves lair and the village of the people. When he attacked the lumberjacks, who were cutting wood in the forest, the little boy entered the wolves lair and cuddled with Raksha, mother wolf, who was nice and warm. Mother decided to keep the child, although Shere Khan claimed his prey.

“Wait until the pack speaks about that human child”, he said. The law of the jungle declares that all wolves should be taken to the Council of the pack, when they are old enough to stand on their own legs. All wolves could get acquaintance with the cubs and then the Young wolves were allowed to play freely in the jungle and no one should harm them.

“We’ll keep him with us as if he was one of us”, decides mother wolf, “and then the Council has to decide. , keep still, little frog. Yes, Mowgli, frog, I will call you.” And so Mowgli got a name and a family.



As Mowgli and the other cubs grew older, father and mother wolf took him to the Council rock, where Akela, leader of the Sioni-pack laid on. As Shere Khan had predicted, the wolves weren’t keen on taking the human child in the pack. The laws of the jungle dictated that, if the pack, didn’t agree on accepting a cub, at least two wolves should stand up for that cub. No wolf didn’t, but Baloo the bear, did. He was also a member of the council, as he was the teacher of the young wolves and taught them the Laws of the Jungle. Bagheera, the black panther also spoke, although he wasn’t a member of the council. Isn’t it true, that the life of a Young can be bought for a price? I’ve killed a fat bull. I will give it to you, if you let Mowgli live!” Most of the hungry wolves wanted that bull and so Mowgli was allowed to stay with the pack.

Mowgli learned a lot from mother and father wolf and from the four young’s, the cubs. There were also two animals that learned him a lot: Baloo was fat and sleepy, but he knew all the laws of the jungle and even the passwords of all the animals. He taught them to Mowgli and they came in handy when the boy got in trouble with the Bunderlog, the monkey tribe. Baloo and Bagheera called in the aid of Kaa the snake, and after a heavy battle they could rescue him. Bagheera taught Mowgli how to hunt and kill and also about outdoor life and exploring the rimboo and he killed Shere Khan, the tiger, for he had done him wrong, He spread the skin of Shere Kahn on the council rock, where every wolf could see it, when the gathered to talk about work in the pack and plans for the future.



The cubs play


Many names and customs from the story are used in the play of the cubs. Of course not every activity is based on this theme, but the atmosphere from the jungle is the base of everything that’s going on in the pack.


How could you become a cub?

A boy of eight year could join the pack. A pack usually consisted of 18 till 24 cubs, divided in sixes (groups of 6 cubs).

The names of the sixes were colours, f.i.: black six, brown six, grey six, red six, green six, or white six. These sixes could be recognised by a coloured triangle on the left sleeve of the uniform. The leader of a six was a Sixer, assisted by a Second. The Sixer wore 2 yellow ribbons and the Second wore one on the left arm, between elbow and shoulder. Sometime a pack had a grey brother. This usually was an older cub, which age wise could go to the scouts, but stayed at the pack to aid the younger cubs. As oldest cub he became grey brother. At his sleeve he wore a third yellow ribbon.


The new guy looked around for some weeks to find out if he really wanted to become a cub. Before the investiture Akela told about the jungle stories, about the pack, the law, the promise, the uniform, the merit badges and the good deed. In the life of the jungle animals the jungle laws are very important. The animals have to follow certain strict rules. And so are the cubs in the pack. At his investiture the new cub promises to try to obey the rules, set for all cubs.


The promise:

I promise to do my best:

-   To fulfil my duty to God and my country.

-   to obey the law of the pack and to do a good deed every day.


The law:

-   The cub follows the old wolf.

-   The cub is courageous and persists.


The cubs also had a motto:

-   Do the best you can!


The uniform



The uniform consisted of short brown Manchester trousers, beige stockings with green woven fringes, a dark green sweater with long sleeves, a neckerchief in the colours of the Group and a green cap with yellow stripes, with a wolves head on front. In the late fifties a green polo-shirt with short sleeves was added.


Stars and merit badges


Assignments for stars and merit badges were a number of crafts a cub could learn. Easy assignments for the first star and more difficult ones for the second star.

After his investiture a cub was called a ‘teerpoot’ (tenderfoot). He then started with the assignments for earning the stars. After complying with the assignments for the first star, he was given the first star, and then he could earn the second star. The stars were worn on the cap. The first star on the right and the second star on the left side of the wolves head.



There is a certain symbolism to these stars: When a cub, a young wolf, is born, he is still blind and helpless. This is the same for a scout cub after his investiture. When he has earned his first star, one eye opens and with earning his second star, both eyes are open and then he is a proper cub.



After earning the second star the cub can start earning merit badges from four different categories, by specializing in certain skills like sport, crafts, photography, acting, Music etc.


Groups of merit badges:





- creativity


- sport


- outdoor












A wolf has earned at least 2 stars and four merit badges, amongst them at least a red one. When he goes to the scouts he is allowed to wear this badge wolf, until he earns the First Class merit badge.

Merit badge wolf



Opening and closing


Pack call


The cubs hide in the jungle and wait for the call of Akela, who is standing on the council rock. The leader of the duty nest offers Akela the totem, salutes and says: “Akela, we are ready for the jungle. Akela then shouts “Yalahiiii” (We’ll go hunting!). The cubs gather and shout: “Hiiiiiiiiii!" (We want to hunt.)



In a large circle they wait for a hand signal from Akela and then they squat.

Akela signals with his head and then all wolves lift their head and shout: “Akela, we’ll do our best.”

With a jump they stand in the circle again.


One of the cubs barks the different sixes something more: “Dyb, dyb, dyb, dyb,” (do your best).

The pack barks back with enthusiasm: “We dob, dob, dob, dob, dob, (do our best), woof!”


With “dyb” all cubs stand straight, both hands against their head like pointed ears.

With “dob” all cubs stand straight and salute. At “woof!” the cubs step forward in the circle with one front and one back foot (right arm and leg).


The dyb-cub usual is the guide of the duty six.

Cubs who aren’t initiated yet, don’t take part in the pack call. They stand straight, one step outside the circle.


The totem



The totem is made of a – sometimes very decorative – stick, on which a wolves head is fixed. It is the proud family possession of a lively pack. It represents the tradition of the pack. Memories of great hunts and special occasions that can be made of leather, wood, bone, fabric etc, are hung at the totem.




The salute is 2 spreaded fingers at the rim of the cap, like it is a wolves head with pointed ears. The two fingers also represent the two items of the promise.

The salute is used at three occasions:


1.     As a greeting. The cub who spots another cub or scout, salutes and the other also salutes.

2.     As a sign of respect, for instance at raising the flag.

3.     At the investiture..



Jungle dances


The jungle dances were meant to let the cubs use their imagination and to experience the fun of acting. There were 5 dances that all cubs should know and who were based on the character specifics of the animals. These 5 dances are:

-         Tabaqui and Shere Khan

-         Kaa

-         Baloo

-         Bagheera




In the beginning the leaders of the cubs were only females, but later males could also become a leader. At first they could only become an assistant leader and later also head leader.

The head leader always was called Akela; the assistants got names of other animals from the jungle, which were by character most similar to the character of the leader. Most names used were Baloo and Bagheera, Raksha, Chil and Hathi. Once in a while Wontolla was used as a name for a leader. Wontolla was the lonely wolf, a name usually given to a leader, who wasn’t able to be present every meeting.


Leaders wore a khaki blouse and a hat with a round metal plate on the front with on it a wolves head. Male leaders wore the scouts’ uniform with on the hat the plate with the wolves head.

The head leader had a wolves head with a green background and the assistants had a red one.





In a pack there were a few real ceremonies. Important and special to the children, who found them very exciting.

1.     Investiture of a new cub. The promise formed the main issue and everything leaded to that during this ceremony.

2.     Investiture of a Sixer. This investiture is about a month after the cub was appointed a Sixer. In this period the Sixer to be has proven he could “do the job”.

3.     Crossing over to the scouts.



After the merge of the four associations in 1973 the play of the cubs (welpenspel) was renewed.


The museum is always interested in “old” scouting stuff.
If you’re thinking about throwing them away, please contact us.