By the time I was about twelve - so ten years ago now, they had just started accepting girls into the Scouts as standard. I am talking here about the Scout Movement in the UK - I am not sure of the US situation.

Incidentally, about this time, they also radically changed the uniform from shirts to sweaters. I think the whole UK movement was going through a rethink.

Anyway, it turned out that girls everywhere were bored of the stuff they were doing in the Girl Guides (cooking, sewing et al) and wanted to join the Scouts to do cool stuff with knots and axes - and who can blame them?

Of course guys couldn't join the Guides - but who wanted to? And Scouts was already mixed-gender at the Venture Scout level before then anyway. I don't think there was an equivalent for older Guides (17/18+) anyway. Equally, as far I know, Brownies and Cub Scouts (the age groups below Scouts/Guides) are still only for girls and boys respectively.

I never regretted having girls in our Troop, as one is just at the age when girls become nice - but it did make knowing where to grab someone during games of British bulldog that much harder :)

Use of Jungle Book names in scouting

When the founder of the scouting movement Lord Robert Baden-Powell was looking for a model to base the structure of scouting on, he hit upon the idea of using the names of characters from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Below is a list of the names which were eventually used. I have been unable to ascertain if they are all still in use, though looking at them now I somewhat doubt it. For instance, I notice that Jeebi (the Ghost) is the name which may be given, 'at Akela's discretion', to the Fattest Cub. I'm guessing that one's not so popular any more. Likewise, in the 'Names Awarded for Prowess in Cub Activities' list, there are special names given to scouts who are particularly good at 'Book-carrying' and 'Hopping', activites which are perhaps not as highly prized or as unusual as they seemingly once were.

    Names held "Ex Officio"

  • Akela : Cubmaster
  • Baloo, Bagheera, Raksha : Assistant Cubmasters
  • Black Plume, Brown Tip, Grey Brother, Red Fang, Tawny Fur, WhiteClaw : Sixers
  • Sahi (the Porcupine) : Pack Scribe
  • White Hood : Pack Storekeeper

    Names Awarded by Akela at his Discretion

  • Hathi (the Elephant) : Punctual and regular attendance
  • Shada (the Pelican) : Perseverance
  • Jeebi (the Ghost) : Fattest Cub
  • Rikki-tikki-tavi (the Mongoose) : Cheeriness, or Courage
  • Kim (Little friend of all the world) : Helpfulness
  • Mowgli : Friend to animals
  • Ko (the Crow) : Noisiest Cub
  • Sona (the Himalayan Bear) : Good manners
  • Mang (the Bat) : Obedience
  • Suggeema (the Mosquito) : Smallest Cub
  • Mor (the Peacock) : Tidiness and cleanliness
  • Tall Pine : Tallest Cub
  • Onaway ("Awake!") : Alertness

    Names Awarded for Prowess in Cub Activities

  • Wabeeno (the Magician) : Walking the Plank
  • Chil (The Kite) : Singing
  • Apukwa (the Bulrush) : Weaving
  • Oonai (the Wolf) : Reciting
  • Dahinda (the Bull-frog) : Leapfrog, cartwheels, etc.
  • Shaw-shaw (the Swallow) : Skipping
  • Won-tolla : Hopping
  • Singum (the Lion) : Book-carrying
  • Little Beaver : Lair-building
  • Pukeena (the Grasshopper) : High Jump
  • Limmerskin (the Wren) : Message-carrying
  • Wawbeck (the Rock) : Modelling
  • Karela (the Bitter Vine) : Knotting
  • Toomai : Folk-dancing
  • Ahdeek (the Reindeer) : Team Games
  • Blue Smoke : Signalling
  • Mysa (the Wild Buffalo) : Good hearing
  • Nag (the Cobra) : First Aid
  • Crimson Arrow : Throwing and catching
  • Nushka ("Look!") : Guide
  • Ferao (the Scarlet Woodpecker) : Woodwork
  • Golden Quill : Artist
  • Scarlet Feather : Fire-lighting
  • Hawkeye : Observation
  • Sea Catch (the Seal) : Diving
  • Hiawatha : All-round athletics
  • Iagoo (the Story-teller) : Telling stories
  • Jacala (the Crocodile) : Acting
  • Rann (the Eagle) : Good eyesight
  • Kaa (the Python) : Tree-climbing
  • Tilji-pho (the Lark) : Musician
  • Keego (the Fish) : Swimming
  • Keneu (the Great War Eagle) : Running
  • Kotick (the Seal) : Wrestling
  • White Elk : Long Jump
  • Kwasin (the Strong Man) : Boxing

'Jungle Book and Cub Names' at reproduced from 'Wolf Cubs', Gilcraft, 1948

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