Wolf Cub Uniforms

Figure 1.--The British Cubs in the 1970s wear the traditional Cub uniform that was adopted by many other countries.

Scouting was initially for older boys. Only later was a program for yoiunger boys developed. Wolf Cubbing was not officially founded in England until 1916. It was almost immediately adopted in other countries, except the United States. The idea of a Scouting progream for younger nboys proved controversial in America and the program was not founded until 1930. Many countries at first adopted the uniforms of the British Wolf Cubs. Gradually countries began adopting more destinctive national Cub uniforms. Elements of the British uniform endured for years especially the Cub cap.


Early on in the development of the world Scouting movement it became obvious that separate units were needed for younger boys to sponsor programa and activities appropriate for their age group. The first Wolf Cub packs were formed in England during 1916.


The Cub Scout program around the world is a home based program. While there are many differences in national Cub scout programs, because of the age of the boys--the program is much more home oriented that Scouting. Cubbing activities often involved the parents, adult leaders, and friends of Cub Scouts in largely home centered programs that teach a wide range of life skills, values, and attitudes consistent with those of the the sponsoring organization. Cubbing involved a wide range of activities. There were skills to learn like knot tying. There were a variety of projects like model building. Thre weekly pack meetings always had games which were very popular with the boys. There might also be skits. Outings and field trips were an especially popular activity. Cubbing activities are designed to encourage character development, physical skill, family unity, and enjoyment of learning. The lore of the program varied substanytially depending on the country involved. English Cub program based on Rudyard Kipling’s book, Jungle Book. This was quite different than the American program which for rather racist reasons was not willing to embrace Africa and influenced by Seaton focused more on Indian Lore. Many countries adopted the English Jungle Book. We believe that other countries have developed a more national program, but we have few details at this time.


The first English Wolf Cubs wore green peaked school-type caps with yellow trim, green sweaters, a kerchief, and grey short pants and knee socks. The uniform proved popular as boys could participate at little cost. All they needed to purchase was the sweater and cap. Almost all British boys of cub age already had grey shorts and knee socks which they wore to school. The American Boy Scouts soon first established Cub units in 1930, creating an opportunity for the boys younger than Boy Scout age. A year-round, home-centered program used by chartered organizations, Cub Scouting emphasized involvement between boys and their parents, adult leaders, and friends. In the multidimensional plan of the Boy Scouts of America, Cub Scouting was where the Scout experience for many years began. It became the largest of the BSA's three membership divisions. (The others are Boy Scouting and Exploring.) The American uniforms were blue with yellow trim, but instead of a sweater had a Scout shirt similar to the older Boy Scouts. They wore peaked caps like the British Cubs. Most American cubs initially wore knickers, but some also wore shorts. Most Cubs by the 1950s, however, wore longs. Cubs increasingly wore shorts in the 1980s, however, many wore jeans with an official Cub shirt because of the high uniform cost. The Cub uniform change in 198? affected the cap and knee socks. The traditional peaked cap was exchanged for a baseball cap. The blue knee socks were exchanged for blue althletic socks with yellow tops. Cubs packs were established in most other countries with axctive Scout movements. Almost all implemented distinctive uniforms from the older Scouts. At first many countries copied the English uniform or elements of it, but greater national diversity gradually develioed.

Figure 2.--Scout Associations all over the world adipted the English Wolf Cub uniform for their Cubs. These Chilean Cubs were photographed in 1966.

National Cub Uniforms

More views of Cubs are incuded in the national pages. Many countries at first adopted the uniforms of the British Wolf Cubs. Gradually countries began adopting more destinctive national Cub uniforms. Elements of the British uniform endured for years especially the Cub cap. Americans adopted the British Cub cap, but changed it to blue and yellow. Many countries retained the British green and yellow. a few countries still use it, even though it is no longer part of the British Cub uniform. We have several national Cub Scout pages such as America, England, and others, but we have only begun to like them here.

Unknow Cub Groups

Cub uniforms like Scout uniforms were for many years quite similar around the world. The Scouting movement was founded in Britain and many Scout groups in other countries followed the British example. Here the American uniforms were a bit of an outlier. This made figuring out the nationality of unidntified images a little complicated. British Cubs had sesrinctive green caps and jumpers. Americam Cun uniorms were fairly destinctive, done in blue. Many national Cub groups adopted uniforms that looked very similar to the ofiginal British Cub uniformwth green caps ad jumpers. American Cubs thus stood out in contrast to the British uniform and Ruropeans groups which adopted it. Thus destiinguishing European and Dominion Cub uniforms can be a challenge. Here HBU's internation readership is a great advanage. HBU reades can often spot their country's Cun uniforms. Here we will archive Cub uniforms that we can not readily identify. Hopefully readers will be able to tell us what country the Cubs are from.


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Created: November 15, 1998
Last updated: 1:30 AM 12/27/2009