The Jamboree Book, 1920
1st World Jamboree, Olympia, England

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The Youngest Cub and the Oldest Scout at Olympia
(Leslie McCreadle, aged 8, and the Earl of Meath, aged 80).
From: The Jamboree Book, 1920, Boy Scout Association

The Jolly Wolf Cubs.
From: Boy Scout Association, The Jamboree Book, 1920

WHAT shall we say of the Wolf Cubs? "Have you heard the Wolf Cubs’ howl?" a business man was overheard asking an acquaintance, as they stood waiting for their train. "No." "Then you’ve missed something unique. It’s worth going to Olympia just for that."

These and similar remarks. were made all over London. The Wolf Cubs took the town by storm. The Cubs’ "turn" at the jamboree was a huge success because of its Spartan simplicity. The whole of the "properties" cost, probably, five shillings to produce! The "Howl" commenced with an empty arena save for a small property rock in the centre. A tiny boy straggled in, hands in pockets, casting his eyes this way and that, walking meanwhile to the middle of the arena. Poor little fellow, he wanted someone to play with. Putting his fingers to his mouth he emitted a shrill whistle—perhaps there was a pal about who might hear him! There was. With shout and yell and howl they poured into the arena in hundreds from every conceivable part of the forest. For a moment the place was live with hundreds of scurrying Cubs, their thousand little bare knees twinkling. Who was going to manage this shouting, running mob? Then one saw that no one was even trying to, but that the mob was forming itself into a circle, two deep, and about 50 yards across. In less than thirty seconds every Cub was standing still—a vast ring of smiling faces, colored neckerchiefs, bare knees.

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The Grand Howl
From: The Jamboree Book, 1920, Boy Scout Association

Then the Sixer who had first walked in and called his brothers out of the wood stepped across the circle and fetched in the Old Wolf—a pukka Old Wolf, with pricked ears and grinning jaws. On to the Council Rock he stepped, and raised his paw. Dead silence—not a Cub moved. The Old Wolf dropped his paw, and 500 Cubs fell to the squat. Then as one Cub they lifted up their voices and howled.

Now the Old Wolf sat down on the Council Rock, and the Cubs sat down, too. Several groups then detached themselves from the circle, and, each under their Sixer, played Cub games or gave athletic displays for five minutes. Then another tremendous howl, and the circle right turned and became two huge Kaas, one headed by the Old Wolf, the other by a Senior Sixer. At a given signal Kaa broke up, and the 500 all shouting, howling, squealing, made for the exits, turning cartwheels, somersaults, and every other kind of cubby tumble, as they went.

"However do you sort them out again?" people in the audience asked. "They just sort themselves," was the answer.

From the point of view of the public the Grand Howl stands for spontaneity, joyous freedom, a miracle of self-discipline on the part of the boys.

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Prince Arthur of Connaught and the Chief Scout
Inspect the Wolf Cubs.
From: The Jamboree Book, 1920, Boy Scout Association

Twenty-six packs of these youngsters were encamped at Shepherd’s Bush, about 420 Cubs and officers in all. The boys were charged is 6d per day inclusive, and the officers 3s. The Camp was divided into three sections.

(1) At the R.A.F. Depot, Wormwood Scrubbs, by kind permission of the Ministry, with Miss A. C. Hewat, Commissioner for Cubs for Poplar, as Commandant;

(2) At King’s College Athletic Ground, by kind permission of the Grounds Committee, under the command of Capt. E. G. Godfrey, chairman of Oxford University Association, who also acted as Quartermaster;

(3) At the Y.M.C.A. Hut on Latymer Upper School Playing Field, by kind permission of the Governors, under the command of Miss Rengert, assisted by Miss Lyons.

Mr. Riley, of King’s College, acted as a very efficient storeman. The cooking was done by a voluntary staff at the R.A.F. Depot by Mrs. Welchman, Mr. Paine of Bristol, and Scout orderlies. At King’s Ground by Mr. MacGregor and members of the Isleworth Association, assisted by a Kensington Troop, who also acted as orderlies, and at Y.M.C.A. Hut by Miss Lyons and a few Scouts.

Meals were served at the three centres. The following will give an idea of the food supplied:

BREAKFAST. Cubs: Porridge, jam, marmalade, bread and butter and tea. Officers: Ditto and sausages, eggs or tinned fish, etc.

DINNER. Brisket, boiled beef, silver side, braized leg of mutton, Irish stew, roast beef and roast mutton, potatoes, peas, cabbages, etc., steak and kidney pudding, plum duff, plums and custard, jam tarts, rice and figs, etc.

TEA. Tea, bread and butter, jam and cake (twice).

SUPPER. Soup or cocoa, cheese and bread and butter or jam, and stew when away for midday meal. Officers: Fish cakes, stew, sausages or eggs, etc.

Everything was ad lib. In addition the Camp supplied 200 dry rations to the Model Camp, and over 500 teas to Packs giving the Grand Howl.

The most important part of the Cubs’ work was in the annexe. Here there was a standing Cub Camp on the stage with camp fire, tent, barn, grass, and real camp cooking, the food being devoured under the eyes of the public.

The Cubs’ own circle was a great attraction and had two rows of chairs around it for the ladies. Every half-hour, except when the big show in the arena was on, there was a change of programme, packs from Ireland, Wales, and England performing; the performances were in the way of dances, games, tumbling, athletics, plays, &c. A daily free programme was distributed, which contained an appeal at the end for public sympathy in the Cub Movement. A County Council school run on Cub lines was one exhibition which aroused extraordinary interest among educationalists.

The boot-polishing parlour was a great success; the Cubs earned about £2 a day for the S.O.S. fund. No charge was made, but almost every customer gave something.

The Cubs’ camp at King’s College Athletic Grounds accommodated visiting Packs and about 400 lived there.

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Cubs Preparing a Meal for Scouts at the Jamboree.
From: The Jamboree Book, 1920, Boy Scout Association

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The Howl of the 500.

Softly the Cubs did creep
When others were asleep
There in the forest deep,
Silent 500

Hark! ‘Twas Akela’s voice
Made ev’ry Cub rejoice;
Quickly they made their choice,
Leaping 500

Out from the woods they came,
Each Cub with heart aflame,
Striving to make a name
For the 500.

Straight for the Rock they run,
Great was the fame they won;
Wonderful things were done
By the 500.

Almost the Rock was stormed,
When those young Cubs performed,
Then was a circle formed
By the 500.

space25.gif (58 bytes) Close to the Old Wolf’s lair,
Hundreds of Cubs were there,
Hardly a breath to spare
Had that 500.

Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to make reply,
Only to give the cry
Of the 500.

Up went an awful noise
Made by 500 boys
Sounds that all peace destroys,
Some said "It thunder’d !

Some folks went nearly crazed,
Some simply stood amazed,
Few people were not dazed
And they all wonder’d.

Then peace came on the earth,
All fear was turned to mirth,
Those Cubs had proved their worth
Famous 500!

P. Vale

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link-1920-wj1-tjb.jpg (3071 bytes) Boy Scout Association
The Jamboree Book, 1920
Part One
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Copyright © Lewis P. Orans, 1998
Last Modified: 10:21 AM on December 27, 1998