You probably know I’m a diehard Chicago Cubs fan. Well, I was a member of the other Cubs, too. Cubs as in Scouts. That’s where kids who are too young for Boy Scouts land. And, I landed there in the early 1970s with a thud. Showing up in the campaign style hat, oversized neckerchief and that ill-fitting uniform was as awkward as executing the Cub’s silly, south-pawed handshake. But, most of all, I dreaded the Grand Howl. That’s when we’d form a circle around a grown up, assume a squatting position, and while making the two-fingered Cub Scout salute, shout “Ahhhh-keeeeee-laaaaaa! We’ll dooooo ouuuuur beeeeeest!” Then–as if that wasn’t enough–we had to jump up and down until called to order. Stop laughing. I wish I was kidding.
Now, don’t get me wrong, my two years as a Cub Scout weren’t entirely miserable, but I think I would have really warmed up to scouting if I had known how it all got started. My inner history buff would have loved to know that the Cub Scouts were based on Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 collection of stories about a boy who is raised by wolves, The Jungle Book.
It all started in 1910 when Lieutenant General Robert Baden-Powell retired from the British army and became the founder and first Chief Scout of the world-wide Boy Scout Movement. (He and his sister, Agnes, also founded the Girl Guide/Girl Scout Movement.) Six years later, after receiving permission from his friend and neighbor Rudyard Kipling, Baden-Powell introduced a junior section of Scouting with its own distinct identity, uniform and program based on The Jungle Book theme. Enter the Wolf Cubs.
When I finally made this connection, my years as a Cub finally made sense. While Wolf Cubs became Cub Scouts and some of The Jungle Book references were abandoned over time, several survived. Under the guidance of the wise wolf Akela, young Mowgli learns the “Law of the Jungle,” among other important life lessons. Cubmasters, Den Leaders and other wise mentors are still called Akela, and Kipling’s “Law of the Jungle” became the Scout’s “Law of the Pack.” Plus, “Council Rock” is still the ideal place to gather and strategize. And, now that I know I was channeling my inner eleven-year-old wolf all those years ago, the Grand Howl ceremony is now a much cooler childhood memory.
ABOUT THE PACK!
At its very core, Scouting is about learning and doing things together. The same is true for the Museums’ Membership Program, a friendly little pack of people interested in learning about history, enhancing our community, and (forgive me) having a “howling” good time at one of our events. Membership fees contribute significantly to the Museums’ bottom line, so pack members can definitely feel good about that, too.
Last year, we increased our Member Benefits, giving everyone more ways to learn and connect with others, earn discounts and receive additional perks to the Museums—and more than 1,000 arts, cultural and historical sites across the country through the North American Reciprocal Museum Association (NARM) and the Reciprocal Organization of Associated Museums (ROAM) programs.
We also introduced our new Digital Membership Card, bringing membership access, news and renewal reminders right to your smart phone. Our new “go green” card not only helps save the planet, it also saves personnel time and printing and mailing costs.
JUNE IS MEMBERSHIP MONTH
MEMBERS’ EVENT, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30, 4-6 PM
Members are invited to reconnect at an informal summer gathering featuring wine, beer, prizes, and a special Palmer House Getaway Raffle. You can also be among the first to visit our new Gallery at the Wicks House and view all our new exhibits. If you’re already a member, watch for your invitation. If you’re not, it’s a great time to join!
Do more! Save More! We’re opening to the public on July 1! Members receive discounts on tours, events, talks, purchases in the Whaling Wives Gift Shop—and more!
We want to thank you for sticking with us these past 15 months. If you have already renewed your membership for 2021, we are automatically extending it to the end of 2022. Additionally, all new members and renewing members will receive a 6-month extension on their membership. That’s 18 months of benefits for the 12-month membership fee! Thank you for being a part of what we do.
JOIN THE PACK!
So, you see, it’s a great time to join or stay in the pack. While we don’t have a snappy uniform, a secret handshake or a distinct howl, we’ve got a great program and great members. And you don’t have to call me Akela. Scouts honor.
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