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Thread: To Akela or not?

  1. #1
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    To Akela or not?

    Hi

    as I said on the introduction I'm really new at being a Cubs Section Leader. The guy I replaced wasn't big on the title names and so I've always been Mike to the Cubs and Akela, Bagherra etc are names that haven't been used. A couple of leaders from other sections last week suggested that it is 'nice' to use the Jungle Book monikers as it separates Cubs life from other sections of life. I hadn't really thought about it until then, so I'm curious what are peoples thoughts. Do the names help implement a hierarchy or help with discipline? Do they add to the fun?

    Anyone any thoughts on this?

  2. #2
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    I don't use them. For a while a previous GSL who was acting CSL insisted we all had Jungle Book names, and so I chose to be "Mang" as I have an interest in bats, and as I was only intending to be an occasional helper. (Stop sniggering at the back!). I've been CSL for a couple of years and whilst I did have another assistant leader who was a bit old school and liked to use the names, I've gradually let it slide so now just use my first name. To be honest I tend to find that treating children with a degree of respect rather than like little kids who can't use your first name works better so I've no great desire to reinstate them. No issues with anyone that wants to use those titles but it would be a bit weird now changing to Akela. (As an aside we have a duty Cub each week leading grand howl so they are in effect Akela for that ceremony - that also feels better to me as I'm not acting as some "God" figure".
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    I say yes. I like 'akela' as a title.

    I'm not a fan of skip etc but Akela has always had a ring of cool about it for me. I'd be Akela if I did cubs. I'm Chris in all other sections.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mang21 View Post
    (As an aside we have a duty Cub each week leading grand howl so they are in effect Akela for that ceremony - that also feels better to me as I'm not acting as some "God" figure".
    Interestingly I rotate who leads the Grand Howl between the leadership team and young leaders so they all feel a part. I don't want to start sounding like someone out of the Office but it flattens the structure. I've had one Cub do it when he was promoted to Senior Sixer, a role I wouldn't normally use but he deserved it and it gave someone a chance to step up to sixer for a while before they moved up to scouts.

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    My previous group used Scouting names, my current group does not. At first I thought it was a shame as it's one of those things which set us apart from the rest, but now 10 years on, I don't think I'd want my group to start using Scouting names.

    The more I think about it, the more I think it's an outdated and out of touch. I don't really want our members to be all deferential towards us, or for the parents to think we're these distant strange people. We're just Bob from Scouts or whatever.

    In terms of the Jungle Book names setting Cubs apart from the other sections - why does it need setting apart? If anything should we not try to be consistent in our groups so our young people and parents know what to expect from us?
    James

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    When I were a lad it would be seen as cheek for a child to call an adult by his first name. The Jungle names allowed an adult to be addressed as something other than a parent or a school teacher. When I took over this Pack a quarter of a century ago the Jungle names were still in use and I went along with it. The kids changed that for me - when the older kids started to feel part of the leadership team they started to call me John. We don't use Jungle names now.
    John Russell
    ex-CSL now ACSL 1st Pinhoe Exeter Devon
    Cubs don't care how much you know, but they need to know how much you care.

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    I swear one called me "sir" the other night. First one of them for a while.
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    Senior Member Shaun's Avatar
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    I never used Akela, which on a joint activity made life easier, seeing half a dozen adults jump up when Akela was shouted.
    It did confuse some kids who would be trying to talk to me and because they said Akela I would ignore them.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    I swear one called me "sir" the other night. First one of them for a while.
    I can live with sir, but my lot are primary school kids and I do object to 'miss'.
    John Russell
    ex-CSL now ACSL 1st Pinhoe Exeter Devon
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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Hah... right about now, I would use Akela...

    I have spent a lifetime and only ever met a small handful of other Ewans. Currently, I have two in Junior Navigator, so when someone calls ou "Ewan" - three of us respond...
    Ewan Scott

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  15. #11
    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    I swear one called me "sir" the other night. First one of them for a while.
    Its better than Miss whch I used to get quite often when I helped run Beavers (as there are so few male Teachers in some primary schools they think Miss is a way to address teachers and such like)

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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  16. #12
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    I think it's a nice way to doing it. It creates more familairity than the sir/miss they use at school but leaves a line there (which at Beaver and Cub age IMHO is a good idea from a safeguarding perspective). And also shows to them that they are "growing up" when they get to Scouts and start calling leaders by the first names.
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  17. #13
    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    I was Akela, but unlike other Cub Leaders I knew I never insisted the cubs used it, they would switch between my name and Akela at will, some used it always , some used it never. It was their choice, and thats how cubs should be, from the program, camps and leaders name, their choice at all times.

  18. #14
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    Reminds me of one old leader on a visit to Brownsea centenary year `shouting scouts come hear now ` ? We ended up with a lot more then we expected

  19. #15
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    I'd say...the Jungle Book titles are fun. Also, when I first started going along as an OH, I didn't have a Jungle Book name so all the Cubs just called me Gregory and they started getting a bit too familiar about it all - I don't mind Greg, but when they started calling me various other words that rhyme with Greg (like, say, Smeg) and generally showing a total disregard to the fact that I was an adult who was meant to be looking after them and running activities for them (rather than one of the kids - don't get me wrong, I do like joining in on the fun sometimes, but there does have to be some boundaries too), I felt it was going too far.

    Even after I took the name Baloo, it still took about 3 more years for all the kids who'd always called me by my real name to leave the Pack, since the first new Beavers that came up were introduced to me as Baloo - but then the older kids would just go "oh that's Greg" and completely defeated the purpose. Eventually all the existing cohort moved on and the newbies came through and started calling me Baloo. (I also made it a point of not answering to anything other than Baloo for a while, and wearing a "Baloo" badge on my uniform. Whether this had any effect is still debatable. xD)

    So yeah, I'm Baloo to the Beavers and Cubs (I may be the GSL now, but I prefer Baloo to Skip), although our Scouts have always been on first name terms with leaders - and unlike the Cubs, have the maturity to treat that privilege properly.

    But back to the Cubs - they do occasionally call me Sir (I just lol), or confuse titles and say Akela when they mean me and Baloo when they mean Akela. A few of the Beavers have called me Miss as well, which just earns a raised eyebrow. :P
    1988 - 1990: 4th Streatham Sea Scouts (PMLO), Beaver
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