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Cubs, Boy Scouts and Akelas (3 photos)

'Cubs was Thursday and Mum would feed me and off I would go for an evening of howling and tying knots,' author recalls

Postcard Memories is a weekly series of historic postcard views and photos submitted by René Hackstetter.


We were all young wolves in the wolf pack and Akeela was our den mother.

Cubs was Thursday and Mum would feed me and off I would go for an evening of howling and tying knots.

In the fifties and sixties, Scouting was still in vogue. It was a social revolution that swept from Britain, home of the Queen, Baden-Powell, and all things Empire.

Led by none other than former scouts, who had grown their hair past their ears, and, instead of pipes and drums, had bass guitars and amps.

John Lennon, it is reported, was a member of 3rd Allerton, Paul MacCartney, also a scout, nearly missed his date at the Cavern Club in Hamburg because he was at camp. They first met in the basement of St.Peters church!

Honour and duty to God is the Scout promise.

Be prepared is the motto and help everyone.

Leave the campsite clean so that no one knows you were there.

Memories arise of a round turn and two half hitches, the old high school gym and the squeak of  runners on varnished wood floors.

“Observe scouts, for one minute, the objects on this table,” intones the troop leader. The object is to recall all the objects one by one after they are covered from view.

Kim’s Game, well-known by Baden-Powell, was introduced to improve memory and recall for us of unruly mind.

Mnemonic devices…who knew?

I just wanted to use that word because an n follows and m in a strange and silent way.

This was BP’s nefarious purpose of course, to train millions of boys in all manner of first-aid, bushcraft, tracking, semaphore and Morse code.

We were Scouts weren’t we? We were ahead of the forces, checking to see the way was safe.

Good for him for having such a lasting influence on our lives.

Did any of this stick, you may ask? To this day.

I still grew my hair long and joined the revolution.

Copyright René Hackstetter November 7, 2020.