After the inauguration of the Boy Scout movement in 1908, Baden-Powell encouraged a few English Scoutmasters to experiment with ways of working with boys below Boy Scout age. The first Scouting proposal for younger boys was published in the Headquarters Gazette of the British Boy Scouts Association in January, 1914. The name Junior Scouts was used originally, however, Baden-Powell recognized the need to invent a name and a theme around which a program for younger boys could be built. He found this in one of the most famous children's classics The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling. This book deals with the adventures of a boy among the animals of India. The stories include Mowgli, the boy, and Akela, the wise old wolf, head of the Pack.
Kipling was an old friend of Baden-Powell and agreed to let Baden-Powell use his jungle stories and his jungle characters as the basis of a program for younger boys. Baden-Powell's program for young Scouts first appeared in 1916 under the title The Wolf Cubs Handbook. The program was referred to as the Wolf Cubs and a boy who joined a pack became a Wolf Cub. An adult Cubmaster known as Akela was in charge of the pack. The Wolf Cub pledged himself to the Wolf Cub Promise and followed the Law of the Pack. Among themselves, Wolf Cubs greeted each other by holding up two fingers of the right hand to imitate the alert ears of a real wolf cub.
The Boy Scouts of America showed an interest in Baden-Powell's Wolf Cub program. In 1919 the American Scout organization studied it and considered the possibility of introducing it into America. During the next few years, Wolf Cub Packs patterned on Baden-Powell's English program appeared in a number of communities throughout the country. However, the demand for a younger boy program sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America grew. The Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America established a committee to study the program for younger boys and retained an American educator, Dr. H. W. Hurt, to formulate a national program. The Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Foundation made available a substantial grant for an investigation of the interest and needs of younger boys which would appeal to them and yet serve the purposes of Scouting.
In the creation of a Cub Scout program for American boys, the international terms were selected wherever possible, i.e., Cubs for the boys and Cubmaster and Akela for the leaders. But the program and organization of American Cubbing became different from the British program. In Britain, many phases of Cubbing were patterned after Scouting. In America the Cub program revolved around the home and immediate neighborhood and the theme was modified to relate to American Indian lore.
On August 1, 1929, the first official Cub packs were organized to test the new program. Based on the experiences of these pack, the program was made available to all Scout Councils in 1933. Cub Pack 144 grew out of an informal gathering of approximately 100 neighborhood boys at Bryant Grade School, 3311 Northeast 60th Street, Seattle, Washington, in the fall of 1929. Included in this group were the sons of Howard Krippner. Krippner was encouraged by his sons to come to the school and help give direction to the activities of the boys who met there. From these meetings in 1929 and 1930, evolved the nucleus of the first Cub Pack 144. With Howard Krippner as Cubmaster, application was made on December 23, 1930, to the Seattle Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. The first charter was granted for the year ending December 31, 1931. Cub Pack 144 is now the oldest Cub Pack chartered by the Seattle Area Council and is one of the oldest Packs in the United States.
The Pack was started by dads and has remained true to this tradition throughout the years. In addition to Akela and Den Dads, dads form operating committees that direct the Pack's activities. The funds to meet all yearly expenditures, are derived from the annual nut sale, well nuts, coffee, and chocolate, which is conducted over a three-week period in October.
Cub Pack 144 membership is limited to around 90 boys assigned to nine dens. The Pack meets on Wednesday nights during the school year at Bryant School. Although the pack originally met on Thursday nights and I believe it changed due to a conflict with the school some time in the early 90s.
We have four overnight camping trips each year for the Cubs and their dads. The first in September is to Blake Island State Park. In January, the Pack goes winter camping at the Mountaineer's Lodge on Mt Baker, although in years prior the pack went to the Mountaineers Lodge on Snoqualmie Pass, but unfortunately it was burnt down, I must point out that this was at no fault to the pack. In March or April there is a spring camp out that has been held at various locations. Lately it has been Milersulvania but this year and next at Ft Flaggler.
The camping highlight of the year is the last overnight trip to "Camp Shelton" on Cornet Bay near Deception Pass. This trip is a Pack 144 tradition which has particular historic significance. In the spring of 1933, while on a work party to Camp Parsons, Howard Krippner met Chief William Shelton of the Snohomish Tribe. A friendship developed and Chief Shelton invited Howard Krippner and the Cubs of Pack 144 to visit the Tulalip reservation and camp overnight. The Pack slept in the old Council House with its totem poles and gathered around the campfire and listened to Chief Shelton talk of Indian legends and life before the White Man.
This overnight trip has been made each year since 1933. Chief Shelton died in 1938 but for several years thereafter the Pack continued to visit the reservation. In memory of Chief Shelton the final outing of the year is named after him. Each Cub making the trip for the first time is initiated into the secret order called the Secret of Shelton and is entitled to wear a special insignia on his uniform.
Cub Pack 144 has five traditional annual events when the whole family participates. These include the Halloween and Christmas parties (although we no longer do the Christmas party); Pinewood Derby; Blue and Gold Banquet; and the final event of the year, the Pack 144 Family Picnic known today as the AOL Picnic. The boys can receive awards that they have earned at Blake Island, the Halloween Party; Blue and Gold Banquet; or the year end Family Picnic. The family Picnic is a special gathering because next year's Akela is announced and the Pack song is sung one last time.
We pay tribute to Howard Krippner in many ways and associate him with the operational policies and traditions that we enjoy today. It is appropriate that we know something about this man.
Howard Lincoln Krippner was born January 2, 1895 in Milton, Wisconsin. He held membership in the United Boys Brigades of America from May 7, 1909 until this group transferred into the Boy Scouts of America. Howard Krippner's membership certificate in the Boy Scouts of America is dated January 10, 1911. His association with Scouting in the Seattle area is highlighted as follows:
Howard Krippner periodically attended Cub Pack 144 events in later years as evidence of his commitment to the Scouting program. He died in the late 1970's. It is the dedication of individuals like Mr. Krippner, and the participation of many dads since, that have kept the traditions of Cub Pack 144 alive for more than 80 years.