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Cub Scout Handbooks

Lion Rank

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Items from the Past

Books and Other Printed Material

First Edition—1930-1936

Cover art by Andy Janson.  144 pages, 4 1/2” x 7”. Illustrations were ink drawings by Andy Janson.  

Akela, Baloo, and Mowgli from Kipling’s “Jungle Book” had been transferred to North America. The lion, of course, did not appear in Jungle Book. It was added as a passing nod to the “British Lion”. Tests and award schemes were rewritten with help from educators and child psychologists.

Second Edition 1937-1946

Cover art by Andy Janson. 144 pages until wartime restrictions dropped it to 124 pages. 4 1/2” x 7”. Illustrations were ink drawings by Andy Janson.

Cubbing underwent several changes during this time. The Webelos Rank, later called “Arrow of Light”, was created in 1941. Cubs BSA became Cub Scouts in 1945.

Second Edition 1948-1953

Art by Don Ross. 156 pages, 5 1/2” x 8”. Illustrations were two color (blue and black) linear cartoons by Don Ross.

The driving force behind the book was a rewrite for ten year old boys. An age change was meant to take place in 1947 or 1948, but was delayed till 1949.

Third Edition 1954-1966

Cover art by Don Ross. With Webelos’ emphasis on Boy Scout skills, the fleur-de-lis looms symbolically just behind a lion statue. 188 pages, 5 1/2” x 8”. Illustrations were mostly the same two color (brown and black) linear cartoons that appeared in the Second Edition.

The Webelos Rank had been around since 1945, but the program was granted more prominence with the third edition. By mid-1955 the Webelos Den was instituted, with its own Webelos Den patch.

What happened to the Lion Rank?

1967 was the next big change in Cub Scouts.  The rank of Lion was dropped, 15 activity badges were added and the last year of Cubs became the Webelos program.  Although a number of references say that it was at this time that the original Webelos rank became the Arrow of Light rank, that name change did not occur until beginning of 1972.  The 1971 printing of the Wolf Cub Scout Book still refer to the highest Cub Scout rank as the Webelos rank.