Cub Scout Neckerchief Slides

photo of bobcat and tiger cub neckerchief slidesOne of our grandchildren is working his way through the first year of Cub Scouts. All forms of scouting, at least in the U.S., have a set progression of ranks, or levels. First year Cub Scouts usually see two ranks: the Bobcat and the Tiger Cub. Part of the Cub Scout uniform is a neckerchief, which is held in place not by a tied knot, but by a slide. One of the only areas of a scout’s uniform where there is latitude for personal expression is the neckerchief slide. Here’s where Grandpa steps in and does some woodcarving.

My woodcarving interest so far, has been caricature carving, and not so much animal carvings. However, these scouting symbols are not much different than caricatures. They are simplified representations of the various animals: bobcat, tiger cub, wolf and bear.

pattern and reference photosCarving these has been a multifaceted learning experience. Part of the learning was getting an actual neckerchief and determining what size hole works well (answer 3/4″). Next was making patterns from a combination of the official emblems and from lots of reference photos scavenged from the internet.

One of the discussion forums I frequent often has requests from people saying “Where can I find a pattern for such and such?” My answer to those sorts of questions (which I don’t actually post) is “Doh! find some pictures and make your own patterns. It’s easy!” Then again, “Engineering Graphics” was one of the best college courses I took some 40+ years ago … and had the most expensive textbook I’ve ever bought. I thoroughly enjoyed that course and use many aspects of it to this day.

6 photos of bobcat neckerchief slide6 photos of tiger cub neckerchief slideOne need know two major things to successfully carve these slides.  A couple of bobcats made it onto the burn pile before I learned the first thing.

1. A carnivore’s eyes are located midway between the tip of the nose and the base of the ears. Get this right and the rest of the head is not too difficult. As a minor point, youngsters such as the tiger cub are generally softer and rounder than adults.

2. Coloring and distinctive markings are as important, maybe more, than actual shape. So, painting is “the cat’s meow.”

This grandson is pleased with the results. His slightly younger cousin will also be pleased to learn that Grandpa is learning how to carve eyes.

 


7 Responses to “Cub Scout Neckerchief Slides”

  1. Cole Says:

    These absolutely rule! Great job.

  2. penny wolfe Says:

    Hi bob i have a 1953 national jamboree neckerchief slide and a bunch of other very old patches and handkerchiefs. do you know anyone in easton who collects this kind of stuff. Any help would be appreciated.
    Penny Wolfe

  3. bob Says:

    Hi Penny,
    No, I don’t know anyone who collects Boy Scout stuff; just have a grandson starting out. I’m guessing there’s someone “out there” who might be interested, but don’t know who.

    All the best….

  4. Phil Land Says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I was looking for the neckerchief slide that you did – really I was seeking a pattern, and I found yours. I posted on FaceBook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/299329207680/) some pictures of my version that I made for my son last year and also one that I designed after the Wolf from the Wolf Cub Scout book. Like you said, there is not much out there as far as patterns go. I got some nice comments on FB about it, and basically, I wanted to let you know that I gave you credit. Great slide; however, I did find the 3/4″ hole a bit too large, so on this years, I made the hole 5/8″ and they seem to stay on better.

  5. Bob Says:

    Hi Phil,
    Your slides are FABULOUS! I really like your humorous approach, and I bet the kids got a big kick from them too. Very nicely done!

  6. Frankie Says:

    Bob,

    I love these slides! I just became the den leader for a bunch of tiger scouts. Do you sell unpainted carvings of the tiger slides? Painting and personalizing them would be a great project for the boys. If so, I would like to buy 9 slides.

    Thanks,
    Frankie

  7. Bob Says:

    Hello Frankie,
    Thanks. I’m happy that you like them. Your idea is a good one and I’m sure the Cubs would enjoy what you have in mind.

    However, hand carving is slow and expensive. To make it worth my time would push the price well beyond what you would like as a project, something near $45 each. I’m guessing that’s too much. Sorry.

    Keep having fun with your den. TheCubs are so impressionable at this age and good den leaders really make a difference!