The White Scarf

The white scarf is given to children who have joined the pack, and have not yet been invested.

The white scarf can best be explained to the Cub as being like the white paint that is put on Zulu boys when they are ready to prove that they are men, or warriors of the tribe. A boy is completely painted with white paint. He would be given a shield for protection and a small spear to hunt and obtain food. If he was seen by any other Zulu during this time the Zulu may capture and kill him, and that white paint would take about 6 weeks to wear off - it would not wash off.

And so, for a period of 6 weeks, the boy would have to hide in the jungle, and live as best he could.

He would have to follow deer tracks and creep up near enough to spear the animal in order to get food and clothing for himself. He had to make fires to cook his food by rubbing two sticks, he had no matches with him. He had to be careful not to let his fire smoke too much, or it would catch the eye of Zulu hunters.

He had to be able to run long distances, to climb trees and to swim rivers in order to escape those chasing and hunting him. He had to be brave and stand up to a lion or tiger or any other animal that attacked him.

He had to know which plants were good to eat and which were poisonous and how to cook them. He had, of course, to make his own cooking pots of the bark of a tree or of clay. He had to build himself a hut to live in, but well hidden.

He had to care that he left no tracks which could be followed. He had to learn not to snore, to keep his mouth shut and to breathe quietly through his nose.

All this he had to do for 6 weeks, sometimes in burning heat, sometimes in cold rain, while the white paint wore off.

If the boy can survive until his paint wears off he can return to the tribe and is accepted as a man and a warrior.

So you can see Cub Scouts, the white paint test of Zulu boys is a pretty tough test. In presenting you with this white scarf, it means that you have to prove to us, yours leaders, that you are ready to become a Cub Scout.