In 1984, the Utah National Parks Council Cub Scout Committee decided there was a need to have further training for the Cub Scout Leaders in the Utah National Parks Council. A committee was formed to decide what was needed. They wrote and rewrote and revised and rewrote many different classes for leaders to learn the Cub Scout program to its fullest extent.
In May of 1987, the first course was held at Camp Maple Dell with 28 participants. It was 4 1/2 days long. Every night at staff meeting the staff would revise the program again to make it work for the participants.
It was because of these pioneers of the program that the course was successful. After each course, there were a few changes to help the program fill the needs of future leaders. When new programs were developed by national BSA, they were incorporated into the program. Not only did participants learn more than they ever dreamed, they also came away with a deeper conviction to the program and friendships to last a lifetime. The program has proven itself over and over. It has survived through snow, wind, rain, hail, and fire. It will survive for many years to come because of the need for all leaders to have a further training, and because of the dedication of those first leaders who had the intuition to do what was needed to make the Cub Scout Program work for the boys. ~ Jeannette Jensen 1997 Cubmaster AC-9
The first eleven Akela’s Council courses were held at Maple Dell Scout Camp in Payson Canyon. Maple Dell was established in 1945. Each campsite was named for a Native American Tribe. At the first Akela’s Council in 1987, dens were named for the campsites they occupied. For a little more than three decades, Akela’s Council honored the traditions and history of indigenous peoples with dens named for those tribes.
Akela's Council courses often included BSA Outdoor certification for Cub Scouts, and were a week long or two long weekends. One day the Kitchen staff would go on strike and dens would go on a treasure hunt seeking the food and supplies that they would need to prepare meals.
Recognizing the need to shorten the course, changes came. Dens no longer made their flags and staff found ways to more efficiently present important information. They made sure to keep the energy and fun.
As the Cub Scout program changed, Akela's Council kept up with the times. Den Mothers became Den Leaders.
We said goodbye to arrow heads and tracking beads on the uniform.
Belt loops from sports switched over to Adventure belt loops.
The program grew and we had more participants on waiting lists.
For more than 100 years, BSA had a strong partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The church chartered thousands of packs, troops, and crews, including more than 95% of Utah Scouting units. With growing international membership, the church decided to develop internal children and youth programs and ended BSA charters at the end of 2019. If you find old Akela's Council materials, you might find some terminology that catered directly to that huge demographic.
BSA introduced Tiger Cubs in 1982, but there weren't very many in the Intermountain West for a few decades.
Fall 2016 was the Lion Cub Pilot debut and Lions were officially available in all packs starting in 2018.
October 2017 was the beginning of girls in Cub Scouts.
Akela's Council was ready with recommendations, explanations, ideas, and help to get these new dens on the Cub Scout Trail.
The Crossroads of the West Council was created in April 2020 by consolidating the former Great Salt Lake, Trapper Trails, and Utah National Parks councils.
Most Akela's Council courses over the years have included participants from all three former councils and from other Councils around the country.
From the very beginning, Crossroads of the West Council has been proud to host Akela's Council as the premier Cub Scout training event.
In 2021, with the brand new Council, we decided it was a good time to introduce a different theme for Akela’s Council.
We turned to the roots of Cub Scouts. We looked for inspiration to Sir Robert Baden-Powell. In 1914 Robert Baden-Powell announced a Junior Section for Scouting. In 1916, he published his plan to be called Wolf Cubbing.
Baden-Powell asked his friend Rudyard Kipling for the use of his Jungle Book history and universe as a motivational frame in cub scouting. Kipling agreed.
Rudyard Kipling obtained the name "Akela" from Hindi, meaning "alone."
In Cub Scout packs, Akela is a symbol of wisdom, authority, and leadership. Akela is anyone who acts as a leader to the Scout. Akela can be a Cubmaster, Den Leader, parent or teacher depending on where the guidance takes place. In den meetings, it is the Den Leader who is Akela. During pack meetings it is the Cubmaster. At home, the parents fill this role.
We retain the original logo and feathers that have been symbols of Akela's Council since the beginning.
In the Jungle Book, Rann the Kite dropped his feathers to mark the trail of the Bandar-log monkeys who stole Mowgli away. Mowgli’s friends, Bagheera, Baloo, and Kaa followed the trail of the feathers to recover and protect Mowgli.
At Akela’s council, we will also recognize feathers as trail markers in our own quest to become better Cub Scout leaders.
The Tipi, Teepee, Lavvu, Chum, Goahti, Yurt, Kota, Wigwam, and Wikiup are distinct types of more-or-less conical dwellings originally developed by indigenous people of North America, Europe, and Asia. Conical homes have also been common in Africa and across the pacific islands, though the traditional pacific Island hut is more often a triangular shape than a cone. Many cultures spanning the entire world have used structures similar to the teepee. Outdoor enthusiasts still choose the advantages of the Teepee design when selecting their camping gear.
In the Akela’s council logo, the Teepee signifies home.
A Cub Scout's most important social structure is their family. American homes vary so much in shape, size, and material. While some may live in apartments or condos, others may live in town homes or single-family homes. Some may live in mobile homes and some may have multiple homes due to shared custody or other reasons. Using the Teepee allows us to see our own home in the symbol of home that crosses cultures and continents in a simple, small, triangular shelter that brings the family in together.