Woggle

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A Turk's head woggle and Wood Badge

A woggle is a device to fasten the neckerchief, or scarf, worn as part of the Scout or Girl Guides uniform, originated by a Tasmanian Scout in the 1920s.

Origins of the woggle[edit]

Early Scouts tied a knot in their neckerchief (scarf) to fasten it around the neck. In America, experiments were made with rings made from bone, rope or wood.[1]

A young Australian Scout, Bill Shankley, who was responsible for running a workshop and developing ideas for camping equipment at Gilwell Park, became aware of the American rings, and set out to create something similar. The result was the Gilwell Woggle.

On the origin of the Woggle, Shankley said:

They used to knot their scarves, which used to get creased and stick out at the ends. But in America the early scouts used to plait up various stuffs to make a ring for theirs — they called it a boon-doggle. I got some thin sewing machine leather belting, plaited it into a neat ring, submitted it, and had it accepted. I called it a Woggle and that’s the name it’s known by throughout the world[2]

History[edit]

The earliest known reference to a Woggle is the June 1923 edition of The Scout. The term was quickly applied to other designs of fastener, of many shapes and sizes, and is today used around the world.

The word ring was used in editions of the Scouting handbook Scouting for Boys until 1929 when Baden-Powell changed it in the 14th edition:

It [the scarf] may be fastened at the throat by a knot or woggle, which is some form of ring made of cord, metal or bone, or anything you like.[1]

Gilwell Woggle[edit]

A Finnish Gilwell Woggle

The Woggle designed by Bill Shankley became known as the Gillwell Woggle, as it has been traditionally presented to leaders who have completed their Wood Badge training. Trained leaders are admitted into 1st Gillwell Park Scout Troop, with the Gilwell Woggle as one of its symbols. Because of its association it is not worn by other scouts.

At the 1989 US National Scout Jamboree, William "Green Bar Bill" said to me (Jim Newell): "Francis Gidney was the Camp Chief for the first two courses at Gilwell Park. Francis Gidney knew that most folks were not good wood carvers and asked them to make their own neckerchief slides by tying the Turk's-head knot." This in no way is intended to contradict the contribution made by Bill Shankley.

New Zealand Scout Woggle[edit]

New Zealand Scout Woggle

The New Zealand Scouts sometimes use a plastic Woggle in the shape of a traditional Maori carved head, more commonly though warranted leaders trained to Gilwell Woggle standard are allowed to wear the "traditional" leather Turk's head woggle. Keas, Cubs, Scouts, Venturers and Rovers all wear either a "standard" woggle for their section, or home-made "special occasion" woggles such as the tiki mentioned above. Until trained to the Gilwell woggle level, leaders wear a plaited leather woggle with a dome fastening.

Origins of the name[edit]

One story relating to the origin of the word woggle is that it was named to rhyme with the word boon doggle used in America. However the term woggle pre-dates the first known reference to this in 1925.[3] There are a few other references to the word woggle before its adoption by the Scout movement. It is thought that woggle was a verb, with similar meanings to waggle and wobble, in the 16th century. It was in limited use as a noun around 1900.[3]

Other names[edit]

Although the name woggle is used in many English-speaking countries, in the United States, the term woggle is reserved for the turk's head knot used to secure the neckerchief of Woodbadge participants. In the US, the object used to secure the neckerchief is called a neckerchief slide. In the BSA magazine Boy's Life, the term "Woggle" first appears in Feb. 1966 (Page 71) with reference to a question where a slide is said to be referred to as a woggle by British Scouts. The Slide or Neckerchief Slide appears as early as october 1923 Page 62 with a discussion of the slide being a smart addition to the neckerchief and having some benifits over a knot to tie the neckerchief on. The article makes reference to making your own troop or patrol slide. Also in this same atricle, on page 63, the Slide is referred to as a "Slip-On"

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Woggle World
  • Exciting Scoutcraft — neckerchief slides, SWAPS, crafts, and activities with detailed instructions for Scouts and Scouters of all ages and skills
  • Woodland Woggle 10k — A woggle through the woodland "one of the prettiest 10K in England" in aid of local scouts.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://wayback.archive.org/web/20131019045255/http://www.scoutbase.org.uk/library/hqdocs/facts/pdfs/fs145003.pdf UK ScoutBase article on the woggle. Retrieved on 2009-09-08
  2. ^ Jeffrey, Ray, The History of Scouting in Tasmania 1909 - 1985, page 81. Published by The Scout Association of Australia, Tasmanian Branch. ISBN 0-949180-08-4
  3. ^ a b Walker, Colin. "Scouting Milestones - Woggle". Saratoga News. Archived from the original on 1 February 2012. Retrieved 2009-09-08.