The only part of a Scout uniform not standardized, the woggle, or neckerchief slide, is regulated only by its maker’s imagination.
The woggles that you see on these pages were all made or collected by Don Gubler of Bountiful, Utah. Many of them—like the first-aid kit, the digital watch, the flashlight, the abacus, and the old-fashioned bow saw—are useful because they really work! The wind-up woodpecker and drum-playing bear, the moose- and bear-head whistles, the wooden jigsaw-puzzle pieces, the jack-in-the-box, the Grover finger puppet, and the jack-o’-lantern (which lights up) also work, but they are mostly just for fun.
Many of the woggles are made of authentic materials—the shark jaws, the rattlesnake skin and rattle, the sea horse, the praying mantis egg case, the scarab beetle, and the Swiss cowbell (from Don’s mission). Some are made of fascinating substitute materials—the beaver made from a real muskrat skull, the cowhorn trophy and the Indian war tomahawk with parts made of real mouse fur, and the carved pretzel made with real pretzel salt on it.
One whole set of woggles comes from foreign lands: Africa, Germany, the Philippines, Mexico, Scotland, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, Korea, Holland, England, Canada, Tunisia, Puerto Rico, Egypt, South Africa, and India. Collected mostly at Scout jamborees, they are made of native leather, plants, gum nuts, wood, silver, enamel, fired pottery, cow horn, impala fur and springbok fur, aluminum, bamboo, and even a jam jar lid.
Among the more imaginative woggles are the containers of “dehydrated water” (just add water, and mix!), the “girelephant” made from a deer vertebra, the three heads of a totem, the rabbit carved from a single piece of branch, the alabaster tombstone, and the owl with glow-in-the-dark eyes.
The woggles range from easy to difficult to make. A few of the ones that show especially fine craftsmanship are the log cabin (the walls were made of swab sticks; the roof shingles were individually carved), the log-carrying beaver (all carved from one piece of aspen wood, then real birch bark glued onto the log in the beaver’s mouth), and the duck.
Two woggles of particular interest are the chessboard and the arrow in the bottle. The men on the chessboard are set up in a clever situation. You give your opponent his choice of color, but you get to make the first move. And regardless of which color he chooses, you can win with that first move!
Now, take a good look at the arrow in the bottle (page 10). How do you suppose it got in there? Try to figure it out before reading about it.
Brother Gubler has just finished making a bust of President Benson (complete with glasses), and is in the process of making a BYU cougar, a sleeping bat, and a carved Pinocchio. And he has hundreds of ideas for more wonderful woggles. …