The section was founded by Robert Baden Powell (B.P.), with the intention of extending the scouting movement to younger children. B.P. asked his friend Rudyard Kipling to use The Jungle Book history and universe as motivational frame for cub scouting. Reflecting this origin, the original name for the section in the UK was the "Wolf Cubs"; this was dropped in the latter half of the twentieth century.
The Cubs were originally open only to boys, and the Brownies were set up as a parallel section for young girls. This remains the situation in some places. Even where girls are admitted to the Cubs, in some places there are separate packs for boys and girls.
Cub scouts are organised in packs, which are usually linked to a scout group, providing a community with all the age-sections. Adult leaders of Cub packs take the names of The Jungle Book's main characters.