The Junior Woodchucks are the Scouting organization to which Huey, Dewey, and Louie belong. They are usually portrayed wearing a uniform with a coonskin cap. The Junior Woodchucks were created by Carl Barks, and made their first appearance in the 1951 comic Operation St. Bernhard (Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #125). Later stories introduced a similar organization for girls, the Littlest Chickadees, to which Daisy Duck's nieces, April, May, and June belong. However, on DuckTales, Webby Vanderquack was occasionally shown to be a member of the Junior Woodchucks as well. A hallmark of the Woodchucks are exalted titles and ranks (Huey, Dewey, and Louie being promoted to become Ten Star Generals in the 1952 story of that name) and the awarding of buckets of badges, along with severe ideals as to decorum. In this way Barks poked gentle but pointed satire at aspects of the Boy Scouts.
The Junior Woodchucks also have Scoutmasters. This role is occasionally taken by Donald Duck, or Launchpad McQuack in DuckTales, where they also have a baseball team with Launchpad as its coach. In most stories the scoutmaster is a tall, strong and wise goose called "Grand Mogul".
Junior Woodchucks always carry with them a copy of the Junior Woodchucks Guidebook, a guidebook filled with detailed and pertinent information about whatever country or situation the Woodchucks find themselves. Its depth of coverage is remarkable, considering that it is a small paperback book.
Disney comic artist and writer Don Rosa created a comic regarding the origin of the Junior Woodchucks Guidebook, Guardians of the Lost Library. Rosa's later story W.H.A.D.A.L.O.T.T.A.J.A.R.G.O.N. tells of how Huey, Dewey, and Louie came to join the Junior Woodchucks.
In 1971, Carl Barks drew a model sheet of the nephews, with some of the drawings showing them in their Junior Woodchuck uniforms, for the Disney studio's publications department.
Most of the early Junior Woodchucks stories appeared in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories. In 1966, they got their own title, Huey, Dewey, and Louie and the Junior Woodchucks, published by Gold Key Comics for 62 issues, and then continued by Whitman Comics for another 20 issues until 1983. The stories which Carl Barks wrote for this comic book, among the last comic book stories he scripted, were drawn by Kay Wright, John Carey, and Tony Strobl. More recently, Daan Jippes has been commissioned by Egmont to redraw these stories emulating Barks' style and drawing inspiration from the sketches of Barks' storyboard-like scripts.
In the comic book adaptation of the Darkwing Duck pilot, "Darkly Dawns the Duck", it is shown that Darkwing has a copy of the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook, revealing that he was a Junior Woodchuck in his youth. However, in the actual episode, the book is instead referred to as "a boy scout handbook".
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy once claimed, in his TV show, to have been a member of the Junior Woodchucks in his childhood.
The Junior Woodchucks are unisex in DuckTales reboot series. In the episode "Nothing Can Stop Della Duck!", Della references the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook as to how sturdy her prosthetic leg is, which Huey uses as proof that she is indeed his mother. In addition, Violet Sabrewing is revealed to be a Junior Woodchuck in the episode "Challenge of the Senior Junior Woodchucks!". In that same episode, it's revealed that Donald was kicked out of the Junior Woodchucks due to his unstable temper around nature rather than being a scoutmaster.
The Chickadee Patrols, sometimes also called the Littlest Chickadees, are female counterparts to the Junior Woodchucks. The Chickadees first appeared in "The Chickadee Challenge," a Carl Barks Donald Duck story in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #161 (1954). The Chickadees' Duckburg patrol is led by a brawny woman named Captain Ramrod. Daisy Duck's nieces April, May, and June are members of the Chickadees. The Chickadees are named after the chickadee, a species of small bird; the phrase "littlest chickadee" also suggests "my little chickadee", a term of endearment classically used by W. C. Fields.
The Chickadee Patrols are based to some extent on the Girl Scouts of the USA and the Campfire Girls. In the spirit of friendly rivalry, the Duckburg troops of the Little Chickadees and Junior Woodchucks once held a bridge-building competition, which ended in a tie.
Carl Barks wrote a poem which mentions the rivalry between the two groups:
- The world is full of clans and cults
- Abuzz as angry bees
- And Junior Woodchucks snapping jeers
- At Littlest Chickadees
- In "Guardians of the Lost Library", it is shown that the first Woodchuck merit badge was awarded to Fulton Gearloose (Gyro Gearloose's father) in 1903, for inventing the first merit badge.
- In the same story as above, it is shown that a merit badge for having the most merit badges was awarded to Dilton Dingus in 1939. In the award ceremony, Dilton is shown with the chest full of merit badges, and just that additional merit badge is enough to cause him to fall to the ground because of their weight.