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Modern Manhood and the Boy Scouts of America"Citizenship, Race, and the Environment, 1910-1930"$
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Benjamin René Jordan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627656

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627656.001.0001

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Scout Character

Scout Character

Men’s Skills for Corporate-Industrial Work and Urban Society

Chapter:
(p.44) 2 Scout Character
Source:
Modern Manhood and the Boy Scouts of America
Author(s):

Benjamin René Jordan

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627656.003.0003

Chapter 2 argues that American officials and their Scout Handbook significantly modified the original British program and its Scout Laws and Scout Oath. American leaders replaced British Scouting’s nineteenth century emphasis on self-made manhood and militarism with a modern character development system for adolescent boys that emphasized urban-industrial values such as scientific efficiency and cooperative loyalty to expert managers. American Boy Scout programming maintained some continuity with Victorian manhood’s productive work ethic, modesty, and self-discipline with its Laws on being thrifty and cheerful as well as its merit-based rank and badge tests and advancement program. Scout Laws on being courteous and helpful taught boy members to lead society through serving the community, while Laws on being clean and brave attempted to quarantine Boy Scouts from any demoralizing influences in a rapidly modernizing society.

Keywords:   Scout Handbook, Scout Laws, Scout Oath, Self-made manhood, Character development, Adolescent boy, Scientific efficiency, Cooperative loyalty, Victorian manhood, Work Ethic

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