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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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Practical Citizenship

Practical Citizenship

Chapter:
(p.84) 3 Practical Citizenship
Source:
Modern Manhood and the Boy Scouts of America
Author(s):

Benjamin René Jordan

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627656.003.0004

As civic service initiatives and the growing Progressive reform emphasis on government by expert committees and quantitative analysis displaced nineteenth century politics’ reliance on partisan loyalty and patronage appointments, early Boy Scouts of America officials partnered with supporters such as Theodore Roosevelt to promulgate a practical civic training program emphasizing nonpartisan, service leadership and performing a Daily Good Turn to those in need. The organization developed a neutral stance on the militarism and preparedness issue by downplaying martial drill and rifles and getting boy members to contribute significantly to civilian service drives during World War One. Boy Scout leaders emphasized the interdependence and camaraderie of the Scout uniform rather than its military connotations. Local and national government officials from all parties and regions responded to these efforts by showering the Boy Scouts of America organization with a range of exclusive privileges: land for camping and hiking, equipment, transportation, outdoor and emergency training, the country’s second federal charter, and the Presidents of the United States serving actively as Honorary Presidents of the Boy Scouts.

Keywords:   Progressive reform, Theodore Roosevelt, Civic training, Nonpartisan, Service leadership, Good Turn, Militarism, Scout uniform, World War One

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