Re: BSA as Paramilitary
Bob Ellis (rhellis@SERVTECH.COM)
Mon, 22 Sep 1997 21:05:51 -0400
At 10:39 AM 9/22/97 -0400, you wrote:
>Rodrigo Sandoval Velazquez wrote:
>>Let's remember that the scout movement begun as a paramilitary movement,
>>as the society keep changing so we will change, discipline is important,
>>to have honor, and good values are the basis to go ahead in life.
>>There are some things that come to my mind right now, you must learn to
>>obbey so later you can give orders, you need to learn how to be in a
>>team and work as a team am I right??
>>Scout movement teached me this and a lot more
>Hi Roberto -
>I am not as sure of Boy Scouting in Englans as in the US. At the Wood Badge
>course I am in (NE II -90), I was the patrol leader of the program patrol
>(Buffalos -- Herd of us?) for the campfire on Friday night. At that
>campfire, I told a story about Ernest Thompson Seton. Seton is th person
>for whom the camp was nemaed, and was the first "Chief Scout" for BSA, and
>wrote the first handbook.
>One part of the story was about Seton's leaving scouts in 1915 because he
>felt that scouting was getting "too military." Remember this was in the
>days leading up to World War I.
>So while we must learn discipline, and there may be some military
>"overtones" to some aspects of scouting, I do not believe that our roots
>are in a "paramilitary movement" as you state.
>Yours in Scouting (world wide!)
>Michael A. Golrick email@example.com
>Southern Connecticut Library Council
I would like to put my two bits in on the scouting movement not having a
"paramilitary origin." There is a recent book published on the origins of
scouting at the turn of the century called "The Character Factory: Baden
Powell's Boy Scouts and the Imperatives of Empire." It makes quite clear
that Baden-Powells genius was in developing a program that used some of the
character building aspects of the military while emphasizing the fun of
scouting (as in tracking and following) in a non military way. He was
adamant in continually emphasing the non military nature of his ideas and
program. Remember, too, that Seaton had his own boys program in the States
before Baden-Powell and his program never really went anywhere because of
what many people said was its huge emphasis on indian spiritualism. Also,
he felt that Baden-Powell stole some of his good ideas and that he, in fact,
was the true inventor of Scouts--Seaton even said so on numerous occasions.
Although he may say that he quit because of its militarism, I would like to
humbly suggest that he quite in a fit of pique because he was unable to
shape BSA in the image of his "Red Indian" ideas. Remember, too, that there
were a variety of boys groups at the turn of the century in England and the
military ones like the "Boys Brigades" were somewhat successful but
heavily criticized because of their militarism. B-P was acutely aware of
those criticisms and worked hard to avoid them and I believe that that is
one of the reasons that the scouting movment was initially so popular and
has been so enduring.
...Well I used to be an Eagle, and a good old Eagle too . . .
Chauterie District, Allegheny Highlands Council, Western New York.
Chairman, Camping and Outdoor Activities and Training Committee
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