Popular Manliness: Baden Powell, Scouting and the Development of Manly Character

TitlePopular Manliness: Baden Powell, Scouting and the Development of Manly Character
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication1987
AuthorsWarren, Allen
EditorMangan, James, and James Walvin
Book TitleManliness and Morality: Middle-Class Masculinity in Britain and America, 1800-1940
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
CityNew York

This essay is concerned with one of the major attempts to give manliness a popular dimension amongst boys and young men – the Boy Scouts, whose founder Robert Baden-Powell expressed many of the ideals which were summed up in the phrase 'true manliness'. In particular, it will concentrate on the Rover Scouts, the section specifically devoted to young men over the age of eighteen and which reached its peak in terms of membership in the early 1930s. The first section will concentrate on the writings of Baden-Powell and in particular on Scouting for Boys and his later Rovering to Success and will examine how the founder of the Scouts saw the manly ideal. The second part will describe how the national headquarters of the Scout movement responded to the demand for a section for young men and what hopes they had for it. The concluding third of the essay analyses what it was like to be a Rover Scout and how far it lived up to its aim of being a ‘Brotherhood of Open Air and Service' and, finally, how those hopes fared in the very different social conditions of Britain after 1945. [Author]

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