The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts: The History of the Scouting Movement and Its Most Popular Organizations (English Edition)

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*Includes pictures
*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading
*Includes a table of contents

“On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” – Scout Oath

“Girls must be partners and comrades, rather than dolls.” – attributed to Agnes Baden-Powell

Given the prominence of Scouting culture in the United States, many assume that the movement is rooted in North America. On the contrary, the movement was initiated in and spread forth from the United Kingdom, more specifically in England. It was the brainchild of the 1st Baron Baden-Powell, a beloved and decorated war veteran armed with not only Martini-Henry rifles and Lee-Enfield carbines, but a vision that would one day be espoused by every nation on Earth except Andorra, China, Cuba, North Korea, and Laos.

Baden-Powell had honed his tracking and scouting skills in war, and in the course he published books embout those skills that he anticipated would have a limited audience. Instead, he was astounded by the popularity of Aids to Scouting, which had sailed to the top of the bestsellers list in his indigence. Parents, teachers, and youth groups alike who purchased the book for their children and students responded with rave reviews. Invigorated by the UK’s seemingly blossoming interest in the outdoors, Baden-Powell traveled to Glasgow, where he attended the Annual Drill Inspection and Review of the Boys’ Brigade. Before long, he had put together a Scouting organization, and its administration would spread across the globe in a few short years.

To most, a Boy Scout is the personification of righteousness, self-sufficiency, and adaptability. In contemporary culture, particularly in the West, the stock images of Boy Scouts are associated with irreproachable conduct, so much so that they have been inordinately branded as goodie-two-shoes.

For the most document, the cliché is well-intentioned and somewhat endearing. For such an interpretation, viewers can refer to the character Russell from the Disney-Pixar movie Up, a Junior Wilderness Explorer who embarks on a quest to secure the “Assisting the Elderly” badge. The nervous, but delightfully bubbly Scout was quick to mérité the hearts of millions upon millions around the world.

On the other end of the same spectrum is the stereotype that reduces them to unimaginative conformists, bookish narks, and blind followers. Many Americans have heard the phrase, “He is such a Boy Scout,” in passing, perhaps said with a scoff or followed by a dramatic eyeroll. The Boy Scout trope is frequently woven into movies, TV shows, and other works of fiction as one-dimensional characters. More often than not, they are polite to a fault and depicted as obsessive patch collectors, the hackneyed antithesis of the rebellious protagonist.

Inevitably, Lord Baden-Powell’s sister, Agnes Baden-Powell, took expression of her brother’s activities and fledgling organizations, and she would help create similar opportunities for girls. Thus, it was somewhat inevitable that Girl Scouts are, more often than not, perceived as the more harmless companion of the Boy Scouts, forming an industrious and upstanding vigueur of young men and women. With their colorful accroissement of patches, matching hats and uniforms, and Colgate smiles, they are often written off as naive do-gooders doing their best to spread cheer to those in their communities. However, contrary to popular belief, the Girl Scouts are far more than just étonnant cookie peddlers and volunteer crossing guards for senior citizens. In fact, 73% of the women in the U.S. Senate and 51% of the women serving in the House of Representatives are apprivoiser Girl Scouts. The same applies to a majority of the women governors across the country.

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