Figure 1.--Rising concern registered in the late 19th Century with the number of boys behaving roudily in public places. Growing numbers of boys were entered the monied economy and after work they wanted to kick up their heels a bit. Because of this boys' youth groups began to appear to channel their energies.
Rising concern registered in the late 19th Century with the number of boys behaving roudily in public places. Growing numbers of boys were entered the monied economy. Poverty was rife. But there were more and better paying jobs than ever before. Boys could get jobs and as a result
had more buying power than ever before. European populations were becoming increasinly urbanized. This meant that in the
anonamous city, a boys
behavior was no longer constantly monitored by family. After work they wanted to kick up their heels a bit. And in the anonamous city boys felt fewer constraints than they would have in
a small village. Groups of rowdy boys raised eyebrows and
adults discussed how to deal with the growing problems. One of the answers, prooted primarily by church groups, was to sponser youth groups to channel boys' energies. Boys' youth groups began to appear to channel their energies. Most of these
groups were uniformed groups.
The first such youth organizations began to appear in England during the 1880s. Most of the new groups were small and did not last very long. The most important of these groups was the Boys' Brigade. The groups were originally designed for poorer boys or at least less affluent boys that were not being properly supervised by their parents. The idea was to provide healthy activities to keep them out of trouble. Many groups saw military drill as such a healthy activity--naturally following from the impetus to discipline unruly boys to keep them out of trouble. Much of the adult interest in organizing these boys came from church workers and most of these groups, like the Boys' Brigade were involved with cghurch groups.
I'm not sure why this occured in England rather than other European countries. Perhaps there were developments in other
countries such as France and Germany that I just don't know about. Hopefully some of our European visitors can offer some insights here.
We notice boys wearing uniforms in other countries. A good example here is a Berlin boy about 1880. We do not have detailed ibnformatiion on the organizations involved. As far as we can tekk, they are not youth groups, but rather village or community groups like bands. Our information, however, is very limited.
Most of these early groups saw a uniform as a prerequisite. I'm not sure why this was. One factor was that a principal goal of the early boys' organizations was to instill discpline in unrully boys and a uniform was considered an aspect of discipline. This seemed to work well as the idea of wearing a uniform generally appealed to boys at the time--although affording them was a problem for many boys.
Scouting did not appear until after the turn of the century,
but some of the ground work was prepared in the late 19th century in both Britain and America. Daniel Carter Beard published American Boys Handybook in 1882. Rudyard Kipling published Jungle Book in 1894.
Daniel Carter Beard published American Boys Handybook in 1882. This was the same Daniel Carter Beard who was to open the First U.S. National Scout Jamboree in 1937. When he was of Boy Scout age the Civil War was going on and Dan Beard lived
along the Ohio River, where he saw some fighting. Afterwards he became a civil engineer, a surveyor of maps, then drifted to Manhattan, studied at the Art Students' League with famed illustrator Charles Dana Gibson and realized his future laid in illustrating. He wrote and illustrated an article for St. Nicholas called "How to Camp Without a Tent." (Some scholars might recall that it was in St. Nicholas that Francis Hogdson Burnett first published Little Lord Fauntleroy only 3 years later. Surely two more different concepts of American boyhood would be difficult to comprehend.) Beard's initial article was expanded into The
American Boys' Handy Book. The book proved enormously popular and subsequently sold over 250,000
copies--an enormous press run at the time. Clearly American boys were ready for Scouting 20 years before Scouting existed. Dan Beard continued to illustrate and write boys' books. It was not until he was 55 and editor of the
magazine Recreation, that in casting around for a circulation stunt he stirred up the beginnings of the American Scout movement. He founded in his columns The Boy Pioneers, Sons of Daniel Boone.
Rudyard Kipling published Jungle Book in 1894. Baden Powell would eventually adapt much of the lore for British Wolf Cubbing from this book.
HBU only knows of developments in America and Britain that led to the founding of Scouting in Britain during the 1900s. Surely there must have been some developments with youth groups in other country's as well. HBU would appreciate any information on such developments that HBU readers can providee on developments in their countries.
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