Another interesting question is who purchased the unforms that the children in the various groups wore. Most youth groups were middle class organizations. And participation was voluntary. This meant that the parents were largely responsible for purchasing the uniforms. And for middle-class families a youth unform was a modest expense. But the cost od participation ofren meant that low-incom children were left out. This has canged over time. Since Wotld War II, democratic countries have made enormous economic sucesss. Today most children who want to participate can but youth interest in uniformed touth groups has declined. This is in part bcause more recreational opportunities avilable for children. In addition interest among the children has declined for a range of cultural and ideological reasons. Standards concerning wearing the uniforms varied. We note many accounts of Scouts getting odd jobs so they could purchase their uniforms. This was mostly in the early years when Scouting was enormously ppular and youth activities more limited than is currently the case. This was also the case during the Depression (1930s). hen I was a Cub Scout in the 1950s we all had full, proper uniforms which we were very proud to wear. We note that latter in the 1970, many Cubs wore jeans rather than the official Cub pants. And the photohraphic record shows many example of boys and girls in group situations not wearing the proper uniform. This varied over time and fom both youth groups and individual units. We note that this was a problem with the British Boy Scouts (BBB), a rival for Baden-Powell's Boy Scout Association (BSA). Sir Francis Vane worked in working-clas areas and began pbuying the iniforms many parents could not afforsd. This was the reason that Vane quickly went bankrupt and the BBB largely collapsed. The Bitish BSA solved part of the ptoblem by making grey shorts part of the uniform for Cubs and khaki shorts for the Scouts. These were items that many boys already had. The situation was diffent in the youth groups in totalitarian countries. Here the children were required to participate, although tht did not always occur. Italian children had to join the Fscist Balilla after Mussolini seized control of Italy. This was a poor country, especially in the South, and we believe that not all children did. We see Balilla officials passing out uniforms and clothing to some of the children. The Hitler Youth organiztion expected parents to properly uniform the children. Some parents were very poor and others did not like the NAZIS, using poverty as an excuse. Some uniforms were provided, but we do not know how common they were. We belive that most of the children wanted the uniforms, which was a powerful motivation for most parents. We kniwcless about the Soviet Young Pioneers. We see few well iniformed groups before World war II. After the War we note examples of the YP passing out parade uniforms. In addition low cot uniforms were offred in Soviet srores.
The photohraphic record shows many example of boys and girls in group situations not wearing the proper uniform.
This varied over time and fom both youth groups and individual units.
Another interesting question is who purchased the unforms that the children in the various groups wore. Most youth groups were middle class organizations. And participation was voluntary. This meant that the parents were largely responsible for purchasing the uniforms. And for middle-class families a youth unform was a modest expense. But the cost od participation often meant that low-incom children were left out. But it also meant that the Government did not control the organization. We once did not think that was a seious problem. But we noe notice a serious decline in the standards at public schools and an increasingly concened about the Government in democratic socities of either maintaining discipline or promoting cultural and political maters that in a democratic society should be left up to th parents. Propgaing state sponsored politiucal attitides in particular are more associated with otaitarian ocities with often tragic consequences. Attitudes yoward youth group uniforms have canged over time. Since Wotld War II, democratic countries have made enormous economic sucesss. Today most children who want to participate can but youth interest in uniformed touth groups has declined. This is in part bcause more recreational opportunities avilable for children. In addition interest among the children has declined for a range of cultural and ideological reasons. Standards concerning wearing the uniforms varied.
The situation was diffent in the youth groups in totalitarian countries. Here the children were required to participatr, although that did not always occur. There were some positive aspects of this. It mean that children from low-income familes could enjoy a range of activities that were normally beyond the reach of their parents. Depending on the country, there were efforts in democratic countries to provide some kind of outdoor, fresh air experiences, but not generally through youth groups with the exception of the YMcA. This changed after World War II when the economic success of democratic Western Europe sunstantially increased the economic potential. The down side of the totlitarian youth groups is that parents lost control of their children and the state took control of molding their values and social outlook with dusaterous outcomes. And one should not think that the youth group experience provided by these totalitarian socities Many children did enjoy the experience. Many others did not, but were forced to participare. Milder manner boys and non-athletic boys had ahard time in the Hitler Youth. Many Soviet Pioneer camps were very poor failities quite different than the show camps used in Soviet propganda. Parents ib these totlitarian countries also hd to purchase unifirms. There were, however, as participaon was mandatory efforts to provide some unifoms to children from low-incone families. And in the Soiviet Union, uniforms could be purchased in the stores for low prices.
We have found some information on buying youth groyp uniforms on some of the many different organizations. This has varied ovr tme and from organization to organization. The ethos developed at the various organizations exhibited a range of attitudes toward uniforms. The British Boys' Brigade had a few uniform items at first and not a full uniform. Thus the boys could participate without buying an expensive uniform. The German Wandervogel had a rather infomal approach. The British Boys Scouts had a much greatr insistence on a formal uniform. This was widely repeated in other Scout organizations around the world. This raised the question of purchasing the uniform and largely restricted membership to middle-class boys. Comapnies manufacturing uniforms paid a royalty tontheScout association. This of course changed when totalitarian countrues countries began founding their own youth groups. Here participation was mandatory, rather like school. But parents were still expected to purchase the uniforms. Some unifoms were provided, but mostly parents purcased the uniforms. The Hitler Youth also gave great attenion o the unifirm. A royalty from uniform purchases was a part of he Hitler Youth funding mechanisms. The Soviets gave less attention to theoir youth group, the pioneers, than the NAZIs, And low incomes made attention to the uniform difficult. Attitudes changed after World War II. Scouts began paying less attention o the uniforn, akhough this varies from cpuntry to country. And the local Scout leaders also had an influence. Rising income levels in Euope and American meant that few boys who wanted to participte could not do so. At the same time uniform standards began to decline. We see many American boys, for exa,ple, wear jeans with their uniform. The same is true in many other countries. This of course meant that purchasing the uniform was very inexpensive. At the same time we saw the Soviet giving more atention to youth unoforms. The Soviets provided low-cost camp uniforms in the stores, And for specil events, parade uniforms were passed out to the children. These did not need to be purchased.
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