We do not know of any early youth groups in France before Scouting. Youth groups appeared in America, Britain, and Germany before Scouting and those groups all had a major influence on the Scouting program that eventually emerged. This did not occur in France as far as we can tell. We are not entirely sure why that was. We also notice considerable resistance to Scouting when it first emerged. This may have represented an anti-British bias. It certainly represented a resistance from the Catholic Church toward competition over the right to mold character and morals of young people. Resisting Scouting proved to be losing struggle, too many boys wanted to participate in Scouting. The Church eventually had to yield, but only after founding a Catholic Scouting association. Scouting emerged as a major activity for French boys, primarily middle-class boys in the inter-War era. After the Germany World War II occupation, Vichy attempted to promote a nationalist youth movement, but it did not attract the interest of large numbers of French boys like Scouting.
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