Boys' Uniformed Group: Religion

Figure 1.--Here we see a group of boys and even some girls in an oudoor setting. They look to be ivolved in some youth group activities, but may not be pat of a formal youth group. The photo dealer believes that they are a Jewish group. We would guess that they are German, photograhed about 1910..

Religions have varied somewhat in their attitudes toward youth groups. Here a factor was that Protesrants had a major role in creating modern youth grops. The Boys' Brigade, Wanfervogel, and Scouting all began as Protestant or largely Protestant movements. This was perpetuated by the fact that Boys'Brogade units and early Scout groups were organized at individual churches. As the scoting movement developed this changed ad we see schools and secular organizatons sponsoring Scout groups. Wandervogel was founded by mostly Protestants, but not closely tied to churches like the Boys' Brigade and scouting. Boys' Brigade maingained a close tie to chrches and remaoned a basically Protestant movement. Baden Powell made a ecesion fairly early to a more international, ecmenical movement. Churches continued sponsoring Scout units, but boys from non-religious families or whose hurch did not sponsor a Scout unit could also participate through a secular group like a school group or group sponsored by a fraternal or civic group. Here boys from mixed religious backgrond mixed. Ameica and Britain organized Scout movements that had one national association. Other countries allowed multiple associations which tended to organize along religious and secular lines. Catholics were at first skeptical of Scouting because of its Protestant foundation. The mocement proved so popular with boys that the Church began promting Scouting units at theur churches. While Scouting was at first a Christian movement, Jewish boys also wanted to participate. Scouting became popular among Jews in Europe and america. Syngogauges began organizing units. Non religiou Jews might join Synaggue units or secular units. And as Scouting spread beyond Europe, the Christian association was watered down, although a belief in od remained a feature. Islam does not seem to have adopted an interest in couting. We see Scouting groups in Arab countriesm but mostly in European colonies. A problemwith Islam is that the Koran teaches Muslims not to associate with Infidels. Verses like "Believers, do not seek the friendship of the infidels and those who were given the Book before you, who have made of your religion a jest and a pastime" (5:57). Thus Scouting wa never very important in Ilamic countries. We are less sure about youth grouos and other religions. Outside Europe and America, Scouting and other youth groups seem mostly secular movements.


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Created: 5:15 AM 3/25/2016
Last updated: 5:16 AM 3/25/2016