|Institution:||University of Liverpool|
|Full text PDF:||http://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/3007246/1/200907816_Sep2016.pdf|
This thesis examines the development of the Edwardian Scouting Movement through the experiences of the young, ambitious individuals who first took up Robert Baden-Powells call-to-action. By putting the recorded testimony of the individuals at the centre of the analysis, this thesis will challenge existing narratives that insinuate boys were passive participants in an organisation directed and founded from the top. Making use of Scouts diaries, journals, camp notes, scrapbooks, memoirs, and troop records demonstrates that the pioneers at the local, community levels not only had a great deal of autonomy in the function of their troops, but were active agents in developing Scouting across Britain. Likewise, this thesis shows that not only did boys take an active role in shaping the Movement, but they brought with them their previously-held principles and ideologies that often amplified Scoutings operations. Before the Boy Scouts became the organisation it is recognised as today, it was a movement encouraged and developed by enthusiastic youth through grass-roots initiative. By viewing the Scouting Movement through a history from below approach, I will situate my research within wider academic fields of nationalism, youth culture, class, and imperial culture. I will demonstrate that the Scouting Movement was a reflection of broader Edwardian trends of patriotism, national anxiety, and martial culture. Likewise, this thesis shows that average people throughout Britain, with no official ties to the Empire or state, contributed consciously to the nation through their efforts with the Scouting Movement. The Edwardian Scouting Movement served as a mechanism through which youth were able to express their understandings of social and national issues; participate in vocational and military training; and serve their country by working for their local communities.Advisors/Committee Members: Huzzey, R, Marsh, C, Towsey, M.