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“Scout culture” – what’s that? // Them ’n Us

military and war with heroism, noble battle and fun.” And yet Scouting keeps its military traditions. We still call the small group a patrol – a term directly taken from military terminology. We still wear a uniform although it has changed. We do not often talk about our connection with the military – it is an invisible, self-explanatory norm, part of the Scout culture.

The church A strong bond with the Christian church was also evident when Scouting first started. It still exists although society at large does not have the same connection with the church and although all religions are welcome in Scouting. Sweden now has three Scout associations belonging to Christian umbrella organizations: the Guide and Scout Organization of the Mission Covenant Youth of Sweden, the Salvation Army Guide and Scout Association and the Swedish YMCA-YWCA Guide and Scout Association. The other two Scout associations, the Temperance Guide and Scout Association and the Swedish Guide and Scout Association are not expressly Christian but have kept Christian traditions. This connection with the church can be a problem for people of another faith. But it can also make other religious people want to become Scouts since openly religious people are in the minority in Sweden today, regardless of denomination. But perhaps we ought to think about the fact that we use churches for special Scout ceremonies, say the Scout Prayer, sing the hymnlike Scout Song and march to church – carrying flaming torches on Christmas morning as part of our church heritage – although all Scouts are not connected with the church. Is ending the term with a ceremony in a church an important part of Scouting or is it something we do only because we have always done it?

“Making men out of boys” Scouting was started for boys – to make men out of them. Then the Girl Guide movement started not long thereafter


Them ’n Us - A toolkit on diversity in Scouting  

In order to illustrate ethnic diversity, this book includes perspectives on ethnicity, religion, culture, Scout culture and outdoor life. It...

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