Download On My Honor: Boy Scouts and the Making of American Youth by Jay Mechling PDF

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By Jay Mechling

In a well timed contribution to present debates over the psychology of boys and the development in their social lives, On My Honor explores the folks customs of adolescent men within the Boy Scouts of the US in the course of a summer time encampment in California's Sierra Nevada. Drawing on greater than 20 years of analysis and broad visits and interviews with participants of the troop, Mechling uncovers the foremost rituals and play occasions by which the Boy Scouts shapes boys into males. He describes the campfire songs, initiation rites, video games, and actions which are used to mildew the Scouts into accountable adults.

The topics of honor and personality trade during this new learn as we witness troop leaders supplying examples in constitution, self-discipline, and information, and instructing scouts the tricky stability among freedom and strength of mind. What effects is a probing check out the interior lives of boys in our tradition and their rocky transition into manhood. On My Honor presents a provocative, occasionally stunning glimpse into the sexual awakening and ethical improvement of younger males coming to grips with their nascent wants, their innate aggressions, their inclination towards peer strain and violence, and their social acculturation.

On My Honor eventually indicates how the Boy Scouts of the USA maintains to edify and mentor younger males opposed to the backdrop of controversies over freedom of non secular expression, homosexuality, and the proposed inclusion of girl contributors. whereas the organization's forms has taken an unyielding stance opposed to homosexual males and atheists, genuine dwell Scouts are usually extra open to plurality than we'd suppose. of their include of tolerance, attractiveness, and knowing, troop leaders on the neighborhood point have the ability to form boys into emotionally mature men.

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On My Honor: Boy Scouts and the Making of American Youth

In a well timed contribution to present debates over the psychology of boys and the development in their social lives, On My Honor explores the folks customs of adolescent men within the Boy Scouts of the USA in the course of a summer season encampment in California's Sierra Nevada. Drawing on greater than two decades of study and large visits and interviews with participants of the troop, Mechling uncovers the major rituals and play occasions by which the Boy Scouts shapes boys into males.

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Example text

Todd then closed the service with a benediction read from the book: ‘‘May the grandeur of the lakes, and the mountains, and the beauty of all that grows, enter our souls, bringing us strength and joy and peace. ’’ Church over, we all rose and filed back down the slope, past the two Seniors who collected the service booklets. When we got back to the Staff Area, I barely had time to change from my uniform shirt to a Tshirt before I heard George blow his whistle and call out ‘‘Commissary Emissary! ’’ This is a folk term within the troop for the boy designated for that day by each patrol to fetch the patrol’s cardboard box of provisions for each meal.

The ‘‘front door’’ of the area is marked by a hotel bellman’s bell sitting on a waist-high rock, and the Staff Area itself is another thirty feet or so into a stand of trees. Anyone but Staff must ‘‘knock’’ on the ‘‘door’’ by ringing this bell, wait for an acknowledgment, and declare his purposes or needs. In other words, the Staff Area is out of bounds for the boys unless they are invited in. I count as Staff and did not ‘‘knock’’ on that Sunday morning; besides, I knew Pete was trying to take a nap, and I did not want to disturb him.

Pete sat up and swung his legs off the cot, and he sat there for a few seconds. ‘‘That nap did me some good,’’ he said. Some may scoff at the amenities of Camp Usonia, holding that camping must entail roughing it in order to be an authentic camping experience, but there is much to be said for comfort in a long-term camp. Restful sleep keeps the men and boys healthier and happier. I noticed that Pete was sleeping on a four-inchthick foam pad, covered with sheets and a sleeping bag opened like a quilt.

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