Teaching

Long Teaching Module: African Scouting (20th c.)

Tim Parsons
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Overview

Conceived by General Sir Robert Baden Powell to reduce class tensions in early 20th-century Britain, the Boy Scout movement evolved into an international youth movement that offered a romantic program of vigorous outdoor life for boys and adolescents as a cure for the physical decline and social disruption caused by industrialization and urbanization. One of scouting's main goals was to create social stability by dealing with the complex problem of adolescence. Every generation fears that the generation that comes after it will not respect its rules, values, and division of property. As a uniformed and disciplined youth organization, the Scout movement taught young males in the difficult years between childhood and adulthood to respect older generations and accept their place in society. By the 1920s most of the nations of the world had embraced the movement as a way to teach young people to be loyal to the state and respect their elders. While governments worldwide utilized scouting to reinforce political and social authority, such was not the case in colonial Africa where marginalized groups and social outsiders used scouting to challenge dominant institutions. The primary sources referenced in this module can be viewed in the Primary Sources folder below. Click on the images or text for more information about the source.

This long teaching module includes an informational essay, objectives, activities, discussion questions, guidance on engaging with the sources, potential adaptations, and essay prompts relating to the eleven primary sources.

Essay

Introduction

Conceived by General Sir Robert Baden Powell to reduce class tensions in early 20th-century Britain, the Boy Scout movement evolved into an international youth movement that offered a romantic program of vigorous outdoor life for boys and adolescents as a cure for the physical decline and social disruption caused by industrialization and urbanization. One of scouting's main goals was to create social stability by dealing with the complex problem of adolescence. Every generation fears that the generation that comes after it will not respect its rules, values, and division of property. As a uniformed and disciplined youth organization, the Scout movement taught young males in the difficult years between childhood and adulthood to respect older generations and accept their place in society. By the 1920s most of the nations of the world had embraced the movement as a way to teach young people to be loyal to the state and respect their elders. While governments worldwide utilized scouting to reinforce political and social authority, such was not the case in colonial Africa where marginalized groups and social outsiders used scouting to challenge dominant institutions.

Scouting began in 1907 with Robert Baden-Powell's creation of a youth organization aimed at promoting physical, moral, and imperial fitness among British youth by capitalizing on their fascination with "frontier woodcraft" and "tribal" life. He incorporated these elements into scouting in order to inspire young Britons to emulate what he interpreted to be the most praiseworthy aspects of African life. A diverse and eclectic mix of tribal peoples that included Amerindians, Arab Bedouins, and New Zealand Maoris served as inspirations for the movement, but Africans occupied a central place in Baden Powell's thinking. A 20-year career fighting colonial wars made him a self-proclaimed expert on "tribal" cultures, which he claimed to have incorporated into the scout movement.

At first, Baden-Powell did not have a specific ideology for scouting. But eventually several key themes emerged in his thinking and became the central core of the scout creed. Concerned that urban slums and vice were undermining British security, he aimed to prepare younger generations to defend their nation and empire. Just as life on the imperial frontier taught virility, resourcefulness, and self-control, scouting was a "school of the woods" that would instill these same ideals in British youth. By adopting the values and discipline of "tribal" peoples, scouting would teach the vital manly qualities that consumerism and materialism had drained away from "civilized" western society.

Similarly, Baden Powell also believed that class tensions led to national weakness. He therefore envisioned scouting as a way to teach working-class boys to accept their place in society by stressing obedience, discipline, and simplicity. This helps to explain the Fourth Scout Law: "A Scout is a Brother to every other Scout." Baden Powell never intended for this brotherhood to lead to social equality; rather it was a sense of fraternity in scouting that would defuse social tensions by reducing friction between rich and poor boys.

In the tense years before World War One, the movement's critics charged that scouting secretly prepared young men for military service. Baden Powell emphatically denied the charge, and after the war he recast scouting as an international peace movement. More significantly, he also acknowledged that non-Europeans could also be scouts and gave his blessing to administrators and educators who introduced scouting throughout the empire to teach imperial loyalty, encourage African and Asian students to accept their place in colonial society, and reduce the political and social friction that came with foreign imperial rule. By the inter-war era, colonial administrators and educators had begun to fear that student unrest, urban migration, and juvenile delinquency were products of a growing social crisis in local African communities. British administrators relied on local allies and chiefs to govern the African majority, and they worried that the younger generation's rejection of their elders' authority threatened widespread political and social instability.

The Boy Scout movement promised to correct this imbalance by teaching students and city boys to respect colonial authority throughout the continent. In French-speaking Africa, Baptist missionaries in the Belgian Congo tried to substitute scouting for secret male initiation ceremonies, which they considered immoral, while Catholic educators sought to use the movement to train "Christian knights" to assist in converting the wider African population. Similarly, in the French colonies the authorities tried to use scouting to train a small African elite that would help them control the rest of colonial society.

In eastern and southern Africa, British officials claimed that the authority of their African allies stemmed from "tribal tradition." But they also introduced western schooling to train the young Africans to help run the colonies and to demonstrate that they were "civilizing" their "primitive" subjects. The scout movement never achieved a mass African following, but it targeted the students, juvenile delinquents, and urban migrants that were the greatest threat to British rule. Colonial educators and administrators worried that these "detribalized" Africans were politically dangerous, particularly when they flaunted "tribal tradition" and aspired to live a western lifestyle alongside European settlers. The colonial authorities turned to scouting to "retribalize" African adolescents by teaching them to remain in the countryside and accept the authority of their "native chiefs." Ironically, they looked to scouting to teach African boys how to be "tribal."

Yet Africans also used scouting to claim the rights of full citizenship. They invoked the Fourth Scout Law, which declared a scout was a brother to every other scout, to challenge racial discrimination. Rather than making colonialism run more smoothly, then, scouting offered African boys a way to resist the discriminatory laws and social barriers that made them second-class citizens. Rejecting the authority of official colonial scout associations, they formed their own unauthorized troops to claim the power and legitimacy of the scout movement for themselves. Scouting was thus both an instrument of colonial authority and a subversive challenge to the legitimacy of the British Empire. The African Scout experience thus demonstrated how marginalized groups and social outsiders could use the movement to challenge these very same institutions.

Baden Powell would have been dismayed by how these independent troops twisted and reinterpreted the scout canon to demand rights, respect, and eventually independence. In Kenya, some African troops ventured into politics during the early 1950s by supporting the anti-colonial Mau Mau rebellion, which was essentially a civil war between landless Kikuyu young men and the wealthy Kikuyu chiefs and landowners who were allied with the British colonial regime. While some African boys who wanted to join the movement illegally acquired uniforms they donned, others used scout clothing to exploit the colonial authorities' assumption that they were trustworthy. Dressed as scouts, they could travel more freely about the colony and were often able to collect money for "scout" activities. Scouting thus simultaneously bolstered colonial authority and challenged the legitimacy of the British Empire.

Despite the challenges they posed during the 1950s, most territorial scout associations in Africa grew and prospered by allying with the colonial authorities. European scout leaders demonized African nationalists and were caught by surprise when these men came to power after independence in the early 1960s. It seemed likely that the movement's close ties to British imperialism would lead to its demise in post-colonial Africa, but the Africans who inherited control of the scout associations reinterpreted the scout canon to transfer their loyalty to the new nationalist regimes. The survival of scouting in the nationalist era thus demonstrates that the movement's vulnerability to re-interpretation by outsiders was also one of its great strengths. Once the new lines of political authority were clear, the scout associations made African nationalist regimes the focus of their second law ("A Scout is Loyal"). Even modern South African scouting, which lost popular African support for its unwillingness to challenge apartheid, has successfully reinvented itself as a force for economic and social development in the new South Africa.

Primary Sources

The Scouts' War Dance: Sir Robert Baden Powell's adaptation of a Zulu chant

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Annotation
Like much of the public in turn-of-the-century Britain, Baden Powell was fascinated by "primitive" cultures. Although he claimed an expert knowledge of Africa from his service in colonial wars, Baden Powell was hardly an authority on Zulu customs. This did not matter, because metropolitan Britons were almost entirely ignorant of African institutions. Nevertheless, they were fascinated by romanticized depictions of their new colonial subjects in the popular press, juvenile literature, and memoirs of colonial war heroes. While they were confident in their cultural superiority, the British came to believe that African peoples like the Zulu preserved the simpler, savage, but nobler qualities that seemed to be disappearing from modern industrial society. Baden Powell built popular support for the scout movement by tapping into these sentiments. He claimed to have based scout ranks on Zulu age grades and used an Ndebele "war horn" to call his scouts to order. His "scout war dance" combined what he professed to be a Zulu military chant (the "Een-Gonyama song") with made up dancing and his "Be-Prepared chorus." The odd ritual was just the sort of thing that Edwardian schoolboys loved for it allowed them to play at being Africans in a thoroughly modern context. This source is a part of the African Scouting (20th c.) teaching module.

Organization of British Imperial Scouting

Annotation
This chart shows the official lines of authority in the imperial Boy Scout movement. In theory, the Imperial Scout Headquarters had direct control over local versions of scouting through its territorial associations. Scouting was like a secular religion, with Baden Powell as its prophet-like founder whose writings were the core of the scout canon and whose personal example was the guide for model behavior. Territorial scout associations around the world were like national churches that could make alterations to the movement within the limits of scouting orthodoxy. At the local level, troops were the congregations who put core scout values into practice. Local versions of scouting resulted from the blending of scouting orthodoxy and community values. In some cases these adaptations had the full blessing of the Imperial Scout Headquarters. For example, scouting allowed religious institutions to create "closed" troops solely for the members of their congregations. However, local communities sometimes made alterations to the scout canon that the scout authorities considered unacceptably heretical. This was the case in colonial Africa where nationalists, independent schools, churches, and outright imposters often took over the movement for their own purposes. This source is a part of the African Scouting (20th c.) teaching module.

An Appeal for African Scouts: Canon William Palmer to Imperial Scout Headquarters

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Annotation
Almost immediately after learning of Baden Powell's creation of the Boy Scout Movement in 1907, the leaders of African and ethnically mixed communities (known as "Coloureds" in South Africa) began to found their own informal scout troops. The South African scout authorities refused to recognize these unsanctioned troops as scouts on the grounds that Afrikaner boys would not join a multi-racial organization. But they also worried that the general public would not be able to tell the difference between African boys dressed as scouts and "real" scouts. The South African Scout Association therefore insisted that non-European boys could only belong to a separate "Pathfinder movement" that was under its control but wore a distinctly different uniform. European teachers, missionaries, and church leaders like Canon Palmer sponsored most of these Pathfinder troops at African and Coloured schools. While Palmer makes an impassioned plea for the Imperial Scout Headquarters to recognize the Pathfinders as Scouts in pointing out its failure to live up to its own rhetoric of equality, he did not call for the admission of Africans, Coloureds, and Indians to European scout troops. During this period, "liberal" South Africans like Palmer tended to believe that Africans were inherently backwards and still unprepared to enter the "modern" world on equal terms. Instead of calling for equal rights for all South Africans, they strove to ensure that Africans received fair treatment in a segregated society. Liberals like Palmer believed that a "civilizing" form of adapted scouting like the Pathfinder movement would help prepare Africans for full citizenship at some point in the undefined future. This source is a part of the African Scouting (20th c.) teaching module.

A New Development in the Scout Movement in South Africa

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Annotation
This article by Baden Powell in a 1936 issue of the Journal of the Royal African Society refers to the compromise in South Africa that split scouting into four racially based "sections": European, Coloured, Indian, and African. Bringing the African Pathfinders into scouting as an affiliated organization allowed white scout officials to control this potentially subversive and embarrassing youth organization without having to grant them equal status in the movement. Baden Powell's refusal to adhere to his own Fourth Scout Law, "A scout is a brother to every other scout," furthered his primary goal of linking the movement to political authority in South Africa. His excuse that white parents, particularly Afrikaner parents, would withdraw their sons if Africans became full scouts exposed the limits of scout ideology. Far from being a force for justice and social change, Baden Powell depicted scouting as a way to defuse "race consciousness" and teach non-Europeans to accept their subordinate place in segregated South African society. This source is a part of the African Scouting (20th c.) teaching module.

Pathfinder Warrant

Annotation
Imperial scout headquarters and the national and territorial scout associations were deeply concerned with ensuring that only respectable and responsible men became scoutmasters. In colonial Africa, this meant that potential scoutmasters had to also respect the political realities of European minority rule. As in Great Britain, acceptable candidates received a "warrant" from the territorial scout association permitting them to form and lead scout troops. In Africa, the warrant system was particularly useful in preventing unauthorized Africans from founding their own versions of the movement. More often than not, as was the case with this warrant for a South African Pathfinder troop, the scoutmasters were missionaries, teachers, or both. Dating from 1938, two years after the compromise that produced the four racially-segregated sections of South African scouting, the document incorporates both the Pathfinder arrow symbol and the official scout badge. However, the fact that it was issued by the "Pathfinder Boy Scouts Association of the Union of South Africa" sent a clear message that the Pathfinders were separate and distinct from mainstream scouting. This source is a part of the African Scouting (20th c.) teaching module.

The Scout's and King's African Rifles Uniforms

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Annotation
The top photograph shows members of a South African scout troop specifically for blind adolescents and young men c.1950. The bottom photograph is of non-commissioned officers from the King's African Rifles in the mid-1950s. Note that both groups wear similar clothing consisting of khaki shirt and shorts, knee-length socks, clasp belts, and wide brimmed hats. The similarities are not accidental. Baden Powell based the scout uniform on the uniform of the South African Constabulary, a paramilitary police organization he founded after the Anglo-South African War. British colonial military and police forces throughout the world wore similar khaki clothing. Although scouting had its own specific badges and insignia, the African civilian population understandably had a difficult time distinguishing Boy Scouts from soldiers and policemen. This allowed scouts and men and boys dressed as scouts to pose as policemen and other representatives of the colonial state. Scout leaders and government officials were understandably concerned and upset by this misappropriation of the scout uniform. This source is a part of the African Scouting (20th c.) teaching module.

Legal Protection for Scout Uniform, 1935: Tanganyika Government Ordinance

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Annotation
Many African boys, teachers, and community leaders were genuinely inspired by scouting and founded their own unauthorized independent troops. In other cases, individuals dressed as scouts to claim the benefits of belonging to the movement. Scout leaders and government officials in East Africa paid little attention to these informal adaptations of scouting, but they became alarmed when dance societies in Mombasa began to use Scout uniforms in the early 1930s. These decidedly adult celebrations often included drinking and other forms on inappropriate revelry. Scout leaders lobbied the colonial authorities to crack down on scout impersonators, but at the time there were no laws against the unauthorized use of scout materials in the East African colonies. This legislation from Tanganyika (modern Tanzania) gave the territorial scout association sole legal control over the scout uniform and badges. From 1935 on, Africans who impersonated scouts or formed unauthorized troops faced a stiff fine and one month of jail time at hard labor. This source is a part of the African Scouting (20th c.) teaching module.

A Rover Scout "Journey"

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Annotation
Rover scouting was a branch of the movement for young men in their late teens and early twenties who were too old for regular scout troops but wished to maintain their ties to scouting. It stressed service and leadership while offering a measure of vocational training. South Africa was the only English-speaking African territory in the colonial era to support African rover "crews." Nevertheless, rovering was well suited to African schools where students tended to be older and thus ineligible to join conventional scout troops. One of the central features of the scout and rover curriculum was the "journey" in which a young man learned to be resourceful while traveling by himself in strange and unfamiliar territory. For younger scouts the journey usually took the form of a hike in the country, but Bethuel Mofokong traveled for almost three days by foot, bus, and ferry while journeying from one school to another. Although he does not mention it, the trip must have been particularly difficult in apartheid-era South Africa when the authorities placed strict controls on African travel. It is more than likely that Mofokong's rover uniform made the journey possibly by demonstrating to policemen, officials, and members of the white public that he could be trusted. This source is a part of the African Scouting (20th c.) teaching module.

The Interrelation of Colour

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Annotation
By 1969, international public opinion had begun to turn against the apartheid policies of the white minority regime in South Africa. This included leaders of the international scout movement who had originally been relatively sympathetic to the South African scout authorities' claim that they had no choice but to respect their government's racial policies on the grounds that the Second Scout Law ordered them to be loyal. This statement on the "Interrelation of Colour" was a senior European scout official's attempt to portray the four segregated South African scout "sections" (European, African, Coloured, Indian) as separate but equal. His reference to "race purity and race pride" as virtues is indicative of the attitudes of the South African scout leadership during this period. Also note that while the European, Coloured, and Indian sections all followed essentially the same policies, the African organization had a separate training curriculum "better suited to the background of the African boy." This shows that the South African Scout Association still did not believe that Africans could become fully-fledged scouts or join "modern" South African society on equal terms. This source is a part of the African Scouting (20th c.) teaching module.

Mau Mau Fighters in Scout Uniforms

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Annotation
In the early 1950s, tens of thousands of poor and landless Kikuyus revolted against the Kenyan colonial government and wealthy members of their own community who were allied with the British regime. Known as the "Mau Mau Emergency," this rebellion was one of the most serious threats to British rule in Africa. The widespread lawlessness of the Emergency inspired many young Africans to dress as scouts. The uniform gave them extra security because school officials and policemen assumed they were trustworthy, which helps to explain why the security forces captured and killed Kikuyu guerillas dressed as scouts. This photograph shows a mixed-sex guerilla band led by a man wearing a scout-type shirt with scout badges running down his sleeves. Obviously staged, it was most likely taken well after the end of the Emergency in the early 1960s to remind Jomo Kenyatta’s incoming African nationalist government that it had to pay attention to the plight of impoverished young Kikuyu if it wanted to keep the peace. It is also possible, however, that Mau Mau units like these used scout uniform and decorations as symbols of authority within the rebel forces. This source is a part of the African Scouting (20th c.) teaching module.

Scouting – Helping to Prepare Leaders of Tomorrow

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Annotation
Jeremiah (J.J.M.) Nyagah was one of the most senior African members of the Kenya Boy Scout Association during the colonial era. Trained as a teacher, after independence he entered politics and became a cabinet minister in Jomo Kenyatta's government. He was therefore a logical choice to assume the largely ceremonial role of Chief Scout Commissioner. As the leader of Kenyan scouting, he had the difficult task courting of Kenyatta. The first African ruler of Kenya initially had little love for the movement because European scout leaders had falsely portrayed him as the sinister leader of the anti-colonial Mau Mau rebellion. This 1971 article from the East African Standard shows how Nyagah successfully recast the scout movement as an African institution and a force for national, economic, and social development. In using the Swahili phrase udongo upate uli maji, which means "work the clay while it is still wet," he argued that scouting was a way to prepare Kenyan youth for the challenges of the future and citizenship in the independent Kenyan nation. This source is a part of the African Scouting (20th c.) teaching module.

Teaching Strategies

The Boy Scout movement exposes the tensions and divisions in any given society. Official scouting seeks an alliance with authority, and scout leaders interpret the scout canon to reflect prevailing values and social norms. Conversely, unofficial local modifications of scouting can express political and social opposition. National scout associations usually prevail in the struggle to define scout orthodoxy when their ties to political authority remain intact. Problems arise when the political and social terrain shifts before official scouting has time to react. As a result, scout authorities have become embroiled in controversies ranging from the civil rights struggle in the American South, nationalist resistance movements in India, and the contemporary American debate over gay rights.

In colonial Africa, scouting exposed the hypocrisy and instability of British imperial rule. Administrators and educators hoped to use the movement to teach young Africans to accept their subordinate place in colonial society, but the Fourth Scout Law, which declared that all scouts were brothers, gave Africans the means to reject this second-class status. Thus, the two central themes that emerge from colonial African scouting are: 1) the movement's official role in imperial governance and administration, 2) African moves to take scouting over for their own purposes.

Discussion Questions

  • What was the official purpose of the scout uniform? Why would boys in general, and African boys in particular find it appealing? How did the scout uniform and badges both reinforce and disrupt British colonial rule in Kenya and South Africa?
  • Why did the South African Scout Association force African boys to become Pathfinders instead of regular scouts? How did the segregated South African scout movement reflect the larger racial divisions in South African society? Why did Africans find the movement appealing despite its official ties to the apartheid regime?

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan: ".. . And a Brother to Every Scout."
by Elizabeth Ten Dyke

Time Estimated: three 50-minute classes

Objectives

    Discuss the influence of colonial experience on Baden Powell's decision to found the Boy Scouts
    Describe activities related to scouting in Africa
    Explain how a cultural tradition (scouting) can express social conflict and political struggle in a particular time and place.
Materials
  • Five sheets of chart paper
  • Markers
  • Copies of the "Introduction" to this module for all students, plus one extra
  • Tape/glue
  • Copies of each primary source, sufficient for all students
  • Copies of "Fact or Fib" worksheet, sufficient for all students
  • Blank paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Preparation
    Take the "Introduction" to this module and cut it into five sections—two paragraphs per section. Attach each section to a sheet of chart paper. Label the charts A through E. Post the chart paper around the room, or set each on a different desk or table.

    Day One
    Hook
    Introduce the lesson by asking the students, "What do you think of when you think of the Boy Scouts?" Students may think of the uniforms of scouting, the rules and traditions, loyalty, activities such as camping, and awards including Eagle Scouts. They may mention Christian and anti-gay aspects of the scouting movement. Particularly if these subjects come up, ask students to speculate about how or why scouting has become an activity mired in disagreements about moral issues in our society today.

    Instruct
    Explain to students that they will learn about the history of the Boy Scouts (when, where, and why it was founded). They will study primary sources that illustrate some of the tensions and conflicts that occurred when scouting expanded into colonial Africa. This lesson will help students see how cultural traditions can reflect complicated social situations in which different groups of people express disagreement and exercise competing interests.

    Activity
    Give each student a complete copy of the introduction. Break the students into five groups, one at or near each poster. Assign each group the two paragraphs of reading that correspond to their poster. After they have completed their reading, they should make a bulleted list on the chart paper in which they outline the main ideas of the assigned passage. Have each group present their summary in turn. Students who are listening as others speak should take notes on the material.

    Discussion Questions

    • Chart A (paragraphs 1, 2): What tribal peoples served as inspiration for the scouting movement? What was scouting supposed to teach the young people who participated in it?
    • Chart B (paragraphs 3, 4): What concerned Baden Powell about his nation’s youth? What values did he hope the Scouts would learn through their participation? Explain the Fourth Scout Law "A Scout is a Brother to every other Scout."
    • Chart C (paragraphs 5, 6): Explain how scouting became an international movement. How was scouting supposed to help British colonial authorities maintain their power in places like Africa?
    • Chart D (paragraphs 7, 8): Which young people were targeted for the African scouting movement? Why them? Give two examples of how "Africans . . . used scouting to claim the rights of full citizenship."
    • Chart E (paragraphs 9, 10): How did scouting become involved in the 1950 Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya? Explain what happened to African scouting after British colonial rule came to an end. Did scouting come to an end as well? Why or why not?

    Homework
    Working from their class notes, students should summarize information about how the basic values and goals were part of the Boy Scout movement early on. They should describe the goals of British colonial authorities as scouting was brought into Africa, and they should give one example of the way in which the Scouts went against British power.

    Day Two
    Activity #1

    • Distribute copies of primary source: The Scouts' War Dance--Baden Powell's adaptation of a Zulu chant, c. 1910
    • Distribute blank paper, colored pencils

    Have students look at the introduction to this primary source. Point out that Tim Parsons writes, the "odd ritual" of the war dance "was just the sort of thing that Edwardian schoolboys loved for it allowed them to play at being Africans in a thoroughly modern context." Ask students to speculate about what the author means by this statement.

    Have the whole class carefully read the description of the dance. Working in pairs, students should:

    • Restate the different steps and parts of the dance in their own words.
    • Draw or sketch an image of the scouts participating in this dance.
    • Discuss what elements of the dance incorporate stereotypes about African culture.
    • Discuss what elements of the dance incorporate scouting traditions.

    As a whole class: share sketches and discuss "How would this dance help Baden Powell achieve some of his goals for scouting?"

    Activity #2

    • Distribute copies of primary source: "Appeal for African Scouts: Canon William Palmer to Imperial Scout Headquarters May 5, 1923."

    Using a pen, pencil, or highlighter, underline passages in the letter that answer the following questions:

    • Who is the author of the letter? To whom is it addressed?
    • Where in Africa (what territory) was the author of this letter and his students?
    • Why were the students not allowed to call themselves Scouts?
    • What were they allowed to do?
    • What are three points the author makes to demonstrate that this is unfair?

    Homework
    Respond in writing to the following question: "What does this conflict (over who may be a Scout) reveal or show about society in the Transvaal at this time?" Support your response with evidence from the document.

    Day Three

    • Discuss the previous day's homework, focusing on the ways students used documentary evidence to support their point of view.
    • Distribute primary source: "Legal Protection for Scout Uniform 1935: Tanganyika Government Ordinance."
    • Distribute copies of the "Fact or Fib?" worksheet.

    Have students read the legislation with the worksheet in front of them. For each question on the worksheet, they should write a correct response (fact) and an incorrect response (fib).

    The entire class should address each question in turn. The student who answers may give the correct response, or the student may give an incorrect response. The other students should listen carefully. If the response is correct they should call out "Fact!" If the answer is false, they should call out "Fib!" Then, when asked, a student who identified a fib may give the correct information.

    Discussion
    Based on your reading of this legislation, infer some of the problems that were occurring with Scouts in this time and place. In other words, what may have been going on that that government felt it was necessary to create this ordinance?

    Distribute copies of primary source: "Organization of British Imperial Scouting" (table, 1951)/

    As a whole class discuss:

    • What are the four groups of troops at the bottom of the chart?
    • How many levels of authority were above them?
    • What was the highest level?
    • What was the second highest level?
    • What does this chart show about the relationship between the British Empire and Africa?

    Day Four
    Document Based Question Essay

    Document Based Question

    by Elizabeth Ten Dyke
    (Suggested writing time: 50 minutes)

    In the introduction to this unit, author Tim Parsons writes, "Scouting was thus both an instrument of colonial authority and a subversive challenge to the legitimacy of the British empire." In other words, scouting would "train" African boys to accept colonial power as well as empower Scouts to use the movement to resist or oppose colonial power. Write a well-organized essay drawing on evidence from three primary sources that helps you support this point of view.

    Bibliography

    Brown, Arthur. "The Development of the Scout Movement in Nigeria." African Affairs 46 (1947), 38-42.
    Written by a Nigerian Scout official, the article provides a useful survey of the scope of scouting in colonial Nigeria.
    Baden Powell, Lord Robert. Scouting for Boys. 13th ed London: C. Arthur Pearson, 1957.
    This is the 13th edition of Baden Powell's original manual on scouting that launched the movement. He revised it regularly in later editions, but it remained scoutings' central canon.
    Baden Powell, Sir Robert. "White Men in Black Skins." Elders Review of West African Affairs 8, no. 30 (July 1929), 6-7.
    Baden Powell published hundreds of books and articles on scouting, but this piece offers a frank and rare glimpse into his views on race.
    Gaitskell, Deborah. "Upward All and Play the Game: The Girl Wayfarers' Association in the Transvaal 1925-1975." In Apartheid and Education: The Education of Black South Africans, edited by Peter Kallaway. Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1984.
    There are very few scholarly works on the Pathfinder movement, but this article covers its sister movement, which was known as the "Wayfarers."
    Proctor, Tammy. "'A Separate Path': Scouting and Guiding in Interwar South Africa." Comparative Studies in Society and History 42, no. 3 (July 2000), 605-31.
    Written by a historian specializing in modern Britain, this article is useful for comparing the South African versions of scouting and guiding to their metropolitan British counterparts.Written by a historian specializing in modern Britain, this article is useful for comparing the South African versions of scouting and guiding to their metropolitan British counterparts.
    Parsons, Timothy. Race, Resistance and the Boy Scout Movement in British Colonial Africa. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2004.
    This is the only book length treatment of the Boy Scout movement in colonial Africa. It focuses primarily on scouting in English-speaking eastern and southern Africa.
    PAXTU: International Web Site for the History of Guiding & Scouting, http://www.paxtu.org/index.html (accessed May 16, 2008).
    This website tracks the most current scholarship on international Scouting and Guiding.

    Credits

    About the Author
    Tim Parsons is a Professor at Washington University. Parsons is the author of several books including: Race, Resistance and the Boy Scout Movement in British Colonial Africa; The 1964 Army Mutinies and the Making of Modern East Africa; The African Rank-and-File: Social Implications of Colonial Service in the King's African Rifles, 1902-1964; and The British Imperial Century, 1815-1914: A World History Perspective.

    About the Lesson Plan Author
    Elizabeth Ten Dyke has a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology. She is Director of Instructional Services for the Kingston City School District, and is the author of Dresden: Paradoxes of Memory in History.

    This teaching module was originally developed for the Children and Youth in History project.

    How to Cite This Source

    "Long Teaching Module: African Scouting (20th c.)," in World History Commons, https://worldhistorycommons.org/long-teaching-module-african-scouting-20th-c [accessed November 30, 2022]