Discipline and Punish at Camp: Citizenship and the Issue of Violence at a Swedish Boy Scout Camp

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Abstract

This article examines reports of physical punishment at the national Swedish Boy Scout camp Åvatyr in 1950. The Swedish newspapers Dagens Nyheter and Expressen described the events in terms of bullying and violence, while the camp directors declared that the reports were merely exaggerated accounts of innocent pranks and practical jokes. This article draws information from newspaper articles, Scout magazines and archival sources to discuss how the incidents at the Åvatyr camp tapped into a debate on disciplinary measures against children in Sweden. The analysis also concerns how these acts of punishment related to the Boy Scouts’ scheme of citizenship instruction. Finally, the long-term effects of this purported scandal are evaluated, including a call for reform of masculinity and citizenship ideals within the Boy Scout movement during the following decade.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History

Keywords

  • boy scouts, camps, citizenship, violence, self-government
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-110
Number of pages18
JournalNordic Journal of Educational History
Volume5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes