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Promoting peace in a time of war : Wartime summer camps and the Swedish Scout movement 1939–45

Lundberg, Björn LU (2016) Children and War
Abstract (Swedish)
“Be Prepared!” The motto of the Scout movement seemed fitting when the Second World War broke out in 1939. Sweden maintained a state of neutrality during the entire conflict but this period, known generally as the “Time of Preparedness” (beredskapstiden), affected all parts of society. While the diplomatic and political events of these years have been thoroughly covered in Swedish historiography, the experiences and contributions of children have largely been overlooked. This paper examines how summer camps for Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts were organized and performed as parts of the wartime effort. These organizations had always considered camping to be an integral part of citizenship training, but new ingredients were now added to these... (More)
“Be Prepared!” The motto of the Scout movement seemed fitting when the Second World War broke out in 1939. Sweden maintained a state of neutrality during the entire conflict but this period, known generally as the “Time of Preparedness” (beredskapstiden), affected all parts of society. While the diplomatic and political events of these years have been thoroughly covered in Swedish historiography, the experiences and contributions of children have largely been overlooked. This paper examines how summer camps for Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts were organized and performed as parts of the wartime effort. These organizations had always considered camping to be an integral part of citizenship training, but new ingredients were now added to these camp designs. During the war, thousands of Swedish boys and girls participated in special “utility camps”, where hard agricultural and forestry work replaced the common Scout games and exercises. Altogether, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts in Sweden contributed with well over 100.000 hours of work on Swedish farms during the war. I argue that narratives
from these camps not only highlight the contributions of children to wartime society, but also offer important insights to children’s thoughts of feelings of war and duty, as well as how these obligations were gendered. (Less)
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author
organization
alternative title
Att verka för fred i världskrigets skugga : Beredskapsläger och svensk scoutrörelse 1939–45
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
published
subject
conference name
Children and War
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f3b09d96-a3cf-4ade-8074-2c95a4e102a3
alternative location
http://www.wlv.ac.uk/media/departments/faculty-of-social-sciences/documents/Abstracts.pdf
date added to LUP
2017-01-23 09:14:17
date last changed
2017-01-25 08:54:37
@misc{f3b09d96-a3cf-4ade-8074-2c95a4e102a3,
  abstract     = {“Be Prepared!” The motto of the Scout movement seemed fitting when the Second World War broke out in 1939. Sweden maintained a state of neutrality during the entire conflict but this period, known generally as the “Time of Preparedness” (beredskapstiden), affected all parts of society. While the diplomatic and political events of these years have been thoroughly covered in Swedish historiography, the experiences and contributions of children have largely been overlooked. This paper examines how summer camps for Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts were organized and performed as parts of the wartime effort. These organizations had always considered camping to be an integral part of citizenship training, but new ingredients were now added to these camp designs. During the war, thousands of Swedish boys and girls participated in special “utility camps”, where hard agricultural and forestry work replaced the common Scout games and exercises. Altogether, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts in Sweden contributed with well over 100.000 hours of work on Swedish farms during the war. I argue that narratives<br/>from these camps not only highlight the contributions of children to wartime society, but also offer important insights to children’s thoughts of feelings of war and duty, as well as how these obligations were gendered.},
  author       = {Lundberg, Björn},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  title        = {Promoting peace in a time of war : Wartime summer camps and the Swedish Scout movement 1939–45},
  year         = {2016},
}