From one side of scouting to the other: Playing truant and learning citizenship

Special report: Truant participation
By Maxime Vanhoenacker, Thomas Vroylandt

Based on an ethnography of an international event gathering together scouts at the cusp of adulthood, this paper examines scouting as a playground for citizenship learning. In this framework, the participation of the scouts is first envisaged as an invitation to adventure, in which games and community-living within small peer groups are encouraged. Step by step, this experience is extended and turned into an experimentation of public life that matches the expectations of young people. Scouting’s key aspects and tenets—such as their games of make-believe and their formation of affective bonds—are put to the test with the norms of adult citizenship.


  • scouting
  • citizenship
  • learning
  • games
  • peer groups
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