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Falline to present Boy Scouts research at regional history conference

Waldorf College

Forest City, Iowa – Waldorf College student Braden Falline has been selected to present his research on the history of the Boy Scouts at the Missouri Valley History Conference in Omaha, Neb., which takes place March 1-3, 2012.

Braden’s paper, titled “The Man and the Movement: Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the Founding of Boy Scouts, and Edwardian England,” is based on Baden-Powell’s book, Scouting for the Boys, which cites lack of masculinity in the boys of England as the core reason for the creation of the Boy Scouts.

“Baden-Powell thought the boys of England were weak. He created Boy Scouts as a way to prepare them, so that they could be of better assistance to the nation and be able to survive in poor conditions,” said Falline, a senior majoring in history at Waldorf. In the paper Falline is trying to explore why Baden-Powell decided the boys of Britain needed to improve their masculinity to protect and uphold Edwardian Society in the 1900’s, and the impact of the Boy Scout movement on Edwardian Society.

The Missouri Valley Conference is a regional conference attended by historians, professionals, scholars, and students from all over the Midwest. Undergraduate students often present their papers on the same panel as college and university professors.

Dr. Blake Slonecker, who has also presented at the conference in the previous years, is Falline’s advisor on the paper.

“The quality of undergraduate papers for this conference is very high. Only strong students get to present at this conference,” said Dr. Slonecker, assistant professor of history at Waldorf College. “Braden is trying to explore how one man attempted to solve the crisis of masculinity that might have threatened the British Empire. I’m excited about his paper.”

Falline’s passion for this subject stems from his own experience as a Boy Scout. Through retreats and various camp outings, Falline established lifelong friendships. “It gave us a lot of opportunities to do fun activities and visit many places. We would go to the summer camp in South Dakota and meet people from across the nation,” said Falline.

In past years, at least seven Waldorf students have presented at the conference, in addition to professors in the history department.

The Missouri Valley History Conference started about 50 years ago for the Midwestern historical community, and is operated by the history department at the University of Nebraska, Omaha.