- History of the Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scouts of America(BSA) was inspired by and modeled on the Boy Scout Association, established by Baden-Powell in Britain in 1908. In the early 1900s, several youth organizations were active, and many became part of the BSA (see Scouting in the United States).
The BSA grew rapidly and became the largest youth organization in the
United States. Early controversies involved race, the "younger boy problem", and the "older boy problem". Troops initially followed local community policy on race. For younger boys, the Cubbing program arose and for older boys, Rovering and Exploring programs were developed. Additional programs and changes have occurred over the years to adapt the program to the youth of the day.
W. D. Boyce and the Unknown Scout
W. D. Boyce was an American newspaper man and entrepreneur. According to legend, he was lost on a foggy street in London when an unknown Scout came to his aid, guiding him back to his destination. [cite web |last=Robert |first=Peterson |year=2001 |url=http://www.scoutingmagazine.org/issues/0110/d-wwas.html |title=The Man Who Got Lost in the Fog |work=Scouting |publisher=Boy Scouts of America |accessdate=2006-07-11] The boy then refused Boyce's
tip, explaining that he was merely doing his duty as a Boy Scout. Immediately afterwards, Boyce met with General Robert Baden-Powell, who was the head of the Boy Scout Association at that time. Boyce returned to America, and, four months later, founded the Boy Scouts of America. This version of the legend has been printed in numerous BSA handbooks and magazines. There are several variations of this legend, such as one that claims he knew about Scouting ahead of time.
In actuality, Boyce stopped in London en route to a safari in
British East Africa. It is true that an unknown Scout helped him and refused a tip. But this Scout only helped him cross a street to a hotel, did not take him to the Scout headquarters, and Boyce never met Baden-Powell. Upon Boyce's request, the unknown Scout did give him the address of the Scout headquarters, where Boyce, went on his own and picked up information about the group.cite book |last=Petterchak |first=Janice A. |year=2003 |title=Lone Scout: W. D. Boyce and American Boy Scouting |publisher=Legacy Press |id=ISBN 0-9653198-7-3 ] Weather reports show that London had no fog that day. Boyce returned to London after his safari and visited the Scout headquarters again and gained the use of "Scouting for Boys" in the development of a US Scouting program. This and other elements of the legend were promoted by James E. West in 1915 to help build up Boyce as the true founder of the BSA in order to defuse an escalating conflict between Daniel Carter Beardand Ernest Thompson Setonover who should be considered the founder of the BSA.cite book |last=Rowan |first=Edward L |year=2005 |title=To Do My Best: James E. West and the History of the Boy Scouts of America |publisher=Las Vegas International Scouting Museum |id=ISBN 0-9746479-1-8 ] Elements of this story, including the fog, may have been borrowed from a story concerning the Rhode Island Boy Scouts.
couting comes to the U.S.
Boyce returned to the United States and with Edward S. Stewart and Stanley D. Willis he incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on
February 8, 1910and applied for a congressional charter. The bill was tied up with a charter for the Rockefeller Foundationand Boyce withdrew it after many delays. Around this time, William Randolph Hearst, a rival newspaperman, formed the American Boy Scouts(ABS), a group that lasted through 1918. Between business and travel, Boyce did not spend much time on the new organization. Edgar M. Robinson, a senior administrator of the YMCAin New York City, learned of the new Boy Scout program and traveled to Chicagowhere he agreed to help Boyce organize the Boy Scouts as a national organization. Boyce pledged $1000 a month for a year to support the program– but reports indicate only three or four payments were actually made. Robinson returned to New York to begin the search for members. After a series of meetings in early 1910, the Woodcraft Indianslead by Ernest Thompson Seton, the Boy Scouts of the United States headed by Colonel Peter Bomus and the National Scouts of America headed by Colonel William Verbeck were absorbed into the BSA. The National Highway Patrol Association Scouts headed by Colonel E. S. Cornell and the Boy Pioneers (formerly known as the Sons of Daniel Boone) headed by Daniel Carter Beard were folded. The BSA national office opened in the 28th Street YMCA in New York City on 1 June, 1910. The first managing secretary (the precursor to the Chief Scout Executive) was John Alexander, a YMCA administrator from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The National Council was formed in the fall of 1910 with
Colin H. Livingstoneas the national president, Robinson becoming the managing secretary (on a temporary leave from the YMCA) and Seton as Chief Scout. Beard, Bomus and Verbeck became the national Scout commissioners. Seton wrote "A Handbook of Woodcraft, Scouting, and Life-craft", the original edition of what is now the Boy Scout Handbook. It was hastily published and shipped to potential leaders for review. Robinson wanted to return to his full time position at the YMCA, so Livingstone put out inquiries for a replacement. They hired James E. West an enterprising young lawyer known as an advocate of children's rights. West was hired on a six month temporary basis that lasted 35 years.
James West and the early days
The new BSA office on 5th Avenue opened in January 1911 with West at the helm and the movement began to grow at a rapid pace. One of West's first tasks was to revise the British-based program outline in Seton's handbook and adapt it for American boys. West was instrumental in expanding the third part of the Scout Oath:
He also pushed to add three parts to the
Scout Law: brave, clean, and reverent. He then pressed article III of the constitution of the BSA, now known as the religious principle:
As the BSA grew, the concept of the local council grew as a method of administration. With the local council came the beginning of the
Commissioner Service. Local commissioners formed the first councils and started the tradition of direct support to the Scoutmaster. A first-class council had a paid commissioner, and could keep 15 cents of each 25 cent registration, while second-class councils with volunteer commissioners could keep five cents. The first annual meeting was held in February 1911 at the White House. It was agreed that the President of the United States— then William Howard Taft—was to be the honorary president of the BSA, a tradition that is still followed today. Theodore Rooseveltwas selected as the Chief Scout Citizen and honorary vice-president. Gifford Pinchotwas selected as Chief Woodsman.
The new edition of the handbook– "The Official Handbook for Boys" was published. West was elevated in prestige through a change in his title when in November 1911 he became the
Chief Scout Executive. He and his staff created two requirements that became fundamental to the structure of the organization, which were the requirement that troop charters be issued to a community organization or established group of citizens (first known as the sponsoring institution and now known as a chartered organization), and secondly, that each Scoutmaster would be under the supervision of a registered troop committee consisting of a chairman and at least two members who were not the Scoutmaster or his assistants.
In February 1912, Baden-Powell returned to the United States and West accompanied him on tour. Baden-Powell remarked that the BSA needed better communications. After discussions with the Executive Board, Boyce offered to fund a magazine if it were published by his company in Chicago. Livingstone declined the offer, noting that the board wanted the magazine to be published from the New York office. Boyce withdrew from all administrative duties and returned to newspaper management. West learned of a Scouting magazine called "
Boys' Life" and recommended it for purchase. The first cover by Norman Rockwell, "Scout at Ship's Wheel", appeared on the September 1913 issue. In 1912, Sea Scouting became an official program, based on the British Sea Scoutprogram. Arthur Rose Eldredbecame the first Eagle Scout in 1912.
The original handbook used a lot of material from Baden-Powell's handbook. The comments on loyalty to employers concerned the
labor unions– the Industrial Workers of the Worldin Portland, Oregonprotested loudly during the 1912 tour. These comments were removed from the 1911 edition and West made much of the labor positions of the rival American Boy Scouts.
Protests over the inclusion of
African Americans arose early in the program. When Boyce departed, he turned the Boy Scout corporation over to the members of the Executive Board with the stipulation that the Boy Scouts would not discriminate on the basis of race or creed. The BSA established the position that African Americans should be included, but that local communities should follow the same policies that they followed in the school systems. Thus, much of the American south as well as many major northern communities had segregated programs with "colored troops" until the late 1940s.
Since the BSA had early and enduring ties with the YMCA, a firmly Protestant organization, the Catholic church forbade their boys to join. The Catholics accepted the BSA in 1913, but troops would be Catholic only under Catholic adult leadership. Later that year,
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintsaffiliated their Mutual Improvement Association with the BSA with similar restrictions.
In the years before
World War I, pacifismand patriotismoften came into conflict, and the BSA was sometimes in the middle. Some thought that the BSA was too militaristic, especially as characterized by their military style uniforms and discipline, while others felt that the BSA was unpatriotic in their stance against military training. In 1912, a member of another organization, the American Boy Scouts, shot another boy with a rifle. West quickly distanced the BSA from the ABS program and any military training or discipline. He refused to allow the BSA Supply group to sell the Remington rifle endorsed by the ABS and de-emphasized the Marksmanship merit badge. The National Rifle Associationlobbied the Executive Board to issue the badge. In 1914, Colonel Leonard Woodresigned from the Board after a pacifistic article was published in "Boys' Life" that he considered to be "almost treasonable". Eventually, the rhetoric calmed down, and the BSA began to issue the Marksmanship merit badge.
The original use of the
fleur-de-lisas an emblem was repugnant to some pacifist organizations who thought it a symbol of war. Beard added the eagle to the symbol and associated it with the compassrose. This was another conflict between Beard and Seton, as Seton had pressed for a wolf on the Scout emblem and as the emblem of what became the Eagle Scout award.
As early as 1910, Beard and Seton had an argument over who was the founder of Scouting. Programs for boys had been advanced by Seton in 1902, Beard in 1905 and Baden-Powell in 1906. Since Baden-Powell had based parts of the program on Seton's work, Seton claimed to be the founder. By 1915, the conflicts between had escalated and in an attempt to defuse the situation, West began promoting the story of the Unknown Scout that emphasized Boyce as the founder of the BSA. Seton still had Canadian citizenship, and this chafed some in the BSA, including West who often referred to him as "our alien friend". The board did not re-elect Seton as Chief Scout in 1915 and he soon stopped publishing in "Boys' Life". By early 1916, Seton was officially out of the BSA program, and most of his contributions were removed from the 1916 edition of the handbook. Seton later established the Woodcraft League based on his older works and claimed he had not actually merged them into the BSA.
Boyce had argued for a program to serve boys who could not participate in a troop because of time or location, but West was against any such a program. In 1915, Boyce incorporated the
Lone Scouts of America(LSA) and invested all of his new boys as members and himself as the "Chief Totem". The BSA later formed the Pioneer Scouts in 1916 as an outreach to mostly rural areas with only moderate success. In 1924, the LSA merged into the BSA and was run as the Rural Scouting Division for the next decade.
West fiercely defended the use of the term "Scout" and the right to market Scouting merchandise. When the American Boy Scouts re-emerged as the United States Boy Scouts (USBS), West sued and won. The USBS renamed to the American Cadets but soon folded. The Salvation Army Life-Saving Scouts folded in the 1930s. By 1930, West claimed to have stopped 435 groups from unauthorized use of "Scouting"; this both the use as part of an organizational name and in the use of commercial products. When the Girl Scouts of America started, West discouraged the program. West had earlier worked with Luther Gulick when the Camp Fire Girls were established and always considered them to be the sister program of the BSA. When the Girl Scouts refused to give up their name in 1918, West appealed to Baden-Powell with no results.
Lou Henry Hooverbecame the president of the Girl Scouts in 1922 and First Ladyin 1929; West stopped his campaign to rename the Girl Scouts.
Birth of Cubbing
As early as 1911, Seton had developed a prototype program he named "Cub Scouts of America" that was never implemented. West felt that having BSA divisions for younger boys (those under 11; the "younger boy problem") would draw away boys from the core program, which was Scout troops focused on the 11–17 year old age group; thus he opposed such a program for some time. In spite of this, unofficial programs for younger boys started around this time, under names such as "Junior Troops" or "Cadet Corps". The BSA obtained the rights to Baden-Powell's "The Wolf Cub Handbook" in 1916 and used it in unofficial Wolf Cub programs starting in 1918. This led to an issue with Beard who felt that the use of the British book was nearly disloyal to the US. West encouraged the formation of the
Boy Rangers of America, a separate organization for boys eight through twelve based on an American Indian theme. The Boy Rangers used the Scout Law and Chief Guide Emerson Brooks was a Boy Scout commissioner in Montclair, New Jersey. The BSA finally began some experimental Cubbing units in 1928 and in 1930 the BSA began registering the first Cubbing packs, and the Boy Rangers were absorbed.cite web |url=http://www.threefirescouncil.org/History/ |title=A Brief History of the Boy Scouts of America |publisher=Three Fires Council |accessdate=2006-07-27]
The British Cubbing program used elements of
Rudyard Kipling's "Jungle Book" series, with the Cubmaster taking the role of Akelaand the assistant Cubmaster the role of Baloo. The American program also syncretized American Indian elements, with all Cub Scouts belonging to the Webelos tribe, symbolized by the Arrow of Light and led by Akela. "Webelos" was also an acronym meaning "Wolf, Bear, Lion, Scout". The initial rank structure was Wolf, Bear and Lion, with ages of 9, 10 and 11. Dens of six to eight Cubs were entirely led by a Boy Scout holding the position of den chief.
World War I and beyond
Boy Scouts served as crowd control at the inauguration of President
Woodrow Wilsonin 1913, and have served at every inauguration since in some ceremonial role. The Philadelphia Area Council started a Scout honor society called the Order of the Arrowin 1915 that eventually became an important part of the Boy Scout program.
Paul Sleman, Colin H. Livingstone, Ernest S. Martin and James E. West successfully lobbied Congress for a federal
charterfor the BSA, which President Woodrow Wilsonsigned on June 15, 1916. It reads:cite web|url=http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/36C309.txt|title=PATRIOTIC AND NATIONAL OBSERVANCES, CEREMONIES, AND ORGANIZATIONS - BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA|date=2006-01-02|publisher=U. S. House of Representatives|accessdate=2008-10-11]
During the war, radio transmitters were regulated, and Scouts were called to look for unauthorized units. Scouts were used as message runners, coast watchers, and were to be alert for men who had not reported for duty. Over $352 million of
war bonds were sold by Scouts along with $101 million War Saving Stamps. They collected fruit pits to be processed into charcoalfor gas masksand inventoried black walnut trees for use as propellers and gun stocks. The War Garden program was intended for Scouts to raise food at home, but was only moderately successful.
When Baden-Powell returned to the US in 1919, the BSA held a huge rally in
Central Park, and later a rally for the return of General John J. Pershing. During the war, it was noted that troops tended to fold if the Scoutmaster was called for service. Changes in the troop structure included limiting the size to 32 Scouts, the introduction of the troop committee and the senior patrol leader position. The Associate Scout, Veteran Scout and Pioneer Scout programs were introduced for Scouts with loose or no troop affiliation. Select paid commissioners in first class councils started to become the first Scout executives and an early professional development program was implemented. Theodore Roosevelt died in January 1919, Dan Beard lead a pilgrimage of Scouts to the grave in October in what became an annual event.
The BSA sent a large contingent to the 1920
World Scout Jamboree. Baden-Powell presented the Silver Wolf to West and Livingstone. West was persuaded to write the constitution and by-laws for what became the World Organization of the Scout Movement(WOSM). As part of the world movement, the BSA adopted the left handshake and a new uniform: the high collar jacket was replaced by a shirt and neckerchief and shorts were added as an option.
With a high concentration of troops in the New York City area, administration started to become burdensome. In 1921,
Franklin Delano Rooseveltwas persuaded to head a foundation overseeing the New York borough councils. Dr. George J. Fisher, a YMCA administrator, was recruited as the Deputy Chief Scout Executive. The US was divided 12 regions and then into areas directly reportable to the National Council. "Boy's Life" was in financial trouble by 1923 and West took over as editor. James J. Storrowreplaced Colin Livingstone as president in 1925 and William Hillcourt, later known as "Green Bar Bill" began his association with the BSA. The first program for Scouts with disabilities was introduced in 1923. [cite web |url=http://www.ppbsa.org/mem/memwb29.htm |title=Scouts with Special Needs |publisher=Patriots’ Path Council, Boy Scouts of America |accessdate=2006-03-20] After Storrow died in 1926, Milton A. McRaebecame the president briefly, followed by Walter W. Head. The Silver Buffalo Awardwas created in 1926: the first awards were to Baden-Powell, the Unknown Scout (presented as a statue at Gilwell Park), W. D. Boyce, Livingstone, Storrow (posthumously) Beard, Seton and Robinson. Charles Lindberghwas elected as the 18th Honorary Scout in 1927 and awarded the Silver Buffalo in 1928.
The Rural Scouting program was expanded with the Railroad Scouting program in 1926. The BSA began expanding the Negro Scouting program: by 1927 thirty-two communities in the south had "colored troops", with twenty-six troops in
Louisville, Kentucky.cite web |url=http://www.aaregistry.com/african_american_history/2781/The_Black_Boy_Scout_a_history___ |title=The Black Boy Scout, A History... |publisher=The African American Registry |accessdate=2006-07-23] The junior assistant Scoutmaster position was created in 1926 and Eagle Palms were added in 1927. "Boys' Life" promoted a photo safari to Africa for three Scouts in 1928. The three Scouts, Robert Douglas, David Martin, and Douglas Oliver, wrote the book "Three Boy Scouts in Africa" upon their return as part of their requirement of being selected for this trip with Martin and Osa Johnson, American photographers known for their African safari movies and photographs. Later in 1928, a trip to the Antarcticwith Commander Byrd was promoted and Eagle Scout Paul Siple was selected for the expedition. Hillcourt wrote the first "Patrol Leader Handbook", published in 1929. The Silver Wolf was presented to Beard and Mortimer L. Schiff. The first Silver Buffalo Awards were presented in 1926. Membership registration and fees for volunteers began in 1929. By the end of the decade the BSA had a membership of 842,540.
Mortimer Schiff was elected as president in 1931, but died after serving one month and Walter Head returned until 1946. Schiff's mother purchased and donated convert|400|acre|km2 of land in New Jersey and donated it to the BSA, thus creating
Mortimer L. Schiff Scout Reservationas a national training center. President Roosevelt encouraged Scouts to do their part during the Great Depression. Scouts responded by providing services to assist relief agencies and Scout leaders provided training for the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Senior Scout program within the troop and the Rovering program for older Scouts was introduced in 1933, but was not promoted and was discontinued in 1947. The BSA planned to celebrate their 25th anniversary with a jamboree in Washington, D.C., but it was canceled due to an outbreak of polio. An experimental Wood Badge course was conducted in 1936 along with a Rover Wood Badge Course– both werer based on the then current British syllabi. The 1937 National Scout Jamboree was opened by Dan Beard who lit a fire with flint and steel using wood from all 48 states. In 1937, oil magnate Waite Phillipsdonated to the BSA a large tract of land in the Rocky Mountainsof New Mexicothat became the Philmont Scout Ranch. Scouts participated at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Just under 4,000 Scouts camped on site and served as ushers, guides and honor guards. A rally attracted 63,0000 Scouts. The decade ended with a membership of 1,391,831.
In 1940, composer
Irving Berlinwrote to West expressing a desire to further the aims of Scouting. He created a foundation to distribute the royalties from his song " God Bless America" to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
In 1941, the Webelos rank was created for 11-½ year-old boys. The first Webelos badge used the emblem today known as the Arrow of Light and was worn on the left pocket flap. Den mothers became optional Cubbing leaders in 1936, eventually becoming a registered position in 1948. The "Bob Cat" rank was introduced in 1938 as the entry-level badge for a new Cub, with a pin for non-uniform wear. Until 1942, boys joining Cubbing at any age were required to work their way through the ranks, first earning Bob Cat, then Wolf, Bear and Lion, wearing only their current rank and arrow points. After 1942, Bob Cat became a joining rank, then the Cub Scout progressed to the next rank for his age level and all earned rank badges were worn. In 1945, the Cubbing program was renamed to Cub Scouts. 1947 saw the uniform change from
knickersto trousers. The age groups were changed to 8, 9 and 10 in 1949. "Bob Cat" became "Bobcat" around 1950.cite web |url=http://www.troop97.net/t97hist1.htm |title=BSA: 1950s to Today |publisher=Troop 97 |accessdate=2006-07-23] cite web |url=http://users.aol.com/randywoo/bsahis/h-t.htm#Webelos |title=The Ultimate Boy Scouts of America History Site |publisher=Randy Woo |accessdate=2006-07-23]
In 1949 the minimum age for a Boy Scout was lowered from 12 to 11 and adults were now proscribed from earning merit badges and youth ranks.
BSA membership rose dramatically between 1950 and 1960, from 2.8 million to 5.2 million. The 40th anniversary celebrated the theme of "Strengthen the Arm of Liberty." As part of the theme, the BSA distributed over 200 replicas of the
Statue of Liberty. The convert|8|ft|4|in|m|sing=on copper statues are known as the "Little Sisters of Liberty". [cite web |url=http://www.scouting.org/media/inthenews/0300DK.pdf |title=Restoring the Little Sisters of Liberty |accessdate=2007-03-19 |author=Marti Attoun |format=PDF |work=American Profile |archivedate=|]
pinewood derbywas held in 1953, becoming an official part of the program in 1955. In 1954, the Webelos den program was started for 10-½ year olds and a Webelos den emblem was introduced, used on the Webelos den flag and replacing the den number on the uniform. The Bobcat pin was approved for uniform wear in 1959. In 1956, Scouts and Scouters who participated in an approved international activity or event were allowed to wear the World Crestas a permanent award. Local councils were allowed to present the crest in 1957.
In 1959, the dimensions of the Boy Scout Handbook increased to their present size and it was printed in full color for the first time. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts lowered their age limits, and Exploring was extensively modified to include vocational exploration.
The 1960s saw the peak periods of membership for the BSA in almost every category, as the baby-boomer generation had its Scout-age boys joining packs and troops across the country. Exploring was becoming more oriented to career-exploration as a primary emphasis. The BSA was applauded by most for firmly prohibiting racial discrimination in its rules and regulations.
Most of the big changes in program elements during this decade were in Cub Scouting, and were directed at retaining the oldest Cub Scouts who were dropping out before they were old enough to gradaute to Boy Scouting. In 1967, the Lion badge and traditional parent-directed advancement for 10 year olds was discarded for the new Webelos program, which became more focused on the transition to Boy Scouting. The Webelos program introduced 15 topical activity badges alongside the Arrow of Light badge requirements. A new Webelos colors badge was developed to hold the activity badge pins, and the hat and neckerchief featured the new Webelos symbol. The meaning of "Webelos" was changed to "We'll Be Loyal Scouts".
Also in 1967, the den mother position was changed to den leader and opened to males and females, and the den leader coach position was added as a trainer of den leaders.
The 1970s: the Improved Scouting Program
The BSA commissioned a series of studies and developed an updated program to modernize Scouting in a manner similar to the changes of the British Boy Scout Association in 1967. September 1972 saw the launch of the Improved Scouting Program. The Cub Scout Promise was changed from "to be square" to "to help other people", as the term "square" went from meaning "honest" to "rigidly conventional". The use of "boy" was de-emphasized: the eighth edition of the handbook was titled simply "Scout Handbook" and the new strategic logo used "Scouting/USA". Much of the
Scoutcraftinformation and requirements were removed, replaced by information on drug abuse, family finances, child care and community problems. Conservation included both urban and wilderness areas. The concept of the personal growth agreement conferences was introduced as a requirement for each rank. Under the new program, a Scout could reach First Class without going hiking or camping or cooking over a fire. The program was modified for a system of "immediate recognition". Individual rank requirements were supplemented with skill awards recognized by metal belt loops. Ranks and merit badges were to be presented immediately, and recognized later at the court of honor. The merit badge program—previously only available to First Class and above—was opened to all ranks, and merit badges were required for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. The number of required merit badges for Eagle Scout was increased to 24, and Camping merit badge was dropped from the required list. The entry age was changed to 11 or 10-½ if a boy had finished fifth grade.
The Senior Boy Scout program was replaced by the Leadership Corps. Initially the Leadership Corps was limited to leaders 14–15; older boys were expected to become junior assistant Scoutmasters or move to Exploring. The Leadership Corps could wear the forest green shirt with a Scout BSA strip until it was discontinued in 1979. The Leadership Corps patch was worn in place of the patrol patch, The first version of the patch was trapezoidal, replaced by a round patch in 1987. The red beret was initially introduced for the Leadership Corps, and extended for troop wear in 1973. [cite web |last=Brown |first=Michael R. |url=http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Falls/8826/leadershipcorps.html |title=Leadership Corps (1972-89) |work=A History of Senior Scouting Programs in the BSA |accessdate=2006-03-07] Troop Leader Development (TLD), adapted from the
White Stag Leadership Development Program, was introduced in 1974 to train youth leaders. [cite web |url=http://www.pinetreeweb.com/TLD-1974.htm |title=Historical Background of Leadership Development: Troop Leader Development, 1974 |publisher=The Pine Tree Web |accessmonthday=March 17 |accessyear=2006 ] The Cornerstone program was introduced to train adult leaders. Leaders who completed the course were recognized by a special version of the leader's emblem that was embroidered with mylar thread, giving a shiny look. [cite web |url=http://www.mninter.net/~blkeagle/trained.htm |title=Trained |publisher=Black Eagle web|accessdate=2006-07-13]
1972 saw the introduction of new colored cloth badges for all ranks and positions, the new Webelos badge was introduced and the old badge became the Arrow of Light. In 1973, most Cub Scout leadership positions were opened to women, and in 1976 the Cubmaster, assistant Cubmaster, and all commissioner positions were opened. [cite web |url=http://www.geocities.com/~PACK215/hist-cs-women.html |title=The Changing Role of Women in Cub Scouting |work=The Virtual Cub Leader's Handbook |accessdate=2006-02-06]
From the early 1920s, the BSA had been divided into 12 numbered regions, each designated by a Roman numeral, which consisted of territories of several states. The 12 regions followed the organization of the federal reserve system at that time. In 1972, the 12 regions were consolidated into a new alignment of six geographic regions (Northeast, East Central, Southeast, North Central, South Central, and Western.
In 1976, concerns over the lack of emphasis on Scoutcraft and declining membership lead to the introduction of "All Out for Scouting", a back-to-basics program developed by William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt. The program was launched with "Brownsea Double-Two", a week long course for the senior patrol leader who would then introduce the troop-level "Operation Flying Start" to their units. [cite web |url=http://www.pinetreeweb.com/brownsea.htm |title=Historical Background of Leadership Development: Brownsea Double-Two, 1976 |publisher=The Pine Tree Web |accessdate=2006-03-17 ] Junior Leader Training (JLT) replaced TLD and Brownsea Double-Two in 1979. From a peak of 6.5 million Scouts in 1972, membership declined to a low of 4.3 million in 1980. [cite web |url=http://www.troop97.net/t97hist2.htm |title=BSA: the 1970s |publisher=Troop 97 |accessdate=2006-03-17]
Hillcourt returned from retirement to write the ninth edition of the
Boy Scout Handbookin 1979, returning much of the Scoutcraft skills. [cite web |url=http://www.troop97.net/bshb1.htm |title=9th Edition—Official Boy Scout Handbook (1979-1990) |work=The Boy Scout Handbook: 1910-Today |publisher=Troop 97 |accessdate=2006-03-17] The number of Eagle required merit badges was reduced back to 21, and Camping was restored to the required list.
In 1980, the new Boy Scout uniform designed by
Oscar de la Rentawas introduced. The Varsity Scouts program was introduced in 1984 as an alternate program for older boys.
Tiger Cubs were started in 1982 as a pack associated program for seven year old boys; the uniform consisted of an orange T-shirt and a cap. The Tiger Cub Promise was "I promise to love God, my family and my country, and to learn about the world." The Tiger Cub Motto was "Search, Discover, Share."
In 1984, several uniform changes were brought in. Webelos Scouts were given the option to wear the Boy Scout uniform with Webelos cap, neckerchief, insignia and blue shoulder loops. The original yellow Cub Scout neckerchief became the Wolf Cub Scout neckerchief and Bear Cub Scouts got their own light blue neckerchief. In 1986, Cub Scout membership was changed from age based to school grade based [Packs chartered to
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintscontinue to used the age based system] and the Webelos Scout program was expanded to two years.
In 1989, some of the last elements of the Improved Scout Program ended when the skill award program was discontinued and the individual requirements were returned to the ranks. The Leadership Corps program was eliminated and the Venture crew and Varsity team programs for older boys 14–17 within the troop were introduced. Initially, girls were allowed to participate in team and crew activities, but this was later quietly dropped. These programs used the Venture/Varsity Letter with activity pins for recognition. The Varsity team program within the troop was discontinued in 1996. When the Venturing program was introduced in 1998, Venture crews were redesignated as Venture patrols. In early 2005, the BSA quietly stopped allowing Venture Patrols to use the Venture/Varsity Letter and activity pins, restricting them to just Varsity Scouts. [cite web |year=2005 |url=http://www.scoutingmagazine.org/issues/0509/d-lett.html |title=Confused about Venture patrols |work=Scouting magazine |publisher=Boy Scouts of America |accessdate=2007-04-07] Initially, the youth leaders were the Venture crew chief and assistant crew chief and the Varsity team captain and team co-captain. The adult leaders were the assistant Scoutmaster Venture and the assistant Scoutmaster Varsity. All of these positions and the emblems were eliminated except for assistant Scoutmaster Venture.
In 1992, the six regions were reorganized again into four regions—Western, Central, Southern and Northeast. The Cub Scout Academics program was introduced in 1992 and became the Cub Scout Academics and Sports program in 1996. In 1990 requirements for the World Crest were changed to taking part in an international exhibit or display or an international event. The requirements were eliminated in 1991, and all Scouts now wear the World Crest as a display of world brotherhood in Scouting. The
International Activity Patchreplaced the World Crest as an emblem of participation in an international event. This is also the era in which the BSA restructured in an effort to reduce manpower by consolidating smaller councils into larger ones. In 1996 the Tiger Cub was presented with a "Tiger Cub BSA" emblem for wear on the blue Cub Scout uniform after graduating into the pack. Venturing made its debut in 1998.
The Tiger Cub Den became an integrated part of the pack in 2001 and the standard blue uniform was adopted with Tiger Cub hat, neckerchief and slide. The Tiger Cub strip was replaced by the diamond shaped badge and the Tiger Cub Promise was replaced by the Cub Scout Promise.
In 2004, the Scoutreach division launched the Scouting and Soccer program with an emphasis on outreach to Hispanic/Latino youth and families.cite web |url=http://www.soccerandscouting.org/index.html |title=Soccer and Scouting |publisher=Boy scouts of America |accessdate=2006-03-28 ] The Tiger Cub Motto was replaced by the Cub Scout Motto in 2006. A new version of the Webelos badge was introduced, oval shaped like the Boy Scout badges and worn only on the khaki shirt. [cite web |url=http://www.geocities.com/~Pack215/hist-cshistory.html |title=The Evolution of Cubbing: A 90 Year Chronology |work=The Virtual Cub Leader's Handbook |accessdate=2006-02-06] [cite web |author=Craig Murray |url=http://www.sageventure.com/history/cub/index.htm |title=Cub Scout Rank Badges 1930 - Present |work=The Hiker |accessdate=2006-02-06] In June 2006, in a move to align Tiger Cubs with the rest of the Cub Scout program, Tiger Cubs were required to earn the Bobcat badge first.
In 1984, the Varsity Scout program was rolled out as an official program of the BSA for boys 14–17. This program is designed to retain older Scouts with additional award opportunities and program elements not available to younger Scouts, as well as attract high school age young men interested in sports and high adventure activities but no previous Scouting background. The youth leader of each Varsity Scout team is called the captain and the adult leader is called the Varsity Coach.
In 1989, with rollout of the Venture program, the Varsity letter was redesigned for the use of the Venture Crew as well, and activity pins were added. More recently, the Denali Award was introduced to recognize outstanding achievement by a Varsity Scout. Varsity Scouts are also eligible to earn the ranks and merit badges prescribed for Boy Scouts. It is considered a sub-set of the overall Boy Scout program.
While remaining relatively small compared to Venturing and Exploring, the program has persisted, probably due to
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' policy to charter Varsity Teams for all 14-15 year old boys in the United States. In recent years, the number of teams chartered by other organizations has increased. In 2001 revised Varsity Scout manuals were released.
Venturing (preceded by Exploring)
Shortly after Boy Scouting was founded in the United States, its creators encountered a problem with older boys. Some grew bored with the program, usually around 14–15, while others didn't want to leave their troops after reaching the age of 18. To alleviate this problem, a number of new programs were created for older boys over time, including the Sea Scouts (1912), Senior Scouts and Explorer Scouts (1935),
Rover Scouts(c. 1938), and Air Scouts(1942). Around 1935, most of these were brought together under the overall Senior Scout Division. In 1949, these programs were reworked into Exploring, which included Sea Explorers and Air Explorers. In 1958, these were further re-worked and condensed into a unified Exploring program with Sea Explorers as a relatively independent sub-group. [cite web |last=Brown |first=Michael R. |url=http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Falls/8826/ |title=A History of Senior Scouting Programs in the BSA |accessdate=2006-03-15]
In the 1950s and beyond, many Explorer posts chose to become specialty posts, with the encouragement of the BSA. Many of these posts were chartered to businesses and government agencies (such as police, fire departments and hospitals). In the 1960s and further into the 70s, this career education emphasis became an important aspect of the overall Exploring program. However, outdoor-oriented posts, as well as those specializing in sports and hobbies also were popular, and some were quite large.
Continuing surveys of teenage boys done by the BSA indicated that Explorer-age teenagers, including current Explorers, were interested in including young women in their group activities. The BSA made the first change in this direction in 1969 by opening special-interest posts to young women to be "associate members". After two years, the BSA decided to allow any Explorer post to accept young women and/or young men, based on the desires of the chartered organization, and many Explorer posts became co-educational.
In the 1970s, some councils were starting Explorer posts that met during high school elective classes, primarily for career exploration classes that featured volunteer speakers representing careers. Because these posts were structurally different, with meetings being adult directed and primarily seminars and the membership being very fluid, the SSA created the membership category of Career Awareness Exploring, and these high school based posts were moved into this category. Later, when the
Learning for Lifedivision was formed, these posts were renamed High School Career Awareness Groups, and moved from Exploring to Learning for Life.
During the 1970s, 1980s, and beyond, Exploring continued to offer the National Explorer Conferences and the Law Enforcement Explorer Conferences, as well as unique programs like the Explorer Mock Trial Competition. Explorers met in area conferences as well. Qualified Explorers were able to run for regional and national Explorer offices, with the National Explorer President and Vice President attending national meetings and participating in the annual Report to the Nation.
July 30, 1996, the ACLUissued a statement [cite web |year=1996 |url=http://web.archive.org/web/20041105163559/http://archive.aclu.org/news/n073096a.html |title=ACLU Says Government and Private Groups Operating Boy Scout Troops Are Discriminating |publisher=ACLU |accessdate=2006-03-15] charging that members of Explorer posts affiliated with public services had a significant advantage over non-members in finding employment with these services. Because the BSA prohibits its members from being openly homosexualor atheist, the ACLU believed these public services were discriminating against such people. On April 10, 1997, the ACLU filed a lawsuit [cite web |year=1997 |url=http://web.archive.org/web/20041105021807/http://archive.aclu.org/news/n041097a.html |title=ACLU Challenges Chicago Scouting Programs That Require Belief in God |publisher=ACLU |accessdate=2006-03-15] against the city of Chicagofor allowing these programs. Most of these problematic units were career-awareness posts affiliated with government agencies, especially law enforcement and fire service posts.
In August 1998, the BSA decided to reorganize the Exploring program, and moved all career-oriented Explorer posts to their
Learning for Lifesubsidiary. Those youth and adults continued to be Explorers, but no longer would be members of the BSA. Posts that specialized in outdoor activities (including Sea Scouts, sports, hobbies, and religious activities) were retained in the BSA but moved in to the new Venturing Division. Venturers would be able to continue wearing the traditional green uniform shirt and earn BSA awards.
Venturing was launched without some of the test pilot program development that normally was used by the BSA, and some believe this was because of the legal pressures. However, some of the new Venturing program elements (such as the new Silver and Ranger awards) had already been in development for over a year, and were rolled out with the first Venturing program manuals. The name Venturing was chosen since that term was being used for this age group with other national Scout associations.
Since 1998, a number of enhancements to Venturing have been introduced, and the manuals have been updated. Additional awards (such as the Quest and Trust Awards) have been added. New leadership training programs for youth such as
Venturing Leadership Skills Courseand Kodiak/Kodiak-X (formerly called Nature of Leadership) have been rolled out, as well as Powder Horn for adults.
Venturing, like Exploring, continued the tradition of having national and regional youth presidents. The last elected National Explorer President
Jon Fulkersonserved in that capacity for a period of two weeks, until August 1, 1998at which time he became the first national Venturing president. His first term of office was spent promoting the infant program and working on violence prevention programs that have been adopted by the Venturing division. Currently, nominations are solicited for regional presidents, who are selected at the Annual National Meeting of the BSA in May by a subcommittee from the National Venturing Committee. The president is now selected from the pool of the four region presidents of the previous term. Many councils have council level Venturing youth cabinets (which may be called Venturing Officer Associations or Teen Leader Councils) who plan and carry out Venturing events at the council and district levels.
The Boy Scouts of America implemented the Sea Scouts program in 1912. The program was basically a nautical/naval program for older youth.
During the early years of the program, the program was poorly defined. Each new national leader making changes.
In 1917, scouter James "Kimo" Wilder came on board as Chief Seascout. He revamped the program and tried to make it successful. He didn't succeed, so stepped aside in 1923 for Commander
Thomas J. Keane. Keane would revamp the Sea Scout program. This is the same basic program that exists today. Keane developed the naval-style uniforms, office title and insignia, four level advancement program of Apprentice, Ordinary, Able, and Quartermaster, and the like.
In 1935, Sea Scouts became part of the larger Senior Scout Division of the BSA. In 1949, Sea Scouts were renamed Sea Explorers, as part of the renaming of Senior Scouts to Explorers. In 1964, minor changes occurred to the Sea Explorer program to more fit with the new Exploring program. Over the years, National stopped promoting the Sea Explorer program. It was only through the dedication of many Sea Scout leaders that the program survived. In 1971, along with Exploring, Sea Explorers became officially coed. In 1998, with the new Venturing program, Sea Explorers returned to their name of Sea Scouts. Also, the program was revitalized and better promoted.
There were a handful of organizations that were similar to the Boy Scouts of America, including:
Peace Scouts of California
In 1919 Baden-Powell began a training program called
Wood Badgefor adult leaders in Scouting. The BSA would not fully implement this training until 1948. It was instituted all over the world and is still in use today.
Arthur Rose Eldredthe first Eagle Scout
* [http://www.scouting.org National BSA home page]
* [http://members.aol.com/randywoo/bsahis The Ultimate Boy Scouts of America History Site]
* [http://www.boyscoutstuff.com/ Boy Scout Stuff - A Virtual Boy Scout Museum:1910-1919]
* [http://www.troop97.net/bsahist1.htm A Brief Background of Scouting in the United States 1910 to Today on troop97.net]
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