The Disastrous Scouting/USA and 8th Edition of the Handbook

This worthy entry is from the authoritative Troop 97 collection of handbooks used by B.S.A. Inc.

the 8th edition of the handbook spelled out the ultra cool, modern and absolutely not “square” Improved Scouting, branded as “Scouting/USA.”  It introduced American boys to abusable street drugs, race consciousness, the generic World Scouting “left handed handshake”, premarital sex, metal belt loops for “achievements” (revised Cub Scout program ringing a bell here?) red berets, and most importantly, in consideration for their blatant currying of “inner city youth”, did it at a sixth-grade reading level.

The Troop 97 webpage describes Improved Scouting,

BSA

Boy Scout Handbook introduced in 1972

The 1970s decade was a dark time for the Boy Scouts of America. The period from 1972-80 was a national disaster, when BSA membership declined nationwide by 34% (a loss of 2.2 million members)! Although many changes in our society had an adverse impact on all youth programs, much of the cause for the drastic BSA membership decline was due to the radically changed Scout program of the period.

In 1972, the BSA made sudden and radical changes to the Scouting program, abandoning much of the traditional outdoor program, and applying inner-city programming to ALL of Scouting (what to do if lost?—The new Scout handbook’s entire “Lost” section showed a boy talking to a policeman with the instructions, “Ask for directions to find the way”). New, “politically-correct” terminology defined the era (the BSA had no “boys” or “Boy Scouts” because “boy” was considered demeaning; no longer an outdoorsman, the Scoutmaster became a “manager of learning” who taught Scouts the 11 “leadership competencies;” he guided Scouts through “personal growth agreement conferences” as they advanced through the various “progress awards.”)

The BSA began modifying the short-lived “Improved Scouting Program” in 1975, and finally scrapped the program in 1978-79, after only six years of use. The program stands in sharp contrast to Scouting before 1972 or since 1978.

During the 1970s, the BSA finally updated its heavy-impact conservation practices to modern low-impact policies designed to protect our rapidly dwindling outdoor resources.

BSA membership peaked at 6.5 million in 1972, and reached bottom in 1980 with 4.3 million.

8th Edition—Scout Handbook (1972-1979)

This edition represents the most radical change in Handbook content the BSA ever made. It introduced more new concepts and deleted more traditional subjects than any other edition. The drastic program changes it presented were a disastrous failure for Scouting. From September 1, 1972, through the end of 1977, the “Improved Scouting Program” de-emphasized camping by making outdoor skills optional in the lower three ranks and by eliminating outdoor merit badges from the required list for the higher three ranks (the Eagle list dropped Camping, Cooking, Nature, Swimming, Lifesaving). The new program also extended inner-city programming to ALL of Scouting. (The Handbook’s entire section on “Lost” shows a drawing of a boy talking to a policeman, with the text: “Ask for directions to find the way.”). The Scouting program represented by this Handbook stands in sharp contrast to Scouting before 1972 or since 1978.

The 8th Edition leaves out a lot of other traditional Handbook information: how to wear a neckerchief, when to wear the uniform, lashings, stars, fire without matches, tracking/trailing, silent signals, semaphore and Morse signaling, edible wild plants, finding directions without a compass.

Continue reading “The Disastrous Scouting/USA and 8th Edition of the Handbook”

How Scouting was Saved in ’79 – Scouting Rediscovered

How Scouting was Saved in ’79

There is a period in the history of the Boy Scouts of America that not many people like to talk about.

Some of you may have heard the story before; some of you may have lived through it. I think it is vitally important for all Scouters to know because of what it teaches us about Scouting and its place in the modern world.

It was the late 1960’s, and youth membership in the BSA began to decline. People weren’t quite sure why. Some suspected that the modern world was starting to outgrow the traditional framework of Scouting. Everyone agreed that we still needed a good youth organization… but maybe the stuff of the past didn’t really appeal to boys anymore.

So, in the spirit of the time, we set to work crafting an “Improved Scouting Program”. This was going to be a modern program that fit the needs of the modern boy. We went back to the drawing board and reworked advancement, leadership, and the entire Scouting program. Finally, it was ready to launch.

Continue reading “How Scouting was Saved in ’79 – Scouting Rediscovered”

1980: Can the Boy Scouts Save America? – Texas Monthly

Boy scouting recovered, if you call avoiding certain death recovered, from the lunatic 1972 “Improved Scouting Program” by recalling Green Bar Bill Hillcourt to active scout duty.

Today’s insanity out of Dallas/Ft Worth is identical in all important ways to ISP including the unisex (ummm non-gendered) “SCOUTS:BSA” renaming of Boy Scouts.

Membership dropped to less than two million by 1980. Boy Scouting survived because there were tens of millions of furious grown-up Boy Scouts in 1980, glad to risk their sons in a restored program.

Today, in 2018, there are not tens of millions of former scouts of any persuasion to rescue Boy Scouting from the BSA Inc.

No, I’m afraid this time BSA Inc’s suicide attempt will be a 100% success. The dead cat bounce of SJW rallying to the cause will burn out by the time the current 500,000 Boy Scouts are told they are no longer Boy Scouts, just unisex “Scouts.”

That will be that. The SJWs will move on to the next bastion of bourgeois capitalist society to smash. There were never going to be homosexuals joining that weren’t already members in the closet. The girls will soon enough resent being laughed at as #FakeBoyScouts and that will be that.

BSA Inc may very well survive — as an overpriced outfitter of poorly made, fragile, Chinese clothing and equipment that resembles outdoors gear. REI anyone? Dick’s anyone? Not exactly a growth segment, Communist Outdoors enthusiasts. Even the true tomboys will tire of it, without boys to annoy.

Alas, poor Boy Scouts ! I knew ye.

Can the Boy Scouts Save America? – Texas Monthly

By Brian D. Sweany

A group of Boy Scouts sat around the campfire in the failing light, feeling the freeze-dried gruel they had eaten for dinner beginning to percolate in their stomachs. They stared fixedly at a pot of water in the coals, in which one of the boys was attempting to boil his contact lenses. Big smooth-crowned jays swooped down from the trees and rummaged for leftovers in the pine needles, and every so often the scouts heard the brisk tappity-tap of a mule deer skirting the campsite. The air was rich with the smells of ponderosa pine and Tetrox, a cleaning agent that keeps campfire soot from sticking to cooking pots but that if ingested in even microscopic quantities will cause—as the scouts had been warned by their ranger—“a terminal case of the squirts.”

It was decidedly not the sort of campfire scene that Lord Robert Baden-Powell must have envisioned when he founded the Boy Scouts in 1908—ruddy-faced youngsters sitting around the fire in puttees and campaign hats, singing the Whiffenpoof song. These boys sang no songs, and their trail uniform was minimal: a T-shirt that read “Ragin’ Cajuns—Troop 10—China, Texas.” They were gritty, cynical, and a little profane, and they violated the stereotypes of the Boy Scouts as much as, in some subtle way, they confirmed them. A stranger stumbling upon their campsite might not have immediately taken them for Boy Scouts, but neither would he have taken them for just an ordinary group of boys. They had col­lective qualities of efficiency and harmony that could only have come about through training and a sense of tradition.

Continue reading “1980: Can the Boy Scouts Save America? – Texas Monthly”

Communist Rules for Revolution & BSA Inc

Here’s a document from the Cold War when Americans understood Communist tactics. Some of us learned about Antonio Gramsci’s “Long March through the Institutions” and recognize it as the tactic chosen to destabilize America.

BSA Inc was infiltrated, subverted and converged by Commies. We see every insane Communist provocation. “Girl” boy scouts is a particularly evil attempt at dividing the remnant Boy Scout membership against itself. Is there any other social provocation that would be more divisive?

Qui bono?

Not our boys.

The real aim of emasculated, feminized, gender-queer “boy scouting” is to smash the last remaining national institution that helps form men.

Read this newspaper clipping from 1975. It details the Communist Rules for Revolution as published in Germany, 1919.

How many of these have been accomplished at the BSA Inc? Your church and schools?

BAD KARMA: Tom Stewart’s molestation by SCOUT B.S.A.

What drew my attention to this particular story of Tom Stewart’s  horrific molestation is the service strip on the right breast pocket of his uniform: “SCOUT B.S.A.”
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It was bad karma in 1972 and it’s even worse karma in 2018.
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No good will come from the insane National Executive Committee’s violent sodomization of the entire history of the boy scouting movement.
SCOUT BSA bad karma

Read the whole terrifying story here.

(2012) Court: Boy Scouts can keep new abuse files private

In this Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012 photo, Boy Scout abuse victim Tom Stewart poses for a photo with his old Scout uniform outside the Boy Scout Camp Kilworth in Federal Way, Wash. A newly opened trove of confidential papers shows that authorities and local Boy Scout quietly shielded scoutmasters and others accused of molesting children.
Ted S. Warren

DALLAS The Boy Scouts of America will not immediately have to turn over 27 years of so-called “perversion files” the group keeps on sexual abuse complaints against adults involved in the organization, a Texas appeal court has ruled.

A former scout who says he was sexually assaulted by a now-imprisoned former scoutmaster has filed suit in San Antonio against the national Boy Scouts and the local group in San Antonio. His attorneys want the Boy Scouts of America to turn over internal files on scout leaders dating from 1985 to last year.

State District Judge Martha Tanner ruled in August that the Scouts would have to release those files to the teenager’s attorneys. The 4th Texas Court of Appeals on Thursday granted the Scouts’ request to stay that portion of her order.

The public release in October of files dating from 1959 to 1985 revealed a cover-up of decades of sexual abuse, as Scout leadership sought to shield scoutmasters and other adult leaders from criminal charges. The national Scouts organization, based in the Dallas suburb of Irving, has said it now requires any suspicion of abuse to be reported to law enforcement.

Attorneys for the former scout are expected to file a response to the appeals court sometime next week.

Paul Mones, a Portland, Ore., attorney who is one of the lawyers representing the teen, said on Friday that he didn’t know what the more recent files might contain.

“We do know, as does the rest of the United States, what’s contained in 1959 to 1985,” Mones said. “So over the last 27 years, obviously that’s something that we believe … will be important.”

———- READ MORE AT THE LINK ———-

1950 Valley Forge Jamboree

Valley Forge and the scouting movement have a natural affinity. It’s a genuine shame BSA Inc sold itself into moral servitude to finance the boondoggle that is The Summit Bechtel Reserve.

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This commemorative stamp was issued by the U.S. Postal Service on the occasion of the Jamboree, which was also Scouting’s Fortieth Anniversary.

boy_scouts_bsa_stamp

Comparison of the 1911 and Centennial editions of Boy Scout Handbooks

Scouting Then and Now.
The Boy Scouts of America: Then and Now — A Comparison of the 1911 and Modern Handbooks and Merit Badges

I stumbled on this today looking for material to train our Webelos scouts for their Arrow of Light award.  The present handbooks are simply awful — the Soviets wrote more inspiring manufacturing reports, translated into English than the soul-killing, mind-numbing awful that is the Boy Scout Handbook series today.

The Art of Manliness blog — one of our favorites! — took a close look at the Centennial edition of the BSA Handbook and compared it to the classic original. This portion was largely inspired by a 2013 Clairmont Institute essay by Kathleen Arnn.

The Boy Scouts of America: Then and Now — A Comparison of the 1911 and Modern Handbooks and Merit Badges

 

What has been dropped or reduced in the modern handbook is telling. Gone is the section on chivalry, which traced the Boy Scouts’ heritage back through the pioneers and Pilgrims, and to the knights of the Middle Ages. While the 1911 handbook has a lengthy chapter on Patriotism and Citizenship (including a letter from Theodore Roosevelt on “Practical Citizenship”), which outlines the history of the United States, the meaning of the flag, and the purpose of various governmental bodies, the modern handbook has greatly shrunk the discussion of such things in both length and detail. The original is also generously peppered with references to great men in history for young boys to emulate, while the mention of such “heroes” is almost entirely absent from the one published in 2009 (being inspired by history isn’t much in fashion these days).

Perhaps most striking is the different way in which the two guides address the idea of good character. The original didn’t shy away from strong admonitions like, “It is horrible to be a coward. It is weak to yield to fear and heroic to face danger without flinching,” and “The honor of a scout will not permit of anything but the highest and the best and the manliest. The honor of a scout is a sacred thing, and cannot be lightly set aside or trampled on.”

vintage illustration from boy scouts handbook helping old lady

In contrast, the modern version frames its discussion of character in terms of its inoffensive modern equivalent: leadership and personal development. Instead of being couched in the absolute language of moral virtue, doing the right thing becomes a matter or “making the most of yourself” and “getting along with others.”

Arnn’s original essay — well worth the five minutes it takes to read completely — may be found here. Perhaps we shall post on it later.

AOM’s contribution was to compare merit badges from 1910 to merit badges of 2010. As there are a number of badges that survived the century, this was a straight forward task. The results are a side by side set of graphics with the requirements of each.

what stands out for all the modern badges is how much longer and more involved the guidelines are today than they used to be. In the 1911 handbook, earning each badge involved the completion of a short list of one-sentence requirements. Modern badge requirements, on the other hand, run to as many as ten paragraph-long sections, the first of which is always a discussion of the need to discuss safety considerations with one’s leader. The gardening badge for example, requires the Scout to discuss with his counselor what hazards he might encounter if he happened to unfortunately plant his tomatoes near a beehive.

All old time Scouts see this. The result is that Scouting is perhaps more boring even than school, so the handbooks become expensive bricks, heeded mainly in the breech.

Why? Observe:

Camping

Camping is the activity for which the Boy Scouts are best known. In comparing the original camping merit badge to today’s, one can see how the hands-on requirements have been loosened; for example, Scouts formerly had to sleep out for 50 nights, know how to build a fire without matches, and construct a raft. On the flip side, the modern badge has decreased that requirement to 20 nights, and has greatly expanded the more mental requirements — making checklists, creating plans, and describing different camping guidelines and pieces of equipment.

boy scouts camping badge requirements 1911 versus 2012

Perhaps the most compelling contrast is found in the Inventions merit badge:

boy scouts inventing badge requirements 1911 versus 2012

Yes, you read that correctly.  Our boys were expected to invent something and patent it.

Arnn captured the cucking self-abnegation of BSA honchos since the Improved Scouting Program nearly destroyed it in the 1970s.  Here is an extended quote:

Today, there is a different approach to leadership: “success begins with a vision—picturing yourself where you want to be.” And because anyone can have a vision, anyone can be a leader. “You are a collection of wonderful talents, ideas, and experiences,” the new handbook’s Leadership chapter begins. “What do you want your future to look like tomorrow?”

The old handbook spoke proudly of the chivalric tradition; the new apologizes for the antiquated example of the knights. It sandwiches a few cursory paragraphs on moral virtue between a lengthy discussion of drugs and alcohol and a section on sexual responsibility. Moral choices are reduced to healthy choices. Doing the courageous thing becomes equivalent to refusing a cigarette at a party.

Instead of an exciting chapter on Patriotism and Citizenship, the handbook now offers a perfunctory discussion, re-titled just “Citizenship.” In the new handbook Scouts are citizens of their country, but also of the world. There are the same detailed instructions for folding and flying the flag, but the accompanying history lesson has been shortened and stripped of its vividness. There are, by my count, four heroes in the book. They are the founders of Scouting: British founder Robert Baden Powell, the naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton, outdoorsman Daniel Carter Beard, and James E. West, who led the BSA through its first 30 years. Each gets a sentence and a picture. American heroes, so numerous and colorful in the original handbook, are almost absent. Washington and Lincoln are each mentioned one time. Here is their sentence: “We remember the sacrifices and achievements of Americans with federal holidays, including observances of the birthdays of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

BSA was and remains a hollow shell of its formerly unquestioned status as the premiere training ground for our sons. Pandering to POCs became its own priority, even to the neglect and insult their core audience.  Membership is in free fall because BSA doesn’t want white boys.  They don’t want patriots or Christian believers.  They want your money and are willing to extract it from you by the extortion of your sons.

What would the knights of old do?