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History - 1970 to 1979


At the 60th National Council annual meeting, in Denver, Irving Feist was elected to his third term as President. BOYPOWER '76 attainment of goals for the end of 1970 was as follows: total units, 98.9 percent;  national standard units, 121.2 percent;trained top unit leaders, 112.1 percent; Cub Scout membership, 101.2  percent; Boy Scout membership, 96 percent; and Explorer membership, 97.6 percent. Needy and non-Scout camp attendance was up to 46,408. Wood Badge courses were attended by 3,108; National Camping Schools attendance reached 2,504. Philmont and the national canoe bases drew 22,943. A National Standard Rating Plan for camps was developed. Leadership Development and Wood Badge'training courses were tested and initiated. The whole organization mobilized for Project SOAR (Save Our American Resources). The first National Explorer Olympics, attended by 1,200, was held at Colorado State University. Realignment of councils reduced the number of local councils to 493. Membership, December 31, 6,287,284. Total membership to date, 49,628,049. 


A new 4-million acre Maine National High Adventure Area was opened. Scouting Keep America Beautiful Day was held on June 5 with some 2 million members cleaning up more than 200,000 miles of highways and waterways and 400,000 acres of land as more than a million tons of litter were collected. Planning began in the fall for a nationwide program (Operation Reach) against drug abuse. Participation by troops in Project SOAR established a high level of Scout involvement in conservation. The First National Explorer Presidents' Congress was held in Washington, D.C., with 2,043 post presidents attending. Exploring, a new magazine, was printed in the spring and fall and distributed to 200,000 Explorers. The 62d National Council annual meeting was held in Atlanta, and Norton Clapp was elected president, A Silver World Award for distinguished service to youth on an international basis was presented to four figures. In a special ceremony held in Washington, D.C., President Richard M. Nixon was awarded the Silver Buffalo Award. For the first time a Reader's Digest Association-BSA National Public Speaking Contest was held. Nearly 8,000 American Scouts and leaders took part in the XIII World Jamboree held in Japan. A record number of 48,000 needy and non-Scouts attended summer camp. More than 5,000 members of the Order of the Arrow attended a national conference at the University of Illinois. The BOYPOWER campaign effort reached $16,065,658, 24.7 percent of the $65 million goal. A new paraprofessional employment program was begun. Membership, December 31, was 6,427,026. Total members to date, 51,484,371.       


The improved Scouting program was introduced. The BOYPOWER campaign exceeded $25 million. Paraprofessionals entered full- and part-time positions in local councils. The second National Explorer Presidents' Congress was held in Washington, D.C., in April with 2,700 Explorer presidents and boatswains attending. A total of 2,086 Explorers from 185 Explorer posts participated in the National Explorer Olympics held in August in Fort Collins, Colo. The three winning posts attended the World Youth Camp, a part of the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. Nearly 4 million Scouts and Girl Scouts took part in Scouting Keep America Beautiful Day. Operation Reach, a program against drug abuse, was launched. Six new regions were organized to provide support and service to local councils. The National Eagle Scout Association was launched. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr., was the 1972 Reader's Digest Association-BSA National Public Speaking Contest winner. Project SOAR, the national conservation program, was continued. A total of nearly 48,000 needy Scouts and non-Scouts attended summer camp. Norton Clapp, Medina, Wash., was reelected president at the annual meeting in Los Angeles. Troop leader development was tested for the first time at Schiff and Philmont. Membership, December 31, was 6,524,640. Total members to date, 53,308,308.


A series of special annual programs was started in preparation for the nation's bicentennial in 1976. The first, called GIFT (Get Involved for Them), continues through August 1974. For the third successive year, Project SOAR (Save Our American Resources) demonstrated good conservation practices. The program highlight was  the 1973 National Scout Jamboree held in two sites-Moraine State Park, Pa., and Farragut State Park, Idaho- with more than 64,000 participants. At the National Council annual meeting in Minneapolis, Robert W. Reneker  was elected as president. Several million Scouts and leaders joined with other organizations on Keep America  Beautiful Day in a massive effort to beautify America. An updated Cub Scout program was introduced, adjusted  to be more relevant to boys and their families. New Scout merit badges introduced were Truck Transportation,  Veterinary Science, Genealogy, Skating, and Pulp and Paper. A Washington, D.C., bureau was established to  represent the national office. There were 2,500 Explorer post presidents or boatswains at the National  Explorer Presidents' Congress in Washington, D.C. The National Order of the Arrow Conference was held at the  University of California at Santa Barbara with 4,300 participants. The National Eagle Scout Association was  formed. Membership on December 31, was 6,405,225. Total members to date, 55,100,376. 


For the second annual program in preparation for the nation's bicentennial, the theme was Be Prepared for Life; Be Safe, Be Fit. The National Council Annual Meeting was held in Honolulu, and Robert W. Reneker was reelected as president. Approval was given to hold future National Council meetings on a biennial schedule. The First National Eagle Scout Association meeting was held at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., with nearly 300 participants. Project SOAR (Save Our American Resources) program continued with Scouting Environment Day held on April 27. Jamboree contingents from the BSA participated in the National Jamboree in New Zealand, the Quebec Provincial Jamboree, and the Fifth Caribbean Jamboree in Surinam. The Cub Scout Safe Bicycle Driving program and the Cub Scout Physical Fitness program were introduced. New Scout merit badges were introduced for Orienteering and Wilderness Survival. In April, 2,500 Explorer presidents attended the Fourth Annual National Explorer Presidents' Congress in Washington, D.C., and Mary Wright of Auburndale, Mass., was elected national Explorer president-the first young woman to hold the highest office in Exploring. The biennial national Explorer Olympics saw a new high in Explorer sports competition. Despite a loss in members, Scouting made positive gains in 1974 in the quality of its program. Membership on December 31 was 5,803,885. Total members to date, 56,626,408.


Participation in the nation's bicentennial accelerated with the theme Spirit of '76. Because of the biennial schedule for National Council meetings, the national Executive Board elected Arch Monson, Jr., as president. All Out for Scouting!, a 2-year program of troop programming and troop leader training, was introduced to councils. Project SOAR (Save Our American Resources) continued with an emphasis on energy conservation, and Scouting Environment Day was observed on March 22. The 14th World Jamboree was attended by 2,500 U.S. Scouts and leaders in Norway. The National Order of the Arrow Conference was held at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in August. The Fifth Annual National Explorer Presidents' Congress was held in Washington, D.C., with nearly 2,500 Explorer post presidents attending. Membership on December 31 was 5,318,070. Total members to date, 58,014,193. 


The bicentennial year gave 56,712 Cub Scout packs, 61,283 Scout troops, and 22,540 Explorer posts the opportunity to participate in the celebration of the 2OOth birthday of our nation. Sea Explorers served on some of the sailing ships participating in Operation Sail in New York Harbor on July 4. The Eagle Scout Bicentennial Celebration during the entire summer enabled 750 Eagle Scouts and leaders to show Scouting skills in an exhibition on the Mall in our nation's capital. More than 1,000 Scouts from around the world were hosted by BSA Scouts across the U.S.A. Exploring had two exciting major events-2,ooo Explorers competed in the Bicentennial Explorer Olympics in Fort Collins, Colo., and the National Explorer Presidents' Congress attracted some 2,000 to Washington, D.C. During our biennial National Council meeting held in New York, Arch Monson, Jr., of San Francisco, Calif., was elected to his second term as president of the Boy Scouts of America. The Scouting/USA communicative symbol was unveiled at the meeting. Alden G. Barber, Jr., resigned as Chief Scout Executive and Harvey L. Price, Scout Executive of the Los Angeles Area Council, was chosen as his successor. Thousands of members participated in energy conservation projects and Project SOAR. Eagle badges were awarded to 27,687 Scouts. Fifteen Scouts and Explorers met with Eagle Scout Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States, to present the Report to the Nation during the 66th Anniversary Celebration in February. Membership on December 31 was 4,884,082. Total members to date, 59,311,859.


The observance of the nation's bicentennial ended in August with 137,335 Cub Scout packs, Scout troops, and Explorer posts completing activities related to the New Spirit of '76. A new program theme, Wonderful World of Scouting, was introduced in the fall.  The 1977 National Scout Jamboree was held at Moraine State Park, Pa., with 28,601 participants.  The national Executive Board elected Downing B. Jenks of St. Louis, Mo., as president.  At the request of President Jimmy Carter during the annual Report to the Nation, a renewed emphasis was placed on energy conservation and Scouting Energy Day was observed in the fall by thousands of energy conservation activities across the country.  In addition, Scouting Environment Day was held again in the spring.  The National Explorer Presidents’ Congress was held in Washington, D.C., and the National Order of the Arrow Conference convened at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  The new four-function plan of council and district operation was developed to be introduced in early 1978.  Delegations of Scouts and leaders took part in national jamborees held in Australia, Canada, Iceland, and Jamaica.  Membership on December 31 was 4,718,138.  Total members to date, 60,551,879 


The new four-function plan of council and district operation was introduced and was well received.  Age changes related to advancement for handicapped persons were approved.  Over 300,000 Cub Scouts attended 1,800 Cub Scout day camps conducted by local councils.  The annual National Explorer Presidents’ Congress was held in Washington, D.C., and the biennial National Explorer Olympics was held in Fort Collins, Colo.  There was a new emphasis on family camping as local council camp properties were being made available.  Philmont Scout Ranch and Explorer Base and the five other national high-adventure bases had an attendance of 23,835.  Volunteer training was established as a major program function for the movement.  Mark W. Leinmiller, Marietta, Ga., was selected for the Antarctic Scientific Program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Reader’s Digest Association.  Downing B. Jenks, St. Louis, Mo., was elected to his second term as president during the 1978 National Council Meeting in Phoenix, Ariz.  The annual Report to the Nation was held in February and included a meeting with President Jimmy Carter.  A Tom C. Clark Award was established by the National Park Foundation for outstanding conservation projects.  A revised God and Country program for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Explorers was announced, and the National Protestant Committee on Scouting was organized.  Parent-teacher associations continued as the largest single user of the Scouting program.  A “celebrity” public service advertising campaign was introduced and was headed by former President and Eagle Scout Gerald R. Ford.  Official contingents took part in international Scouting events in Japan, Mexico, Israel, Canada, Taiwan, Switzerland, Scotland, and Ireland.  The United Way continued as the largest source of support for local councils, and a Principles of Affiliation was approved.  The Boy Scouts of America concluded its fifth consecutive year without a deficit.  Membership on December 31 was 4,493,491.  Total members to date, 61,898,410. 


The national office moved to Irving, Texas, after 25 years in New Jersey, the National Executive Institute was relocated to Arlington, Texas, and the Johnston National Scouting Museum was temporarily closed.  Plans were completed for the Eastern Distribution Center to move to Charlotte, N.C., in early 1980. John D. Murchison, Dallas, Texas, was elected president but died shortly thereafter.  Downing B. Jenks, St. Louis, Mo., agreed to continue as president.  J. L. Tarr, Scout Executive of the Circle Ten Council, Dallas, Texas, became Chief Scout Executive upon the retirement of Harvey L. Price. The annual Report to the Nation was held in February and included a meeting with President Jimmy Carter. New editions of The Official Boy Scout Handbook and Wolf Cub Scout Book were published. The Cub Scout Trainers' Wood Badge was approved following field testing. The biennial National Order of the Arrow Conference was held at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, and the annual National Explorer Presidents' Congress was held in Washington, D.C. Other Explorer events were the first National Law Enforcement Explorer Conference and the first National Aviation Explorer Fly-In. Because the XV World Jamboree in Iran was postponed, 1,000 Boy Scouts and leaders attended Dalajamb in Sweden. "Scouting ... the Better Life" was announced as the 1980-82 national program theme. A grant of $2,124,500 was given by the Fleischmann Foundation for a development program at the high-adventure bases. A National Funding Division at the national office was created, and a "Campaign for Character" was approved to raise $49 million for national needs.  Membership on December 31 was 4,284,469. Total members to date, 63,388,065. 


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