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Green Bar Bill Excluded from National Scouting Museum

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  • #16
    I have my "Patrol Method Training Kit" for new SMs and SAs -- one copy of "Handbook for Patrol Leaders" (any year's printing) -- and one copy of "Handbook for Scoutmaster's" (5th Edition - Rockwell Scoutmaster cover).

    Takes care of the gap in the "patrol method" section of training now offered in Scoutmaster & Assistant Position Specific Training.


    • #17
      Maybe it is the fact that National had to bring GBB out of retirement to fix the fiasco that had created with the urban scouting that is a huge embarrassment to them and why they excluded him from the museum. After all we all know National never does anything wrong, lol. I am sure James West is honored even though from what I read he was a pompous and arrogant CSE who almost ruined the early BSA.

      In any case this is truly a slap in the face of GBB who devoted his entire life to scouting and making it the exciting program it once was.


      • #18
        "He had a kid sitting next to him. His job was to draw two green bars through his autograph with a magic marker."

        My brother was one of those lucky scouts at the 1991 Maine Jamboree. Basically, how GBB did this, was when he arrived, whatever scout was first in line got "voluntold" into Green Bar duty for an hour or two. Then he'd get replaced by another scout in line and so on.

        In the end the voluntold scout got a few extra things signed. I still have our patrol flag with a streamer with his signature on it as a result of bro's voluntold green bar duty.

        And, I too, am disgusted that National would sweep him under the rug.


        • #19
          Dumb question but one I haven't found the answer to...what is "green bar" about?

          I suffered through a late 70s scouting program on my way to Eagle after which I promptly dropped out due to sheer boredom. Imagine my surprise to reenter the program as a leader later and find out scouting is supposed to be about getting outside.


          • #20
            what is "green bar" about?

            The position patch for Patrol Leaders was simply two green bars.

            BadenP: GBB was allowed to sprinkle a few outdoor requirements back into the "modern" program, but he was never allowed to fix the Patrol Method. Leadership Development took Green Bar Bill's Patrol Leader Training away from the Patrol Leaders and replaced it with Troop Method training.

            See "Intensive Training in the Green Bar Patrol:"


            James West deserves credit for taking a stand against leadership theory and replacing it with the Patrol Method on September 21, 1923. Presumably "modern" Scoutmaster training (then as now) had so effectively stamped out B-P's Patrol System in the United States that he had to hire a European to implement it.

            If Boy Scouts studied Green Bar Bill they would quickly see that the fake Baden-Powell quotes their parents learn in Wood Badge come from Green Bar Bill. See "Scouting is a Game with a Purpose," for instance:


            West also took a pro-Baden-Powell stand against Seton and Beard, both of whom corrupted the Patrol Adventure meaning of "Scouting" so as to claim credit for it.

            Yours at 300 feet,



            • #21
              Interesting defense of West, but your statement of not really caring much for Seton and Beard and their methods I read about as well. Glad to hear he was pro BP even though I also read he wanted the BSA not to be a carbon copy BP's program either. In any case it is true that West made sure to insure that National had complete control of the entire program in the field. GBB in a manner of speaking seemed to be used by the BSA, but never really appreciated for all his work for them.


              • #22
                A few things.

                #1 Green Bar Bill is the man who saved Scouting. PERIOD. NO IFS, ANDS, OR BUTS ABOUT IT! As such he deserves mention at the museum and in the MB.

                #2 I myself met him twice: 1989 Jambo and in 90 or 91 at a council event. I still get chills remembering how did the Scout Oath and Law as he opened the scout show. Also wish I still had my BSHB with his signature, and wish my troop necker with his signature wasn't ruined. At least I got some things.

                #3 has anyone though of doing a bio of him? I know he did and autobiographical article in Boys' Life in the late 80s, early 90s. Wish I had my original, but think I have it on the microfiche. Truly amazing man.


                • #23
                  Funny story regarding his signature. In 1985, at the jambo, I had him sign a handbook, but neglected to ask him to sign a neckerchief I was getting autographed by various people. I did land a CSE signature from Ben Love on the neckerchief. When they did not ask for my help in 1989 until too late for me to arrange, I did not go. One of our local adults did me a favor and took that 85 necker with him and got it signed.

                  When he gave it back to me, there was the signature, bars and all, right on top of Ben Love's name. Now GBB was getting pretty old by then, but it has been suggested that he may very likely have done that on purpose. So, I have a really unique signed neckerchief from 1985.

                  In regard to West, if you care to find it, you should read the biography by Rowan, as well as the more recent Scott book on the interrelationships of the four principles in the founding, B.P., Seton, Beard, and West. You will really begin to understand the struggles in those first couple of decades.


                  • #24
                    I've never visited Irving, and probably never will.

                    Not to impugn SPL576's account, but has anyone else who's gone to the NSM confirm this? Not a single mention, anywhere in the entire museum?


                    • #25
                      According to the Museum Facebook link, they had one, but it has been rotated out. They have not yet indicated if we might see another one later, but they admit having recently removed one.

                      Thought I had seen something there when I last visited a few years back. We will see.


                      • #26
                        Thanks, skeptic. I'd sent an email asking about it, but hadn't heard back. Guess FB really is the new communications medium! ... or maybe it's just harder to ignore someone who asks a question in front of the world.


                        • #27
                          Well I just posted. The have a gallery of Scouting paintings, and an automated Seaton in the Scout Reservation Trail area. If it's not cheesy, why not at least an automated GBB in the ScoutCraft area?


                          • #28
                            Yeah, with fake Green Bar Bill quotes extolling the virtues of learning "leadership" by sitting indoors, side by side with adults of character!


                            • #29
                              Green Bar Bill's exclusion is sad but not surprising.

                              Good news: judging from the comments thus far, GB Bill's impact will not fade anytime soon. And though I never met him personally, I'd venture to say he'd be happier that his reputation is still solid with the men and women working in the field. Far more meaningful than being remembered in a tucked away alcove in the museum, or being named after a burger at the snack bar ("Green Bar Bill Burger has two slices of avocado....")

                              As a scout who endured the New Scouting program of the '70s, the Green Bar Bill inspired Scout Hanbook of '80 was as welcomed with great relief.

                              Though GB Bill was shut out of scouting in the '70s, his legacy from previous decades had enough momentum to get the BSA thru those dark days. That's a very powerful legacy.


                              • #30

                                Like I said if it aint cheesy. I saw some awesome animatronics at some museums in the UK. I'm talking almost human in appearance an action. That's what i'm talking about.

                                But the most common ones are cheesy: like Chuck E Cheese pizza cheesy.

                                As for the fake quotes, sad to say it's already happening. Just look at the incorrect quote on outing is 2/3 of Scouting. He said 3/4, and anyone who knows basic math will tell you that 6/8 is simplified to 3/4.