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Green Bar Bill Excluded from National Scouting Museum

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  • #61
    "At our local Council's summer camp, the new Scout program is known as the Green Bar Bill program. The shelter in which it is taught is known in that way as well."

    In the tradition of developers who name their streets after the eco-systems they pave over ("Quail Run").

    In Green Bar Bill's version of the Methods of Scouting, Advancement was only a subset of the "Activities" Method:

    In other words, the mastery of Scoutcraft was a series of "Activities" to do under a competent Patrol Leader on monthly Patrol Hikes for a couple of years (as opposed to five days with a summer school summer camp counselor).

    In fairness to the National Boy Scout Museum, it would be hard to design a diorama depicting the two million Boy Scouts who streamed out of the BSA when we replaced Green Bar Bill's "Real" Patrol Method with Leadership Development (or the millions who stay away because Wood Badge continues to replace Patrol Adventure with six-month "Positions of Responsibility").

    Yours at 300 feet,



    • #62
      In regard to Scout Stuff, the book just out. Got it with an Amazon gift cert, and went through it a bit. There may be a photo of Green Bar Bill in the section on Woodbadge at Schiff. They have a photo of the first course, and I believe the scouter leaning over the fire is Bill. But, not certain. Maybe another of you with the book can take a look.


      • #63
        There is mention William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt on page 120. Talks about his writing the book, Baden-Powell, The Two Lives of a Hero.

        Page 210, National Training Centers and Wood Badge, just speaks a bit about the first Course, and some of the Wood Badge regalia, and items.


        • #64
          Is someone freezing access to this forum? I spent about three hours today attempting to share it with a visiting Scouter. Each time I entered the search criteria (either SPL576 or Green Bar Bill Hillcourt), I was dumped off the site. It is starting to look as if Green Bar Bill is now officially a "non-person" when a search for his name dumps you off the site. I'm in the process of teaching a Patrol Leader Training Course using all Green Bar Bill's materials. The Scouts are going wild over it. No theory...just plain hands on application.


          • #65
            Search is working OK now.

            Green Bar Bill's "Intensive Training in the Green Bar Patrol" can be found here:


            The Gilwell version of Patrol Leader Training is here:



            • #66
              Here's the Green Bar Website:


              Anne in Mpls


              • #67
                Couldn't they at least display Bill's soccer ball?


                • #68
                  This is really appalling. I too was a victim of "Improved Scouting", crossing over from Webelos in 1975. The Scout Troop had no adult supervision and severely declining numbers-- I never went beyond Tenderfoot.

                  My Dad and older brothers had the manuals by GBB. My favorites are still the Scout Masters Hand Book (1967 printing) and the "Fieldbook for Boys and Men" (also 1967)-- I still read them. So much valuable, useful information! Though I never went beyond Tenderfoot in an organized troop, I pored over those old manuals and practiced the skills for years as a kid. (Having a Dad who was a forester helped, too).

                  My old "Improved Scouting" manual got tossed years ago...



                  • #69
                    I came back into Scouting as an adult in 77 and experienced the "Urban Scouting" era. It was possible to get Eagle without ever going camping. I was so glad when Green Bar Bill introduced the new handbook. I wasn't aware that Woodbadge was originally a Scoutcraft training course. I went through it in 78 on a Walking Wood Badge course and while it was leadership oriented it was done outdoors. All the way into the 80's and maybe 90's I had some of my leaders go through the Course and it was still conducted in a camping setting. This new course where you sleep inside and watch power point presentations is just another example of how they have gone back the other way taking the "outing" out of Scouting. The new Eagle project requirements, or lack of as they are, are horrible.


                    • #70
                      Yep. I've been to the National Museum several times and Green Bar Bill is no where to be found. He must have really hacked off the wrong people. Sad. I joined scouting in 1973 and I guess our SM and ASM did not get the memo from National that the program had been "modernized." We kept doing the patrol method, regular primitive camping, hiking, outdoor skills, and all of that fun stuff. The 1972 edition of the Scout Handbook I had was a dumbed-down sorry version of the prior version it replaced. Interesting to note that the Camping MB that I earned during this time was not Eagle required and it does not have the distinguishing silver border around it.


                      • #71
                        Yep. I've been to the National Museum several times and Mr. Hillcourt is nowhere to be found, not even in a remote corner. Mr. Hillcourt must have really hacked off the wrong people.


                        • #72
                          The place to get him recognized would be the Danish American Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn, Iowa. Bill was after all a Danish immigrant. National would have zero say in the matter.



                          • #73
                            Really interesting to read this thread folks as a non US scouter. The lack of a UK museum is very sad to me although the archives at Gilwell have some great stuff. I did a little research on Kenneth McLaren - the good friend of BP and the first Scouter - this guy was pivotal to BP and scouting. There has been some hint about the relationship between him and BP over the years. Not sure if its this or a general lack of interest in Scouting history but its like some of these early pioneers never existed. I found his grave on a wild hillside in the Highlands - practically falling over and unloved. No interest from Scouting media about a piece on him - from UK Scouting or BSA ! As a movement we should be forward looking but you forget where you come from at you peril..... Scouting is booming in the UK and Scotland in particular and I think its because we have stopped trying to be a bloody youth club like we did in the 90's and are now looking both ways. My troop push bushcraft and woodcraft hard and the kids love it.



                            • #74
                              On the one hand: Of course it's a huge hole in the museum's mission to exclude GB. On the other; how many people go to the museum? I'm keenly interested in BSA's history, and I have no intentions to go to the trouble or expense within the next 5 years, maybe ever. How many fewer youth members will go?
                              BSA has never leveled on the facts of their history, from Seton's originating the patrol method and BP's plagiarizing it, to the Scout in the Fog myth. So, it's no big surprise that GB got himself written out of history by trying to stand opposed to the march of time.

                              The recourse is obvious: Offer the Scouting Heritage MB often, and include Greenbar in your Req 3 discussion on the evolution of Scouting's programs. I already use the MB to emphasize Seton and Beard over BP and Boyce.
                              And, add non-BSA histories like Men of Schiff and The Scouting Party to your troop library.
                              Last edited by Scouter99; 07-07-2013, 12:34 AM.


                              • Kahuna
                                Kahuna commented
                                Editing a comment
                                I think a lot of people go to the museum. I hear from visitors all the time. Wish I could convince them to include GBB in their exhibits, but so far . . .

                            • #75
                              I am very sad to hear about Bill's exclusion - you all know him as Green Bar Bill, I knew him as Uncle Bill. His wife, Grace, was my grandfather's sister. I have great memories of visiting them in New Jersey as a child. Bill spent many a holiday at our house and I enjoyed hearing all the stories. Scouting was his life and it's a shame scouting tossed him out.