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  • ISP objectives

    Otherwise known as the Improved Scouting Program, which lasted from 1972-1978. I wanted to know if anybody had information about it, such as what the objectives were. Any information related to this notorious programme would be useful, as I'm quite interested in seeing how/why it failed based upon what it was SUPPOSED to accomplish.

  • #2
    You can likely find numbers of books and so on from the period on eBay. Also they seem to be relatively common in many used bookstores, those that have survived. You can tell them immediately by their putrid green color. You might see if your local council may have a shelf of older books and so on, as well as the annual reports from that period.


    • #3
      From Wikipedia

      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 Scoutcraft information 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 programpreviously only available to First Class and abovewas 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- 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 1415; 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.[20] Troop Leader Development (TLD), adapted from the White Stag Leadership Development Program, was introduced in 1974 to train youth leaders.[21] 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.[22]

      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.[23]

      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 discontinuation of the Improved Scouting Program and 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.[24] 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.[25]

      Hillcourt returned from retirement to write the ninth edition of the Boy Scout Handbook in 1979, returning much of the Scoutcraft skills.[26] The number of Eagle required merit badges was reduced back to 21, and Camping was restored to the required list.


      • #4
        My goal was trying to find something (maybe from national) which was official and categorically listed the objectives.

        Skeptic - I have both books from the ISP era. And yes, the early version IS ugly.

        acco40 - I remember seeing that page. It's amazing how we still incorporate a lot of that into today's programme. Part of my research was intended to see if Scouting is what it is today as a direct result from the 70s or not.


        • #5
          Thankfully, the flame of true scouting wasn't completely snuffed out during those dark years.

          We had dedicated scouters that didn't quit, and conducted scouting programs that borrowed heavily from the traditions and ideals of the previous eras.

          We may have been wearing red berets, but we were still doing the same things as the scouts of yesteryear--outdoors, camping, pioneering, hiking, boating. And I think we had just as much fun as the guys from the past.

          Brownsea II--I remember my SPL coming back from that...he was fired up about scouting like never before.

          Leadership Corps--great idea, tough to implement as designed, I think. I remember the older guys joining the LC and then pretty much ignoring everyone else. After being a PL, I guess it was cool to join the LC and just hang around with your peers. Not true everywhere, but it was evident in one of the big troops I was in.


          • #6
            I was a DE in the Detroit Area Council from 1973 until 1977. Believe me when I say that this was not Scoutings finest moment.

            The Chief Scout Executive was Alden Barber who made it his and the BSA's goal to enroll a "Representative" one third of all eligible boys in the Scouting Movement. This program was called Boypower '76. The idea was to have the goal achieved by the Bicentenial.

            The movement became a numbers game with program taking a far back seat. Because of reactions to the political and social unrest at that time, there were many sources of Federal and State
            funds available for inner city programs. Some of these funds went to Para Professionals to develope scout units. A scandal occurred in the Chicago area when it was found that Federal Funds actually were used to register non existing boys. At year end it only cost ten cents for a one month registration.

            It was only through the dedication of District and Unit level Volunteers that the BSA survived.


            • #7
              "It was only through the dedication of District and Unit level Volunteers that the BSA survived".
              Isn't that true today and hasn't it always been the case?


              • #8
                DRLeadership Corps--great idea, tough to implement as designed, I think. I remember the older guys joining the LC and then pretty much ignoring everyone else. After being a PL, I guess it was cool to join the LC and just hang around with your peers. Not true everywhere, but it was evident in one of the big troops I was in.

                I have not seen that behavior disappear in the absence of LC. My LC had a lot of guys who really focused on teaching the youngn's. It was nice to get in that extra winter campout/caving trip/backpacking week away from the responsibilities of keeping tenderfeet from burning thier boots in the fire. We could actually focus on perfecting how to bake that pizza without some kid trowing a ton of leaves on the fire and smoking us out.

                My in my son's troop, the older boys effectively segregate. Only without an LC, there is no structure that gives them time to think through how they were balancing their obligations to the youth in the troop and the other activities they were in. I try to provide that with the Venturing crew, but it's not the same. (E.g., many senior leaders see Venturing as optional, as they should, while we all saw LC as desired or almost required.)

                I guess the bottom line is when we are dealing with a cultural pattern such as the one our boys are going through, there is no one-size-fits all solution.

                But the LC patch was definitely one of my favorites!


                • #9
                  Allenj, your comments brought back a powerful memory from the '70s

                  As a staff member at camp, I worked with a DE who also served as aquatics director during the summer. He was a great mentor and role model. Like all DEs, he worked hard, long hours, but he loved scouting and it showed.

                  That changed a bit when we got new council leadership. The scout artwork and memorabilia in the DE's office was then covered up with all kinds of charts and stuff...we didn't see the DE at scouting events as much because he now spent most the time in his office with a calculator and stacks of paperwork. He still loved scouting but you could tell the red tape had lowered the flame.

                  PS Qwazse, I sure liked that LC patch too!(This message has been edited by desertrat77)(This message has been edited by desertrat77)