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archimago

Comparative Analysis of BSHB Contents

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I ran across this fairly compendious website from Jeff Snowden, a Scoutmaster who has taken the time to collate all the editions of the BSHB and then to compare and comment on their contents.

 

And here's a link to a fairly interesting chart that gives a subject overview of each edition of the Handbook, allowing you to see at a glance what is and isn't covered in each. (For instance, you can almost immediately see how much the 8th eviscerated substantial portions of outdoor content, as if that were necessary...)

 

Anyway, just thought some of you might like to have this as a handy reference.

Edited by archimago
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yes, that's very comprehensive.

Thanks for sharing!

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Gives one pause.   What is important in Scouting, then?   What Irving sez is important?  Or what you and I think is important? 

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I'm a BSHB nerd and have every edition on my canoe-shaped bookcase.   :D But I really appreciate the 9th edition that Bill Hillcourt wrote in 1978 for publishing in 1979.  This really brought the outing back to Scouting.  Also, I do like the 1948 Scout Field Book Hillcourt wrote with James E. West.  Good stuff!

 

While I did buy the 13th edition of the BSHB I really haven't given it much of a read or even a glance yet.  I just have this sinking feeling it's not going to be up to par for a Hillcourt book...How could it be?  That said, I'm glad to see the outdoors creeping back into Scout rank advancement.  Let's go camping!

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Gives one pause.   What is important in Scouting, then?   What Irving sez is important?  Or what you and I think is important? 

 

Yes.  ^___^

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Gives one pause.   What is important in Scouting, then?   What Irving sez is important?  Or what you and I think is important? 

 

We don't want any renegades or heretics out there coloring outside the lines!

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I'm a BSHB nerd and have every edition on my canoe-shaped bookcase.   :D But I really appreciate the 9th edition that Bill Hillcourt wrote in 1978 for publishing in 1979.  This really brought the outing back to Scouting.  Also, I do like the 1948 Scout Field Book Hillcourt wrote with James E. West.  Good stuff!

 

While I did buy the 13th edition of the BSHB I really haven't given it much of a read or even a glance yet.  I just have this sinking feeling it's not going to be up to par for a Hillcourt book...How could it be?  That said, I'm glad to see the outdoors creeping back into Scout rank advancement.  Let's go camping!

 

I'm currently working on expanding my collection, but the 9th edition has been my favorite ever since I was a scout. We used the 11th when I was a boy (I had to buy multiple copies because the glue on the binding kept separating from the cover), which was serviceable, but I made it my mission to acquire a 9th edition when one of our ASMs taught us trail signs from it on a camping trip. For some reason or another, I thought the council Scout Shop might know how I could find a copy. As it turns out, they had a whole box of them tucked away in storage, and they gave me a copy for free. (Had I been older, I might've known to ask if they didn't want to just part with the whole lot!) I learned so much cool stuff from that Handbook.

 

I received a 1st edition Handbook for Patrol Leaders in the mail today. The philosophy of the patrol upon which it depends is so much more robust than anything that the boys learn today in NYLT or whatever. It's good, solid, commonsensical thinking that recognizes that boys are at their best when they can form together in a small group and rally around a common identity and purpose. Wish I'd had it around when I was a scout!

 

And I'm really looking forward to getting my 1st ed. Fieldbook that I also ordered the other day. (For some ludicrously cheap price, no less.) 

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Archimago, you seem like a man after my own heart.  Hillcourt's writings are where it's at!  :laugh:

 

Agreed! He was a great man. (Plus, he basically saved Scouting, so there's that.)

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Interesting chart, would be helpful to have the copyright dates of each of the editions, since I don't know how much time has passed between the 3rd and 13th.

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Interesting chart, would be helpful to have the copyright dates of each of the editions, since I don't know how much time has passed between the 3rd and 13th.

 

The site has the information you are looking for. The third edition covered 1927-1940 and covered 32 printings. The 13th edition was just printed obviously.

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Great thread, thanks!
 

As a scout, I used the anemic 8th edition from '74 - '79.

 

When Green Bar Bill's 9th edition arrived in '79, I was thoroughly impressed.  A superb handbook.  It had that old scouting spirit, that essence of campfire smoke and adventure that permeated scout handbooks through the '60s.

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