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RememberSchiff

National Scouting Museum moving to Philmont

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The group said Monday that it will move its National Scouting Museum, (from Irving) which opened in 2002, to the Philmont Scout Ranchnear the town of Cimarron in northern New Mexico. Philmont has served as an adventure destination for Scouts for decades.

 

An expansion of the Philmont Museum and Seton Memorial Library is expected to begin next year to make room for the Boy Scouts' collection, which contains more than 600,000 items — including the nation's largest collection of Norman Rockwell paintings, the first Eagle medal and nearly every uniform in Scouting history.

 

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/irving/2016/12/05/boy-scouts-plan-move-national-museum-irving-new-mexico

 

Perhaps Green Bar = Bill will finally receive recognition in the new museum. :(

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I think this is a good move for National.   Not sure what their visitation rate is at the current location, but it's going to greatly increase after the move.   I visited Philmont mid-summer, the first time in many years.   Looking at a chart near the logistics building, the number of folks going on a trek have darn near doubled since I did a trek in the '70s.   And the training center was doing a booming business.

 

RememberSchiff hit the nail on the head:  it's time for National to recognize Green Bar Bill.   Long overdue.   His contributions to the BSA are historical, substantial, and timeless.  He was a true Scouter in every sense of the word.

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This seems an odd decision to make since it really eliminates anyone not already going to Philmont as a potential visitor. That means no Cub Scouts, no siblings, no other family members, no one who isn't a registered scout or scouter who is actually already at the site for a different purpose. 

 

I visited the original museum in NJ when i was a kid.  I visited a couple times in Irving when my kids were Cub age, my in-laws live in the area so it was a grand parent included trip, and at least as configured then that kind of multi-generation visit seemed to be what it was curated for. 

 

There are certainly a lot more potential visitors in or passing through the Dallas-Fort Worth area than will ever be near Cimmarron NM.

Edited by T2Eagle

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Museum moved from a College in Kentucky to Irving because...   not enough visitors.

 

Museum moving from Irving to Philmont because....   not enough visitors.

 

Irving:   Close to the Headquarters.  Any street traffic?  Any tourist cooperation with local visitor bureaus?  Public transportation?  Publicity?   Newseum in downtown DC had to up their PR to make a go of it.

Every time I stop at the Visitor Center on the Interstae, there is a rack of cards/brochures for every little museum/attraction within 200 miles.  I wonder how much ScoutMuseum did about that. 

Our local Town Museum is almost out of the "celebrate history" business and now is in the "Artist/craftsman show, Wine Bar/Brewery tasting, Wedding reception/party" business.  They even took out one whole gallery of displays to make room for a "Sculpture" garden.

Philmont:   Almost guaranteed audience.,   But hey, this is a specialized museum.  Not everyone wants to see Scout memorabilia.  Philmont just about guarantees no one NOT Scouty will ever go see it. 

It was suggested it be moved to The Summit (!!). Talk about inaccessibility....  

 

Maybe the next move is the HQ to Philmont.....

Edited by SSScout
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When I was at the museum, i was the only visitor.  There was a museum guide and a sales clerk in the store. 

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Not sure if they lease or own in Irving, but they may save a bit of money in the long run by moving it to Philmont.  

 

I could not get over how many people--visitors, trainees, trekkers--I saw at Philmont during my drop-by visit this last summer.   The audience is there. 

 

I recall visiting the Seton museum when I was a scout, killing time before we started our trek.   Very quiet and just a small number of folks browsing.  Almost 40 years later, when I revisited, the museum was like Grand Central Station.   Lots of folks coming and going.   Big gift shop too.

 

Hey, the Philmont Trading Post is open year round!   Well run and staffed.   Huge place, incredible amount of merchandise. 

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I've never been to Philmont, but if I were within 100 miles, I'd probably make a point to visit the museum.

 

On the other hand, I have been in Dallas a few times in the last few years, and until I saw this thread, it never occurred to me to visit the museum.

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I wonder when it's moving.  Maybe it said in the article and I missed it.....

 

I'm planning a family RV trip next summer to head out west, and I had a thumbtack in the virtual "map" to drop in during our pass through Texas.  Guess we'll miss it if they move it before then.  Yet another scout and scouter that may not ever get to see it.  Philmont looks to be a good 5-6 hours off our route.  

 

Then again, if they let me park in the parking lot overnight maybe we will.... and it'll give DS a chance to see philmont from the street and get a little taste.  Might spark some interest.  But as I think about it more, I doubt if we can afford to take that much time off route, and even more I doubt if the girls would be too excited about spending 5-6 hours of just driving off route to see it.

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I guess it depend on who your intended audience is. 

 

If you want a museum for scouts to get a sense of their own history, then the move sounds like a good idea, except that by the time a scout (or scouter) go to Philmont, they are probably already fairly dedicated to the cause already.

 

Being in a large city, especially a well traveled one, can bring more non-scouting eyes (potentially), and would better serve as a recruiting tool.  In fact, maybe that's what they should do is make it a traveling exhibition that they loan out to museums throughout the country.

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This does sound like a good move.  Those training and hiking are pretty much guaranteed to go into the museum.  Those passing through wanting to see Philmont again pretty much guarantee an audience too.  IMHO, having a museum at Philmont and maybe ALSO at The Summit is a good idea.  

 

Now about moving the HQ ....  :)  

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Do we need to tell our story (l'histoire) to ourselves or to others?

 

 

Bill has once recognized, but has been forgotten by an organization never much interested in its actual history.  (Recall nthe centenary of Scouting in 2010 - two years late for the U.S.)

 

 

 

Since 1929, when he wrote the first Handbook for Patrol Leaders, Bill Hillcourt has been the foremost influence on the development of the Boy Scouting program.

 

Boy Scouts of America, Scouting (September, 1985) at p. 26.

 

His Silver Buffalo citation hailed him as "The Voice of Scouting."

 

This recipient of the Bronze Wolf is known as the "Scoutmaster to the World."   The Journal of Scouting History (1993)

 

Who has surpassed him in influencing the Boy Scouting movement since?

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Good thoughts. IMO, relocating the National Scouting Museum at Philmont effectively hides it from the general public. Sure they may get a larger attendance from a captive audience at Philmont, but is that what Scouting and the Nation needs? It would be like relocating the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to the Air Force Academy. Sounds like a good match but is it the best venue to tell your story to the American public?

 

IMO, create rotating exhibits from the collection, say a fine art exhibit (Rockwell, Csatari, Segler) and an artifact/history exhibit. Many museums like rotating exhibits to improve their attendance. First stop for artifact/history exhibit maybe Summit for Jambo! For art, maybe the Chicago Art Institute, worked for Ferris Bueller. oh yeah!

 

Were the attendance numbers at the Irving location that bad? Parking? High costs? Did McDonald's make the BSA an offer for that location?

 

My $0.02

Edited by RememberSchiff
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