Jump to content
k80sill

Boypower Initiative (1976)

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone! I am in the process of researching the history of the BSA. I'm having trouble finding information about the Boypower program/initiative from the 1970's. I was wondering if anyone would be interested or willing to share their experiences and memories of this aspect of scouting. Additionally, if you know of any existing resources on Boypower and it's impact on scouting, please point me in the right direction. 

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

@k80sill  on behalf of scouter.com moderators welcome.

Searching Boypower returns numerous earlier discussions.  Hopefully 

@Jameson76 , @Eagledad ,  and other members  will respond.

Edited by RememberSchiff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

@k80sill  on behalf of scouter.com moderators welcome.

Searching Boypower returns numerous earlier discussions. Hopefully

@Jameson76 , @Eagledad ,  and other members  will respond.

Yes, I've seen some of those posts. I was hoping that, by posing the topic again, I would be able to to connect with the people involved in the previous conversations (like the ones you've kindly mentioned). Thank you for helping me bring it to their attention. I wasn't sure who was still active in this forum, as I am relatively new to this site. 

Edited by RememberSchiff
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a but a wee cub at the time ... and then a scout. To my knowledge the term never trickled down to the trenches. I haven't seen it in any of my literature or slogans on patches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, CNYScouter said:

Our council (Longhouse) stills calls it's yearly corporate fundraiser the Boypower Dinner

So Boypower is just another one of those  $250/plate fundraisers for the council.  No thanks.  Not interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On October 17, 1968, the Boy Scout organization launched a new membership initiative called “Boypower 76.” The ambitious program set national goals to be achieved by the US Bicentennial Celebration of 1976. Specifically,

(1) Expand membership so that one of every three American boys is enrolled. That would require adding 2 million new Boy Scouts by 1976.

(2) Double council budgets to a combined level of $150 million.

New members would be recruited through two efforts: establishing troops in inner cities and retaining older boys by allowing girls to participate in the special-interest, career-focused segment of the Explorers program. 

The national slogan for Boypower 76 was “America’s Manpower Begins with Boypower.” 

Membership Quotas

Councils were given strict monthly and annual membership goals to keep them on track to achieve the expansion envisioned in Boypower 76. 

The Controversial Collapse of Boypower

BSA canceled the Boypower program two years early, amid widespread reports of inflated membership numbers.  Articles in the New York Daily News, the Central New Jersey Home News, and many other newspapers enumerated the problems. The Chicago council was accused of selling one-month memberships for ten cents; other councils for inventing names to register. At least 13 major cities were discovered to have falsified records, involving some 30,000-40,000 “phantom” scouts.

Furthermore, only about half of the $65 million fundraising goal was met, and much of that was from long-time donors who directed their gifts to the national organization instead of the local council.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

The Controversial Collapse of Boypower

BSA canceled the Boypower program two years early, amid widespread reports of inflated membership numbers.  Articles in the New York Daily News, the Central New Jersey Home News, and many other newspapers enumerated the problems. The Chicago council was accused of selling one-month memberships for ten cents; other councils for inventing names to register. At least 13 major cities were discovered to have falsified records, involving some 30,000-40,000 “phantom” scouts.

Ah, the ole "phone book" method. My SE told me stories about the old days. Makes you wonder if Scouting truly ever was as big as the old records show. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

, involving some 30,000-40,000 “phantom” scouts.

 

Cool name,  Phantom Scouts.  Black capes.  Theme from Phantom of the Opera.  Rod Serling narrating BSA commercials on Creature Features and Dark Shadows.  If BSA had done that, and created a Phantom Scout division in 1968, they might have actually achieved their goals. 

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

New members would be recruited through two efforts: establishing troops in inner cities and retaining older boys by allowing girls to participate in the special-interest, career-focused segment of the Explorers program. 

 

The inner city troop effort (which at it's core was a worthy initiative) led to the Improved Scouting Program of 73.  That was the birth of skill awards and the "NEW" path to Eagle that would in fact not require any camping, or actually going outdoors.  That pretty much halved the BSA by 1981 and they had to get Greenbar Bill out of retirement to revamp the program.

Between the BoyPower ManPower deal and the ISP, there was a double whammy during  70 - 81.  Pretty sure the Scouting program in the USA never fully recovered and found it's way again. 

National leadership kept looking for the golden ring, the next best thing, the silver bullet.  They never understood that they had the best program and that fun with a purpose was what kids wanted

Edited by Jameson76

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, qwazse said:

 I haven't seen it in any of my literature or slogans on patches.

The slogan during that time period was Boypower/Manpower.  It was during that program that I transitioned from being a scout to being a scouter.  

I do have several items from back then with the slogan on them, including this old patch, a bolo tie, and more.

2015133223_boypowerpatch.thumb.jpg.c01d8020fd754994d499ba98822b43e3.jpg

Edited by MikeS72
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

New members would be recruited through two efforts: establishing troops in inner cities and retaining older boys by allowing girls to participate in the special-interest, career-focused segment of the Explorers program. 

        . . .

Membership Quotas

Councils were given strict monthly and annual membership goals to keep them on track to achieve the expansion envisioned in Boypower 76.

Another sad reminder that the only way to grow Scouting is organically:  strengthening existing units so that they grow and give birth to strong new units that grow.  And the only way that happens is through active, high-performing units with strong outdoor programs.  Those units attract and retain youth without gimmicks and without flavor-of-the-week activities.  If BSA at all levels would stop tinkering with the program content and new faddish programs and focus on improving delivery of the existing program by existing units, membership will grow.  

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

That was the birth of skill awards and the "NEW" path to Eagle that would in fact not require any camping, or actually going outdoors. 

I was a young Assistant Scoutmaster when the ISP and skill awards came to be.  While things like camping, cooking, swimming and lifesaving were no longer required, the scouts in my troop, and I suspect many others, continued to earn them just because we did not change the way we operated our program.  We were big on camping and hiking regardless of time of year, and if you were active in the troop those no longer required skills were developed and honed as a result.

I did like the fact that for a while First Aid MB was required for First Class. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

@k80sill  on behalf of scouter.com moderators welcome.

Searching Boypower returns numerous earlier discussions.  Hopefully 

@Jameson76 , @Eagledad ,  and other members  will respond.

forgot @Kahuna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/1/2020 at 3:19 PM, carebear3895 said:

Ah, the ole "phone book" method. My SE told me stories about the old days. Makes you wonder if Scouting truly ever was as big as the old records show. 

This program still exists today...now called scout reach and/or urban scouting.  😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...