RE: RE>Bill Hillcourt's passing
(no name) ((no email))
Wed, 16 Dec 1992 00:16:56 CST
"Mike Schatzberg" <Mike_Schatzberg.Q_Z@M1MAIL.SBI.COM> writes:
> Reply to: RE>Bill Hillcourt's passing
>Nathan C. Brindle (NBRINDLE@INDYCMS) wrote:
>>Let's see, it was--what?--three weeks ago or so? Do you know that our
>>local Council was not aware of it until FRIDAY LAST WEEK? I'm not sure
>>whether to laugh or cry.
>Bill Hillcourt and BSA National had a very strained relationship in the last 5
>or more years. It is not surprising (although regretable) that his passing led
>to little or no notice in official BSA circles. At the 1989 Jamboree, Bill
>showed up, although not officially invited. We ran a story about him in the
>Jamboree newspaper, but it was very low key. Others may know more about his
This is all third hand information, so I say this upfront, to avoid
problems. At the time this was going on, I was not directly involved
in the national/regional ends of things.
When the BSA decided that they should splinter off a corporation to
head off charges of discrimination, girls in scouting, and in-school
programs which were (and are) draining the funding at the national
level, there was conversation concerning making Hillcourt the chairman
of the board of directors of the new program. Hillcourt said no, that
his many years left should remain with the Boy Scouting program and
not with some "red-herring" and he left the meeting.
Since then, Hillcourt was not asked for input into the basic handbooks
of Scouting, the Boy Scout Handbook and the Scoutmasters' Handbook. He
was also asked not to participate in national Scouting activities
"because of his health". He participated in (as we all know) many,
many local Council activities and at least two Regional meetings as an
invited guest of the Council/Region.
Hillcourt was so angered at his non-invite to the 89 Jamboree, that he
drove the long distance from his home in New York State to the
Jamboree site. Once there, the "environment" changed and he was
allowed to participate in several key events during the Jamboree (and
as we know, signed many a Scout Handbook, neckerchief and widegame
cards before he left the site).
The apparent problem is one of "exposure". As you stated, Mike, Green
Bar Bill *is* Scouting to many people and the National Staff did not
like this "old" image of Scouting in an era of attracting younger
people (and their monies). As we all know, the BSA has been trying to
"go mod" for the past ten years with little or no success, because
those of us in the field know that the "old stuff sells" more than any
of the new things. By getting Bill Hillcourt out of the way, and with
the appointment of a National Commissioner (which backfired, because
they assumed that Earl Graves would be very visable and creditable,
and he has not be either so far), the BSA was ready to try to move
into the new era.
Last week, I was talking with a old Scout Executive friend of mine in
Ohio and we talked about Bill Hillcourt. The SE said that National
Internal Communnications sent a note to all members of the Scout
Executive's Alliance (kind of like a Scout Executive alumni
association) telling about Hillcourt's death and that "a statement
will be forthcoming from the National Office shortly concerning ways
to honor this contributor to our program" (I copied it verbavim and
asked him to please mail me a copy of the release, so that I can use
it in future speeches).
So, it looks like to me that the BSA wants to "leave the old behind".
That's a shame, because to me, Green_Bar was the Patrol Leader's
Handbook, ALL OUT FOR SCOUTING! and several other "what the program's
all about" programs. Hillcourt was the one that thought up the
acronmym "Save Our American Resources", or SOAR. Hillcourt was also
the one that developed the Explorer Ranger program back in the late
40s and throughout the 50s until that program was integrated into the
general Exploring program.
I have met Hillcourt on two occasions and he thrilled all of us by
his stories of Scouting past. I have one of my Scout Handbooks signed
by him, after waiting for hours to have him sign it.
I think that he's getting a raw deal.
( Settummanque, the blackeagle... ) )
((MAJ) Mike L. Walton (among other "endearing" names) ( )
( (insert good paying job here with lots of benefits!) ___)_ )
( Phone 502-782-7992 (home) 502-782-7467 (office) |-=-|] )
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