A shift back to traditional Scouting was brought about in BSA’s programming, and this meant the author of the handbook’s ninth edition would need to be a Scout skill expert. Luckily, BSA had the perfect man for the job. Legendary Scouter William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt came out of retirement to write the ninth edition of the Boy Scout Handbook and help Scouting return to its roots.
The ninth edition was first published in 1979, and saw several important milestones throughout its 12 printings, including:
- The induction of the Florida National High-Adventure Sea Base (1979)
- The fiftieth anniversary of Cub Scouting (1980)
- BSA awards the 1 millionth Eagle Scout since 1911 (1982)
- The introduction of the Varsity Scouting program (1984)
- BSA’s 75th anniversary (1985)
Additionally, a new Boy Scout uniform was designed in 1980 by none other than world-renowned fashion designer Oscar de la Renta.
At a Glance: The Official Boy Scout Handbook, Ninth Edition
- In Publication: 1979-1990
- Cover artwork: Norman Rockwell
- Author: William Hillcourt
- Copies: 4,400,000
- Trivia: The handbook’s cover painting, “Come and Get It,” depicts camping activities underway at the Mortimer L. Schiff Scout Reservation in New Jersey.
Follow BSA’s official Instagram feed each week to discover past editions of the Boy Scout Handbook as we work our way up to the 13th edition! We’ll also feature awesome Scouting gear of the past, courtesy of the National Scouting Museum. If you missed last week’s Scouting history lesson, you can catch up here.
How many Scouting milestones have you celebrated? Tell us in the comments below!