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BSA Historical Highlights - 1970's

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The 60th annual meeting was held in Denver. Irving Feist was elected president for the third time. The first National Explorer Olympics, attended by 1,200, was held at Colorado State University. Membership, December 31, was 6,287,284. Total members to date, 49,628,049.
The 4-million-acre Maine National High Adventure Area opened. Scouting Keep America Beautiful Day was held on June 5, and Scouts collected more than a million tons of litter. The first National Explorer Presidents' Congress was held in Washington, D.C., with 2,034 post presidents attending. The new magazine Exploring was distributed in the spring and fall to 200,000 Explorers. The 61st annual meeting was held in Atlanta. Norton Clapp was elected president. The first Reader's Digest Association-BSA National Public Speaking Contest was held. Nearly 8,000 American Scouts and leaders took part in the 13th World Jamboree held in Japan. More than 5,000 members of the Order of the Arrow attended a national conference at the University of Illinois. Membership, December 31, was 6,427,026. Total members to date, 51,484,371.
The Second National Explorer Presidents' Congress was held in Washington, D.C., in April, with 2,700 Explorer presidents and boatswains attending. A total of 2,086 Explorers from 185 Explorer posts participated in the National Explorer Olympics held in August in Fort Collins, Colo. The three winning posts attended the World Youth Camp, a part of the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. Nearly 4 million Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts took part in Scouting Keep America Beautiful Day. Operation Reach, a program against drug abuse, was launched. The National Eagle Scout Association was launched. Norton Clapp was re-elected president at the annual meeting in Los Angeles. Troop leader development was tested for the first time at Schiff training center and Philmont Scout Ranch. Membership, December 31, was 6,524,640. Total members to date 53,308,308.
A series of special programs was started in preparation for the nation's bicentennial in 1976. The 1973 National Scout Jamboree was held at two sites—Moraine State Park in Pennsylvania and Farragut State Park in Idaho—with more than 64,000 participants. Robert W. Reneker was elected president at the annual meeting in Minneapolis. An updated Cub Scout program was introduced, adjusted to be more relevant to boys and their families. New Scout merit badges were introduced: Truck Transportation, Veterinary Science, Genealogy, Skating, and Pulp and Paper. The National Eagle Scout Association was formed. Membership, December 31, was 6,405,225. Total members to date, 55,100,376.
For the second annual program in preparation for the nation's bicentennial, the theme was Be Prepared for Life; Be Safe, Be Fit. The annual meeting was held in Honolulu, and Robert W. Reneker was re-elected president. The first National Eagle Scout Association Meeting was held at Colorado State University, with nearly 300 participants. Scouting Environment Day was held April 27. The Cub Scout Safe Bicycle Driving program and Cub Scout Physical Fitness program were introduced. New Scout merit badges were introduced for Orienteering and Wilderness Survival. Mary Wright of Auburndale, Mass., was elected national Explorer president—the first woman to hold the highest office in Exploring. Membership, December 31, was 5,803,885. Total members to date, 56,626,408.
Participation in the nation's bicentennial accelerated with the theme Spirit of '76. The National Executive Board elected Arch Monson Jr. as president. All Out for Scouting!, a 2-year program of troop programming and troop leader training, was introduced to councils. Scouting Environment Day was observed on March 22. The 14th World Jamboree was attended by 2,500 U.S. Scouts and leaders in Norway. Membership, December 31, was 5,318,070. Total members to date, 58,014,193.
The nation's bicentennial was celebrated by all of Scouting. Sea Explorers served on sailing ships participating in Operation Sail in New York Harbor on July 4. Eagle Scouts and leaders spent the summer showing Scouting skills at an exhibition on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Arch Monson was elected to a second term as president at the biennial National Council meeting in New York. Alden G. Barber Jr. retired as Chief Scout Executive, and Harvey L. Price was chosen as his successor. Membership, December 31, was 4,884,082. Total members to date, 59,311,859.
A new program theme, Wonderful World of Scouting, was introduced. The 1977 National Scout Jamboree was held at Moraine State Park in Pennsylvania. The National Executive Board elected Downing B. Jenks of St. Louis as president. A new four-function plan of council and district operation was developed to be introduced in early 1978. Membership, December 31, was 4,718,138. Total members to date, 60,551,879.
Age changes related to advancement for people with disabilities were approved. There was a new emphasis on family camping. Volunteer training was established as a major program function for the movement. Mark W. Leinmiller, Marietta, Ga., was selected for the Antarctic Scientific Program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Reader's Digest Association. Downing B. Jenks was elected to his second term as president during the National Council meeting in Phoenix. A revised God and Country program for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Explorers was announced, and the National Protestant Committee on Scouting was organized. A "celebrity" public service advertising campaign was introduced featuring former President and Eagle Scout Gerald R. Ford. Membership, December 31, was 4,493,491. Total members to date, 61,898,410.
The national office moved to Irving, Texas, after 25 years in New Jersey, and the National Executive Institute was relocated to Arlington, Texas. The Johnson National Scouting Museum was temporarily closed. John D. Murchison, Dallas, was elected president but died shortly thereafter. Downing B. Jenks agreed to continue as president. J. L. Tarr, Scout Executive of the Circle Ten Council, Dallas, became Chief Scout Executive upon the retirement of Harvey L. Price. New editions of The Official Boy Scout Handbook and Wolf Cub Scout Book were published. The Cub Scout Trainer's Wood Badge was approved following field testing. The first National Law Enforcement Explorer Conference and the first National Aviation Explorer Fly-In were held. Because the 15th World Jamboree in Iran was postponed, 1,000 Boy Scouts and leaders attended the Dalajamb International Encampment in Sweden. "Scouting . . . the Better Life" was announced as the 1980-82 national program theme. A National Funding Division at the national office was created. Membership, December 31, was 4,284,469. Total members to date, 63,388,065.

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