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BSA Historical Highlights - 1990's

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Pope John Paul II was presented with the BSA's Distinguished Citizen of the World Commendation. The new 10th edition of the Boy Scout Handbook was published. The initial demand for a million copies of the manual brought the total circulation of the Handbook since 1910 to 33,860,000. Each copy of the new manual contained the Scouting publication How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse and Drug Abuse: A Parent's Guide. The new Center for Professional Development was opened in Westlake, Texas. Eagle Scout Richard H. Leet was elected president. Youth membership experienced its 11th straight annual increase. Membership, December 31, was 5,445,899. Total members to date, 85,292,091.
Hispanic Emphasis placed professional staff in local councils to support Scouting in Hispanic communities. Cub Scouting introduced Ethics in Action to promote ethical decision making and the BSA family program to strengthen the family from within. The Conservation Handbook was published. The TRAIL Boss Program (Teaching Resources and Individual Leadership) was developed by the BSA and seven federal agencies to teach volunteers conservation skills. More than a thousand BSA members attended the 17th World Jamboree in Korea. The DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund awarded a $2.3 million grant for BSA professional recruitment. The BSA funded training leaders from the former Soviet Union and the writing of the Russian Scout handbook. Membership, December 31, was 5,319,226. Total members to date was 87,158,867.
A focused initiative in Urban Emphasis encouraged the formation of Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, and Explorer posts in low-income and minority communities. The bilingual publication of Scouting literature was increased to serve Spanish-speaking parents and leaders. The BSA committed to assisting the emerging Association of Siberian Scouts. A Cub Scout Academics program debuted. Boy Scout summer camping attracted 70.1 percent of Scout troops and 55.2 percent of all Scouts. In the wake of Hurricane Andrew, Scouts brought food, clothing, and hands to help. John L. Clendenin, a Silver Buffalo Award recipient, was elected president. Membership, December 31, was 5,339,660. Total members to date, 88,830,141.
Jere B. Ratcliffe became the ninth Chief Scout Executive. The National Strategic Plan focused on traditional unit growth, Urban Emphasis, endowment emphasis, and positive public relations. An Operation First Class Initiative received board-level attention from local councils. A new Train-the-Trainer Conference manual was produced to train the people who train leaders in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, Exploring, commissioner service, and district and council Scouting. Nearly 26,000 youth attended the 1993 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A. P. Hill, Va. Educators and council professionals attended the first Learning for Life conference. The Scouting movement in the former Soviet Union turned to the BSA for help in producing the first Russian Scout Handbook; 20,000 copies were distributed. The BSA established a new award, named the James E. West Fellowship Award in honor of the first Chief Scout Executive, to recognize major contributors to council endowment trust funds. Membership, December 31, was 5,355,401. Total members to date, 90,525,242.
The BSA launched Operation First Class to extend Scouting to greater numbers of disadvantaged minority youths in urban areas. It was a record year for Eagle Scouts, with 37,438 young men earning the highest rank a Scout or Explorer can achieve. The Family Life merit badge became a requirement for the Eagle Scout rank. Cub Scout Leader Basic Training was streamlined and redesigned to attract more leaders. Membership, December 31, was 5,377,920. Total members to date, 92,114,035.
Emphasis on traditional unit growth and unit-serving executives netted a membership increase in every major program area. The National Campaign for Local Council Endowment identified more than $86 million in deferred gifts and generated $51 million in bequests. A study released in 1995, The Values of Men and Boys in America, conducted by Louis Harris & Associates, showed that Scouting can positively affect the lives of America's youth. Exploring membership reached an all-time high and registered its fifth consecutive year of growth with a total of more than 400,000 young adult members. Cub Scouting launched Supplemental Training for Cub Scout Leaders. Boy Scouting completed a long-range plan for selecting and recruiting quality leaders, developing and maintaining a quality program, and stimulating membership growth. Membership, December 31, was 5,456,617. Total members to date, 94,442,767.
Membership rose in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Exploring. Operation: Tiger Mania rolled out, producing a 6.8 percent increase in Tiger Cub membership. A new Project COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) guidebook put the BSA at the forefront of challenge-course technology. Exploring membership reached an all-time high of 422,366. Learning for Life continued to grow, reaching 880,422 students. The BSA Crime Prevention program and merit badge were introduced. New Rural Emphasis materials were introduced to support field staff in nonurban communities. Membership, December 31, was 5,628,806. Total members to date, 96,057,012.
The 14th National Scout Jamboree, held at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., was attended by 35,000 Boy Scouts and leaders. The percentage of trained Cub Scout adult leaders increased to 40 percent—a gain of 9 percent over 1996. Long-term camping reached its highest level ever with 57.7 percent of all Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts participating. Continued focus on traditional unit growth and retention of membership led to continued gains in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Exploring. The BSA has identified more than $1 billion in current and deferred gifts committed to councils as a result of the Nationally Coordinated Campaign for Local Council Endowment. Membership, December 31, was 5,835,287. Total members to date, 97,677,373.
Membership continued to grow in Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting. Venturing, a program for 14- to 20-year-old men and women, was introduced and posted an impressive first-year membership of 188,075. The new 11th edition of the Boy Scout Handbook was published. Its first printing yielded 750,000 copies, bringing the total circulation of the Handbook since 1910 to nearly 36,000,000. The National Leadership Training Conference was held for the first time in 30 years at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. It was attended by more than 4,000 members of the professional Scouting family who learned more about the National Executive Board's new strategic plan that was introduced in 1998. More than 4.4 million Scouts logged 52,908,746 hours of community service as part of "America's Promise—The Alliance for Youth" to provide more than 200 million hours of service by the year 2000. In addition, 802,880 youth in 39,162 Scouting units collected more than 41 million cans of food to help feed the hungry. Membership, December 31, was 6,186,657. Total members to date, 99,899,932
Youth participation in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing increased for the fourth consecutive year, yielding 4.2 percent membership growth. A new Venturer Handbook was introduced. More Boy Scouts and Venturers than ever before received their Eagle Scout Awards, with 47,582 young men attaining the prestigious rank. Increased emphasis on the outdoors for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts resulted in 40.6 percent of Cub Scouts participating in an outdoor activity and 58 percent of Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers participating in a long-term camping experience. More than 4 million Scouts worked toward the goal of 200 million service hours by the end of year 2000 as part of "America's Promise—The Alliance for Youth." Scouts logged 55,554,183 service hours, bringing the total to 156,310,229 hours by the end of 1999. Membership, December 31, was 6,247,743. Total members to date, 102,984,116.

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