Today is the birthday of a great friend and hero, William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt… he’s the featured article on the Wikipedia home page at the moment.
Few men can hope to impact the world as William Hillcourt. An immigrant to the United States from Denmark in 1926, Bill became a major factor in the growth and development of the Boy Scouts of America. His handbooks and BOYS LIFE articles defined the Scout movement for millions of boys spanning decades. His Boy Scout Handbooks have been published in copies by the millions and translated into dozens of languages throughout the world; it has been estimated that those Scout Handbooks were only out numbered by Dr. Spock’s Baby Book and the Bible in total circulation. He worked with every Chief Scout Executive since James West, was the first Deputy Camp Chief for American Wood Badge, introduced the patrol method to the B.S.A., authored the definitive biography of his close friend Baden-Powell and more than thirty other books on Scouting and the outdoors. Bill Hillcourt loved and lived Scouting through the very end of his life; a life that, even at 92 years, ended surprisingly and too soon while on a worldwide tour in the name of Scouting.