Eighth Edition, Cover A (1972-1975) Eighth Edition Back Eighth Edition, Cover B (1976-1977)
Eighth Edition Back Typical Page  

Eighth Edition (1972-1977):

Cover Art: First Cover Unknown, Second Cover by Joseph Csatari
Author: Frederick L. Hines

In 1972 the BSA introduced the "improved Scouting program," aimed to broaden its appeal for urban and rural boys. Its new program was supported by publication of the 8th Edition, titled simply Scout Handbook.

Gone were signaling, map-making, canoeing, rowing, tracking, lashings, and fire by friction. In their place were sections on drug abuse, family finances, child care, community problems, current events, and neighborhood conservation ideas for urban neighborhoods as well as wilderness areas.

The advancement plan was overhauled to such an extent that a Scout could reach First Class without ever going hiking or camping or cooking over an open fire. This proved extremely unpopular with the majority of Scouts and Scouters and resulted in a dramatic loss of membership. Re-covering the handbook with a boisterous Joseph Csatari painting (he was Rockwell's apprentice) did little to broaden acceptance of its contents. Note that the 1976-1977 version was the only Scout Handbook to refer to the Boy Scouts of America as "Scouting USA," and the entire eighth edition was titled simply, "Scout Handbook." This was the first and last time "Boy" would be omitted from the cover.

Illustrations in the 8th Edition included many images of minority Scouts. And the next two editions maintained the long overdue diversity in its choice of illustrations. Much of their content, however, reverted to the old ways, although with some new twists.

Quote: There are many different religious beliefs in the world. Some are like your own. Others are very different. The men who founded the United States of America believed in the right of all men to worship God in their own way. This is a great heritage they have given us. Scouts can strengthen it by their actions.