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Our History

Goodman - As Director of Program

Profile - Goodman as Director of Program

By 1925 the BSA had outgrown its national and regional structure; each of more than 20 departments reported directly to Chief Scout Executive West. The national office reorganized in 1931, in four departments – Program, Operations, Personnel and Business.

Goodman was now one of the most experienced Scout leaders in the country. He was both a Scoutmaster from the early days and a very successful Scout Executive. West chose Goodman to head the Program Division, in which Goodman would have leadership of professional and volunteer training, relationships with Scouting’s supporting and partnering organizations, all publications except Boys’ Life, public relations and publicity, research and development, and the Boy Scout reading program.

Goodman took his talents of dealing with people and effective public speaking to a national audience. He traveled the country, meeting with national BSA officers and supporters, and advising Scout Executives.

The new director of Program knew that, to be effective, he must have a first-rate team, and he had West agree that he could choose his own staff. A staff he could trust and whose judgment he trusted carried out Goodman’s careful organization and detailed planning of events and projects.

Goodman served in this position for 20 years, until his retirement in 1951. During this time Scouting developed the Cub Scout program for younger boys and reached out to older Scouts with an expanded Sea Scouting program as well as the experimental Rover program and the development of Exploring and Air Exploring. During this time BSA helped Scouts live through the Great Depression, had the first national jamboree, acquired and developed Schiff Scout Reservation and Philturn Rocky Mountain Scout Camp (later known as Philmont Scout Ranch), adapted Wood Badge to American Scouting, produced three editions of the Boy Scout Handbook, two editions of the Handbook for Scoutmasters and the first Scout Field Book, and supported the troops and home front during World War II.