Alden G. Barber

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Alden G. Barber
Born March 1, 1919(1919-03-01)
Died January 17, 2003(2003-01-17) (aged 83)
San Ramon, California
Employer Boy Scouts of America
Title Chief Scout Executive
Term 1967–1976
Predecessor Joseph Brunton
Successor Harvey L. Price
Spouse Mitzi Lee Barber

Alden G. Barber (March 1, 1919-January 17, 2003 in Sacramento, California) was a long-serving professional Scouter for the Boy Scouts of America, and served as the fifth Chief Scout Executive of the BSA from 1967 to 1976. He served during the peak membership years of the BSA, and was instrumental in modernizing the BSA program, particularly the Boy Scout program for boys ages 11 to 17.

Early life and family

Alden Barber became a Boy Scout at age 12 in 1931 in Chico, California. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout.

Barber and his wife Mitzi Lee Barber had four children.

Scouting Professional

In January 1941 Barber became a district executive in Santa Monica, California. With the outbreak of World War II he served as an Army Air Corps bombardier. In 1946 he returned to his position in Santa Monica before serving as assistant Scout Executive in West Los Angeles. He first became a council Scout Executive in Marysville, California, then went on to hold the same position in the progressively larger councils headquartered in Sacramento, California, and Chicago, Illinois.

He was appointed by the BSA National Executive Board as Chief Scout Executive in October 1967. During his tenure, there was a strong membership development emphasis called "Boypower 76" which stressed the goal of reaching a representative one third of all boys in the country by serving more minority youth and urban youth. He worked with volunteers and staff to reshape program elements for the core Boy Scouting program during a major 1972 revision. These major changes included a completely new Scout Handbook, complete revision for Boy Scout rank advancement requirements, addition of "skill awards", and multiple uniform options (including the introduction of the visor cap and beret). Some of the program changes were well received, but other changes, particularly those that emphasized urban activities over camping and out-of-town trips, were criticized. He resigned his position before the normal retirement age, due in part to BSA experiencing membership declines and internal issues.

Barber was a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. He is also a recipient of the WOSM's Bronze Wolf Award. In his retirement, he was the honoree and guest speaker at a number of local council events.

See also

Boy Scouts of America
Preceded by
Joseph A. Brunton, Jr.
Chief Scout Executive
Succeeded by
Harvey L. Price