Middlesex Stamp Club

"Green Bar Bill" covers, by Hazel Elmsie

Bill Hillcourt joined the Boys Scouts of American in 1927 as a member of the national staff, assisting the editor of Scouting Magazine. He wrote the first Handbook for Patrol Leaders in 1929. As the insignia for a Patrol Leader was 2 green bars he soon had the nickname, "Green Bar Bill".

He wrote many articles for Boy's Life Magazine, organ of the BSA. These covers illustrate one of his many projects to get youth interested in Scouting. For the 1933 and 1937 Jamborees members were encouraged to send self addressed envelopes to Bill at Boy's Life. These were then printed with the cachet for the Jamboree and a flyer from Bill inserted. The "mail" was then taken by the American contingent to the Jamboree and mailed back to the USA with the appropriate Jamboree stamp and cancellation.