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Traditional Scouting for Everyone

A Traditional Scouting Association for the US that is open to boys and girls, men and women and focused on a traditional, open and inclusive, outdoor program.

Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA) & the 55th Cascadia Group are committed to providing an appropriate alternative and community-oriented scouting experience. BPSA welcomes everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion (or no-religion) or other differentiating factors. Our mission is to provide a positive learning environment within the context of democratic participation and social justice. We foster the development of scouts in an environment of mutual respect and cooperation.

Scouting is an outdoor movement and that is part of its character. The appeal of true scouting has always been to that element of the vagabond, pioneer and explorer which is part of our nature, and is at its most evident in youth. BPSA focuses on this aspect of the program; and encourages our scouts, parents and volunteers to plan programs that take advantage of being out of doors, whenever and wherever possible!

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About the Baden-Powell Service Association

BPSA perpetuates the principles and practices of Scouting laid down by Robert Baden-Powell in 1907, which had been developed and refined in Boy Scout Associations around the world for over 99 years. These principles are so fundamentally sound and the practices so adaptable that traditional scouting goes on developing and can never be dated or unsuited to any community.

Our aim is to promote good citizenship, discipline, self-reliance, loyalty, and useful skills. BPSA is totally independent of, and not affiliated with, the Boys Scouts of America or the Girl Scouts of the USA. We are members of the World Federation of Independent Scouts (WFIS); and as such are not in competition with other American Scouting Associations, we are only their brothers and sisters. We work closely with the Baden-Powell Scouts’ Association of England and the Baden-Powell Service Association in Canada.

The training scheme devised by Baden-Powell is based on using the natural desires of young people as a guide to the activities which will attract and hold them. The appeal of true scouting has always been to that element of the vagabond, pioneer and explorer which is part of our nature; and is at its most evident in youth. Hence the significance of the opening sequence of B-P’s “Explanation of Scouting” in “Scouting for Boys”: By the term ‘scouting’ is meant the work and attributes of backwoodsmen, explorers and frontiersmen. BPSA believes that everyone deserves a chance to participate in the movement which Baden-Powell started, and with that, we have crafted our policy of inclusion:

Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA) offers a choice for those with curiosity, energy and independence of spirit. We are committed to providing an appropriate alternative and community-oriented Scouting experience. BPSA welcomes everyone. Our mission is to provide a positive learning environment within the context of democratic participation and social justice. We foster the development of Scouts in an environment of mutual respect and co-operation.

We have a full range of training and proficiency badges for all sections.

We have no full-time or part-time paid staff. This allows us to keep costs down to a minimum. Training handbooks are available, along with support material. We have affiliated associations in Canada, as well as overseas. A range of international opportunities exist for our members through the World Federation of Independent Scouts.

Visit BPSA-US for more info and resources on the BPSA program. A special thank you to the 5th Brooklyn Scouts, and the GSM–Todd Schweikert, for their support and information as we take on this adventure.

What is Traditional Scouting?

The term “Traditional Scouting” has a different meaning outside the United States, where it refers to a “back to basics” movement that rejects the world-wide trend to “modernize” Scouting in order to appeal to imagined wider slices of fleeting popular and commercial youth cultures, and returns Scouting to a scheme intentionally based on Baden-Powell’s own model of Scouting.

Traditional Scouting is not historical re-enactment, but for the most part an attempt to present Scouting as the game that was played prior to the 1960s. For all practical purposes in most of the former British Empire (with minor national variations due to climate and the influence of native cultures), this was how it had been played by Scouting’s inventor, Lord Robert Baden-Powell, while he was still alive. In Traditional Scouting, the only changes in the program are for reasons of advances in a) health and safety practices, b) environmental concerns, and c) light weight camping technologies.

The Scouting movement began “modernizing” starting in the 1960’s with the British Boy Scout Association, which commissioned a number of studies to determine how best to appeal to an imagined wider demographic and changing youth culture. This series of studies was picked up by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in 1970, which began the introduction of the new and improved Scouting Program in America in 1972. These changes saw a removal of most of the scoutcraft and woodcraft skills and requirements in the handbook and a complete move away form the patrol method and other Scouting methods which were part of Baden-Powell’s original program.

For these reasons, among many other changes to the Scouting program not mentioned here, traditional scouting programs began forming in the early 1970s, starting with the Baden- Powell Scouting Association in the UK in 1971. Other traditional scouting programs on or affiliated with the BPSA-UK now exist in Canada, Australia, Ireland and many other countries. In the United States, Baden-Powell Scouting started in 2006, founded by members of the US

Rover’s and other interested scouters. In 2008, B-P Scouting was renamed and incorporated as the Baden-Powell Service Association.

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