See Also: BPSA-US Policies & Guidelines for Groups
The Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA) was formed in the U.S. in 2006 as an independent and traditional-style Scouting Association. It perpetuates the principles and practices of scouting laid down by Robert Baden-Powell in 1907 that 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 and wholesome physical, mental and spiritual development, as well as training in habits of observation, discipline, self-reliance, loyalty, and useful skills.
The BPSA is totally independent of, and not affiliated with, either the Boy Scouts of America or the Girls 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. We are affiliated with the Baden-Powell Scouts’ Association of England.
The training scheme devised by Baden-Powell is based on using the natural desires of young people as a guide to the activities that 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 Baden-Powell’s “Explanation of Scouting” in Scouting for Boys:
By the term ‘scouting’ is meant the work and attributes of backwoodsmen, explorers and frontiersmen.
Scouting is an outdoor movement and that is part of its character. To whatever degree conditions may, at time, force us indoors—such as weather, darkness, or town life—we must regard this as second-best necessity and never as a satisfactory substitute for the real thing.
The 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:
The 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. The 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.
We’ll see you on the trail!
For more information on traditional scouting and how scout groups work in the BPSA, please download our Introduction to Traditional Scouting manual.