Archive by Author

Brownsea Training Camp(s) 2013!

18 Mar

I want to encourage our adult members and those around the Minnesota, Missouri and New Hampshire areas to really make an effort to attend one of our upcoming Brownsea Training Camps (BTC).

BTC is the first and most important step in adult, Rover training within our association. Attending one will help you and your group get off to a great start, by

  1. Introducing traditional scouting, scouting history & tradition, BPSA and WFIS.
  2. Give you hands on experience in learning all the outdoor/scoutcraft skills needed to teach a 1st year Pathfinder.
  3. Provide a learning environment by having you participate as a member of a patrol on a Troop campout, giving you insight into how groups and the patrol system work.
  4. Earn your investment as a Rover Squire, your first step in the Rover program.

(Check out photos from last year’s Missouri BTC -http://www.flickr.com/photos/kopper/tags/mobtc2012/)

As with any youth program, the quality of the program starts from the bottom up, through the training of adults and volunteers who understand the fundamentals, methods and aims of the program; and are creative and enthusiastic enough to take the time to “be prepared” as a Rover and leader of younger scouts.

I have no doubt that this is you. Follow one of the links below and register for your spot in one of our upcoming BTC events near you. It’s one weekend that will cover a lot of ground and invests you in the program you’ve chosen and want to see succeed!

North East (New Boston, NH):
https://www.wepay.com/events/spring-2013-brownsea-northeast

Mid-West (Marine on St. Croix, MN):
https://www.wepay.com/events/spring-2013-brownsea-minnesota

Mid-West (St. Louis, MO)
https://www.wepay.com/events/spring-2013-brownsea-missouri

BPSA Commissioner interviewed in St. Louis Beacon

14 Aug


An interview with BPSA Chief Commissioner David Atchley has been posted on the St. Louis Beacon website. Click here for the story. In it, David discusses his scouting background, scouting in general and the BPSA program on a couple of perspectives, including the coed aspect. Be sure and give it a read, leave a comment on the article, and share it with friends.

Article Link: http://www.stlbeacon.org/content/26471/boys_scouts_alternative_081012

BPSA needs your help!

11 Aug

BPSA needs your help!

As some of you are aware, we have recently begun a fundraising effort through Indiegogo.com, which is similar to Kickstarter but for community and social efforts and start-ups. The BPSA is in a growth phase at the moment, which is great news.  We are brining in new members and gaining new groups as people become aware of the organization, our program and our mission. The BPSA staff and myself continue to work as hard as we can to keep up with all the needs of our new membership in this growth period, through handling orders via the online store, processing applications and charters, maintaining the web site and the resources we have available online, promoting and building the program, developing and providing training for adults and volunteers and more.

But to keep this momentum going and to continue to provide the best traditional scouting program and meet the basic needs of the organization and our members and groups, we need to be able to fund a number of very important needs:

  1. Have BPSA incorporated, state and federal, as a non-profit youth association and obtain 501(c)3 status. As a youth organization, this helps cut down the costs for not only the organization, but we can extend this status to each of our chartered, local Scout Groups.
  2. Be able to provide insurance coverage, extending to all chartered local units, covering minor medical/accident/liability.
  3. Be able to handle and process proper background checks for all registering adult members in the BPSA as part of our continuing Code of Ethics and Youth Protection policy.
  4. Provide a complete online store making uniforms, handbooks and other resources and needs available to members, leaders, volunteers and parents (at the lowest cost possible). Scouts and parents need to be able to get everything in one location, and as an organization we need to be able to provide a low-cost, traditional scouting uniform.
  5. Build up our communication and program reach to help recruit enthusiastic volunteers to staff and run BPSA Head Quarters (HQ), filling many needed positions and roles to help the organization grow.  We’ll need to be able to maintain the web site, our social and community networks and sites and find other ways to reach out to people and keep our community of Scouts and Leaders connected.
  6. Be able to provide ongoing and flexible training courses for leaders and volunteers in local communities, allowing for multiple training sessions per year and a local volunteer base that is trained and ready to provide a program. We need to be able to provide training in different parts of the country to make it accessible, and we need to be able to help reimburse our trainers and contribute to our national staff so they can get further, higher level training from other BPSA organizations and bring that training back here to the US.
  7. Help us provide resources for local volunteers and parents to help encourage and realize the growth of the program by targeting at least 25 chartered Scout Groups with full program sections by the end of the 3 years. To make this happen, and to fully support those new units, all the above items are critical.

This is where YOU come in.  We need your help – our members, groups and supporters – in promoting our program through our fundraising efforts on Indiegogo.com!  Share the link above with your friends, family and other individuals or organizations/businesses that would support BPSA in its mission to bring traditional scouting to the US that is coed and inclusive.  Any contribution makes a difference!

The minimum contribution is less than 8 cups of coffee from your favorite barista at your local coffee house – $25.  It’s not much; but each small donation adds up and helps ensure the BPSA meets these goals.  With your help and support we can grow and expand this organization into the future and provide more resources and a better program for our youth and our groups.

Help us make a difference!

 

BPSA Commissioner does Reddit AMA

2 Aug

So, for any of our members and supporters that frequent redditors (see Reddit.com), I did an AMA, or Ask Me Anything a few days back.  The idea behind an AMA is that you make yourself available to answer questions from the reddit social community that might have an interest in what you’re doing and want to know more.  There were a number of really good questions and comments that I thought would be informative for our members and others who aren’t necessarily on reddit, or those that might have missed it.  Here’s the link below to the AMA for your slow reading pleasure.

If you find anything you want to ask, go ahead and make a comment on that thread (you’ll need a reddit.com login to do so) and I’ll definitely answer it as quickly as possible. You can also comment here on this post as well.  Thanks for the great turn out, it was enjoyable!

BPSA Commissioner AMA on /r/IAmA

Partnership With Scouting for All

23 Jul

It seems only apropos that our Association, the BPSA, partner with those organizations that support and work towards one of our many goals, which is providing an opportunity for youth and adults, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or no-religion, or any other differences, to participate in the Scouting movement! And I’m happy to announce our partnership and mutual support for and with the “Scouting for All” organization, whose mission since its inception has been to push for that same open and inclusive nature, not only in the Boy Scouts of America, but in other Scouting organizations in the United States as well.

Please note the following joint press release from the BPSA and Scouting for All; and be sure and visit their website, Facebook page and Twitter account as well to see the kinds of hard work they’ve been doing for some time in this area!

 


July 23, 2012 – The Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA) and Scouting for All today announce an agreement of joint support between their organizations.

As both groups fundamentally believe Scouting should be available to everyone regardless of religious beliefs, gender, or sexual orientation, the following policies are now considered in effect:

  • The BPSA supports Scouting for All’s mission of “the restoration of the traditionally unbiased values of Scouting as expressed and embodied in the Scout Oath & the Scout Law.”
  • The BPSA supports Scouting for All’s vision of “a Scouting movement in America which once again commands the broad respect of the American people, rededicated to the traditionally unbiased principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.”
  • The BPSA supports Scouting for All’s guiding principle “that Scouting should be inclusive and open to all, regardless of spiritual belief, gender, or sexual orientation.”
  • Scouting for All supports the BPSA by recommending them as the best option for those looking to join a non-discriminatory Scouting program within the US.
  • In addition, BPSA members are now authorized to officially wear, if they elect to do so, the Scouting for All Inclusive Scouting Award centered above the top line of the left breast pocket of their uniform shirt as a symbol of shared support between both organizations.

This announcement of joint support was approved by:

David Atchley, Chief Commissioner of the Baden-Powell Service Association

Howard Menzer, President of Scouting for All

-

The Baden-Powell Service Association was founded in 2006 as an independent and traditional-style Scouting Association. They are affiliated with the World Federation of Independent Scouts and the Baden-Powell Scouts’ Association of England. Their website is www.bpsa-us.org.

Scouting for All was founded in 1993 with the purpose of promoting tolerance, diversity, and acceptance within the Scouting movement in the US. Their website is www.ScoutingForAll.org.

Register for Fall 2012 Brownsea(s)

3 May

Our Fall 2012 Brownsea Training Camps are coming (yes, we have more than one this year) …

Brownsea Training is required training for first-time leaders of Scout Groups in BPSA-US.  It provides an introduction to the traditional scouting program of the BPSA, helps in understanding the aims and methods of Scouting, and teaches new Rovers the scouting skills required for Tenderfoot, preparing them to help younger scouts succeed. The program works by teaching these things in a hands-on fashion, as the trainees will form and function as individual patrols, working together in learning, cooking and making camp life.

At the end of training, new Rovers will be invested as Rover Squires and awarded the green/yellow shoulder knot and their Tenderfoot/Association badge. Once trained, Rovers are encouraged to offer a Brownsea Training in their local area as well to continue the tradition and pass on their skills and enthusiasm for traditional scouting to others.

The registration fee is $25.00, which will cover the camp site(s), materials and resources for the program. If you’re interested in starting a BPSA group in your area, or already have a group and would like to attend, the more Scouters the better!

We’re hosting two BTC events this fall.  Details are below:

BTC-1 2012 – Moody, Texas

Instructor: BPSA 1st Lone Scouts RSL, Scott Hudson

When:

Friday, October 5th through Sunday October 7th, 2012
Arrive between 7pm and 8pm on Friday, break camp at noon on Sunday

Location:

Mother Neff State Park
1680 S.H. 236
Moody, TX 76557-3317

Details here: Mother Neff State Park Web Site

Registration Information:    Register Online - Cost: $25.00

 

BTC-2 2012 – Washington, Missouri

Instructor: BPSA Commissioner, Dave Atchley

When:

Friday, September 14th through Sunday September 16th, 2012
Arrive between 7pm and 8pm on Friday, break camp at noon on Sunday

Location:

Klondike State Park,
St. Charles County, Missouri (just west of St. Louis)
Details here: Klondike State Park Web Site

Registration Information:    Register Online - Cost: $25.00

Overcoming Inertia…

20 Apr

Inertia, as understood in classical physics, typically refers to the First Law of Motion as described by Newton, paraphrased below:

“An object not subject to any external force moves at a constant velocity; and will continue to move at its current velocity until some force causes its speed or direction to change.”

Essentially it’s the amount of resistance to change in velocity of some object, which in physics, is determined by its mass. This principle, I think, can also be applied to the struggles of getting a new, traditional scouting program off the ground here in the United States. Currently, we are moving along at a constant velocity. And with out some outside force, specifically the time, effort and enthusiasm of our members and supporters, we will continue at our current velocity.

This isn’t the current velocity that I want for the BPSA. We can increase our speed. As our current Commissioner, a local Group Scoutmaster, and a father of five children, I understand the positive aspects, benefits and training that a real, traditional scouting program can offer to both kids, parents and volunteers. Without the enthusiasm and willingness of adults and parents, the Scouting movement would never have progressed the way it did. The Scouting movement is, after all, an international brotherhood of service. In cultivating the spirit of selflessness and service in our scouts, we should be leading them by example. That same selflessness, sacrifice and service that we teach should be readily apparent to anyone within or outside of the Scouting movement. It is through this character of our members and volunteers that the BPSA will ultimately succeed or fail in the long run.

As an alternative Scouting organization, just trying to get off the ground, this quality of character and selflessness is what we need from our members and supporters now. It is exactly this action of leading the movement by example, of “being” the change you want to see in our organization, that is the outside force BPSA and its members needs to exhibit in order to change its velocity. We can overcome our inertia by spreading our own enthusiasm for the program to others.

Baden-Powell said the following in his last letter before retiring from his position as Chief Scout of the World,

But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. “Be Prepared” in this way, to live happy and to die happy—stick to your Scout promise always—even after you have ceased to be a boy—and God help you to do it.

B-P had the right idea about happiness and the reasons to do your best. It is with exactly this intent that many of us are wholeheartedly working to get BPSA off and running. Not only is it a way to do our best and leave the world with something that improves things for our generation and those to come; but in doing so it brings about a pure happiness in each of us. A deep happiness that can only come from rendering selfless service to our fellow humans, our nation and our communities—knowing that, in the end, we’ve done the very best we could with the life and energy we had.

I would like to challenge you today to reflect on these ideas and ask yourself if the BPSA and a real, traditional scouting program for youth and adults in this country is worth your effort and energy to help make the world a slightly better place than when you first arrived? In service to others, can you truly find happiness for yourself and others?

What can you do to provide that energy and the force needed to help this movement overcome its inertia?

 

BPSA Pathfinder Handbook, First Edition

27 Sep

Finally, after the long work in putting together our Timberwolf Handbook, we have finally completed our Pathfinder Handbook!  It’s been an ongoing process since sometime last Fall and it’s involved a dedicated and geographically dispersed group of reviewers and editors.  I’ll thank them personally at the end of this post; but their contributions, encouragement and hard work has not gone unnoticed.  The book is fairly long, weighing in at 134 pages!  This includes a guide on everything a Pathfinder needs to know to go from Tenderfoot through First Class, and beyond.  It also provides the requirements for each of the “additional” general proficiency badges: George Washington’s Scout, Bushman’s Thong, and All-Round Cords; and all the Special Proficiency badges offered by the BPSA here in the US – 46 special proficiency badges in all!

With our Otter program in ‘beta’, the completion of this handbook – along with the available original texts from B.P., “Wolf Cub Handbook” and “Scouting for Boys” – we have a complete set of program resources available for our youth sections.  Head over to our Resources page (http://bpsa-us.org/resources/program-resources/) and download the latest copies and check them out!

My special and individual thanks to the Review Team, who consisted of Ric Raynor, George Stecher, Tony Place, Jody Rochon and Scott Moore!

Badge Preview!

21 Aug

As I try to get the online store and ordering together for BPSA-US badges, neckers, and more, I wanted to post a preview of the new Tenderfoot/Association badge that will be coming in.  I’m working on a 2nd Class and 1st Class badge that match, and we also have group name flashes (for the right, top shoulder on the uniform) that will be available, customized with your group’s name.  I’ll post more as I move in this direction. However, once the badges are in, I’ll post a complete listing with price guide.

I’m coordinating with Alton at the The Rover Outpost fo badges and I think they’re looking good.  Initially, the store will have available the following:

  1. BPSA-US Tenderfoot/Association Badge (shown here)
  2. WFIS Membership Badge
  3. Group Name Flashes (1st Lone Scouts, and Group Name customized)
  4. Neckers – various designs and color combinations of your choice

Enjoy!

Register for Fall 2011 Brownsea!

17 Aug

Our Fall 2011 Brownsea Training Camp is coming …

Brownsea Training is required training for first time leaders of Scout Groups in BPSA-US.  It provides an introduction to the traditional scouting program of the BPSA, helps in understanding the aims and methods of Scouting, and teaches new Rovers the scouting skills required for Tenderfoot, preparing them to help younger scouts succeed.  The program works by teaching these things in a hands-on fashion, as the trainees will form and function as individual patrols, working together in learning, cooking and making camp life.

At the end of training, new Rovers will be invested as Rover Squires and awarded the green/yellow shoulder knot and their Tenderfoot/Association badge.  Once trained, Rovers are encouraged to offer a Brownsea Training in their local area as well to continue the tradition and pass on their skills and enthusiasm for traditional scouting to others.

The registration fee is $15.00, which will cover the camp site(s), materials and resources for the program.  If you’re interested in starting a BPSA group in your area, or already have a group and would like to attend, the more scouters the better!

This BTC is being held in Missouri, which is fairly centralized for most people. Details are below:

When:

Friday, October 7th through Sunday October 9th, 2011
Arrive at 7pm on Friday, break camp at noon on Sunday

Location:

Klondike State Park,
St. Charles County, Missouri (just west of St. Louis)
Details here: Klondike State Park Web Site
Campsites: P16, P17 & P18 (Primitive Campsites)

 

 

Registration Information:

Cost: $15.00
Register Online here: https://www.wepay.com/tickets/view/67037