If you’ve looked and can’t find an existing group in your area—and you have at least two members for each of your Crews or Sections—you can register a new Scout Group with the BPSA. Registering a new group is easy! Use our Group Charter Application Form to register a new Scout Group. You’ll need to fill in all the information on that form, which includes a list of each registering member of your group; and each registering member of the group will need to fill out and sign the Liability Waiver & Medical Release Form. A copy of each of these items should be mailed in with the application and kept on file in your records.
To understand this process, the organization of a Scout Group is like an umbrella. Each Scout Group will have under it one or more sections: either an Otter Raft, Timberwolf Pack, Pathfinder Troop, or Rover Crew. If you are registering a new Group, you’ll have at least one of these sections, depending on the age of the interested members. A Scout Group also has a unique number (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 14th, 66th, etc.) and a name. The number 1 (ordinal 1st) is reserved for the BPSA HQ Lone Scouts Group (1st Lone Scouts Group); but once you register your Group, no other group can use that number for as long as your group is chartered. So take a look at our existing groups on the Find a Group page and see what numbers are available. Typically, the name of the group is taken from something meaningful to the group itself, such as a local name of the city, a geographical landmark, or even related to the history or culture of the area that the group resides. Here are some examples from existing groups in our Association:
- 4th Surf City
- 10th Daniel Boone
- 14th Treaty Oak
Once you’ve determined your Group’s unique number and name, each individual section’s full title would be something similar to “10th Daniel Boone Rover Crew” or “14th Treaty Oak Timberwolf Pack,” etc., depending on the section(s) you are registering. Please do not include the words “Scout,” “Scouting” or “Council” in your group or section names. “Scout Group” is always implied after the group’s name, i.e., 10th Daniel Boone Scout Group. Therefore you shouldn’t t use the word “scout” or “group” in your name as it would be redundant. Remember, in order to have a fully registered Group and Section, you’ll need a minimum of two (2) members. For non-Rover sections, registering a new group will also require two (2) registered Rover Leaders because of our 2-deep leadership policies in BPSA. And, if co-ed, at least one (1) female leader and one (1) male leader.
Another unique aspect for each Scout Group in the BPSA is the Group’s necker colors. The scarf or neckerchief (called a necker) is worn by all members of all sections of a particular Scout Group. Its design and colors are unique and make that Scout Group distinct among other Scout Groups in the BPSA. The traditional necker designs were very subdued in color, and the designs were kept simple and BPSA recommends keeping with the traditional style for the neckers. Our neckers also follow those used by Traditional Scouting organizations around the world in that they are square, not triangular. There are a couple of places you can go to design your group’s necker online and even order them:
- ScoutNeckers.com (UK) – you can design your own on their site, but do not order from them (they only make triangular neckers).
- Zone West (Canada) – Great quality! Contact Gloria about ordering your group’s neckers. Be sure to specify that you need square ones.
- Even more necker information can be found here, including how to make your own!
Once you’ve designed your necker—especially if using the online design tools—you can use your browser and right-click and do “Save Image As…” to save an image of your final necker design and send that along with your contact information (see below) so we can keep it on file with our active, registered Scout Group.
Download the Group Charter Application Form, along with a Medical Release & Liability Waiver form for each member you are registering for your section(s). Each of these will need to be sent in to BPSA for proper registration and approval.
Along with your registration forms, please also send in the following information so that we can keep track of your new Group on our Find a Group page:
- Group Scoutmaster’s or Primary Contact’s Full Name
- Mailing address
- GSM (or other contact) phone & email
- URL to your Group’s website (if you have one)
- An image of your Group’s necker colors
Next, start recruiting! Unless you’re already at the maximum number of members for a group, you should try to recruit as many others as you can from your local community. Network with other parents, family members, friends, and neighbors in your area. Find out which ones may be disillusioned with their current scouting program and see if they’d like to switch to BPSA. Use social-networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and our own Base Camp site to find interested people. Make some posters advertising your group and the BPSA program and hang them up at local coffee shops, churches, libraries, and community centers (wherever community bulletin boards can be found). You will also need to find an adequate meeting place for your group. Many community centers, churches, and public libraries have meeting rooms that you may be able to reserve. Give them a call!