BPSA-US has adopted the 1938 Policy, Organization, & Rules (PO&R) written by Robert Baden-Powell before his death in 1941. We use this document as a baseline organizational model, though the Baden-Powell Service Association has crafted its own set of by-laws and policies as they align more appropriately with our modern way of living, including advancements in safety practices, and cultural and societal evolution.
There is also a wide array of other resources regarding scouting, scoutcraft, woodcraft, pioneering, the Patrol Method and other related topics that can be a boon to new Group Scoutmasters or even individual scouters.
The following are the primary documents maintained and used by BPSA-US that define and set the rules for our association, putting forth the structure and requirements of our program. These will be continually updated as approved by BPSA Headquarters and National Staff. For those running a Scout Group with the BPSA, these documents are linked for you to use. If you have any questions, please contact your Regional Commissioner.
The Timberwolf section is based on Baden-Powell’s original Wolf Cub program; and these resources are from various associations for that section (geared towards 3rd through 5th grades).
BPSA-US Timberwolf Handbook, 5th Edition
There are many resources to help the Timberwolf leader using the traditional Jungle Book program in the Wolf Cub section of The Dump. Some of these traditional resources contain offensive language and biases from the period in which they were written. BPSA-US strives to dismantle these biases in our practice today.
The Pathfinder section is the traditional Scouts section geared towards 6th through 12th grades (ages 11–17)—also referred to as Explorers in other Traditional Scouting associations. This is the program that began it all, developed by Baden-Powell in 1907. You can find the original “Scouting for Boys” pamphlets that were published by B-P and later became the main handbook for scouts. We list the full download of Scouting for Boys here; along with a few selected resources we would like to recommend.
Rover is the Scouting program for those 18 and over, intended by B-P to encourage staying active in Scouting and perpetuating the ideals learned in Scouting to living as an adult and across career paths. The definitive guide for Rovers is B-P’s Rovering to Success along with the Scouting for Boys (see Pathfinder section above) books. We list those here, and also refer you to our previously listed Mini Guide to Rovering in the BPSA-US section above.
A note about the texts: These are documents and pieces that reflect society at the time in which they were written. Baden-Powell’s original speculations and opinions weigh heavy on the minds of many scouts who start to read them as part of their involvement in scouting and BPSA. We do not intend to censor the writings, though annotation is welcome and encouraged. We also do not condone bigotry of any kind, in any instance. Our response to these passages is to remain resolved and dedicated to welcoming all people and families, teaching children to be active citizens in the world, and celebrate each other in this incredible shared experience.