Our mission statement:
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, 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.
The Goal: Scouting for Everyone!
It's that simple.
BPSA offers a traditional ("back to basics") Scouting program for youth and adults, girls and boys, men and women with open and progressive membership policies that disallow any and all discrimination.
We believe the youth of our country need a Scouting program today that reflects the progressive, open and tolerant values we hold as a nation. An alternative program that keeps to the aims, methods and teachings of Scouting's founder, Lord Robert Baden-Powell; and that offers a program of progressive training in Scoutcraft/Outdoor skills and teaches service over self to ALL boys and girls, men and women. BPSA's mantra is "Scouting for Everyone!"
Keep reading; but be sure to check out our website for even MORE information and resources: http://bpsa-us.org
You can also listen to our Commissioner being interviewed about the program on public radio's "St. Louis on the Air" (KWMU): Radio Interview
The Details: Who we are and what we offer
Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA) was formed in the US 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 which had been developed and refined in Boy Scout Associations around the world for over 100 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 social development; and training in habits of observation, discipline, self- reliance, loyalty, and useful skills.
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 and sisters.
- Membership is open to both boys and girls, men and women. BPSA offers a Scouting program for anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, religion (or no religion), race, creed or other characteristic.
- We have a full range of training and proficiency badges for all sections. Our highest award at the Pathfinder level is the George Washington Scout Award; and at the Rover level, the B-P Award.
- We have no full-time or part-time paid staff. BPSA is democratically run by volunteers elected from the membership and affords local Scout Groups a hand in program and policy.
- We are one of a large number of BP Traditional Scouting Associations around the world, including our partners in Canada and Mexico; and are part of the World Federation of Independent Scouts (WFIS), putting our Scouts in touch with the international Scouting movement and its members.
- We want to make Scouting affordable, so keeping costs down is key.
What is Traditional Scouting?
The term “Traditional Scouting” refers to a “back to basics” movement that rejects the worldwide 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.
His vision did not include a lot of bureaucracy or hierarchy that put the program costs out of reach of the average family. B-P's program started with a strong focus on the outdoors and what he called Scoutcraft skills.
The BPSA has four program sections in total:
- Otters (ages 5-7),
- Timberwolves (ages 8-10),
- Pathfinders (ages 11-17) and
- Rovers (ages 18+)
BPSA is not historical recreation; 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) lightweight camping technologies.
Membership is open to both boys and girls, men and women.
So, what do we need to move forward?
To operate and provide this program, the BPSA needs to have a number of things in place. Our fundraising goals are based on our our overall mission and an aggressive 3-year plan of action.
Here are the targets for our association in the short-term that your contributions will help us meet:
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.
Be able to provide insurance coverage, extending to all chartered local units, covering minor medical/accident/liability.
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).
Build up our communication and program reach to help recruit enthusiastic volunteers to staff and run BPSA Headquarters (HQ), filling many needed positions and roles to help the organization grow.
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.
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.
We also would like to send a contingent of BPSA Scouts to the one of the next World Federation of Independent Scouts (WFIS) World Jamborees to represent BP Tradtional Scouting in the United States.
Even if we don't reach our goal, the funds you help raise will go toward moving the program forward in each of the different areas mentioned above. Every contribution goes toward helping us provide and promote our program and build the resources and materials that local Scouters need to start and run successful Scout Groups.
How else can you help?
Even if you can't contribute or donate, you can still help the BPSA succeed and grow as an alternative, traditional Scouting association here in the US! Here are some of the things you can do:
Join Us! Hit our website (http://bpsa-us.org) and join up as a Lone Scout or Rover or, better yet, start up a local BPSA Scout Group in your community and register for a charter! We'll help you out all the way.
Use our ScoutFinder application (http://scout-finder.bpsa-us.org) and put a pin on the map to let others in your area know you're interested in the program or joining a group - and use it to contact others around you about the program!
Spread the word about our program and our goals to others you know. Send out emails, use the tools on this campaign site and your social networking to find others interested in participating and supporting an open and traditional Scouting program in the US!
With your help, the BPSA can succeed and join the wider movement of tradtional Scouting Associations in the world, and offer a real, tangible alternative that provides Scouting for Everyone!