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BPSA - Back-to-Basics Scouting, for EVERYONE (Salem)

BPSA - Back-to-Basics Scouting, for EVERYONE

The Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA) offers a community-oriented traditional scouting program for youth and adults of all genders. An adult leader/scout training camp is scheduled for early April near Olympia WA for those interested in starting their own group or joining the new 150th Willamette Scout Group right here in Salem. Join Us!

BPSA is committed to including everyone in the "game of scouting." Communities that have been excluded or segregated within the scouting tradition are extended a particular welcome in our quest to have an organization as diverse as the communities in which we serve and live.

The Otter Raft is the youngest section of BPSA scouting, for kids ages 5-7. Otters learn useful family and community skills, and learn to play safely together while being introduced to scouting and preparing for the Timberwolf program. A Raft is typically 15-40 scouts, sub-divided into Dens made of 6-8 children. Even our youngest scouts meet outdoors as much as possible; getting used to all types of weather is an important component of this introductory section. Otters visit natural areas, returning at different times of the year to witness the changes each season brings to a familiar place. The scouting tradition of service begins with Otters, who participate in age appropriate projects throughout their communities. Otters camp with parents or older scout siblings.

The 15-40 scout Timberwolf Pack is for kids age 8-11 years of age. This section's rich program is full of activities, skits, and ceremonies based on forest natural history narratives. Timberwolves, under the guidance of their "Old Wolf," explore independence, self-control, and experience responsibility and leadership challenges-skills that form the core of the Pathfinder section.

The games and practical activities are focused on learning "by doing." Outdoor skills acquisition begins in earnest with fire building, cooking, and campcraft. After demonstrating skills and safe use, Timberwolves can earn their Whittler Award and begin wearing a camp knife to appropriate activities. Timberwolves camp and backpack with family or independently when ready.

The Pathfinder Troop is open to everyone ages 11 through 17. The emphasis is on training through hands-on, outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, canoeing, and backpacking. Pathfinder Troops of 25-32 scouts operate in Patrols of 6 to 8 members, led by a Patrol Leader and Assistant. In a mature Pathfinder troop, it is the Patrol Leaders, and the scouts, who plan, fundraise, and lead their own adventures. Their scoutmasters are there for safety, advice, and a good bit of driving. The program is based on Robert Baden-Powell's book, Scouting for Boys (Note: all our programs are open to all regardless of gender identity.)

Rover scouting is for those over the age of 17 who wish to continue scouting or lead youth. As Robert Baden-Powell originally intended, scouting has no upper age limit. Rovers are organized into self-governing Crews as part of an overall scout group. The Rover motto is simply "Service," and it is put into practice both in the Group and the community.

Learn more about traditional scouting at:

BPSA is not affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America or the Girl Scouts, USA. BPSA is a member of the World Federation of Independent Scouts. Our association is volunteer-run and has no full or part-time paid staff. This allows us to keep costs down for parents and youth interested in the scouting program.
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