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There are a number of small Scouting and Scouting-like organizations in the United States.
AWANA was founded in 1950 in Illinois. Originally, the organization would not affiliate a club with church that belonged to the National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, Pentecostal church or charismatic church. In 1995, AWANA lifted the restrictions.
The program's age groups are:
|Baden-Powell Service Association|
|Affiliation||World Federation of Independent Scouts|
The Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA) is a traditional-style Scouting association and takes its name from the Scouting movement founder, Robert Baden-Powell. The BSPA is a member of the World Federation of Independent Scouts (WFIS).[is 1]
The BPSA formed with an adult-only component, Rovers, in 2006. David Atchley, an Eagle Scout in the BSA, joined up in 2008, after being asked to leave his local Greater St. Louis Area Council after attempting to create a non-discrimination policy for his own Cub Scout pack. He started forming youth units. In 2009, Atchley became commissioner. By 2011, the association had a handful of units. BPSA reincorporated in 2012 plus added 35 more groups between then and July 2013.
The BPSA is split into 4 age levels, or sections:
logo for Columbian Squires
|Owner||Knights of Columbus|
|Country||USA, Mexico, Phillipines|
|Founded||August 4, 1925|
1500 local units
Columbian Squires is a Catholic boys Scout-like organization run by the Knights of Columbus. The Squires considers itself to be an athletic team, a social club, youth and civic improvement group, management training, a civil rights group and spiritual development program.
The Columbian Squires started in 1925.
In December 2012, the Knights of Columbus was sued over supposed sexual abuse that occurred in Brownsville, Texas by adult Columbian Squires leaders in the 1970s and 1980s.
Local groups are called Circles. The programs five advancement levels are:
|Owner||The Brotherhood of the Iron Will|
The Kepha program had monthly retreats and shared daily prayers for brotherhood. Member have 2 AM two-hour Eucharistic adoration called "Yawns For Jesus". They go camping but required cold showers for discipline. The service work they do includes visiting nursing homes and hospitals.
|Troops of St. George|
|Headquarters||Fort Worth, Texas|
The formation of the Scouts of St. George was announced by Taylor Marshall in May 2013. The program was planned to be open source, grassroots and a traditional boy scout program with no 501(3)c non-profit status (so as to keep government interference to minimum). By October, the Scouts of St. George was force due to the Boy Scouts of America's ownership of the "Scouts" trademark to change its name to "Troops of St. George".
|Owner||Church of the Nazarene|
Caravan is a Christian Scout-like organization run by the Church of the Nazarene. With a first through sixth grade co-ed membership, the organization has 600 US clubs which focus on church doctrine. There about 150 BSA troops affiliated with Nazarene Churches.
One of Caravan's forerunners was started in the 1930s by LeRoy Haynes as Boy's Works. As it spread from church to church. the program was picked up in 1934 by Nazarene's Southern California district as its boy's program under Haynes direction. The next year, Girl's Works was started up under Jeanne Haynes. The Works programs spread past outside the district and even was promoted at the 1936 General Assembly through a display.
Rev. W. W. Clay, also in the 1930s, developed two Christian principles program for kids: Bluebirds for young children and Pioneers for older children. With Rev. Milton Bunker, an Eagle Scout, Clay promoted these club programs and continued to develop them.
With inadequate materials and competing programs, the 1940 General Assembly formed a Commission on Boys' and Girls' Work that met November 17–18 in Santa Cruz, California. The Commission was composed of six western districts' representatives, three members of the commission on Boys' and Girls' Work, and two members of the Department of Church Schools. This Commission decided to replace the existing club programs with its own program. The Board of General Superintendents approved this Commission's program while a committee developed and wrote the books.
Caravan was started in 1946 with the release of the first Caravan book, Trailmarker for boys ages 12 and up. Books that followed were Pathmarker (girls ages 12+), Signals (boys ages 9 to 11), and Signs (girls ages 9 to 11). That fall, the first official Nazarene Caravan club in the United States was started by Millington Church of the Nazarene in Michigan under Rev. Bunker. In 1948, Bunker was appointed the first general director of Caravan. Carol Wordsworth of Youngstown, Ohio in October 1949 at a district Caravan Round-up was the first person to be granted the Phineas F. Brezee award. In 2005, the program was revised with the addition of the Core Values badges and modified or added skill badges.
Caravan's grade level groups are:
Adults leaders of a group are called guides. Earning badges is an optional part in this program.
The Milton Bunker Award is granted to those Searchers completing the necessary two-year requirements.
The Phineas F. Brezee award, named after the Church of the Nazarene founding pastor, is the highest award in Caravan. A member earns the award upon completion of eight core values studies, 16 Articles of Faith, 32 skill badges, four ministry projects and four missionary books. Additional awards, the Esther Carson Winans and Haldor Lillenas awards, are achievable using the requirements from the Brezee award.
|Christian Service Brigade|
logo for Christian Service Brigade
|Headquarters||Hamburg, New York|
|Country||USA, Canada[is 3]|
Christian Service Brigade is a Christian boys Scout-like organization run by the CSB Ministries. The organization has chartered 300 units with members in the first through 12th grades and works to build boys’ character with a Bible emphasis. CSB is a partner of the GEMS Girls Clubs.[is 3]
Christian Service Brigade was established in 1937 by Joe Coughlin in Glen Ellyn, Illinois with a Methodist Sunday School sixth-grade boys class in conjunction withWheaton College's Christian Service Council. Soon in 1939, an affiliated girls group was founded, Girls' Guild. Both groups received backing from Herbert J. Taylor's Christian Workers' Foundation starting in 1943. The Guild became Pioneer Girls in 1940 and remained a division of CSB until 1944.
The Brigade is split into 4 age levels:
The organization uses uniforms similar to the BSA. CSB operates the Shape N Race Derby wood car race for the Stockade level.[is 3] The equivalent rank to the Boy Scouts’ Eagle Scout is the rank of "Herald of Christ".
The CSB runs 11 camps:
|Calvinist Cadet Corps|
|Owner||Dynamic Youth Ministries|
|Headquarters||Grand Rapids, Michigan|
|Country||United States, Canada|
|Executive Director||Dick Broene|
Calvinist Cadet Corps is an independent non-denominational Christian boys Scout-like organization usually affiliated with Christian Reformed Church. Currently, the Corps has about 440 US clubs with weekly meeting including a Bible lesson. Members range in grade from first to high school. Merit badges are tied into Scripture and weekly meetings includes Bible lessons.
The Calvinist Cadet Corps was officially founded in 1952 in Reformed churches as the Dutch of the Reformed Christian Churches supported Dutch parallel programs compared to the Dutch of the Reformed Churches who generally joined the general organization. While the Calvinettes and Young Calvinist Federation duplicated the Girls Scouts and Christian Endeavour respectively.
The Corps is split into 5 ministries, or levels:
The organization uses uniforms similar to the BSA.[is 3]
|GEMS Girls' Clubs|
|Owner||Dynamic Youth Ministries|
|Headquarters||Grand Rapids, Michigan|
|Executive director||Kathryn Miller|
GEMS Girls' Clubs, formerly Calvinettes, is an independent non-denominational Christian girls Scout-like organization usually affiliated with Christian Reformed Churches. GEMS is an acronym for "Girls Everywhere Meeting The Savior". GEMS is also affiliated with the Christian Service Brigade.[is 3]
The Calvinettes were founded in 1958 as the Dutch of the Christian Reformed Churches supported Dutch parallel programs compared to the Dutch of the Reformed Churches who generally joined the general organization, the Girl Scouts. While the Calvinist Cadet Corps and Young Calvinist Federation duplicated the Boy Scouts and Christian Endeavour respectively.
|Owner||Earth Charter US|
Earth Champs is a an independent non-denominational Scout-like organization.
Earth Scouts was founded in 2002. The Boy Scouts of America owning the trademark to Scouts forced Earth Scouts to change their name a decade later to Earth Champs. By July 2013, 4 chapters were operational with 4 more in start up.
Earth Champs program is to get children interest and involved in activities that support living sustainably and the environment.
|Kids for Earth|
|Owner||United for Earth|
|Headquarters||Hillsdale, New Jersey|
Kids for Earth
Kids for Earth is a an independent non-denominational secular eco-focused Scout-like organization.
|Owner||Frontier Girls, LLC|
|Founded||July 2007, 1|
Frontier Girls Clubs.com
Frontier Girls was found in 2007 by Kerry Cordy as she felt that Girls Scouts had moved away from skills and badges. After complaints that FG was for heterosexual girls only, Cordy developed a Quest Club program for restriction-free groups to start their own scouting program.
Believe in God (any higher power) and living by the Frontier promise are membership requirements.[about 2] Frontier Girls were red, white and blue uniforms with the red vest available through the program while the blue shirts and slacks are not.[about 2]
Girls can work on over a thousand badges in nine Areas of Discovery: Art, Home, Technology, Character, the World, Health & Fitness, Outdoors, Agriculture and Knowledge. Grontier Girls has the only set of Character badges with the requirement of earning one such badge a year. There are four badges (Emergency Preparedness, Etiquette, and either the Patriotism or Our Flag Badge) that all troops must earn once every three years, thus a girl would earn these badges at each level.[about 2]
The girls can earn the same award, some with variant names, at the different age levels:
|level name||grades[about 2]||Servant's Heart Award||Make a Difference Award||Header text[about 3]|
|Otter||K-2 (min. age 5)||5 hours, Red Heart||3–5 hours||Topaz|
|Dolphin||3-5||10, Silver Heart||10–15 hours||Sapphire|
|Butterfly||6-8||15, Gold Heart||20–25 hours||Emerald|
|Eagle||Grades 9-12||20, Gold Diamond Heart||40–50 hours||Diamond|
A troop may consist of all age levels as the meeting time is spliting between age level activties and joint activities.[about 2]
|Headquarters||New York City|
|executive director||Robin Bossert|
Unitarian Church of All Souls sponsored a Boy Scout troop in New York City’s East Harlem neighborhood. After disagreements over the Boy Scouts' exclusionary membership policies in 2003, the troop broke away to become a coed inclusive organization. All Souls has been underwriting the organization's operation to the tune of $10,000 to $20,000 a year since 2003. In Fall 2010, Navigators issued its first handbook for the senior section thus opening up the organization to the public. By March 2011, the group had seven chapters with four in New York City, three of which are through a partnership with a local service group, and one each in Binghamton, N.Y., Durham, N.C., and Belmont, Mass. In 2012, the first and lone Illinois chapter formed in Palatine via Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist. By June 2013, 29 new chapters were formed in the past year.
The organization has two program sections: Junior Navigators, age 7-10 and Senior Navigators age 11-18. Juniors have three levels:
while the Senior section has four levels:
The progam's top award is the Summit Achievement Award.[is 3]
|Owner||Seventh-day Adventist Church|
|director of youth ministries||James Black|
Pathfinders is a Christian Scout-like organization run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church for boys (40%) and girls (60%) in grades 5-10. Currently, there are 2,000 clubs in North America with membership open to non-Seventh-day Adventist. Considered a church ministry, the clubs focus on camping and community services with earn able honors and patches.
In 1907, the forerunner Missionary Volunteer Society was founded.[is 3] Seventh-day Adventist boys could not join the Boy Scouts when they started up in 1910 due to events happening on the Sabbath amongst other reasons. So local Seventh-day Adventist church leader began in 1911 various similar groups under names like: Pals, Woodland Clans and Takoma Clan. In 1919, the Mission Scouts of Madison, Tennessee were started by Arthur W. Spalding for which he wrote a pledge and law. The Missionary Volunteer Department of the General Conference began a class style award earning program in the 1920s. The Department associate secretary received permission from the Boys Scouts of America to incorporate into a MV honors program parts from Merit Badges in 1928. In 1926, the denomination held its first summer camp in Michigan. In Santa Ana, California around 1929 to 1930, local Adventist clubs using the name Pathfinder were started by John McKim and Dr. Theron Johnston. A JMV summer camp was found in 1930 by the Southeastern California Conference was called Pathfinder Camp mostly like do to the existence of the Santa Ana Pathfinder. The Santa Ana Pathfinders ended in 1936. A year later in Glendale, California, a new Pathfinder group was founded which also added military drills from the Adventist affiliated Medical Cadet Corps. There was a general opposition to these clubs by the denomination's leaders as they did not want the focus to be on missionary work as opposed to more secular pursuits. Despite this, Pathfinder Clubs were sprouting up all over California and the Pacific Northwest in the 1940s. The Southeastern California Conference youth director John Hancock started the first conference sponsored Pathfinder Club in Riverside in 1946.[hd7a 1]
With the action of the Southeastern California Conference, discussion regarding these clubs move to the denomination's General Conference (GC), which in 1950s recognized the program. The GC then adopted a program and guidelines while adopting a pledge and law similar to the Mission Scouts' version. The next year, the Oregon Conference held the first Pathfinder Fair and the GC issued the Pathfinder Staff Training Course publication.[hd7a 1]
The organization uses uniforms similar to Scouting. The members follow a Law and Pledge, go on campouts, earn honor patches.[is 3]
Pioneer Clubs, formerly Girls' Guild and Pioneer Girls, is a Christian Scout-like organization run by the Pioneer Ministries. The Ministries consist of four divisions: Pioneer Girls, Pioneer Boys, Pioneer Clubs, and Clubes Pioneros.
Girls' Guild was founded in 1939 as an affiliated girls group of the Christian Service Brigade by Joe Coughlin and Betty Whitaker, 1st program director, on the request of Harriet Brehm, a sister of a Brigade member. In 1940, the Guild held its first summer camp at Fish Lake, Volo, Illinois. A new director took over in 1940, Viola Waterhouse, and another in 1941, Carol Erickson.
The Girls' Guild in 1941 was revamped and renamed by Erickson to the Pioneer Girls (PG). In 1943, Erickson approached Herbert J. Taylor who through his Christian Workers' Foundation funded the PG, gave advice, free administrative support and gave them office space in Chicago's Civic Opera Building. Taylor also had the organization form its first board of director and had them incorporate by the end of 1943. The PG also started buying camps all called Camp Cherith. From 1939 to 1950, the main source of church club sponsors were Baptist, although there was a range of different denomination also sponsoring. In 1953, PG's headquarters was moved. In 1959, a mystery book series featuring two Pioneer Girls called the Pioneer Girls Adventure Series releasing at least three books.
With the camping program and camp expansion in 1971, the camps were placed in a separate corporation then a licensing agreement tied them back to Pioneer Girls.
In 1979, boys were allowed membership and had their own Pioneer Boys clubs in 1981. The Pioneer Girls in 1981 was renamed Pioneer Ministries, but know as Pioneer Clubs. In 1945, clubs were started in Canada. By 1976, the organization owned 19 camps in the USA and 6 in Canada. Also while dropping the pioneer theme, sister organizations were set up in 16 other countries including France, Italy, Korea, Pakistan with more in Latin American, Caribbean and Africa. In Thailand where its branch was founded by Pioneer alumni and missionary Joan Killilea, the branch was called the Friendship Club.
Clubs can be operated under three formats based on the number and ages of the kids: Pioneer (for churches with 3-12 children per age group), Discovery (for total of 3-12 kids from K-6) and Exploring (lots of kids grades 1-6). Pioneer program is split into 5 age levels:
|Owner||Assemblies of God|
62 others[is 3]
|international Director||Doug Marsh|
Royal Rangers is a Christian boys Scout-like organization run by the Assemblies of God. The Rangers have 4,000 US groups with member in kindergarten through 12th grade with a goal to provide "Christlike character formation". About 90 Boy Scout Troops are sponsored by Assemblies of God churches. Many Pentecostal churches also use the Royal Rangers program. Some units in German use the name "Christian Royal Ranger Scouting".[is 3]
The organization uses uniforms similar to Scouting and parallel terms:
Their four program levels are divided by school grade:
|Owner||Aquarian Tabernacle Church|
SpiralScouts International (SSI) is an independent secular inclusive coed Scout-like organization designed on pagan beliefs and practices. SSI has 45 units called circles and hearths, or families.
The Aquarian Tabernacle Church, a Wiccan community, in Index, Washington had sponsored a pagan scout group in 1999. The church looked for a non-believe based program but found none.[about 4] SpiralScouts International was formed in 2001. With the Boy Scouts’ membership policies disapproved by SSI, SSI offered their highest award to any Eagle Scout returning their Eagle Badge in protest.
Members are placed into local groups called Circles which may consist of age group Hearths. The age level groups that the Hearths can be for are: FireFlies (ages 3–8), SpiralScouts (8-14), and PathFinders (14-18).[about 4] The programs pagan twist is that its badges have a culture's myth relationship component and its dress uniform of a capuche and a braided, beaded macramé necklace. The activity uniform consists of Forest green polo shirt with khaki bottoms (pants, short, skirt or skort) and the SpiralScouts neck cord.[about 4]
Eastern USA official website
Adventure Corps, or The Salvation Army Boys' Adventure Corps, is a Christian Scout-like organization run by the Salvation Army. Currently, the organization has about 1,300 units of grades 1-8 boys. The boys do not have to be a member of a Salvation Army congregation. In addition to the Adventure Corps, the Salvation Army has sponsored 130 Boy Scout troops. The Salvation Army from 1913 ran the LifeSaving Scouts/Guards-Boys teen age program to 1929 when it merged with the Boy Scouts of America.
The Adventure Corps was established in January 1983.
At the Southern Baptist Convention's meeting on June 11–12, 2013, the convention recommended that Southern Baptist Churches disaffiliate from the Boy Scouts of America and joint alternative organization particularly those run by the Southern Baptist Convention.
|Owner||Woman’s Missionary Union|
(Southern Baptist Convention)
The Challengers program is to equip boys in "mission education."
|Owner||Woman’s Missionary Union &|
North American Mission Board
(Southern Baptist Convention)
|Founder||Woman’s Missionary Union|
Royal Ambassadors (RA) is a Christian boys Scout-like organization run by the Woman’s Missionary Union of the Southern Baptist Convention. About 3,000 SBC churches sponsors groups. There are some Southern Baptist churches sponsoring Boy Scout troops. The name of the program was selected from the New Testament, where Christians are told by the Apostle Paul to be "ambassadors for Christ."
As the RA continued to grow, a convention-wide full-time RA secretary was needed in 1943. The Brotherhood Commission took over the program in 1954. In 1997 that Memphis-based SBC agency was discontinued through a merger forming the North American Mission Board. With a shift in strategy, the board turned over regular operation of the RA in 2011.
The programs' age groups are Lads (grades 1-3), and Crusaders (4-6). The RA wooden mini-car race is called RA Racers. There is no uniform but they generally wear a t-shirt and own a vest to display their earned badges. Members can earn six "campcraft" patches: Discover 1/2/3, Hiker, Camper, Woodsman. But the program is for missionary training and development.[is 3] Thus, merit patches are earn for mission work and Bible verse memorization.
|Explorers (grades 1-4)||Rangers (5 to 8)|
|Truth & Training||Junior Varsity||Varsity or "24-7"|
|Baden-Powell Service Association[is 4]|
|Otters (ages 5 to 7)||Timberwolves (8 to 10)||Pathfinders (11 to 17)||Rovers (18+)|
|Calvinist Cadet Corps[is 3]|
|Kingdom Kids (only coed level)||Junior Cadets (grades 1-3)||Recruit-Pathfinder-Builder (grades 4-6)||Guide Trails (grades 7-9)||Voyageurs (grades 9-11)|
|Searchers (grades 1-2)||Explorers (3-4)||Adventurers (5-6)|
|Christian Service Brigade[is 3]|
|Tadpoles (ages 4-5)||Tree Climbers (ages 6-7)||Stockade (ages 8-11)||Battalion (ages 12-18)|
|Frontier Girls[about 2]|
Grades K-2 (min. age 5)
|Navigators USA[is 3]|
|Junior Navigators (age 7-10)||Senior Navigators (age 11-18)|
|Discovery (grades K-6)|
|Exploring (grades 1-6)|
|Royal Rangers[is 3]|
|Ranger Kids (K-2nd grade)||Discovery Rangers (3-5)||Adventure Rangers (6-8)||Expedition Rangers (9-12)|
|SpiralScouts International[is 3]|
|FireFlies (ages 3-8)||SpiralScouts (9-13)||PathFinders (13-18)|
|Southern Baptist Convention|
|Lads (grades 1-3)||Crusaders (4-6)|