Since doing yesterday’s show I have looked deeper into the Baden Powell Service Association. While I don’t think it completely frees people from the “Iron Law” it does seem to do a lot better than the current disaster represented by the central authority that is the Boy Scouts of America.
I realize my idea of a completely autonomous group for training up young people may be a bit ahead of the curve. That people like structure and programs. After a deep review of Baden Powell, I am very impressed with them.
I would recommend that people who want to run or work with scout groups or youth interested in scouting at least consider them as an alternative.
There are a few documents on the site that really show what these folks are about…
These two alone say a great deal about what this group stands for. The release and the policy regarding it, (you keep it, don’t send it to us) says strait away we guide you, we don’t dictate how to run things and what you can and can’t do with your troop.
The introduction guide has a few excerpts of note one is…
Sponsoring organizations – In the BPSA, we want to keep things simple and straightforward for members and leaders. There is really no concept of a “sponsoring organization” within the BPSA for chartered Scout Groups. This is a concept used by the BSA and GSUSA.
If a chartered group wants to find a sponsor for purposes of meeting place, shared resources, and adult members, etc; that’s fine. However, there is no formal contract or paperwork for that, as it would be between the chartered Group and the sponsor.
A sponsor must understand that they will have absolutely no say over the program of the BPSA or the chartered group. Sponsoring organizations should do so only because they want to help their community by supporting a local BPSA Scout Group.
A sponsor has no controlling stake in the group and cannot affect program, membership, training, or set down rules that violate the BPSA By-Laws or PO&R. The program is set up by BPSA and run by the Group Scoutmaster. Period.
So you mean people can actually form and run their own groups with guidance rather than control, decide their own activities and be respected as individuals? All this and the world will not fall apart?
It is also apparent that BPSA is open to both male and female but individual troops can be all male, all female or coed and that decision seems to rest with the organizing group. Um so once again individuals doing the work, the organizing, the training, spending their own time, talent and money, can decide what works best for them?
I also really like this!
Scouts can be members of the BPSA starting with the Otters program at age 5 as opposed to the BSA’s Tigers which start at age 6. The upper age limit for Scouts in the BSA is 20 through the Venturing program where the BPSA Rovers have no upper age limit.
The BPSA is open to males and females in any of the program divisions, where the BSA only allows female members in its Venturing program, which is only for ages 14 through 20, or as leaders (Scouters). The BPSA believes Scouting should be available to everyone, youth and adult, male and female.
Membership for both youth and adults is not conditional based on religious beliefs (or lack thereof), sexual orientation, or gender identification.
Oh my god gay people can be in scouting, this is the end of all things! Hold on, turns out this organization didn’t do this in response to BSAs conflict about this issue, nope. Turns out this organization has ALWAYS had this policy, seems to have no problems due to it and has been around since 1970.
And you know what I contacted a few people in this movement, turns out that it doesn’t even come up, no one can think of any issues that have ever occurred due to a policy of accepting everyone. No one even asks about it. Perhaps just perhaps when you don’t exclude people, they don’t feel a need to make a big deal about things?
Anyway given my show yesterday and the great feedback on it, mostly from Eagle Scouts by the way, which really made me feel good, I wanted to make this option known.
I still might set up a portal for “Sovereign Scout Groups” but I have to admit, if my son was 7 again, I might be highly tempted to help form a BPSA group based on what I have seen thus far, I do have a grandson who is 4, so time will tell.
If anyone that listens is involved with BPSA and would like to come on for an interview, please fill out the guest form.