Baden-Powell Service Association

This article is about the present-day Scouting organization. For similarly-named defunct group that operated in the United States from 2002 to around 2010, see Baden-Powell Scouts' Association.
Baden-Powell Service Association
Headquarters Washington, Missouri[1]
Country United States
Founded 2006 (2006)[1]
Membership 80 Groups[2]
Commissioner Sue Pesznecker[3]
Affiliation World Federation of Independent Scouts[4]

The Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA) is a traditional and inclusive co-ed scouting organization in the United States that takes its name from the Scouting movement founder, Robert Baden-Powell.[5] The BSPA is a member of the World Federation of Independent Scouts (WFIS).[4]


The BPSA formed with an adult-only component, Rovers, in 2006. David Atchley, an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, 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 the Cub Scout pack he was Cubmaster for. He started forming youth units. In 2009, Atchley became commissioner.[1][6]

By 2011, the association had a handful of units.[5] BPSA reincorporated in 2012 plus added 35 more groups between then and July 2013.[7] In January 2013, a chapter was founded in Portland, Oregon with 80 members and 30 registered leaders while a 45-member strong group, the 5th Brooklyn Scouts, was found that same year.[8][9] In 2014 after a Seattle, Washington United Methodist Church’s troop charter was revoked for having a gay leader, the troop moved to be chartered by the BPSA.[10]

Today the BPSA consists of 80 groups, with over 1,000 scouts in 35 states.[2]


The BPSA is part of the world-wide Traditional Scouting movement designed to return Scouting to the basic principles laid out by Baden-Powell in 1907.[5] BPSA Otters and Timberwolves use a two finger salute same as Cub Scouts.[8]

A BPSA scout group is composed of up to four sections as follows:[1]

Each section is led by a section leader and assistant section leader (who are also Rover scouts themselves), and the group is led by a Group Scoutmaster (also a Rover) and supported by an Auxiliary Committee, which assists the group in matters of finance, registrations, acquiring equipment, finding community-service opportunities, publicity, and so on.

BPSA's highest award for Pathfinders is the George Washington Scout Award.[11] The highest award for Rovers is the Baden-Powell Award.[12]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Schremp Hahn, Valerie (6 December 2012). "Baden-Powell Service Association brings inclusiveness to scouting". Monterey Herald. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  2. 1 2 "From the Campfire Ring - Episode 1". Soundcloud (Podcast). Baden-Powell Service Association. 23 April 2016. Event occurs at 8:40. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  3. "Chief Commissioner Steps Down After Five Years of Service". Baden-Powell Service Association. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  4. 1 2 "Members". Members. WFIS Americas. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 Hallowell, Billy (18 February 2013). "9 Faith-Based (and Secular) Alternatives to the Boy Scouts of America Amid Furor Over Gay Ban". The Blaze. AP. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  6. Thakkar, Neal (14 August 2012). "Take Five: David Atchley creates 'non-discriminatory' alternative to Boy Scouts". STL Beacon. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  7. Connor, Tracy (28 July 2013). "Wiccans, earth-lovers, do-gooders: There's a 'scouting' group for your kid". NBC News. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  8. 1 2 Wollan, Malia (3 June 2013). "Earning Merit Badges and Learning Knots Under New Flags". The New York Times. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  9. McDonough, Katie (11 January 2013). "Brooklyn dad welcomes girls, gay members to new scouts troop". Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  10. "Boy Scouts' change of course is good news for local chapter". The Seattle Times. 24 May 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  11. "Pathfinder". Pathfinder. BPSA-US. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  12. "Rover". Rover. BPSA-US. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
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