Youth organizations in the United States

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Youth organizations in the United States are of many different types. The largest is the government run 4-H program followed by the federally chartered but private Scouting movement groups: the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA. Another somewhat smaller but co-ed scouting derived group is Camp Fire. Other youth groups are religious youth ministries such as evangelical Christian Awana, Seventh-day Adventist Pathfinders, and Assemblies of God Royal Rangers.

Smaller scouting like groups include the Christian Trail Life USA for boys and American Heritage Girls for girls and the non-denominational co-ed Navigators USA and pagan but non-discriminatory SpiralScouts International.

Scouting organizations[edit]

Baden-Powell Service Association[edit]

Baden-Powell Service Association
Formation 2006[1]
Headquarters Washington, Missouri[1]
  • USA
50 Groups[2]
David Atchley[1]
Not to be confused with Baden-Powell Scouts Association, in the US that may have gone by Baden-Powell Service Association also and operated from 2002 to around 2010.

The Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA) is a traditional scouting organization that is open & inclusive and takes its name from the Scouting movement founder, Robert Baden-Powell.[3] The BSPA is a member of the World Federation of Independent Scouts (WFIS).[is 1][4]

BPSA history[edit]

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 the Cub Scout pack he was Cubmaster for. He started forming youth units. In 2009, Atchley became commissioner.[1][5] By 2011, the association had a handful of units.[3] BPSA reincorporated in 2012 plus added 35 more groups between then and July 2013.[6]

BPSA program[edit]

The BPSA is split into 4 age levels, or sections:

  • Otters (ages 5 to 7)
  • Timberwolves (8 to 10)
  • Pathfinders (11 to 17)
  • Rovers (18+)[1][is 2]

BPSA's highest award for Pathfinders is the George Washington Scout Award.[7] The highest award for Rovers is the Baden-Powell Award.[8]

Catholic youth ministries[edit]

Columbian Squires[edit]

Columbian Squires
Formation August 4, 1925 (1925-08-04)
Founder Barnabas McDonald[9]
Headquarters New Haven[10]
  • USA, Mexico, Philippines[3]
1500 local units[11]
Owner Knights of Columbus[3]
Website Squires website
Main article: Columbian Squires
Squire Motto

Esto Dignus / Be Worthy

—BSA Troop 97[is 3]

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.[3]

Squires history[edit]

The Columbian Squires started in 1925.[3]

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.[10]

Squires program[edit]

Local groups are called Circles. The programs five advancement levels are:

  • Page
  • Shield Bearer
  • Swordsman
  • Lancer
  • Squire of the Body of Christ.[is 3]


Owner The Brotherhood of the Iron Will
Website Kepha

Kepha is a Catholic boys Scout-like organization in which the father also participate. The organization's name is "rock" in Greek.[11]

Kepha program[edit]

5 Anchors

Apologetics, Brotherhood, Charity, Mortification and Prayer.


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.[11]

Troops of Saint George[edit]

Troops of Saint George
Headquarters Irving, Texas
Country US
Founded May 24, 2013 (2013-05-24)
Founder Taylor Marshall[11]
Membership ~20 troops
 Scouting portal
Saint George Motto

Parati Semper / prepared always

—1 Peter 3:15[12]

The Troops of Saint George, briefly the Scouts of Saint George, is a Catholic boys' scouting organization[11] focusing on father-son camping and catechetics through outdoor experiences. The organization's "hard launch" took place on January 1, 2014.[13]


Saint George Law

1. Honor all men.
2. Love the brotherhood.
3. Fear God.
4. Honor the king.

— (1 Peter 2:17)[12]

The formation of the Scouts of St. George was announced by Taylor Marshall in May 2013 in response to the Boy Scouts of America changing its membership policies for same-sex attracted youth. The program was planned to be free, open source, grassroots and a traditional boy scout program with no 501(c)3 non-profit status (so as to keep government interference to minimum).[11] By October, the Scouts of St. George was forced due to the Boy Scouts of America's ownership of the "Scouts" trademark to change its name to "Troops of St. George"[14] and the organization filed for 501(c)3 status around the same time.[15]

Saint George program[edit]

Saint George Oath

Set an example:
1. in speech (in verbo)
2. and conduct (in conversatione)
3. in love (in caritate)
4. in faith (in fide)
5. in purity (in castitate).

— (1 Timothy 4:12)[12]

The program is under development with an expected parallel program to the Boy Scouts of America's.[11]

Their "Trinitarian Salute" is "three fingers of the right hand (index, middle, ring) out, and with the pinky and thumb joined signifying that the divine nature of Christ is joined to His human nature: fully God and fully man as taught at the Catholic Council of Chalcedon".[12]

Protestant youth ministries[edit]


Age range 2-18[16]
Founded 1950
Affiliation Awana International
Main article: Awana

Awana is a coed, nondenominational Christian Scout-like organization. AWANA is an acronym for "Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed" from 2 Timothy 2:15.[16]


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.[17] In 1995, AWANA lifted the restrictions.[17]

The past Awana Pledge

I pledge allegiance to the Awana flag Which stands for the Awana clubs Whose goal is to reach boys and girls With the gospel of Christ and train them to serve Him.

—Crossview Baptist Church[18]


The program's age groups are:

  • Puggles
  • Cubbies (3–4 years old)
  • Sparks (K-2nd Grade)
  • Truth & Training (3rd-5th Grade)
  • Trek (6th-8th Grade)
  • Journey 24-7 (9th-12th Grade)[about 1]

The AWANA holds various types of model racing events:

  • AWANA Grand Prix is a wood car race, similar to a pinewood derby,
  • AWANA Regatta or Sail On Night are boat races and
  • Airplane Toss held at Flying Higher Night, in which model airplaes are build with the participant's choice of material with instead of a speed race there are awards for distance, aerobatics, and design.[19]

'External links


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.[20]

Caravan history[edit]

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.[21]

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,[22] Clay promoted these club programs and continued to develop them.[23]

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.[23]

Caravan was started in 1946[20] 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[21] under Rev. Bunker. In 1948, Bunker was appointed the first general director of Caravan.[22] 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.[21] In 2005, the program was revised with the addition of the Core Values badges and modified or added skill badges.[23]

Caravan program[edit]

Caravan's grade level groups are:

  • Searchers (1-2)
  • Explorers (3-4)
  • Adventurers (5-6).

Adults leaders of a group are called guides. Earning badges is an optional part in this program.[23]

The Milton Bunker Award is granted to those Searchers completing the necessary two-year requirements.[22]

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.[21]

Christian Service Brigade[edit]

Christian Service Brigade
Formation 1937
Founder Joe Coughlin
Headquarters Hamburg, New York[24]
Owner CSB Ministries
CSB Vision

Godly men who serve, lead and disciple each generation

[is 3]

Christian Service Brigade is an Evangelical Christian boys Scout type of 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.[20][25] CSB is a partner of the GEMS Girls Clubs.[is 3]

CSB history[edit]

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 with Wheaton College's Christian Service Council.[16][17] 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.[17] The Guild became Pioneer Girls in 1940 and remained a division of CSB until 1944.[26]

CSB program[edit]

The Brigade is split into 4 age levels:

  • Tadpoles (ages 4–5)
  • Tree Climbers (ages 6–7)
  • Stockade (ages 8–11), and
  • Battalion (ages 12–18).

The organization uses uniforms similar to the BSA. CSB runs a few shape and race events: the Shape N Race Derby wood car race for the Stockade level,[is 3] and the Shape N Sail Derby boat race and Shape N Sled Derby, model sleds raced in the rain gutter packed with snow with a depression as a trail.[19] The equivalent rank to the Boy Scouts’ Eagle Scout is the rank of "Herald of Christ".[24]

The CSB runs 11 camps:

  • Stony Glen Camp, Madison, Ohio
  • Wilderness Ridge Brigade Camp, Bastrop, Texas
  • Camp Teepee Pole, Sundra, Albera, Canada
  • Sequoia Brigade Camp, Concord, California
  • New England Frontier Camp, Lovell, Maine
  • Camp Kaskitowa, Michigan
  • Camp Nathanael, Minnesota
  • Northern Frontier Camp, New York
  • Hickory Hill Brigade Camp, New York
  • Haycock Camping Ministries, Pennsylvania
  • Hemlock Wilderness Brigade Camp, Wardensville, West Virginia[16]

External links

Dynamic Youth Ministries[edit]

Dynamic Youth Ministries is an organization that runs three youth groups: Calvinist Cadet Corps, GEMS Girls' Clubs and Youth Unlimited.[27]

Calvinist Cadet Corps[edit]

Calvinist Cadet Corps
Formation 1952
Headquarters Grand Rapids, Michigan[3]
  • United States, Canada[3]
Owner Dynamic Youth Ministries
Executive Director
Dick Broene[24]

Calvinist Cadet Corps is an independent non-denominational Christian boys scouting organization usually affiliated with Christian Reformed Church.[3] Currently, the Corps has about 440 US clubs with weekly meeting including a Bible lesson. Members range in grade from first to high school.[20] Merit badges are tied into Scripture and weekly meetings includes Bible lessons.[24]

CCC history[edit]

The Calvinist Cadet Corps was officially founded in 1952 in Reformed churches[3] 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.[28]

CCC program[edit]

The Corps is split into 5 ministries, or levels:

  • Kingdom Kids (ages 4–5, and the only coed level)
  • Junior Cadets (grades 1-3)
  • Recruit-Pathfinder-Builder (grades 4-6)
  • Guide Trails (grades 7-9)
  • Voyageurs (grades 9-11).

The organization uses uniforms similar to the BSA.[is 3]

Calvinist Cadet Corps hold Model Car Derbies.[29]

GEMS Girls' Clubs[edit]

GEMS Girls' Clubs
Formation 1958
Headquarters Grand Rapids, Michigan[3]
Owner Dynamic Youth Ministries
Executive director
Kathryn Miller[30]
Main article: GEMS Girls' Clubs

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".[31] GEMS is also affiliated with the Christian Service Brigade.[is 3]

GEMS history[edit]

The Calvinettes were founded in 1958[31] 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.[28]

Frontier Girls[edit]

Frontier Girls
Formation July 2007, 1 (1-19-2007)
Founder Kerry Cordy
Owner Frontier Girls, LLC

Frontier Girls is an independent non-denominational Christian girls scouting.[6]


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.[6]

Frontier Girls Promise

I pledge to love God, Be loyal to my country, and to love my neighbor as myself.

—[about 2]


Believe in God (any higher power) and living by the Frontier promise are membership requirements.[about 2] Frontier Girls wear red, white and blue uniforms[6] 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[6] in nine Areas of Discovery: Art, Home, Technology, Character, the World, Health & Fitness, Outdoors, Agriculture and Knowledge. Frontier 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:

  • Servant's Heart Award, community service hours
  • Life Skills Achievement Award, show proficiency at a several life skills
  • Make a Difference Award, community service project leadership
  • Reaching for the Stars Award, available at the Butterfly and Eagle levels, majoring in an Area of Discovery
  • Gem Awards, highest award at each level.[about 3]
level name grades[about 2] Servant's Heart Award Make a Difference Award Gem Award[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 splitting between age level activities and joint activities.[about 2]


Owner Seventh-day Adventist Church
Age range 10-15[3]
Country World
Membership 2,000,000 (2001)[32]
director of youth ministries Gilbert Cangy[24]
Adventurer Club
 Scouting portal
Pathfinder Motto

The love of Christ constrains us all.

—BSA Troop 97[is 3]

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.[20] Considered a church ministry, the clubs focus on camping and community services with earn able honors and patches.[3]


  • Missionary Volunteer Society
Pathfinder Pledge

By the grace of God, I will be pure, and kind, and true. I will keep the Pathfinder Law. I will be a servant of God and a friend to man.

— Pathfinders Online[33]

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.

Pathfinder Law

The Law is for me to: Keep the morning watch Do my honest part Care for my body, Keep a level eye Be courteous and obedient Walk softly in the sanctuary, Keep a song in my heart, Go on God's errand.

— Pathfinders Online[33]

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]

  • Pathfinder

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[edit]

Pioneer Clubs
Formation 1939
Founders Joe Coughlin
Betty Whitaker
Harriet Brehm (honorary)
Owner Pioneer Ministries

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.[34]

PC history[edit]

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.[17]

Pioneer Girls slogan

Christ in every phase of a girls life.

—Billy Graham Center[35]

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.[17]

Year clubs Members[17]
1943 64 800
1945 226 3,000
1959 2060 48,000
1976 1765 59,396
671 30,281
2005 8419 121,586

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.[35]

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 known as Pioneer Clubs.[17][34] 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.[17]

PC programs[edit]

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:

  • Skipper – ages 2 & 3
  • Scooter – ages 4 & 5
  • Voyager – grades 1 – 2
  • Pathfinder – grades 3 – 4
  • Trailblazer – grades 5 – 7[36]

Pioneer Clubs hold wood car races called Pine Car Derby.[19]

External links[edit]

Royal Rangers[edit]

Royal Rangers
Owner Assemblies of God
Headquarters Springfield, Mo.[24]
Country USA
62 others[is 3]
Founded 1962
Membership 125,000
international Director Doug Marsh[37]
 Scouting portal
Royal Ranger Motto


—BSA Troop 97[is 3]

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.[20] Many Pentecostal churches also use the Royal Rangers program. Some units in German use the name "Christian Royal Ranger Scouting".[is 3]


Royal Rangers was established by the Assemblies of God in 1962.[20] In 2012, Camporama had a high-ropes course, two zip lines, a water slide, and a lumberjack show.[3]


The organization uses uniforms similar to Scouting and parallel terms:

  • outpost (troop)
  • Ranger Code (Scout Law)
  • Ranger Pledge (Scout Promise)
  • Commander (Scoutmaster)
  • merits (merit badges)
  • Gold Medal of Achievement (Eagle Scout).[is 3]
Royal Ranger Code

A Royal Ranger is: alert, clean, honest, courageous, loyal, courteous, obedient, spiritual.

—Doorway to Adventure[38]

Their four program levels are divided by school grade:

  • Ranger Kids (K-2nd grade)
  • Discovery Rangers (3-5)
  • Adventure Rangers (6-8)
  • Expedition Rangers (9-12).[is 3]

A Camporama is scheduled in the summer every fourth years at the organization's Eagle Rock, Mo. campground.[3] The Ranger hold small car races called Pinewood Derby.[19]

Salvation Army[edit]

Adventure Corps[edit]

Adventure Corps
Owner Salvation Army
Website Eastern USA official website

Adventure with Christ!

—Booth Youth[39]

I promise to explore God's word and God's world to find ways to serve him and help others, to develop and guard good habits so that I will grow as God desires, and to adventure into the world with the "good news" of Jesus Christ.

—Booth Youth[39]

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.[20] 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.

Corps history[edit]

The Adventure Corps was established in January 1983.[40]

Corps program[edit]

The program core is based on Christian fellowship, teamwork and leadership.[20] The Corps is split into 2 levels: Explorers (grades 1 to 4), and Rangers (5 to 8).[39]

Other groups[edit]

Southern Baptist Convention[edit]

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.[41]


Owner Woman’s Missionary Union
(Southern Baptist Convention)
Website official site

The Challengers is a Christian teenage boys Scout-like organization run by the Woman’s Missionary Union of the Southern Baptist Convention.[3]

The Challengers program is to equip boys in "mission education."[41]

Royal Ambassadors[edit]

Royal Ambassadors
Formation 1908
Founder Woman’s Missionary Union
  • USA
Owner Woman’s Missionary Union &
North American Mission Board
(Southern Baptist Convention)
Website official site
RA Pledge

As a Royal Ambassador I will do my best: to become a well-informed, responsible follower of Christ; to have a Christ-like concern for all people; to learn how to carry the message of Christ around the world; to work with others in sharing Christ; and to keep myself clean and healthy in mind and body.

—BSA Troop 97[is 3]

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.[20] The name of the program was selected from the New Testament, where Christians are told by the Apostle Paul to be "ambassadors for Christ."[41]

RA history[edit]
Year chapters members
1915 500+ 4,500[42]
1960 13,000 220,000[42]
2013 3,000+[42] 31,000[3]

The Royal Ambassadors was founded in 1908 for elementary school aged boys[3] after the WMU Annual Meeting in Hot Springs, Arkansas.[43]

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.[42]

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.[41]

Navigators USA[edit]

Navigators USA
Age range 7-18
Headquarters New York City
Country USA
Founder Robin Bossert[3]
Membership 600[44]
executive director Robin Bossert[3]
 Scouting portal
Navigator Motto

Stay On Course

—BSA Troop 97[is 3]
Navigator Slogan

The more you give, The more you get

—BSA Troop 97[is 3]
Navigator Traits (law)

Truthful, Respectful, Inclusive, Generous, Dependable, Resourceful, Cooperative

—BSA Troop 97[is 3]
Moral Compass (promise)

As a Navigator I promise to do my best To create a world free of prejudice and ignorance. To treat people of every race, creed, Lifestyle and ability with dignity and respect. To strengthen my body and improve My mind to reach my full potential. To protect our planet and Preserve our freedom.

—Navigators USA Guidebook[45]

Navigators USA is a secular co-ed Scout-like organization. In 2013, there are 45 chapters.[45] A congress was held in the Fall of 2013 where the issue of uniform was on the agenda.[6]

The organization stresses outdoor activities and community service projects.[3] The program had no uniform as of July 2013.[6]


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.[3] 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.[46] 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.[45]

Year chapters
2003 1[3]
2011 7[46]
2012 16[45]
2013 50[6]


The organization has two program sections: Junior Navigators, age 7–10 and Senior Navigators age 11–18. Juniors have three levels:

  • Mira
  • Vega
  • Polaris

while the Senior section has four levels:

  • Shadow
  • Tracker
  • Pilot
  • Navigator.

The program's top award is the Summit Achievement Award.[is 3]

SpiralScouts International[edit]

SpiralScouts International
Owner Aquarian Tabernacle Church
Age range 3-18[3]
Headquarters Index, Washington
Country USA
Founded 2001[3]
Membership 350[3]
 Scouting portal
SpiralScout Oath

A SpiralScout shall: Respect all living things; be kind and courteous; be honorable; be mindful of his/her words; seek out knowledge in all forms; recognize the beauty in all of creation; offer assistance to others; value honesty and truth; honor personal commitments; and respect the Divine in all things.

—[about 4]

SpiralScouts International (SSI) is an independent secular inclusive coed Scout-like organization designed on pagan beliefs and practices.[6] SSI has 45 units called circles and hearths, or families.[3]

The PathFinder Pledge

I pledge myself to the FireFly Promise, the SpiralScouts's Oath, the fulfillment of all my commitments, made to myself as well as others. I pledge to serve all my brothers and sisters in every way on our many journeys around the sun together as I find my way through the world.

—[about 4]


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] Renamed SpiralScouts International in 2001 to expand nation wide at which time they dropped Wiccan identification. The Boy Scouts of America has sent a cease and decide letter to SpiralScouts to which they responded to with no future contact with the BSA.[47] With the Boy Scouts’ membership policies disapproved by SSI, SSI offered their highest award to any Eagle Scout returning their Eagle Badge in protest.[3]

The FireFly Promise

I promise to serve the Wise Ones, To Honor and respect Mother Earth, To be helpful and understanding toward all people, And always keep love in my heart.

—[about 4]


Or the group can be a Hearth that consists of one family or as a “circle” with community membership.[47] 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.[6] The activity uniform consists of Forest green polo shirt with khaki bottoms (pants, short, skirt or skort) and the SpiralScouts neck cord.[about 4]

Earth scouting[edit]

Earth scouting or scout-like groups, also called Green Scouting, are those that are eco-orientiated groups.[6]

Earth Champs[edit]

Earth Champs
Formation 2002
Owner Earth Charter US

Earth Champs is an independent non-denominational Scout-like organization[dubious ], a program of the Sustainable Business Coalition of Tampa Bay, Inc.


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.[6]


Earth Champs program is to get children interest and involved in activities that support living sustainably and the environment.[6]

Kids for Earth[edit]

Kids for Earth
Formation 2009
Founder Aditi Sen
Headquarters Hillsdale, New Jersey
Owner United for Earth

Kids for Earth is an independent non-denominational secular eco-focused Scout-like organization.[dubious ]


Kids for Earth was founded in 2009 by Aditi Sen after watching An Inconvenient Truth.[6]

Youth wings of political parties[edit]



Age groups[edit]

 -  5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 21+ adults
Adventure Corps[39]
Explorers (grades 1-4) Rangers (5 to 8)
AWANA[about 1]
Puggles (toddlers)
(K-2nd Grade)
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)
Caravan[is 3]
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)
Butterfly Eagle
Navigators USA[is 3]
Junior Navigators (age 7-10) Senior Navigators (age 11-18)
Pioneer Clubs[36]
(ages 2-3)
(ages 4-5)
(grades 1–2)
(grades 3–4)
(grades 5–7)
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
Royal Ambassadors
Lads (grades 1-3) Crusaders (4-6)

Other groups external links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Valerie Schremp Hahn. (December 6, 2012). Baden-Powell Service Association brings inclusiveness to scouting. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Accessed on January 13, 2013.
  2. ^ "Scout Finder". Baden-Powell Service Association, US. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Hallowell, Billy. (February 18, 2013) 9 Faith-Based (and Secular) Alternatives to the Boy Scouts of America Amid Furor Over Gay Ban. AP. The Blaze. Accessed on October 16, 2013.
  4. ^ "Members". Members. WFIS Americas. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  5. ^ Thakkar, Neel. (December 1, 2012). David Atchley creates 'non-discriminatory' alternative to Boy Scouts. St. Louis Beacon. Accessed on March 11, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Connor, Tracy. (July 28, 2013). Wiccans, earth-lovers, do-gooders: There's a 'scouting' group for your kid. NBC News. Accessed on January 17, 2013. Archived at
  7. ^ "Pathfinder". Pathfinder. BPSA-US. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Rover". Rover. BPSA-US. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  9. ^ History of the Brothers in the U.S.A. since 1845. De La Salle Christian Brothers. Manhattan College O'Mallory Library. Accessed on January 15, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Stannard, Ed. (December 15, 2010). 2 suits against Knights of Columbus claim sex abuse by Columbian Squires youth group leader.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Schiffer, Kathy. (May 24, 2013). And Now It Begins: Catholic Groups Rise Up to Replace the Boy Scouts. Accessed on January 15, 2014.[dead link]
  12. ^ a b c d Marshall, Taylor. "Saint George Motto, Law, and Trinitarian Salute". Troops of Saint George, LLC. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  13. ^ Our January 1 Hard Launch for the TSG!. Troops of Saint George. Accessed on April 11, 2014.
  14. ^ Bridgman, Gary (October 17, 2013). "Making It in Memphis". Memphis Flyer. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 
  15. ^ The Troops of Saint George Are Back!
  16. ^ a b c d Charles Biggs. (June 13, 2013). Say no to Boy Scouts, yes to AWANA, Christian Brigade. Tulsa Beacon. Accessed on January 14, 2014.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i Larsen, Timothy. Page 59-79 Pioneeer Girls: Mid-Twentieth-Century American Evangelicalism's Girl Scouts. Asbury Journal: Fall 2008 Vo. 63 No. 2. Asbury Theological Seminary. Accessed on January 15, 2014.
  18. ^ "Pledges and Songs". Ministries: AWANA. Crossview Baptist Church. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b c d "What Is a Shape N Race Derby?". Darin McGrew. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Banks, Adelle M. (May 13, 2013). SIDEBAR: Evangelical alternatives to the Boy Scouts. Religion News. Accessed on January 9, 2013.
  21. ^ a b c d (August 30, 2010). Local Caravan Girls earn top honors in Christian Scouting. Lake County News. Accessed on January 13, 2014.
  22. ^ a b c (May 28, 2008 ). Milton Bunker, Caravan’s first general director, passes away at 91. Nazarene Communication Network. Accessed on January 13, 2014.
  23. ^ a b c d About. Caravan. Accessed on January 13, 2014.
  24. ^ a b c d e f Banks, Adelle M. (May 13, 2013). "Church-based scouting alternatives attract interest". Religion News. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  25. ^ Hunter, James Davison (1983). American Evangelicalism: Conservative Religion and the Quandary of Modernity. Rutgers University Press. p. 58. Retrieved December 30, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Records of Pioneer Ministries - Collection 264". Billy Graham Center. Wheaton College. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Dynamic Youth Ministries". The Barnabas Foundation web site. The Barnabas Foundation. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  28. ^ a b Robert P. Swierenga. Page 41. Dutch Chicago: A History of the Hollanders in the Windy City. William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2002. Accessed on January 13, 2014.
  29. ^ "Council Club or Independent Club". Calvinist Cadet Corps. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  30. ^ Kraai, Daina (January 11, 2013). "GEMS Gets New Director". Banner. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  31. ^ a b Calvinettes/GEMS Celebrate 50 Years. City of Fulton, Illinois. Accessed on January 14, 2014.
  32. ^ Programa de Extensão da UNIFAL-MG promove Solenidade de Investidura dos participantes do Clube de Desbravadores. Federal University of Alfenas (Unifal)
  33. ^ a b "". Pathfinder Online. North American Division Youth &. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  34. ^ a b About Us. Pioneer Pioneer Ministries. Access on January 15, 2014.
  35. ^ a b "Records of Pioneer Ministries - Collection 264". BGC Archives. Billy Graham Center. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  36. ^ a b Our Ministry Programs. Pioneer Pioneer Ministries. Access on January 15, 2014.
  37. ^ Stevens, Jacob. (January 2, 2014). Church-Based Royal Rangers Program Provides Alternative to Boy Scouts. Charisma News. Access on January 16, 2014.
  38. ^ "Doorway to Adventure" (PDF). Assemblies of God Michigan District. Royal Rangers National Ministries. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  39. ^ a b c d Booth Youth. The Salvation Army Eastern Territory Youth Department official website. Access on January 13, 2014.
  40. ^ Edward H. McKinley. Page 294. Marching to Glory: The History of the Salvation Army in the United States, 1880-1992. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (1995). Accessed on January 13, 2014.
  41. ^ a b c d Burke, Daniel (May 31, 2013). "Baptists plan exodus from Boy Scouts". CNN. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  42. ^ a b c d Allen, Bob (January 30, 2013). "SBC says RAs could rival Scouting". Associated Baptist Press. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  43. ^ "Plans announced for WMU Royal Ambassadors partnership". NAMB News Blog. NAMB. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  44. ^ Joe Gentile. (July 27, 2013). Roe Jan Navigators chart Boy Scout alternative. Columbia-Greene Media. Accessed on January 17, 2014.
  45. ^ a b c d Local Navigators USA chapter offers 'inclusive' scouting alternative. Daily Herald. Accessed on January 17, 2014.
  46. ^ a b Skinner, Donald E. (March 14, 2011). Alternative scouting group starts to grow. UU World Magazine. Accessed on January 17, 2014.
  47. ^ a b Price, Monica (January 11, 2006). "Scouting for alternatives". Metro Times. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  1. ^ a b Land, Gary (January 1, 2005). Historical Dictionary of Seventh-Day Adventists. Scarecrow Press. p. 228. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  • "Kids' Clubs". Parenting. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  1. ^ a b Coghlan, Heidi. "AWANA Clubs". Parenting:Kids Clubs. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Coghlan, Heidi. "Frontier Girls -- A New Scouting Organization for Girls". Parenting: Kids' Club. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Coghlan, Heidi. "Special Frontier Girl Awards". Parenting: Kids' Club. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Coghlan, Heidi. SpiralScouts International. Parenting: Kids' Clubs. Accessed on February 6, 2014.
  1. ^ "World Federation of Independent Scouts (WFIS)". International Scouting. Troop 97 BSA. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  2. ^ 187. United States. Page 6. "All Scouting Associations in Every Country (continued)". International Scouting. Troop 97 BSA. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab "Scout-like and Scouting Alternative Organizations". International Scouting. Troop 97 BSA. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  4. ^ 187. United States. Page 6. "All Scouting Associations in Every Country (continued)". International Scouting. Troop 97 BSA. Retrieved January 11, 2014.