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 the evangelical Christian Awana, Seventh-day Adventist Pathfinders, and Assemblies of God Royal Rangers.

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

Catholic scout organizations[edit]

Columbian Squires[edit]

Columbian Squires
Owner Knights of Columbus[1]
Age range 10-18[1]
Headquarters New Haven[2]
Location USA, Mexico, Philippines[1]
Founded August 4, 1925 (1925-08-04)
Founder Barnabas McDonald[3]
Membership 25,000
1500 local units[4]
Website
Squires website
Squire Motto
Esto Dignus / Be Worthy
—BSA Troop 97[is 1]

Columbian Squires is a Catholic boys' Scout-like organization run by the Knights of Columbus. The Squires considers itself to be an athletic team, social club, youth and civic improvement group, management training, civil rights group and spiritual development program.[1]

Squires history[edit]

The Columbian Squires were begun in 1925.[1]

In December 2012, the Knights of Columbus was sued over supposed sexual abuse that had occurred in Brownsville, Texas by adult Columbian Squires leaders in the 1970s and 1980s.[2] The Bishop of the Diocese of Bismarck in August 2015 recommended the Squires as a replacement, along with two other organizations, for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), as he directed parishes to disassociate from the BSA due to their recent approval of gay adult leaders.[5]

Squires program[edit]

Local groups are called Circles. The program's five advancement levels are:[is 1]

  • Page
  • Shield Bearer
  • Swordsman
  • Lancer
  • Squire of the Body of Christ

Federation of North-American Explorers[edit]

Federation of North-American Explorers
Location Toronto, Ontario
Country Canada
Founded 1999
Founder Paul Ritchi
General Commissioner Paul Ritchi[6]
Affiliation UISGE-FSE
Website
fneexplorers.com

The Federation of North-American Explorers (FNE) is a Catholic scouting association in Canada and the United States of America. The association is a member of the International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe.[6]

Timber Wolf Promise
I promise to do my best to be faithful to God, my country, and my parents, to keep the law of the Timber Wolf den, and to do a good turn for somebody every day.
—North Star FNE Group[7]
The Explorer Law
# An explorer's honour is to be trusted.
  1. An explorer is loyal to his country, leaders, parents, and subordinates.
  2. An explorer's duty is to serve others.
  3. An explorer is a friend to all and a brother to every other explorer.
  4. An explorer is courteous and chivalrous.
  5. An explorer sees in nature God's creations; he loves plants and animals.
  6. An explorer obeys proper orders and leaves nothing half-finished.
  7. An explorer smiles and whistles under all difficulties.
  8. An explorer is thrifty; he takes care of his own possessions and those of others.
  9. An explorer is clean in thought, word, and deed.
—North Star FNE Group[8]
Timber Wolf Laws
The wolf listens to the old wolves, the wolf respects himself and the other members of the den.

The timber wolf thinks of others first. The timber wolf opens his eyes and his ears. The timber wolf is always clean. The timber wolf always tells the truth.

The timber wolf is always happy.
—North Star FNE Group[7]

FNE history[edit]

Federation of North-American Explorers was founded in 1999 by current commissioner Paul Ritchi, who was a Scouts Canada volunteer but felt a lack of "the spiritual component to make it personally fulfilling." While doing research, he found information on the Federation of Scouts of Europe, an international organization of national Catholic Scouting associations. The first FNE group, the "Timber Wolves", was then started with Richi, another leader, and 10 boys, ages 8 to 12.[6]

The Bishop of the Diocese of Bismarck in August 2015 recommended FNE as a replacement, along with two other organizations, for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), as he directed parishes to disassociate from the BSA due to their recent move to allow gay adult leaders.[5]

FNE program[edit]

In addition to the usual camping trips, explorers go on pilgrimages, receive the sacraments and get hands-on religious education.[6]

The Explorer Promise
On my honour, and with God's grace, I promise to do my best to serve God, my Church, and my country, to help others at all times, and to obey the Explorer law.
—North Star FNE Group[8]

The age level groups are:[6][9]

  • Otters, six- and seven-year-olds
  • Timber Wolves, eight to 12
  • Explorers, ages 12 to 15
  • Wayfarers, Explorer "graduates" and senior leaders of other Explorer sections

Kepha[edit]

Kepha
The Brotherhood of the Iron Will
Country US
Website
kepharocks.com

Kepha is a Catholic boys' scouting alternative organization in which the father also participates. The organization's name means "rock" in Greek.[4]

Kepha program[edit]

5 Anchors
Apologetics, Brotherhood, Charity, Mortification and Prayer.
—Patheos[4]

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.[4]

Troops of Saint George[edit]

Troops of Saint George
Headquarters Irving, Texas
Country US
Founded May 24, 2013 (2013-05-24)
Founder Taylor Marshall[4]
Membership ~20 troops
Website
troopsofsaintgeorge.org
Saint George Motto
Parati Semper / prepared always
—1 Peter 3:15[10]

The Troops of Saint George, briefly the Scouts of Saint George, is a Catholic boys' scouting organization[4] focusing on father-son camping and catechetics through outdoor experiences. The organization's "hard launch" took place on January 1, 2014.[11]

TSG history[edit]

Saint George Law
1. Honor all men.
2. Love the brotherhood.
3. Fear God.
4. Honor the king.
— (1 Peter 2:17)[10]

The formation of the Scouts of St. George was announced by Taylor Marshall in May 2013 in response to the Boy Scouts of America's 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 a minimum).[4] 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".[12] The organization filed for 501(c)3 status around the same time.[13]

TSG 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)[10]

The program is under development with an expected parallel program to the Boy Scouts of America.[4]

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".[10]

Protestant youth groups[edit]

Awana[edit]

AWANA
Age range 2-18[14]
Founded 1950
Affiliation Awana International
Website
awana.org
awanainternational.org

Awana is a coed, nondenominational, Christian, Scout-like organization. AWANA is an acronym for "Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed" from 2 Timothy 2:15.[14]

Awana history[edit]

Awana was founded in 1950 in Illinois. Originally, the organization would not affiliate a club with a church that belonged to the National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, Pentecostal church or charismatic church.[15] In 1995, AWANA lifted the restrictions.[15]

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[16]

Awana program[edit]

The program's age groups are:[about 1]

  • 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)

The AWANA holds various types of model racing events:[17]

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

Caravan[edit]

Caravan
Owner Church of the Nazarene
Website
caravan.nazarene.org

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.[18]

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 boys' 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 were even promoted through a display at the 1936 General Assembly.[19]

Rev. W. W. Clay, also in the 1930s, developed two Christian principles programs for kids: Bluebirds for young children and Pioneers for older children. With Rev. Milton Bunker, an Eagle Scout,[20] Clay promoted these club programs and continued to develop them.[21]

With inadequate materials and competing programs, the 1940 General Assembly formed a Commission on Boys' and Girls' Work that met from 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.[21]

Caravan was started in 1946[18] 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,[19] under Rev. Bunker. In 1948, Bunker was appointed the first general director of Caravan.[20] 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.[19] In 2005, the program was revised with the addition of the Core Values badges and modified or added skill badges.[21]

Caravan program[edit]

Caravan's grade level groups are:[21]

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

Adults leaders of a group are called guides. Earning badges is an optional part of this program.[21]

The Milton Bunker Award is granted to Searchers who complete the necessary two-year requirements.[20] The Phineas F. Brezee award, named after the Church of the Nazarene's 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.[19]

Christian Service Brigade[edit]

Christian Service Brigade
Owner CSB Ministries
Age range 5-18
Headquarters Hamburg, New York[22]
Country USA, Canada[is 1]
Founded 1937 (1937)
Founder Joe Coughlin
Website
csbministries.org
csbministries.ca
CSB Vision
Godly men who serve, lead and disciple each generation
[is 1]

Christian Service Brigade is an Evangelical 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 an emphasis on the Bible.[18][23] CSB is a partner of the GEMS Girls Clubs.[is 1]

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.[14][15] 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.[15] The Guild became Pioneer Girls in 1940 and remained a division of CSB until 1944.[24]

CSB program[edit]

The Brigade is split into four age levels:

  • Tadpoles (ages 4–5)
  • Tree Climbers (ages 6–7)
  • Stockade (ages 8–11)
  • 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 1] and the Shape N Sail Derby boat race and Shape N Sled Derby, model sleds raced in a rain gutter packed with snow with a depression as a trail.[17] The equivalent rank to the Boy Scouts’ Eagle Scout is the rank of "Herald of Christ".[22]

The CSB runs 11 camps:

  • Stony Glen Camp, Madison, Ohio
  • Wilderness Ridge Brigade Camp, Bastrop, Texas
  • Camp Teepee Pole, Sundra, Alberta, Canada
  • Sequoia Brigade Camp, Concord, Cuualifornia
  • 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[14]

Dynamic Youth Ministries[edit]

Dynamic Youth Ministries is an organization that runs three youth groups: Calvinist Cadet Corps, GEMS Girls' Clubs and Youth Unlimited.[25]

Calvinist Cadet Corps[edit]

Calvinist Cadet Corps
Owner Dynamic Youth Ministries
Age range 4-11
Headquarters Grand Rapids, Michigan[1]
Location United States, Canada[1]
Founded 1952 (1952)
Membership 9,900[1]
Executive Director Steve Bootsma
Affiliation CRCNA
Website
calvinistcadets.org

Calvinist Cadet Corps is an independent non-denominational Christian boys' scouting organization usually affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church.[1] Currently, the Corps has about 440 US clubs with weekly meetings including a Bible lesson. Members range from first grade to high school.[18] Merit badges are tied into Scripture.[22]

CCC history[edit]

The Calvinist Cadet Corps was officially founded in 1952 in Reformed churches,[1] 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. The Calvinettes and Young Calvinist Federation duplicated the Girl Scouts and Christian Endeavour respectively.[26]

CCC program[edit]

The Corps is split into five ministries, or levels:[is 1]

  • 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 1]

Calvinist Cadet Corps holds Model Car Derbies.[27]

GEMS Girls' Clubs[edit]

GEMS Girls' Clubs
Owner Dynamic Youth Ministries
Age range 4-11
Headquarters Grand Rapids, Michigan[1]
Location United States, Canada[1]
Founded 1958 (1958)
Executive director Kathryn Miller[28]
Affiliation CRCNA
Website
gemsgc.org

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".[29] GEMS is also affiliated with the Christian Service Brigade.[is 1]

GEMS history[edit]

The Calvinettes were founded in 1958,[29] 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. The Calvinist Cadet Corps and Young Calvinist Federation duplicated the Boy Scouts and Christian Endeavour respectively.[26]

Frontier Girls[edit]

Frontier Girls
Owner Frontier Girls, LLC
Age range 5-18
Founded January 19, 2007 (2007-01-19)
Founder Kerry Cordy
Membership 1,500 (2013)[30]
Website
frontiergirlsclubs.com

Frontier Girls is an independent scouting style program for girls, open to girls and volunteers of all faiths.[30]

FG history[edit]

Frontier Girls was founded 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 the Quest Clubs program for restriction-free groups to start their own scouting program.[30]

Frontier Girls Promise
I pledge to love God, Be loyal to my country, and to love my neighbor as myself.
—About.com[about 2]

FG program[edit]

Belief in God (any higher power) and living by the Frontier promise are membership requirements.[about 2] Frontier Girls wear red, white and blue uniforms.[30] The red vest is available through the program, but the blue shirts and slacks are not.[about 2]

Girls can work on over a thousand badges[30] 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, the 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 split between age level activities and joint activities.[about 2]

    • questclubs.net
    • Quest Clubs
    , affiliated program

Pathfinders[edit]

Pathfinders
Owner Seventh-day Adventist Church
Age range 10-15[1]
Country World
Membership 2,000,000 (2001)[31]
director of youth ministries Gilbert Cangy[22]
Website
pathfindersonline.org
 Scouting portal
Pathfinder Motto
The love of Christ constrains us all.
—BSA Troop 97[is 1]

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 Adventists.[18] Considered a church ministry, the clubs focus on camping and community services with earnable honors and patches.[1]

Pf History[edit]

  • 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[32]

In 1907, the forerunner Missionary Volunteer Society was founded.[is 1] Seventh-day Adventist boys could not join the Boy Scouts when they started in 1910, due to events happening on the Sabbath, among other reasons. Local Seventh-day Adventist church leaders 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[32]

In 1919, the Mission Scouts of Madison, Tennessee were started by Arthur W. Spalding, who wrote a pledge and law for the group. The Missionary Volunteer Department of the General Conference began a class style award earning program in the 1920s. The Department's 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 likely due 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 moved to the denomination's General Conference (GC), which in the 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]

Pf program[edit]

The organization uses uniforms similar to Scouting. The members follow a Law and Pledge, go on campouts, and earn honor patches.[is 1]

Pioneer Clubs[edit]

Pioneer Clubs
Owner Pioneer Ministries
Founded 1939 (1939)
Website
pioneerclubs.org
 Scouting portal

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.[33]

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.[15]

Pioneer Girls slogan
Christ in every phase of a girl's life.
—Billy Graham Center[34]

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 directors 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.[15]

Year clubs Members[15]
1943 64 800
1945 226 3,000
1959 2060 48,000
1976 1765 59,396
1976
Canada
671 30,281
2005 8419 121,586

With the camping program and camp expansion in 1971, the camps were placed in a separate corporation, and then a licensing agreement tied them back to Pioneer Girls.[34]

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.[15][33] In 1945, clubs were started in Canada. By 1976, the organization owned 19 camps in the US and 6 in Canada. Also, while dropping the pioneer theme, sister organizations were set up in 16 other countries including France, Italy, Korea, and Pakistan, with more in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. In Thailand, where its branch was founded by Pioneer alumni and missionary Joan Killilea, the branch was called the Friendship Club.[15]

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 a total of 3-12 kids from K-6) and Exploring (lots of kids, grades 1-6). Pioneer program is split into five age levels:[35]

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

Pioneer Clubs hold wood car races called Pine Car Derby.[17]

External links[edit]

Royal Rangers[edit]

Royal Rangers
Owner Assemblies of God
Headquarters Springfield, Mo.[22]
Country USA
62 others[is 1]
Founded 1962
Membership 125,000
international Director Doug Marsh[36]
Website
royalrangers.com
 Scouting portal
Royal Ranger Motto
Ready
—BSA Troop 97[is 1]

Royal Rangers is a Christian boys' Scout-like organization run by the Assemblies of God. The Rangers have 4,000 US groups with members 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.[18] Many Pentecostal churches also use the Royal Rangers program. Some units in German use the name "Christian Royal Ranger Scouting".[is 1]

History[edit]

Royal Rangers was established by the Assemblies of God in 1962.[18] In 2012, Camporama had a high-ropes course, two zip lines, a water slide, and a lumberjack show.[1]

Program[edit]

The organization uses uniforms similar to Scouting and parallel terms:[is 1]

  • outpost (troop)
  • Ranger Code (Scout Law)
  • Ranger Pledge (Scout Promise)
  • Commander (Scoutmaster)
  • merits (merit badges)
  • Gold Medal of Achievement (Eagle Scout)
Royal Ranger Code
A Royal Ranger is: alert, clean, honest, courageous, loyal, courteous, obedient, spiritual.
—Doorway to Adventure[37]

Their four program levels are divided by school grade:[is 1]

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

A Camporama is scheduled in the summer every fourth years at the organization's Eagle Rock, Missouri campground.[1] The Rangers hold small car races called Pinewood Derby.[17]

Salvation Army[edit]

Adventure Corps[edit]

Adventure Corps
Owner Salvation Army
Age range 4-14
Founded January 1983 (1983-01)
Previous
Moonbeams
Website
Eastern USA official website
 Scouting portal
Motto
Adventure with Christ!
—Booth Youth[38]
Pledge
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[38]

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 members of a Salvation Army congregation. In addition to the Adventure Corps, the Salvation Army has sponsored 130 Boy Scout troops. From 1913, the Salvation Army ran the Life Saving Scouts / Life Saving Guards-Boys teen age program to 1929 when it merged with the Boy Scouts of America.

History[edit]

The Adventure Corps was established in January 1983.[39]

Program[edit]

The program core is based on Christian fellowship, teamwork and leadership.[18] The Corps is split into two levels: Explorers (grades 1 to 4), and Rangers (5 to 8).[38]

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 join alternative organizations, particularly those run by the Southern Baptist Convention.[40]

Challengers[edit]

Challengers
Owner Woman's Missionary Union
(Southern Baptist Convention)
Age range 12-17
Previous
Royal Ambassadors
Website
official site
 Scouting portal

The Challengers is a Christian teenage boys' Scout-like organization run by the Woman's Missionary Union of the Southern Baptist Convention.[1]

The Challengers program is to equip boys in "mission education."[40]

Royal Ambassadors[edit]

Royal Ambassadors
Owner Woman's Missionary Union &
North American Mission Board
(Southern Baptist Convention)
Age range 5-11
Location USA
Founded 1908
Founder Woman's Missionary Union
Membership 31,000[1]
Next
Challengers
Website
official site
 Scouting portal
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 1]

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 sponsor groups. There are some Southern Baptist churches sponsoring Boy Scout troops.[18] The name of the program was selected from the New Testament, where Christians are told by the Apostle Paul to be "ambassadors for Christ."[40]

RA history[edit]

Year chapters members
1915 500+ 4,500[41]
1960 13,000 220,000[41]
2013 3,000+[41] 31,000[1]

The Royal Ambassadors was founded in 1908 for elementary school aged boys[1] after the WMU Annual Meeting in Hot Springs, Arkansas.[42]

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.[41]

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. The program is for missionary training and development.[is 1] Thus, merit patches are earned for mission work and Bible verse memorization.[40]

Navigators USA[edit]

Navigators USA
Age range 7-18
Headquarters New York City
Country USA
Founder Robin Bossert[1]
Membership 600[43]
executive director Robin Bossert[1]
Website
navigatorsusa.org
 Scouting portal
Navigator Motto
Stay On Course
—BSA Troop 97[is 1]
Navigator Slogan
The more you give, The more you get
—BSA Troop 97[is 1]
Navigator Traits (law)
Truthful, Respectful, Inclusive, Generous, Dependable, Resourceful, Cooperative
—BSA Troop 97[is 1]
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[44]

Navigators USA is a secular co-ed Scout-like organization. In 2013, there were 45 chapters.[44] The program had no uniform as of July 2013.[30] A congress was held in the fall of 2013 where the issue of uniform was on the agenda.[30]

The organization stresses outdoor activities and community service projects.[1]

NU History[edit]

The 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.[1] All Souls has been underwriting the organization's operation for $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, New York; Durham, North Carolina; and Belmont, Massachusetts.[45] In 2012, the first and lone Illinois chapter was formed in Palatine via Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist. By June 2013, 29 new chapters had been formed in the previous year.[44]

Year chapters
2003 1[1]
2011 7[45]
2012 16[44]
2013 50[30]

NU program[edit]

The organization has two program sections: Junior Navigators, age 7–10, and Senior Navigators age 11–18. Juniors have three levels:[is 1]

  • Mira
  • Vega
  • Polaris

The Senior section has four levels:[is 1]

  • Mira
  • Shadow
  • Tracker
  • Pilot
  • Navigator

The program's top award is the Summit Achievement Award.[is 1]

SpiralScouts International[edit]

SpiralScouts International
Owner Aquarian Tabernacle Church
Age range 3-18[1]
Headquarters Index, Washington
Country USA
Founded 2001[1]
Membership 350[1]
Website
spiralscouts.org
 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.com[about 4]

SpiralScouts International (SSI) is an independent, secular, inclusive, coed, Scout-like organization designed on pagan beliefs and practices.[30] SSI has 45 units called circles and hearths, or families.[1]

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.com[about 4]

SSI history[edit]

The Aquarian Tabernacle Church, a Wiccan community in Index, Washington, sponsored a pagan scout group in 1999. The church looked for a non-belief based program but found none.[about 4] It was renamed SpiralScouts International in 2001 to expand nationwide, at which time they dropped their Wiccan identification. The Boy Scouts of America sent a cease and decide letter to SpiralScouts, to which they responded with no future contact with the BSA.[46] Since the Boy Scouts' membership policies are disapproved of by SSI, SSI offered their highest award to any Eagle Scout returning their Eagle Badge in protest.[1]

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.com[about 4]

Program[edit]

The group can be a Hearth that consists of one family or as a "circle" with community membership.[46] Members are placed into local groups called Circles, which may consist of age group Hearths. The age level groups of the Hearths are FireFlies (ages 3–8), SpiralScouts (8-14), and PathFinders (14-18).[about 4] The program's 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.[30] The activity uniform consists of a forest green polo shirt with khaki bottoms (pants, short, skirt or skort) and the SpiralScouts neck cord.[about 4]

Moriya[edit]

Moriya is an international Jewish girls' Scout-like youth group. Members are ages five to adult.

Moriya
Age range 5 to adult
Headquarters Jacksonville, Florida
Country International
Founded 2013
Founder Sara Brown
Website
moriyagroups.weebly.com
 Scouting portal

History[edit]

Moriya was founded in 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario under the umbrella of the Kollel of Ottawa, as an international program, with the Portland Kollel listed as its US headquarters.[47] Its members are girls and women from the full spectrum of Jewish observance.

Program[edit]

All Moriya members try to do, every day, "one good thing that you don't want to do." The curriculum, which is patterned after that of Boy Scouts, includes both Judaic and general themes, with strong Judaic, hands-on, and community service emphases. Moriya has no uniform, but many members choose to wear a satin hair ribbon to group meetings, and sew their charms to it when they earn them.

Earth scouting[edit]

Earth scouting or scout-like groups, also called Green Scouting, are those that are eco-oriented groups.[30]

Earth Champs[edit]

Earth Champs
Owner Earth Charter US
Age range 3-13[30]
Founded 2002
Website
http://www.sbctampabay.org/
 Scouting portal

Earth Champs is an independent non-denominational Scout-like organization, 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, four chapters were operational with four more at the start-up level.[30]

The Earth Champs program aims to get children interested and involved in activities that support the environment and living sustainably.[30]

Kids for Earth[edit]

Kids for Earth
Owner United for Earth
Age range 6-18
Headquarters Hillsdale, New Jersey
Founded 2009
Founder Aditi Sen
Website
www.kidsforearth.org
 Scouting portal

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

Kids for Earth was founded in 2009 by Aditi Sen after watching An Inconvenient Truth.[30]

Youth wings of political parties[edit]

Religious[edit]

Other[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[38]
Explorers (grades 1-4) Rangers (5 to 8)
AWANA[about 1]
Cubbies
Puggles (toddlers)
Sparks
(K-2nd grade)
Truth & Training Junior Varsity Varsity or "24-7"
Baden-Powell Service Association[is 2]
Otters (ages 5 to 7) Timberwolves (8 to 10) Pathfinders (11 to 17) Rovers (18+)
Calvinist Cadet Corps[is 1]
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 1]
Searchers (grades 1-2) Explorers (3-4) Adventurers (5-6)
Christian Service Brigade[is 1]
Tadpoles (ages 4-5) Tree Climbers (ages 6-7) Stockade (ages 8-11) Battalion (ages 12-18)
Frontier Girls[about 2]
Otter
Grades K-2 (min. age 5)
Dolphin
3-5
Butterfly Eagle
GEMS Girls' Clubs
Kingdom Kids (only coed level) Awareness (grades 1-3) Discovery (grades 4-6) Advanced (grades 7-8) Counselor-in-Training (CIT) (grades 9-11)
Navigators USA[is 1]
Junior Navigators (age 7-10) Senior Navigators (age 11-18)
Pioneer Clubs[35]
Skipper
(ages 2-3)
Scooter
(ages 4-5)
Voyager
(grades 1–2)
Pathfinder
(grades 3–4)
Trailblazer
(grades 5–7)
Discovery (grades K-6)
Exploring (grades 1-6)
Royal Rangers[is 1]
Ranger Kids (K-2nd grade) Discovery Rangers (3-5) Adventure Rangers (6-8) Expedition Rangers (9-12)
SpiralScouts International[is 1]
FireFlies (ages 3-8) SpiralScouts (9-13) PathFinders (13-18)
Southern Baptist Convention
Challengers
Royal Ambassadors
Lads (grades 1-3) Crusaders (4-6)
Moriya
Moriya modified (ages 5-6) Moriya (7 to adult)

Other groups' external links[edit]

  • Keepers of the Faith is an independent, decentralized purchasable Christian Scout-like program that originated in the United States with separate programs for boys (Contenders for the Faith), and girls (formerly Keepers at Home), though they can be coordinated, and there can be overlap in the skills learned and activities.
  • Young Vikings Club is a Norse heathen Scout-like organization for youth from 6-18 years old.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b Stannard, Ed. (December 15, 2010). 2 suits against Knights of Columbus claim sex abuse by Columbian Squires youth group leader.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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". Free Republic. Archived from the original on October 24, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Gryboski, Michael (August 7, 2015). "North Dakota Catholic Bishop Tells Parishes to Cut Ties With Boy Scouts". The Christian Post. Archived from the original on August 21, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Girard, Carolyn (May 22, 2009). "Catholic scouts celebrate 10 years". The Catholic Register. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "The Timber Wolf Prayer, the Promise, and the Law". northstarexplorers.org. North Star FNE Group. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "The Explorer Promise and the Law". northstarexplorers.org. North Star FNE Group. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  9. ^ Wondrash, Kevin (July 24, 2014). "FNE scouts do their ‘best,’ grow closer to God". Catholic Herald. Diocese of Madison. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c d Marshall, Taylor. "Saint George Motto, Law, and Trinitarian Salute". Troops of Saint George, LLC. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ Our January 1 Hard Launch for the TSG!. Troops of Saint George. Accessed on April 11, 2014.
  12. ^ Bridgman, Gary (October 17, 2013). "Making It in Memphis". Memphis Flyer. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 
  13. ^ The Troops of Saint George Are Back!
  14. ^ a b c d Biggs, Charles (June 13, 2013). "Say no to Boy Scouts, yes to AWANA, Christian Brigade". Tulsa Beacon. Archived from the original on Mar 13, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.  External link in |work= (help)
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i Larsen, Timothy (Fall 2008). "Pioneer Girls: Mid-Twentieth-Century American Evangelicalism's Girl Scouts". Asbury Journal. Asbury Theological Seminary. 63 (2): 59–79. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Pledges and Songs". Ministries: AWANA. Crossview Baptist Church. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b c d "What Is a Shape N Race Derby?". Darin McGrew. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i Banks, Adelle M. (May 13, 2013). "SIDEBAR: Evangelical alternatives to the Boy Scouts". Religion News. Archived from the original on March 5, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2013.  External link in |work= (help)
  19. ^ a b c d (August 30, 2010). Local Caravan Girls earn top honors in Christian Scouting Archived July 21, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.. Lake County News. Accessed on January 13, 2014.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ a b c d e About. Caravan. Nazarene.org. Accessed on January 13, 2014.
  22. ^ a b c d e 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.  External link in |work= (help)
  23. ^ Hunter, James Davison (1983). American Evangelicalism: Conservative Religion and the Quandary of Modernity. Rutgers University Press. p. 58. Retrieved December 30, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Records of Pioneer Ministries - Collection 264". Billy Graham Center. Wheaton College. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Dynamic Youth Ministries". The Barnabas Foundation web site. The Barnabas Foundation. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ "Council Club or Independent Club". Calvinist Cadet Corps. Archived from the original on February 17, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  28. ^ Kraai, Daina (January 11, 2013). "GEMS Gets New Director". Banner. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  29. ^ a b Calvinettes/GEMS Celebrate 50 Years Archived March 13, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.. City of Fulton, Illinois. Accessed on January 14, 2014.
  30. ^ 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 AHGonline.org Archived February 1, 2014, at the Wayback Machine..
  31. ^ Programa de Extensão da UNIFAL-MG promove Solenidade de Investidura dos participantes do Clube de Desbravadores. Federal University of Alfenas (Unifal)
  32. ^ a b "http://www.pathfindersonline.org/pledge-and-law". Pathfinder Online. North American Division Youth &. Retrieved 18 April 2014.  External link in |title= (help)
  33. ^ a b About Us. Pioneer Clubs.org. Pioneer Ministries. Access on January 15, 2014.
  34. ^ a b "Records of Pioneer Ministries - Collection 264". BGC Archives. Billy Graham Center. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  35. ^ a b Our Ministry Programs. Pioneer Clubs.org. Pioneer Ministries. Access on January 15, 2014.
  36. ^ Stevens, Jacob. (January 2, 2014). Church-Based Royal Rangers Program Provides Alternative to Boy Scouts. Charisma News. Access on January 16, 2014.
  37. ^ "Doorway to Adventure" (PDF). Assemblies of God Michigan District. Royal Rangers National Ministries. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  38. ^ a b c d Booth Youth. The Salvation Army Eastern Territory Youth Department official website. Access on January 13, 2014.
  39. ^ 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.
  40. ^ a b c d Burke, Daniel (May 31, 2013). "Baptists plan exodus from Boy Scouts". CNN. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  41. ^ a b c d Allen, Bob (January 30, 2013). "SBC says RAs could rival Scouting". Associated Baptist Press. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  42. ^ "Plans announced for WMU Royal Ambassadors partnership". NAMB News Blog. NAMB. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  43. ^ Joe Gentile. (July 27, 2013). Roe Jan Navigators chart Boy Scout alternative. Columbia-Greene Media. Accessed on January 17, 2014.
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  45. ^ a b Skinner, Donald E. (March 14, 2011). Alternative scouting group starts to grow. UU World Magazine. Accessed on January 17, 2014.
  46. ^ a b Price, Monica (January 11, 2006). "Scouting for alternatives". Metro Times. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  47. ^ Klein, Devorah (June 2015). "New Girls' Youth Group in Ottawa Wrapping Up a Successful First Semester." Hamodia.
  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. About.com. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  1. ^ a b Coghlan, Heidi. "AWANA Clubs". Parenting:Kids Clubs. About.com. 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. About.com. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Coghlan, Heidi. "Special Frontier Girl Awards". Parenting: Kids' Club. About.com. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Coghlan, Heidi. SpiralScouts International. About.com: Parenting: Kids' Clubs. Accessed on February 6, 2014.
  1. ^ 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 ae "Scout-like and Scouting Alternative Organizations". 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.