Program Resources

Traditional Scouting pulls from many areas and resources. The first and foremost resource, of course, is the particular Policy, Organization & Rules (PO&R) document that a particular association adopts or creates. For the BPSA-US, we have adopted, as a baseline of our program, the 1938 PO&R of the Boy Scouts Association, UK, which was the last official PO&R for the Scouting program that Baden-Powell had a hand in crafting before his death in 1941. From that basis, we have adapted our own handbooks for each section, allowing for changes, where needed, to account for modern safety practices and cultural and social differences. We also have our own association bylaws, which help to define our organization. Using the BPSA Bylaws, the 1938 PO&R, and our provided handbook for each of the sections, a newly chartered Scout Group should have access to everything they need to get going after registration.

However, there is a wide array of other resources regarding Scouting, scoutcraft, woodcraft, pioneering, the Patrol Method and other related topics that can be a boon to new Scout Group leaders or even individual Scouters. For this reason, we provide the following list of resources for you to pull from. If a resource is located on an external site, we simply link to it rather than duplicate the material here. We’ve tried to break down the resources into useful categories as well, to help you locate exactly what you need.

Many, if not all, of these resources are available (and linked to) at This is a great resource that is provided and maintained by some of our fellow Canadian Scouters. We’ll link to a few important resources here in each category; but we encourage you to take a look at the large collection of Scouting books and guides that have been made available on that site. “Invaluable” is an understatement.

Baden-Powell Service Association, US (BPSA):

The following are the primary documents maintained and used by the BPSA-US that define and set the rules for our association and put forth the structure and requirements of our program.  For those running a Scout Group with the BPSA, these documents are a must-read and indispensable for running your program.

Policy & Program

Section Handbooks (bound versions available in our Quartermaster Store)

  • Otter Leader Handbook – BPSA-US “DRAFT” Otter Leader Handbook (we will update this link as newer versions are available)
  • Timberwolf Handbook – BPSA-US guide for Timberwolves from Tenderpad through Leaping Wolf
  • Pathfinder Handbook – BPSA-US guide for Pathfinders (Scouts) from Tenderfoot through First Class
  • Rover Handbook – BPSA-US guide for Rover Scouts, including all registered Scout Leaders.
  • Mini Guide to Rovering – BPSA-US short guide and introduction to Rovers

Training Material

As a relatively new organization, it’s helpful to have material to go over with new parents and prospective leaders. We’ve developed a draft manual that can serve as the basis for a New Parent Orientation class and/or for introducing new leaders to Traditional Scouting and the BPSA program. Feel free to download and distribute copies to your members:

Otter (ages 5–7):

The Otter section is being field tested, but in other associations it might be called Beavers. These resources are guides from those programs that might be usefully adopted by leaders running an Otter section in their group. Given that the Beaver/Otter-style program is a very recent addition to scouting, there are not too many resources available. Our own BPSA Otter Leader Handbook should be the basis for any Otter section. Also see Otters/Beavers resources on The Dump.

Timberwolf (ages 8–10):

The Timberwolf section is based on Baden-Powell’s original Wolf Cub program; and these resources are from various associations for that section (geared towards 3rd through 5th grades).  There are many more to be found in the Wolf Cub section of The Dump.

  • Wolf Cub Handbook – The original Wolf Cub handbook by B-P himself (recommended to be used along with the Timberwolf Handbook)
  • Cubmaster’s First Year – A very structured guide to running your pack during that 1st year
  • How to Run a Pack – Gilcraft’s guide on everything about running a pack
  • The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling’s book that inspired B-P and the Wolf Cub program
  • Kim – Rudyard Kipling, 1901

Pathfinder (ages 11–17):

The Pathfinder section is the traditional Scouts section geared towards 6th through 12th grades (ages 11–17)—also referred to as Explorers in other Traditional Scouting associations. This is the program that began it all, developed by Baden-Powell in 1907. You can find resources for Pathfinders in the Scouts section of The Dump, as well as the original “Scouting for Boys” pamphlets that were published by B-P and later became the main handbook for scouts. We list the full download of Scouting for Boys here; along with a few selected resources we would like to recommend.

Rover (ages 18+):

Rover is the Scouting program for those 18 and over, intended by B-P to encourage staying active in Scouting and perpetuating the ideals learned in Scouting to living as an adult and across career paths. The definitive guide for Rovers is B-P’s Rovering to Success along with the Scouting for Boys (see Pathfinder section above) books. We list those here, and also refer you to our previously listed Mini Guide to Rovering in the BPSA-US section above.

Traditional Scouting Resources Available en Espanol:

Here are some Spanish translations of traditional scouting materials that may be of use to our Hispanic members:]