Outdoor service guides / fall 2021 Traditional scouting for everyone

Message from the chief commissioner

Dear Scouts and Guides,

What a thrill to be writing under our new banner: BPSA-US is now Outdoor Service Guides!

I wrote in our announcement letter a few of the things that are exciting about our new name:

  • Clear focus: Outdoors, Service
  • Simple, dignified, professional
  • “Guides” reaches out to our history as well as the current community of the worldwide scouting movement. Guides began as the name for “scouting” for girls.
  • “Guides” reaches out to our future. It is not widely known in the US to refer to scouting, so it’s ours to develop and define.

With a new name, we are the same organization underneath - human, imperfect, all-volunteer, and still in the stresses this pandemic has brought to all of us. The logistical parts of name change are slowly coming along - watch Facebook, QM, and the website for more updates on things like uniform items. As always, we can use your help - in updating our website, our materials, training new folks in the old ways of Traditional Scouting and Guiding. See the rest of the newsletter for more about what your fellow scouts and guides are up to and how to be involved.

Yours in Traditional, Inclusive, Constantly-Evolving Scouting,


safe planning with COVID

We continue to advise groups to practice scouting safely in accordance with CDC, state and local guidelines. Please remember to regularly check the laws and guidelines for your area. It is best practice to ask for COVID 19 symptoms and close contacts before meet ups, to prevent possible exposure, regardless of vaccination status. Having names and contact info at meet ups is also best practice to enable contact tracing incase of any outbreaks within groups. Click Here for the helpful tools we developed last winter to help with your COVID planning.

Please contact Safety@bpsa-us.org with any questions or concerns

Youth Safety Refresher

OSG policy requires all adults working with youth to review the youth safety material on a yearly basis. Vicki Grimme from the 64th Brandywine has kindly put together a lovely refresher course for your groups to use. You can find the document here.


We are now offering a Mediation service to all members. This service is available free of charge and can be initiated discreetly. It serves to help members with disputes and arguments talk openly and in a safe environment to hopefully find some resolve or at least find some peace/closure. This is offered through video call and can be arranged to fit both parties schedules.

Here is some further information about it: What is mediation, our process, Procedure and Guidelines for a Mediation Session

Please feel free to share this with you members/scouts and to reach out if this is something you are interested in accessing or even if you just have more questions and would like to enquire about mediation. Safety@bpsa-us.org

Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity Committee

Signing up with the Outdoor Service Guides is signing onto a mission for DEI. The DEI committee has been working on developing some structured ways to help us support each other as we continue to strive towards doing our best in these areas. As one initiative, they are working on a set of definitions that will be a working guide about exactly what these things mean for us, as the Outdoor Service Guides. In the meantime, here's one very simplified framework to consider:

Diversity is a fact.

Equity is a choice.

Inclusion is an action.

Belonging is an outcome.

-Arthur Chan

If you're interested in serving on the committee to help further our mission towards DEI or have concerns or ideas, please email the DEI Commissioner at dei@bpsa-us.org.

Upcoming Training Opportunities

Do you or anyone in your group need their BTC training? There are a few in person BTCs being scheduled.

Speaking of training, we need you to share your scouting knowledge and experience. If you’re interested in helping out in any way with future trainings please contact training@bpsa-us.org

Bull Run Education Center - Sandy, OR - October 9-11

Contact: Ethan Jewett, commissionerwest@bpsa-us.org

Fall Northeast BTC - October 23–25 near Kingston NY

Registration can be found here

Spring Northeast BTC - save the date! Weekend of May 13-16, 2022, exact timing TBD, Ridley Creek State Park, Media, Pennsylvania

Registration TBD, contact Micah Best

SPRING BAT: Bronze Arrow Training for Pathfinders - March 2022 in Virginia, details TBD

Name change updates

Have you seen the changes on our website? We are working on switching our website over from Baden-Powell Service Association to the new Outdoor Service Guide logo and names. This is a long process and we could use some help. We are currently seeking volunteers to join a committee to help revamp the website. Any time you could spare would be greatly appreciated. If you’re interested in helping out please send an email to media@bpsa-us.org.

quartermaster's corner

Don't forget to check out the quartermaster at https://osg-qm.org You can find all of your uniform and handbook needs as well as camping and hiking equipment and sweatshirts and t-shirts.

Handbook updates

We’ve been working hard to update our scouting handbooks to bring them more inline with our inclusive nature. If you’d like to be involved with any of the current or future handbook contents and design, raise your hand, we'd love your help: https://bpsa-us.org/volunteer/

Special needs Handbook

Volunteers have been working hard to create a special needs and neurodiverse scouting guide and handbook for leaders. This is a great resource for helping to keep our scouting inclusive. There is a leaders guide, individual scouting plan, as well as additional resources and handouts. Currently all of this information can be found on the south region website. https://www.southregionbpsa.org/index.php/resources/special-needs-and-neurodiverse-scouting/

Pathfinder Handbook Updates

The Pathfinder Handbook Committee is excited to offer a pre-release of 10 badges from the new handbook this fall. These 10 badges are available for scouts to go ahead and start earning! This means that while we are still polishing off this new handbook, scouts can enjoy a taste of what we have created for them. This packet includes all new badges that were not previously part of our program. The new handbook will have revitalized versions of many of our current badges, but we encourage our scouts to use the current version of those for just a little bit longer. Download the full packet here.

The new handbook will divide badges into more areas of interest for scouts to choose from. The badges for the prerelease include 2 from every division of badges in the regular Special Proficiency Badges: Civics and Community, Life Skills, Creative Arts, and Outdoor Skills. Every scout should be able to find badges that interest them!

There are also 2 badges that are new Senior Level badges in this packet. Going forward, pathfinders who have earned Second Class and are over age 14 may earn senior level badges, provided they have completed the prerequisites of those badges. The badges in the prerelease do not require earning any badges that are not currently available to scouts. There are many new badge additions for senior level of the program.

The badges in the packet are:

Civics and Community

  1. Advocate
  2. Conservationist

Life Skills

  1. Gardener
  2. Reader

Creative Arts

  1. Entertainer
  2. Visual Artist

Outdoor skills

  1. Bicycle Touring
  2. Rock Climber

Senior Level

  1. Emergency Preparedness
  2. Entrepreneur

This packet will also be available through Facebook and Regional Commissioners. The Pathfinder Handbook Committee welcomes feedback from scouts and leaders who test out these new badges and want to share their success and struggles with them: Pathfinder@bpsa-us.org.

Pathfinder Handbook call for artists

Calling all artists!

How would you like to see your art in the new Pathfinder handbook? The Pathfinder Handbook committee is looking for artists of all ages to prepare and share artwork that will make our new handbook really reflect who we are.

Right now, we’re asking interested scouts, parents, and friends to sign up if interested. While we may take general submissions, we’re especially looking for people who would be willing to take “assignments” to provide specific illustrations needed for the book.

You can sign up using our artist registration form

If you have any questions, please contact Vicki Grimme of the 64th Brandywine

International events

Eurocamp 2022

Eurocamp 2022, hosted by our WFIS Europe siblings in scouting, will be in Austria next summer.


WFIS Panam Jamboree 2023

The dates for the WIFIS Pan American Jamboree have been announced. The jamboree will be held in Mexico Jan 2-8, 2023. Early registration will be $225 per person. Contact our International Commissioner Pablo Frias or your Regional Commissioner for more information.

South region resources to share

Don't forget the South Region has a great website set up that functions as a resource for scout leaders who could use a little help. Leaders of all age levels and GSMs can use this resource to get more out of their OSG experience. The page also has a new name to reflect the name change and can now be found at www.guides4guides.org.

The Resource Section has links to the National Website, the Registration Dashboard, and has pages dedicated to posts, ideas and handouts for every age level. Blog posts over the last year have tackled a wide range of topics from how to recruit and keep volunteers, to how to plan a multi-year timberwolf program, to understanding sexism and menstruation as scout leaders. They have also featured many lesson plans for pandemic scouting and details of how to do scouting skills over zoom. After working on it for a year and adding new things every month, there are now many posts and resources to explore.

Drop by the website and leave a comment to let them know if you were there. If you'd like to guest author a blog post, send an email to southregionbpsa@gmail.com

your National Staff

Board of Directors

Regional and district commissioners

Committees and more!