BPSA-US / Spring 2021 Traditional scouting for everyone

Message from the chief commissioner

Dear Scouts,

Spring is in full swing in my yard, and it’s in full swing throughout the soon-to-be-renamed BPSA, too. There are so many things to share in this newsletter about how we are growing and changing: our new DEI Commissioner is starting to line up her projects and the crew to work on them, the ReNaming Committee is due to give a final presentation and we will have a new name in May, the Resource Committee is looking at ways to start an information library. The Pathfinder Handbook Committee is still hard at work making a truly fantastic upgrade to our program.

Change and growth are exciting, but they are also difficult, and slow. Spring is also the season for patience and grace. This year of pandemic has been difficult for everyone, in ways that are both common to all and unique to each. When I look around me, my gratitude for every single scout who shares this tent and is on this journey together gives me great optimism. Thank you for being here.

Yours in Traditional, Inclusive, Constantly-Evolving Scouting,


Signs of spring

The cold weather is easing and spring flowers are starting to bloom. Warmer weather invites more opportunity for some great hikes, camping, and nature exploration. Remember to continue following local, state, and CDC guidelines as you look to get your group outside exploring.

safe planning with COVID

See the last newsletter with lots of helpful documents to help you plan for safe in-person scouting, here.

In-person training!

Mark your calendars for some in person BTCs! BTCs a great place to learn about our programs and make new friends and connections while having a lot of fun scouting in the woods.

Patrick’s Point State Park - Trinidad, CA - SEPTEMBER 11-13

Contact: Dan Bixler, commissionerca@bpsa-us.org

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

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


MAY 20-23

ReNaming Committee has been hard at work looking at all our options. They will make a final presentation and recommendation to the Board and all National Staff on May 20, with voting at the end of the weekend. As the process draws to a close, we invite anyone who was not able to participate in the original call for input regarding the new name, to reach out to the committee via email at bpsarenaming@gmail.com. We welcome your input by Monday, May 10th. Contact info for the committee is at the end of the newsletter if you want to share any additional suggestions or questions. For any other topics, please share your ideas, concerns, or questions with your District or Regional Commissioner.

Of modest organizational name proposals

By Will Adamson, ReNaming Committee

Your Committee for the Renaming of an Organization That Wishes to Rename Itself Posthaste (CFTROAOTWTRIP) has met a number of times since it was tasked with the Heraclean task of developing a new name for our beloved Baden-Powell Service Association. The committee identified five requirements that any name should follow. In this article, we will examine several of the suggested names and deconstruct, drill down, and get to the crux of the matter of why these names are not being considered.

1) A five-year-old needs to be able to say it.

Youth scouting is the very heart of our organization. As such, our name should be something that every member should be able to say with a minimum of linguistic training. As much as the CFTROAOTWTRIP adores intricate, loquacious vocabulary, names like Survivalist Cooperative Outreach Utilitarian Terraqueous Society just might be a bit of a bridge too far for a scout who is still struggling with coloring inside the lines. But enough about Rovers. If we wish to foster an inclusive atmosphere, we should not saddle scouts who are in the early stages of developing the power of pronunciation with repeating anything in French, for example, Fleur-de-lis. That trauma should be saved for high school French class where it belongs.

2) The name is not in violation of any known laws, copyrights, or trademarks.

Yes, yes, the serving of the Cease and Desist letter from our sibling organization was a bit of punch to the abdominal cavity that we wish we could remedy, but our meager coffers are better used to develop our organization instead of funding a team of attorneys. Perhaps if that team of attorneys could go 72-10 in the regular season with a .92 GAA and lead the league in hits, power-play goals, and mascot fights won, we could front the cash. Hence, the use of the word “scout” in our name shall be avoided even in acronym form. Scouts of the Wild Blue Yonder, Scouts Ambling About, and Scouty McScoutface must, unfortunately, be ruled out.

3) The name conveys clearly and simply the core concepts of the organization.

Bacon Pancake Syrup Association surely conveys the actual lived values of our organization, but it’s not one upon which you want to hang your branding plan (and it would attract ants to any future marketing materials.) Even names such as Benevolent Protective Service Assembly might evoke more an image of executive security bodyguards rather than a child practicing the art of packing out their seventh bag of gummy worms. We should not obfuscate our core values with corporate buzzwords with names such as Lodestar Association either. Honestly, who uses “lodestar” without trying to be ironic?

4) The name does not bring to mind specific historical individuals or stereotypes.

Our renaming is a product of a wish to distance the organization from the less desirable aspects of Robert Baden-Powell. Simply changing the person could amount to exchanging one set of baggage for another. No human being is infallible, even the Chief Commissioner! Although we would never go the route of the Nathan Bedford Forrest Society for the Protection of Animals, we should also avoid names such as the Jane Goodall Explorers, as awesome as that association would be.

5) The name has a good brand presence.

Yoda may have scoffed at adventure and excitement, but we should not! Any name should convey our outdoor nature, and ideally our significant service activities. Good branding is also memorable. Outdoor Club might be simple, to the point, and even convey one of our principal tenets, but it’s also rather bland and forgettable. Children Setting Fires in the Forest with Marginal Supervision might convey a sense of danger and excitement, and even be downright memorable, but it is a bit wordy for good branding practices.

As you can see, gentle reader, your renaming committee (I don’t want to tell you how long it took us to come up with that name) is hard at work navigating these requirements in order to craft a name that evokes the romanticism of wilderness exploration, while not getting us mired in lawsuits up to our neckers. We hope to have a name suggestion to the association board in May, with a decision to come shortly thereafter. The new name should be in place digitally by late summer and physical materials like uniform patches following as the supply chain can accommodate.

quartermaster's corner

The quartermaster isn't just for uniforms. Scott is always coming up with great items and promotions for us.

QM Spring News from Scott (QM)

1. I am currently working on a new badge order with VOLT and VOLT Leader badges, a new generic Otter badge (no "B.P."), and possibly some "Fun Name Change Submission" patches.

2. I've added a 10% discount for all Spring newsletter readers. Use code SPRINGNEWS at checkout. Link to automatically apply code: https://baden-powell-service-assoc-quartermasters.myshopify.com/discount/SPRINGNEWS


I am now fully vaccinated and anxious to get back on the road!

See you all soon, I hope!

Scott (QM)

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/

Scout Law Update

Our Pathfinder Handbook Committee made a motion to officially, formally update our scout law, and it was quickly approved by the board. Summary of changes & full scout law below.

Law #4: "... brother or sister ..." changes to "sibling." This is substantially more inclusive to our non-binary scouts, simpler, and equalizing to all.

Law #6: "...friend to animals." changes to "...kind to animals."

Full Scout Law:

A scout's honor is to be trusted.

A scout is loyal.

A scout's duty is to be useful and to help others.

A scout is a friend to all and a sibling to every other scout, no matter to what country, class, or creed the other may belong.

A scout is courteous.

A scout is kind to animals.

A scout obeys orders.

A scout smiles and whistles.

A scout is thrifty.

A scout is clean in thought, word, and deed.

Chipmunk handbook

Do you have a Chipmunk Scurry? Or are you considering having one? There is a new version of the Chipmunk booklet available for download. This new version has had some updates and is better than ever. The leader guide is available for download separately, instead of as part of the Chipmunk booklet, and has new tips for leaders to make running a scurry easier. You can also download the new booklet in Spanish, too!

All of these are located at:


Chipmunk Handbook

Eurocamp 2022: Friends at WFIS

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


South Region: Resources to share

South Region Commissioner, Laura Sowdon, and GSM of the 17th Black Bears, Melanie Willett, have spent the last year creating a website that functions as a resource for scout leaders who could use a little help. They decided to spend part of the pandemic creating a website that helps leaders of all age levels and GSMs get more out of their BPSA experience. You can see the website at www.southregionbpsa.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!