Youth organizations in the United States

(Redirected from Pioneer Girls)

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 (BSA) and the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). 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.

There are also two types of Masonic Youth groups called International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (IORG or just referred to as Rainbow), and Job's Daughters International (JDI). Both of these organizations have a background in the Christian Bible but you do not necessarily need to believe in God, just a supreme being. There are many different charities and service projects that are done throughout the year for those in need. Rainbow Job's Daughters

Catholic organizations


Columbian Squires

Columbian Squires
OwnerKnights of Columbus[1]
Age range10-18[1]
HeadquartersNew Haven[2]
LocationUS, Mexico, Philippines[1]
FoundedAugust 4, 1925 (1925-08-04)
FounderBarnabas McDonald[3]
1500 local units[4]
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


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 BSA, as he directed parishes to disassociate from the BSA due to their recent approval of gay adult leaders.[5]

The Knights of Columbus in January 2016 moved to have the parish youth program dictate whether a Boy Scout troop or a Squire Circle fits and have the parish sponsor the troop. No new circle were to be formed and inactive circle be dissolved.[6]

Squires program


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

Federation of North-American Explorers
LocationToronto, Ontario
FounderPaul Ritchi
General CommissionerPaul Ritchi[7]

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.[7]

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[8]

The Explorer Law
  1. An explorer's honour is to be trusted.
  2. An explorer is loyal to his country, leaders, parents, and subordinates.
  3. An explorer's duty is to serve others.
  4. An explorer is a friend to all and a brother to every other explorer.
  5. An explorer is courteous and chivalrous.
  6. An explorer sees in nature God's creations; he loves plants and animals.
  7. An explorer obeys proper orders and leaves nothing half-finished.
  8. An explorer smiles and whistles under all difficulties.
  9. An explorer is thrifty; he takes care of his own possessions and those of others.
  10. An explorer is clean in thought, word, and deed.

—North Star FNE Group[9]

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[8]

FNE history


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.[7]

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

FNE program


In addition to the usual camping trips, explorers go on pilgrimages, receive the sacraments and get hands-on religious education.[7]

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[9]

The age level groups are:[7][10]

  • 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


The Brotherhood of the Iron Will

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

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.[4]

Troops of Saint George

Troops of Saint George
HeadquartersIrving, Texas
FoundedMay 24, 2013 (2013-05-24)
FounderTaylor Marshall[4]
Membership~58 troops
Saint George Motto

Parati Semper / prepared always

—1 Peter 3:15[11]

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[clarification needed] through outdoor experiences. The organization's "hard launch" took place on January 1, 2014.[12]

TSG history

Saint George Law

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

—(1 Peter 2:17)[11]

The formation of the Scouts of St. George was announced by Taylor Marshall in May 2013 in response to the BSA'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 BSA's ownership of the "Scouts" trademark, to change its name to "Troops of St. George".[13] The organization filed for 501(c)3 status around the same time.[14]

TSG program

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)[11]

The program is under development with an expected parallel program to the BSA.[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".[11]

Protestant groups



Age range2-18[15]
AffiliationAwana International

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

Awana history


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.[16] In 1995, AWANA lifted the restrictions.[16]

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[17]

Awana program


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:[18]

  • 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 airplanes are built with the participant's choice of material. Instead of a speed race there are awards for distance, aerobatics, and design.


OwnerChurch 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 are also about 150 Boy Scouts of America troops affiliated with Nazarene churches.[19]

Caravan history


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.[20]

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

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.[22]

Caravan was started in 1946[19] 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,[20] under Rev. Bunker. In 1948, Bunker was appointed the first general director of Caravan.[21] 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.[20] In 2005, the program was revised with the addition of the Core Values badges and modified or added skill badges.[22]

Caravan program


Caravan's grade level groups are:[22]

  • 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.[22]

The Milton Bunker Award is granted to Searchers who complete the necessary two-year requirements.[21] 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.[20]

Christian Service Brigade

Christian Service Brigade
OwnerCSB Ministries
Age range5-18
HeadquartersHamburg, New York[23]
CountryUS, Canada[is 1]
Founded1937 (1937)
FounderJoe Coughlin
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.[19][24] CSB is a partner of the GEMS Girls Clubs.[is 1]

CSB history


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.[15][16] 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.[16] The Guild became Pioneer Girls in 1940 and remained a division of CSB until 1944.[25]

CSB program


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.[18] The equivalent rank to the Boy Scouts' Eagle Scout is the rank of "Herald of Christ".[23]

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, 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[15]

Dynamic Youth Ministries


Dynamic Youth Ministries is an organization that runs two youth groups: Calvinist Cadet Corps and ThereforeGo Ministries.[26]

Calvinist Cadet Corps

Calvinist Cadet Corps
OwnerDynamic Youth Ministries
Age range4-11
HeadquartersGrand Rapids, Michigan[1]
LocationUnited States, Canada[1]
Founded1952 (1952)
Executive DirectorSteve Bootsma

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.[19] Merit badges are tied into Scripture.[23]

CCC history

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 GSUSA and Christian Endeavour respectively.[27]

CCC program

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.[28]

Frontier Girls

Frontier Girls
OwnerFrontier Girls, LLC
Age range5-18
FoundedJanuary 19, 2007 (2007-01-19)
FounderKerry Cordy
Membership1,500 (2013)[29]

Frontier Girls is an independent Scouting style program for girls, open to girls and volunteers of all faiths.[29]

Frontier Girls history


Frontier Girls was founded in 2007 by Kerry Cordy as she felt that GSUSA had moved away from skills and badges.

Frontier Girls Promise

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

—[about 2]

Frontier Girls program


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.[29] The red vest is available through the program, but the white shirts and blue slacks and skirts are not.[about 2]

Girls can work on over a thousand badges[29] in nine Areas of Discovery: Art, Home, Technology, Character, the World, Health & Fitness, Outdoors, Agriculture and Knowledge. Frontier Girls has a 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 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
Owl Adult 100, Gold Ruby Heart 50 hours Grey Diamond

A troop may consist of all age levels as the meeting time is split between age level activities and joint activities.[about 2] Quest Club is a coed affiliate of Frontier Girls.


OwnerSeventh-day Adventist Church
Age range10-15[1]
Membership2,000,000 (2001)[30]
director of youth ministriesGilbert Cangy[23]
  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.[19] Considered a church ministry, the clubs focus on camping and community services with earnable honors and patches.[1]

Pathfinders History

  • 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[31]

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[31]

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 BSA 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]

Pathfinders program


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

Pioneer Clubs
OwnerPioneer Ministries
Founded1939 (1939)
  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.[32]

PC history


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.[16]

Pioneer Girls slogan

Christ in every phase of a girl's life.

—Billy Graham Center[33]

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.[16]

Year clubs Members[16]
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, and then a licensing agreement tied them back to Pioneer Girls.[33]

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.[16][32] 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.[16]

Pioneer Clubs programs


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 (many kids, grades 1–6). Pioneer program is split into five age levels:[34]

  • 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.[18]


Royal Rangers

Royal Rangers
OwnerAssemblies of God
HeadquartersSpringfield, Mo.[23]
62 others[is 1]
international DirectorDoug Marsh[35]
  Scouting portal
Royal Ranger Motto


—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.[19] Many Pentecostal churches also use the Royal Rangers program. Some units in German use the name "Christian Royal Ranger Scouting".[is 1]



Royal Rangers was established by the Assemblies of God in 1962.[19] In 2012, Camporama had a high-ropes course, two zip lines, a water slide, and a lumberjack show.[1]



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[36]

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 four years at the organization's Eagle Rock, Missouri campground.[1] The Rangers hold small car races called Pinewood Derby.[18]

Salvation Army


Adventure Corps

Adventure Corps
OwnerSalvation Army
Age range4-14
FoundedJanuary 1983 (1983-01)
Eastern USA official website
  Scouting portal

Adventure with Christ!

—Booth Youth[37]


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[37]

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 BSA.



The Adventure Corps was established in January 1983.[38]



The program core is based on Christian fellowship, teamwork and leadership.[19] The Corps is split into two levels: Explorers (grades 1 to 4), and Rangers (5 to 8).[37]

Other groups


Southern Baptist Convention


At the Southern Baptist Convention's meeting on June 11–12, 2013, the convention recommended that Southern Baptist Churches disaffiliate from the BSA and join alternative organizations, particularly those run by the Southern Baptist Convention.[39]


OwnerWoman's Missionary Union
(Southern Baptist Convention)
Age range12-17
Royal Ambassadors
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."[39]

Royal Ambassadors

Royal Ambassadors
OwnerWoman's Missionary Union &
North American Mission Board
(Southern Baptist Convention)
Age range5-11
FounderWoman's Missionary Union
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.[19] The name of the program was selected from the New Testament, where Christians are told by the Apostle Paul to be "ambassadors for Christ."[39]

RA history

Year chapters members
1915 500+ 4,500[40]
1960 13,000 220,000[40]
2013 3,000+[40] 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.[41]

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.[40]

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.[39]

Navigators USA
Age range7-18
HeadquartersNew York City
FounderRobin Bossert[1]
executive directorRobin Bossert[1]
  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[43]

Navigators USA is a secular co-ed Scout-like organization. In 2013, there were 45 chapters.[43] The program had no uniform as of July 2013.[29] A congress was held in the fall of 2013 where the issue of uniform was on the agenda.[29]

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


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.[44] 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.[43]

Year chapters
2003 1[1]
2011 7[44]
2012 16[43]
2013 50[29]

NU program


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]

  • Shadow
  • Tracker
  • Pilot
  • Navigator

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

SpiralScouts International

SpiralScouts International
OwnerAquarian Tabernacle Church
Age range3-18[1]
HeadquartersIndex, Washington
  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 built on pagan beliefs and practices.[29] 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 4]

SSI history


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 BSA sent a cease and decide letter to SpiralScouts, to which they responded with no future contact with the BSA.[45] 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 4]



The group can be a Hearth that consists of one family or as a "circle" with community membership.[45] 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.[29] 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]

Earth Scouting


Earth Scouting or Scout-like groups, also called Green Scouting, are those that are eco-oriented groups.[29]

Earth Champs

Earth Champs
OwnerEarth Charter US
Age range3-13[29]
  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 BSA 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.[29]

The Earth Champs program aims to get children interested and involved in activities that support the environment and living sustainably.[29]

Kids for Earth

Kids for Earth
OwnerUnited for Earth
Age range6-18
HeadquartersHillsdale, New Jersey
FounderAditi Sen
  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.[29]

Youth wings of political parties








Age groups

 -  5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 21+ adults
Adventure Corps[37]
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 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]
age 3-5 (min age 3)
Grades K-2 (min. age 5)
Grades 3-5
Grades 6-8
Grades 9-12
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[34]
(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 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
Royal Ambassadors
Lads (grades 1-3) Crusaders (4-6)
Moriya modified (ages 5-6) Moriya (7 to adult)
  • 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.
  • Moriya is a learning program for Jewish young girls.
  • The United States Youth Government is a youth advocacy organization representing U.S. citizens and residents aged 0–29, with a structure based on the Constitution of the United States. Its members, who must be younger than 29, are elected by the public aged 0–29 to represent individual U.S. states and territories in the organization's legislature, the Youth Assembly. The public also elects a Youth President and Vice-President, who lead the organization and appoint Justices to the Supreme Youth Court.


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