Program Sections

Scout Group Structure

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Traditional scouting uses training in small groups that allow the youth to learn teamwork as well as give them enough room for individual development. Within each BPSA scouting group, scouts are organized in groups called “sections” according to their age. Also in BPSA, scouting units are referred to as “groups,” not “troops” (which only applies to the Pathfinder section). To understand this process, the organization of a scout group is like an umbrella. Each scout group will have under it one or more of the following sections: Otter Raft, Timberwolf Pack, Pathfinder Troop, and/or Rover Crew.

Another important thing to remember is that all section leaders within a BPSA scout group must be registered as (Rover) scouts themselves, and they, together with the Group Scoutmaster, comprise the Group Council. And, since they, too, are scouts (and must be 18 years of age or older), they also comprise your group’s Rover Crew. So all section leaders/Scoutmasters are also Rover Scouts and are encouraged to earn their own badges as they work within their Rover Crew.

Every section follows a program that is appropriate to the age of those involved, but is still designed to follow the values and aims of “traditional scouting.”

Within their age sections, the scouts are organized into smaller groups of 5 to 8, where most of their training takes place. In sections older than the Otters, each smaller group has its own youth leader as well as adult leaders (Scoutmasters/Assistant Scoutmasters) helping them with their work.

Click on the section name on the left to read more details about that section’s program.

Section Section Name Smaller Group Name Ages
Otter Raft Den 5 – 7
Timberwolf Pack Six 8 – 10
Pathfinder Troop Patrol 11 – 17
Rover Crew Patrol 18+