The Pathfinder section is open to youth of all genders aged 11-17 (grades 6 through 12). The Pathfinder Troop is made up of Patrols of 6 to 8 members, led by a (youth) Patrol Leader who shares responsibility with an adult Rover leader for planning adventures, trips, service, and projects.
The Pathfinder program is designed to empower and embolden our scouts, encouraging them to plan and implement their own projects, adventures, service, and skills. Adult leaders do not plan these meetings; they are merely offering supervision, transport, and making connections in the community when needed. This goes back to B-P’s original scouting program, and what he called “The Patrol Method,” as outlined in his book, Scouting for Boys.
All adult leaders must register with BPSA as Rover Scouts and will need to complete a Brownsea Training Course within their first year of membership. A minimum of two registered adult leaders is required per section.
When a Pathfinder turns 18, they are encouraged to continue their Scouting career by becoming Rover Scouts.
Golden Arrow Patrol – How to get your Pathfinder Troop started
Pathfinder Handbook – BPSA-developed handbook for the Pathfinder section. Click here to order a coil-bound version.
Scouting for Boys – The definitive manual for Scouts. This is the book that started Scouting. Complete with illustrations by B-P. Originally published in installments every other Wednesday from January 15, 1908. The book consists of introductions for Scouters, 28 “Campfire Yarns” for Scouts, and a summary. Also available in paperback.
Further required reading for Scoutmasters:
Scoutmaster’s First Year – The 1948 edition of this popular and informative manual for new Scout Leaders
Aids to Scoutmastership – The fundamental manual for Scout Leaders. Describes the purpose and methods of Scouting. Complete with original illustrations. (1945 “Brotherhood Edition”)
How to Run a Troop – Gilcraft’s guide to running a Scout Troop
The Patrol System – The 1917 book by Capt. the Honourable Roland Philipps regarding the most important topic in the Scout section – the Patrol.
Golden Arrow Training Handbook – Patrol Leader Training Manual for Scoutmasters (1960 first edition)
Uniforms and Badges:
Pathfinder Uniform – The current official uniform shirt for all Pathfinder Scouts.
Hats – Pathfinders may choose to wear the traditional campaign-style hat or a red beret.
Pathfinder Badges & Awards – Must be ordered by Scoutmasters ONLY.
Photo by Sue Pesznecker, 55th Cascadia