PATHFINDERHANDBOOKThis training manual is for use by the Baden-Powell Service Association, US. This manual may bephotocopied for Traditional Scouting purposes.Issued by order of the Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA), US Headquarters Council.3rd Edition – 2013

Revision 2.2: August 2014.Document compiled and organized by David Atchley from the original Scouting for Boys and otherTraditional Scouting material and resources; as well as information form the Red Cross. Special thanks ( and The Dump ( for providing access tomany of these Scouting resources.Editors/Reviewers: Ric Raynor, George Stecher, Tony Place, Jody Rochon, Scott Moore, Jeff KoppBPSA would like to thank those Scouters and volunteers who spent time reviewing the handbook andsubmitted edits, changes and/or revisions. Their help improved the handbook immensely.ii

Group, Troop, Patrol, & Community InformationTo be filled in by the Pathfinder.NameAddress & Phone#TroopPatrolState/DistrictDate of BirthDate of JoiningPassed TenderfootPassed Second ClassPassed First ClassEMERGENCY ADDRESSES & PHONE NUMBERSNearest Doctors & Phone #s(Fill in two or three names in case one is out.)Nearest Hospital & Phone #Nearest Pharmacy & Phone #Nearest Ambulance Station & Phone #Nearest Police Station & Phone #Nearest Fire Station & Phone #Scoutmaster’s Address & Phone #Patrol Leader’s Address & Phone #iii

Table of ContentsIntroduction .1Welcome, New Pathfinders! .2The Pathfinder Uniform .3Optional Uniform Articles .5Recommended Reading .6Tenderfoot Tests .7Tenderfoot Requirement Sheet .21Investiture of a Pathfinder .22Second Class Tests .24Second Class Requirement Sheet .53First Class Tests .55Swimming .55Pioneering .59Signaling .63Estimation .65First Aid .69Cooking .74Mapping .78Axemanship .84Journey .86First Class Requirement Sheet .87Additional Proficiency Badges .89George Washington Scout Award .89Bushman’s Thong .90All-Round Cords .90Special Proficiency Badges .91Senior Proficiency Badges .111iv

AppendicesAppendix 1: Knots & Pioneering .122Appendix 2: Differences Between BSA and BPSA Programs (TraditionalScouting) .124v

IntroductionThe Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA) was formed in 2006 as an independent andtraditional-style Scouting Association. It perpetuates the principles and practices of Scouting laiddown by Robert Baden-Powell in 1907 that have been developed and refined in Boy ScoutAssociations around the world for over 100 years. These principles are so fundamentally soundand the practices so adaptable that traditional Scouting continues to grow and can never be datedor unsuited to any community. Our aim is to promote good citizenship and wholesome physical,mental, and moral development, as well as training in habits of observation, discipline, selfreliance, loyalty, and useful skills.BPSA is independent of, and not affiliated with, either the Boy Scouts of America or the GirlsScouts of the USA. We are members of the World Federation of Independent Scouts (WFIS) and,as such, are not in competition with other American Scouting Associations; we are only theirbrothers and sisters in Scouting.The training scheme devised by Baden-Powell is based on using the natural desires of youngpeople as a guide to the activities that will attract and hold them. The appeal of true Scouting hasalways been to that element of the outdoorsman, pioneer, and explorer, which is part of ournature, and is at its most evident in youth. Hence the significance of the opening sequence ofBP’s “Explanation of Scouting” in Scouting for Boys:“By the term ‘Scouting’ is meant the work and attributes of backwoodsmen, explorersand frontiersmen.”Scouting is an outdoor movement and that is part of its character. To whatever degree conditionsmay, at time, force us indoors—such as weather, darkness, or town-life—we must regard this assecond-best necessity and never as a satisfactory substitute for the real thing.The BPSA believes that everyone deserves a chance to participate in the movement that BadenPowell started, and, with that, we have crafted our policy of inclusion:BPSA Scouting offers a choice for those with curiosity, energy, and independence ofspirit. We are committed to providing an appropriate alternative and community-orientedScouting experience. BPSA welcomes everyone. Our mission is to provide a positivelearning environment within the context of democratic participation and social justice.We foster the development of Scouts in an environment of mutual respect andcooperation.This book is published with the objective of providing Pathfinder Scouts, when they join, fullinstruction on the tests they will be required to pass up to their First Class badge.As it is not possible to pass all the tests in one day, and as it is sometimes difficult to rememberwhat tests each individual has passed, a page is provided at the end of each section where eachtest can be recorded and signed when passed.Good Scouting to You!1

Welcome, New Pathfinders!In some independent Scouting Associations like ours, Scouts are also known as Pathfinders. ThePathfinder section is open to boys and girls beginning at age 11 and going through age 17 (grades6 through 12). There are several things you have to do in order to become a Pathfinder. First, youhave to be of appropriate age, and second, you have to be willing to learn the rules of Scoutingand become a Tenderfoot.One of your first tasks will be to learn and understand the Scout Law and Promise. You must alsoknow the significance of the Scout Motto. Once you have completed these tasks, you can moveon to complete the other investiture requirements and become a Tenderfoot Pathfinder.After you have been invested, you will be able to wear the full Pathfinder uniform, badges andall. Our uniform has great significance; it shows that you belong to the biggest youthorganization in the world. All members wear this uniform regardless of gender, socio-economicstatus, ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation, or nationality. It is also a constantreminder that you have committed yourself, on your honor, to the Scouting ideals.The emphasis in Pathfinders is on training through hands-on, outdoor activities such as camping,hiking, canoeing, and backpacking, as well as community-service projects. Pathfinders areorganized into Troops that operate in Patrols of 6 to 8 members, led by a (youth) Patrol Leaderwho shares responsibility with an adult leader (called the Scoutmaster) for discipline, activityplanning, and training the less-experienced members. The members of your Patrol shouldbecome some of your best friends as you continue through the ranks of Scouting. As a Patrolmember you will help plan outdoor adventures and service outings, while learning all thenecessary outdoor skills to have a safe wilderness experience.2

THE PATHFINDER UNIFORMA Scout wears their uniform as follows, with the appropriate badges of rank as described belowand in the 1938 Policy, Organisation and Rules (PO&R; see our Program Resources page to download).Shirt – Dark gray or olive (preferred) with two patch pockets (buttoned), and optional shoulderstraps. Bright metal buttons must not be worn. Long sleeves are preferred but short sleeves maybe worn in warmer weather. See the BPSA Quatermaster Store to order.Tenderfoot Badge – Granted by the Association on the recommendation of the Scoutmaster,must be worn by all grades of Scouts in uniform on the center of the left-hand pocket of the shirt(this is also referred to as the BPSA Association badge).Hat – Four dents campaign hat in Sudan (brown) or Khaki (green), flat brim, leather bandaround crown, with strap or lace. A beret, green or red, is also permitted with appropriate metalpin (BPSA or WFIS) or patch on front.Group Necker – A 36" square piece of cloth of the colors chosen by your Scout group, wornloosely knotted at the throat or with a group ring or woggle (other than the Gilwell Wogglepattern) instead of the knot. The neckerchief is worn over the collar.Shorts/Pants – Blue, khaki, olive, or gray in color and of a comfortable outdoor/cargo style.Female sections/patrols may opt to wear a traditional kilt, as long as all are of the same design,color, and pattern.Belt – Brown leather or web.Stockings – Any plain color, worn turned down below the knee with a green tabbed gartershowing on the outside.Shoulder Knot – Braid or ribbon approximately six inches long, 1 2 inch wide, of Patrol colors,worn on the left shoulder.Boots or Shoes – Brown or black.Group Name Strip – A badge indicating the Scout group; worn on the right shoulder—or onboth—according to the custom of the group.US Flag or other US Emblem – Worn over the left breast pocket only during internationalactivities.Staff – Every Scout should be equipped with a natural wood staff, marked in feet and inches(and/or centimeters and meters), to be carried on all appropriate occasions.3

The above is the correct Scout uniform and, with the exception of authorized badges anddecorations and the articles mentioned below, nothing must be added to it. The correct Scoutuniform must be worn in public. Unauthorized badges, fancy decorations and personaladornments must not be displayed. Scouts in camp may, at the discretion of the Scoutmaster,wear any clothing they desire, but whenever they appear in public outside the camp limits, theymust be properly attired.4

OPTIONAL UNIFORM ARTICLESThe following may also be worn: Association Name Strip – Reading “B-P Service Association,” worn above andtouching the top of the right shirt pocket. Inclusive Scouting Badge – Sewn centered above and touching the top of the left shirtpocket, under the US Flag or other US emblem if it is worn, or below the optionalTenderfoot badge placement. Overcoat, Mackintosh, or Jacket – Loud patterns are not permitted. When not worn,this should be carried in the most convenient way (preferably on top of the rucksack)and in a uniform manner amongst the group insofar as possible. Haversack, Rucksack, or Backpack – On appropriate occasions; worn on the backand not at the side. Lanyard – Used to carry a whistle or knife. Knife – Carried on the belt or neck lanyard. Hand Axe – May be carried on the belt but only on appropriate occasions. Length of Cord – Carried on the belt.5

RECOMMENDED READINGLord Robert Baden-Powell began the Scouting movement with a series of serialized articles hereferred to as “Camp Fire Yarns,” in which he described his experiences with the MafekingCadet Corps during the second Boer War. In these articles, he passed along man

PATHFINDER HANDBOOK This training manual is for use by the Baden-Powell Service Association, US. This manual may be photocopied for Traditional Scouting purposes.