Explorer/Pathfinders study animal tracks with Metro Naturalists

Motto: “Be Prepared!”

The Explorer/Pathfinder section is open to boys and girls from 11 (or grade 6) through 17 years old. The emphasis is on training through hands-on, outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, canoeing and backpacking. Pathfinder Troops of 25-32 scouts operate in Patrols of 6 to 8 members, led by a Patrol Leader who shares responsibility with their scoutmasters regarding activity planning, training, and discipline.

The program is based upon Robert Baden-Powell’s book published in 1908: Scouting Handbook for Boys. We are cognizant of the historical original language of the Handbook, and our practice conforms to modern understanding of gender expression, identity and equality.

Section Schedule Meetings

Explorer/Pathfinders: Twice a month. Usually includes or adds a hike, overnight trip or major service project or activity.

Pathfinder scouts practice navigation at Mt. Tabor

The BPSA-US Quartermaster has a good overview of Pathfinder uniform items and patches. Note that the 55th Quartermaster stocks most of these items and there isn’t a need to order them from Texas. Registration with the 55th includes a Pathfinder handbook, all patches needed initially and earned thought the year, and the tri-color Cascadia neckerchief (when earned/invested).

  • Shirt: Safari/Bush-style long-sleeve work shirt with two front pockets (flap w/ buttons) and shoulder epaulets in slate gray.
  • Hat: brown campaign style, flat-brim, four-dent hat with leather band on the crown. A red beret, is also permitted with appropriate metal pin or patch on front.
  • Pants: Either long-style cargo pants or shorts of an approved color: khaki or tan
  • Belt: Khaki, brown, dark blue webbing belt.
  • Necker: 36″ square neckerchief of the group’s color(s), worn with a ring or slide (“woggle”) at the throat.
  • Socks: Green knee length, worn turned down at the knee with green tabbed garter showing on outside with shorts. With pants, solid dark color.
  • Shoes: brown or black


Explorer/Pathfinder Handbook – BPSA-US-developed handbook for Pathfinder section (current draft 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. Keep in mind the time period of the book and know that we see this as a scouting book for boys and girls.

The Patrol System – The 1917 book by Capt. the Honourable Roland Philipps regarding the most important topic in the Scout section – the Patrol.

BPSA-US Pathfinder patrol on Gnarl Ridge, Mt. Hood, 2018