In the United States, glimmerings of Rovering emerged as local councils, Scout leaders, and Scouts worked together to deal with the "older boy" problem--that is, to find some way for Scouting to continue into young adulthood. As early as 1928 there were known to be Crews in Seattle, Detroit, Toledo and elsewhere. The program particularly flourished in New England around 1929, through the efforts of Robert Hale, who produced an early Rover Scout booklet. By 1932, there were 36 official experimental Crews, with 27 of them in 15 New England councils. Finally, in May of 1933 the National Executive Board approved the program, and starting plans for development of literature and helps to leaders (Brown, 2002). A bimonthly newsletter, the Rover Record, was inaugurated in 1935 as a means of communicating with directly with Rover Scouts and Leaders. A number of regional Rover Moots also were implemented during this period.

To further support the start of Rovering in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the first Wood Badge course held in the United States was a Rover Scout Wood Badge course, directed by English Scouter John Skinner Wilson.

Rovering, as it was conceived, was to serve as the oldest section in the program -- the final stage of Scout training that started with Cub Scouts, continued with Boy Scouts and was brought to fruition through Rovering.

[edit]

Decline

The program was never very widespread in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). The national office didn't promote it much, preferring to push other senior programs like Sea Scouts and Explorer Scouts. Literature of the time, if it mentioned Rovers at all, gave them only a few paragraphs or a page or two. As the First World War had slowed the start of Rovering in the UK, the Second caused the same difficulties for Rovering in the USA, as many young men of Rovering age fought for their country overseas. The economic upheavals of the Great Depression also hampered the development of Rovering.

By the time of the 1949 reconceptualization of senior Scouting, the BSA only recognised 1,329 Rover Scouts. In 1952, BSA decided to stop chartering new Crews. In 1953, only 691 Scouts were officially recognised as Rovers; after that year, they were counted together with Explorers. In 1965, when several other changes occurred in the Senior programs, National stopped renewing the registrations of Rover crews. Those crews that continued to exist where apparently re-registered as Exploring posts (later Venturing crews), but continued to use the Rover program.

Among the most widely known of these Crews was the influential B-P Rover Crew of Glasgow, KY, which delivered the Rover Scout program from the 1950s until 2000. The B-P Crew was instrumental in starting other Crews such as the Kudu Crew of Bardstown, KY and the Diamond Willow Crew of Chicago, IL. The B-P Crew also hosted the internationally well-regarded Rover Wee Moot from 1953 until 1999.

Now, Rovering in the USA is being rekindled in the form of the United States Rovers. Not associated with the BSA, this group of American Scouters is dedicated to perpetuating the history and traditions of Rover Scouting.