Most of the participants come from churches with Calvinist roots, such as the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church.
Door said the Cadet Corps was not trying to capitalize on the Boy Scouts' current predicament, but had received inquiries in recent days from leaders of several local Boy Scout units interested in learning more about the corps.
Knights of Columbus' Columbian Squires; www.kofc.org/un/en/squires/index.html
This organization for Roman Catholic boys and young men ages 10-18 was founded in 1925 and claims a youth membership of more than 25,000, including some in units in Mexico and the Philippines.
The Squires, says the program's website, "is an athletic team, a youth group, a social club, a cultural and civic improvement association, a management training course, a civil rights organization and a spiritual development program all rolled into one."
Camp Fire; www.campfireusa.org/
Founded in 1910 as Camp Fire Girls of America, this organization changed its name and became coed in 1975. Boys now compose almost half of its 300,000 youth participants, according to spokeswoman Catherine Lufkin.
While the Boy Scouts have drawn some criticism for excluding gays and atheists, Camp Fire stresses its inclusiveness and says it welcomes youth and families regardless of race, creed, gender, social status, disability or sexual orientation.
Lufkin said young people view Camp Fire's diversity as an asset and enjoy making friends who are different from themselves.
Like the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts of the USA and other major youth organizations, Camp Fire has seen its membership ranks decline in recent decades, though Lufkin said the numbers have stabilized in recent years.
Nonetheless, Camp Fire adopted a new logo last year and has strived to develop "rebranding" strategies to attract new participants.
"The hard truth is that the vast majority of parents and youth -- from all walks of life -- know nothing about us anymore," CEO Cathy Tisdale wrote in a newsletter last summer.
Navigators USA; http://navigatorsusa.org/
This alternative scouting organization has its roots in a Boy Scout troop based in New York City's East Harlem neighborhood and sponsored by the Unitarian Church of All Souls.
The troop broke away from the BSA in 2003 out of disagreement with the exclusionary membership policies, and some of the volunteer leaders decided to continue independently as a coed, inclusive movement.
The group's growth outside New York was slow at first, but founder and executive director Robin Bossert says the number of chapters has surged from 16 to 42 in the past year, with an average of about a dozen youths per unit. He attributes the growth in part to the controversies surrounding the Boy Scouts.
Bossert said Navigators USA emphasizes outdoor activities -- "to combat nature-deficit disorder" -- as well as community service projects.
Baden-Powell Service Association; http://bpsa-us.org/
The BPSA was founded in 2008 by David Atchley, of Washington, Mo., who as a leader of his son's Cub Scout pack had a rift with regional BSA leaders over his efforts to adopt a nondiscrimination code.
Atchley, a software engineer, said the BPSA has grown steadily in the past two years, from just a handful of units to 19 now, ranging from Kingston, N.Y., and Exeter, N.H., to Albuquerque, N.M., and Sunnyvale, Calif.
Like the Navigators, the group is coed, with an inclusive membership policy, and Atchley says the contrast with the Boy Scouts has been a factor in its growth.
The organization takes its name from Robert Baden-Powell, whose initiatives in Britain in starting in 1907 launched the international Scouting movement.
Atchley said the BPSA, inspired by its namesake, focuses on outdoor skills and community service.
"It's back to basics, instead of broadening the program to appeal to everybody under the sun," he said, referring to the Boy Scouts' efforts to modernize and diversify their activities.
SpiralScouts International; www.spiralscouts.org/
This coed organization originated in 2001 at the Aquarian Tabernacle Church in Index, Wash., which serves a Wiccan community.
Though developed on the basis of pagan beliefs and practices, it is open to youth and families of any faith -- or no religious affiliation. Its units are known as circles; it also welcomes individual families who are designated as "hearths."
Spokeswoman Rachel Scott said the U.S. component comprises about 150 adult volunteers and 350 youth scouts, ages 3-18, in 45 circles and hearths.
The mix of genders is a key principle, according to the group's website.
"Our program encourages girls and boys to learn, play and work together under the direction of leaders of both genders as a way of showing by example that both men and women are capable and cooperative leaders," it says.
SpiralScouts has gone public with its disapproval of the Boy Scouts' membership policies, offering to extend its highest rank to Eagle Scouts who have returned their badges to the BSA in protest over those policies.