Navigators USA was founded in 2003 by a group of volunteers who had previously led Boy Scout Troop 103 in East Harlem, serving children in need. The founders wanted to offer a scouting experience for boys and girls that was non-discriminatory and secular. They felt there was a need for an alternative organization that approached scouting from a different perspective than other established groups. They created Navigators USA - a scouting organization that welcomes all people; boys and girls and adults regardless of gender, race, religion, economic status, sexual orientation and social background.
In 2012 there were 19 local chapters. As September 2018 that number has grown to 239 chapters across the US, with additional chapters in the UK and Uganda.