Printable VersionScouting Terms

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- F - 

Fast Start - Supplemental training program for new leaders designed to help them until they can attend basic training.

field director (FD) - A professional Scouter who is responsible for three or more district executives.

Fifty-Miler Award. A recognition given to Scouts who have taken part in a wilderness trip of at least 50 consecutive miles over at least five consecutive days, and fulfill requirements for group service projects on the trip.

Firem'n Chit - A recognition given to Scouts who know and understand fire safety rules.

First Class rank - The rank above Second Class and below Star in Boy Scout advancement.

Friends of Scouting (FOS) - An annual campaign in which Scouters, and other interested people in the community, can provide financial support to the local council to assist in meeting its objectives.

FD - (see Field Director)

FOS - (see Friends of Scouting)

- G -

Gilwell Park - The training center of the British Scout Association and the original homesite of Wood Badge training located in Epping Forest, England.

God and Country program series - A series of religious emblenis presented to Scouts of the Protestant faidis.

Gold Palm - An Eagle Scout who holds the Bronze Palm may receive this recognition by earning five additional merit badges and completing certain other requirements.

Good Turn - A single act of service to others. A distinctive feature of Scouting is its emphasis on service to others. The Good Turn habit is one that all Scouts endeavor to acquire.

- H -

Heroism Award - A lifesaving award presented to a registered youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save fife at minimum risk to self.

high adventure - Refers to National Council or local council high-adventure activities or programs for older Scouts. Most of the programs are listed in the publication Passport to Adventure.

Historic Tails Award - An award that may be earned by members of a troop for hiking a trail listed in National Approved Historic Trails and completing a project related to the trail.

Honor Medal - A lifesaving award presented to Scouts and Scouters who have shown heroism, resourcefulness, and skill in saving or attempting to save life at great risk of their own. May be presented with crossed palms in cases of exceptional skill or resourcefulness and extreme risk to self. Presented by the National Court of Honor.

Hornaday Awards -  William T. Hornaday Awards are given to Scouts, units, and Scouters for distinguished service in conservation.

huddle - A monthly program-planning and morale-building meeting for adult Varsity Scout leaders.

- I -

IH - (see Institutional Head)

Instant Recognition Patch/Progress Towards Ranks Patch - Diamond shaped patch to which a plastic thong and beads are attached for instant recognition of achievements. Each time a boy completes 3 achievements he will receive one bead. Wolf earns yellow and Bear earns red beads, awarded in the den.

Institutional Head  (IH) -

instructor - A person who can instruct others on parts of the Scouting program. 

investiture - A ceremony placing the responsibilities of an office or a rank upon an individual.

 - J -

jamboree - A term chosen by Baden-Powell to describe the first international gathering of Scouts camping together in London in 1920. The term is restricted to indicate a national or world jamboree.

Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA) - ham radio

Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) -

Jamboree on the Trail (JOTT) -

JASM - (see Junior Assistant Scoutmaster)

JLT - (see Junior Leader Training)

JOTA - (see Jamboree-on-the-Air - ham radio)

JOTI - (see Jamboree on the Internet)

JOTT - (see Jamboree on the Trail)

Junior Assistant Scoutmaster (JASM) - An appointed office open to Scouts 16 years of  age and older. There is no limit to the number of junior assistant Scoutmasters a troop may have.

Junior Leader Training (JLT) -

- K -

Key 3 - (1) The council Key 3: the council president, council commissioner, and Scout executive.  In some districts, the reference maybe to the Key 5, Key 7, etc.

the district Key 3 - the district chairman, district commissioner, and district executive.

Klondike derby - A competitive event conducted by patrols to demonstrate proficiency in Scouting skills, traditionally conducted in the winter

- L -

Learning For Life - A subsidiary of BSA in support of schools.

Leave No Trace (LNT) - A commonsense set of guidelines that allows Scouts to camp, hike, and take part in related outdoor activities in ways that are environmentally sound and considerate to others using the same areas. A Leave No Trace Awareness Award is available to Scouts who fulfill certain requirements.

LFL - (see Learning for Life)

Life Scout rank - The rank above Star and below Eagle Scout in Boy Scout advancement.

LNT - (see Leave No Trace)

Lodge - (see OA)

Lone Scout - A Boy Scout who, unable to join a troop because of unusual conditions, follows the program as an individual under the leadership of a Lone Scout friend and counselor.

long-term camping - A camping experience consisting of at least six days and five nights in the outdoors.

Lord Baden-Powell (BP) - As a youth, Robert Baden-Powell greatly enjoyed the outdoors, learning about nature and bow to live in the wilderness. After returning as a military hero from service in Africa, Baden-Powell discovered that English boys were reading the manual on stalking and survival in the wilderness he had written for his military regiment. Gathering ideas from Ernest Thompson Seton, Daniel Carter Beard, and others, he rewrote the manual as a non-military nature skill book and called it Scouting for Boys. To test his ideas, Baden-Powell brought together 22 boys to camp at Brownsea Island, off the coast of England. This historic campout was a success and resulted in the advent of Scouting. Thus, the imagination and inspiration of Baden-Powell, later proclaimed Chief Scout of the World, brought Scouting to youth the world over.

- M -

MAL - (see Member-at-Large)

MB - (see Merit Badge)

MBC - (see Merit Badge Counselor)

MC - (see Committee Member)

Medal of Merit - An award presented to Scouts who put into practice the skills and ideals of Scouting through some great act of service; need not involve a rescue or risk to self.

Member-at-Large (MAL) - A volunteer at the District level who is available to serve and/or assist on special projects.

membership inventory - Part of the charter renewal process when the activity of a unit during the past year is reviewed; usually held along with a uniform inspection.

Merit Badge (MB) - A recognition given to a Scout for completing the requirements for the badge.

Merit Badge Counselor (MBC) - A registered adult volunteer who is expert in a merit badge field, has the ability to work effectively with Scouts, and certifies that requirements are met.

Mile Swim, BSA - A recognition given to Scouts to encourage their development of physical fitness and stamina through swimming.

- N -

National Summertime Pack Award - An award earned by the pack for conducting a summer program.

National Camping Award - A recognition awarded to a Boy Scout troop or Varsity Scout team for completing a certain number of days and nights of camping on either an annual or a cumulative basis. The award also recognizes cumulative achievement in number of campouts by individual Scouts and Scouters.

National Camping School (NCS) - A training experience for key summer camp staff of council camps.

National Council - The corporate membership chartered by the United States Congress to operate the program of the Boy Scouts of America, made up of all elected members of the National Executive Board, members of regional executive committees, elected local council representatives, elected members at large- and elected (nonvoting) honorary members.

National Court of Honor - A committee of the BSA that is responsible for administering  lifesaving awards, meritorious action awards, and distinguished service awards.

National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) - This group provides an opportunity for all Eagle Scouts to retain identification with Scouting through service to the local council in which they live.

National Leadership Seminar (NLS) -

national office - The administrative offices of the Boy Scouts of America. Address is 1325 West Walnut Hill Lane, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079. Phone number is 972-580-2000. Web page address is Often improperly referred to as "home office."

National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) - A biennial conference designed to improve program and leadership skills of all Arrowmen.

National President's Scoutmaster Award - Awarded by the National Eagle Scout Association to Scoutmasters who make a significant contribution to boys' achievement of the Eagle Scout rank.

NCS - (see National Camping School)

NESA - (see National Eagle Scout Association)

new-Scout conference - The Scoutmaster meets with each new Scout in the troop to get acquainted, discuss Scouting, and welcome the bay into the troop. Held as soon as possible after the boy joins.

NLS - (see National Leadership Seminar)

NOAC - (see National Order of the Arrow Conference)

- O -

OA - (see Order of the Arrow)

Okpik - The winter camping program offered by Northem Tier National High Adventure Program.

ordeal membership - The first phase of membership in the Order of the Arrow.

Order of the Arrow (OA) - Scouting's national honor society, the members of which have been chosen by their peers for their Scouting spirit and camping ability.

orienteering - A cross-country race to reach a destination and certain checkpoints along the way with the use of a map and compass.

Outdoor Code - A pledge for proper outdoor conduct which should be followed by all Cub Scouts and leaders.

Outdoor Program - The total scope of outdoor programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America, including unit outings, camporees, Cub Scout day camps, long-term Scout camps, council and national jamborees.

- P -

Pack - The unit that conducts Cub Scouting for the chartered organization. Usually consists of 2 or more dens and conducts monthly meetings.

Pack Committee (PC) - A committee of concerned parents and leaders, approved by the chartered organization, to administer the affairs of the pack.

Pack Meeting - Monthly meeting of Cub Scouts, adult leaders, committee members and parents, where Cub Scouts and adults receive recognition for their advancement in rank or service to Scouting. Skits, songs and other entertainment should be performed by dens.

pack program planning conference - An annual planning meeting of the pack.

Patches/Badges - Worn on the uniform to designate rank or training awards. Refer to the Wolf, Bear, or Webelos books, den leader book, or Insignia Control Guide for specific placement information.

patrol - A group of five to 10 boys who belong to a troop and work together in and out of troop meetings. There are usually several patrols in one troop.

Patrol Leader (PL) - The youth leader of the patrol, elected by its members.

Patrol Leader's Council (PLC) - Each patrol leader, representing his patrol, meets with the other patrol leaders and the senior patrol leader to plan their troop program. The Scoutmaster acts as an adviser.

Paul Bunyan Woodsman - A recognition given to a Scout who demonstrates skill with a long-handled ax or a saw to do a forestry job, then teaches other Scouts how to use woods tools safely.

PC - (see Pack Committee)

Pedro - "The long-eared, four-footed mailburro of the 'Hitchin' Rack" in Boys'Life magazine.

Philmont Scout Ranch - National high-adventure base covering over 137,000 acres in northern New Mexico. Includes a center for volunteer training. Address is Cimarron, NM 87714.

Philmont Training Center (PTC) -

pinewood derby - A pack activity that involves making and racing model cars on a track.

PL - (see Patrol Leader)

PLC - (see Patrol Leaders' Council)

Pow Wow - A training course for Cub Scout leaders conducted by the district or council. Usually held annually.

professional - A registered, full-time employee of the Boy Scouts of America who has successfully completed formal training at the Center for Professional Development.

Program Helps - An annual publication of the BSA to help den and pack leaders plan their meetings by using monthly themes

Project COPE - Challenging Outdoor Physical Experience - A team building and self esteem building physical challenge designed to broaden a scouts abilities and self confidence . Scouts depend on themselves and each other to complete the course while guided and guarded by trained COPE Counselors. Consists of problem solving exercises, low course (6 feet or less off ground) and high course (25 feet or more) where participants are belayed and safety is of utmost concern

Provisional Troop - A troop made for a special occasion. A troop for boys which attend camp on their own because they can't attend camp with their regular troop. Troops attending a jamboree are typically provisional troops.

PTC - (see Philmont Training Center)

- Q -

QM - (see Quartermaster) -

Quality Unit Award - Recognition given each charter year to units that commit to and meet six of eight national standards (three are required) pertaining to leadership training, service, advancement, camping and membership growth.

Quartermaster (QM) -


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This page was last edited 11/15/09