Glossary of Terms
This page aims to help define some of the more commonly used terms and acronyms in Scouting. Scouting terms are based in part on the Charter and Bylaws and Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America (available here).
Baden-Powell Robert Stephenson Smythe – founder of the worldwide Scouting movement.
AOL Arrow of Light The highest Cub Scout Award, and the only Cub Scout badge that may be worn on the Boy Scout uniform.
APL Assistant Patrol Leader Youth second leader of a patrol. Appointed by the PL to help him and take his place in his absence.
ASM Assistant ScoutMaster An adult volunteer, 18 or older, appointed by the chartered organization, who helps the SM administer the Troop program. The term SA is used on applications and other literature.
ASPL Assistant Senior patrol Leader Appointed by the SPL with the SM’s advice and consent, he helps to run the Troop with the SPL and the PLC.
BLT Basic Leadership Training
Blue Card Merit Badge card used to record completion of requirements.
BOR Board of Review As a requirement for each rank advancement, a Scout must appear individually before a group of three to six adults (members of the Troop Committee) to ensure that the Scout has met the requirements for that rank. Neither the SM, ASMs, nor the Scout’s parents can sit on a BOR. A BOR takes place after a Scoutmaster Conference for Rank Advancement, or when a Scout requests it, ir if the Troop Committee feels the Scout needs it. Eagle Board of Reviews are conducted at the district level, not by the Troop.
Boy Scout Ranks In increasing order of rank: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, Eagle, Eagle Palms: Bronze, Gold, Silver.
Boy’s Life BSA’s monthly magazine for boys.
B-P Award Baden-Powell Patrol Award An embroidered star worn beneath the patrol medallion distinguishes a member of a patrol that won this award by meeting requirements in spirit, patrol meetings, hikes, outdoor activities, Good Turns, advancement, membership, uniform, and PLC attendance. The motto of BSA: Be Prepared, honor his initials.
B-P Baden-Powell Robert Stephenson Smythe – founder of the worldwide Scouting movement. Born in London, Feb. 22, 1857. Referred to as Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, Chief Scout of the World
Bridging A ceremony where Webelos Cub Scouts cross a ceremonial bridge to signify their transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. This is normally done at a Cub Scout Pack meeting with Boy Scouts from the Webelos’ new Troop participating.
BSA Boy Scouts of America
BSLTA Boy Scouts Leader Training Award A training recognition for adults in Boy Scouting, other than Scoutmasters. Recipients wear an award knot with two green ropes.
C.O.P.E. Project C.O.P.E. Challenging Outdoor Physical Experience – A team-building and Self-esteem building physical challenge designed to broaden a Scout’s abilities and self confidence.
Camporee Derived from two words: camp and jamboree. Attended by several Troops within the district. There are usually various skill and spirit competitions between the attending patrols. Generally held in the Spring and involves two nights of camping
CC Committee Chair A registered adult appointed by the Charter Organization to chair the Troop Committee. Presides at Troop Committee meetings. Works closely with the COR and Scoutmaster to ensure the Scouting program meets BSA guidelines.
CD Camp Director The Scouter in charge of the administration of a Boy Scout camp.
Class A Uniform Full uniform required for all external Troop activities (e.g. travel to/from activities, camping, community service).
Class B Uniform Troop or BSA shirt worn during specific camping activities, work details, summer camp, at Patrol Leader Council meetings or other informal Scouting occasions.
Class C Uniform Casual wear, up to the discretion of an event leader and the appropriateness of the event.
CO Chartered Organization A religions, civic, fraternal, educational, or other community-based organization which has applied for and received a charter to operate a BSA Scouting unit.
COH Court of Honor A ceremony to honor and recognize Scouts for their achievements and rank advancements. A special COH is used when a Scout reaches Eagle.
Commissioner Adult volunteer Scouter at the district or council level. Unit commissioners are assigned to units and should be a friendly resource to the unit leaders.
CR/COR Charter Representative / Chartered Organization Representative A person assigned by the chartering organization to be the liaison between the Troop and the charter organization.
Crackerbarrel A gathering of Scouts and/or Scouters for friendship and fellowship with light snacks and refreshments. Sometimes crackers are served, but rarely with a barrel.
Council Regional collection of districts that provides support, Council camps, and training.
CSP Council Shoulder Patch Patch worn on the Scout uniform to signify which council the Scout is registered in.
DC Den Chief A Boy Scout who helps direct the activities of a Cub Scout den. Appointed by the SM. Also, Webelos Den Chief, who performs the same duties for a Webelos den.
DE District Executive A professional Scouter who works under the direction of the Scout Executive and is responsible for the achievements of the district.
District A subdivision of a council.
Dues Annual cost of maintaining an active membership in the troop. Dues help pay for equipment maintenance, new equipment, neckerchiefs and slides for new Boy Scouts joining the Troop, patches and other awards.
Fees Costs incurred to participate in an event.
FYC First Year Camper
Good Turn Good Turn is a distinctive feature of Boy Scouting and its emphasis on service to others. The “Do a Good Turn Daily” habit is one that all Scouts try to acquire.
Instructor This youth leader helps other youth members with rank advancement; appointed by the SPL with the advice and consent of the SM. Also, any youth or adult who can teach or instruct others on parts of the Scouting program.
Jamboree The term chosen by B-P to describe the first international gathering of Scouts camping together in London in 1920. The term is used to indicate a national or world gathering.
JASM Junior Assistant Scoutmaster A youth between 16 and 18 who has already held major leadership positions within the Troop. Appointed by the SM to help in guiding the Troop and youth leaders.
TLT Troop Leader Training A training course for junior leaders building the leadership team and planning the Troop program.
TLTC Troop Leader Training Conference Week-long training course for junior leaders featuring Scoutcraft and leadership skills.
Klondike Derby A winter-/snow-oriented camporee. Overnight camping experience in the snow with team-building games and activities.
Leadership To advance in each of the more senior ranks, a Scout must hold a leadership position for a set period of time. The rank requirements in the Boy Scout Handbook (as revised) list the leadership positions that qualify.
LNT Leave No Trace Leave No Trace embodies outdoor skills and ethics that minimize our impact on the environment.
MB Merit Badge Recognition that a Scout has had in-depth training in a skill. Certain MBs are required for advanced ranks, signified by a silver border around the badge.
Merit Badge Counselor A registered adult leader who has knowledge about a particular MB and is authorized to teach MB classes for Scouts.
MC Member of the Committee Adult volunteer who serves on the Troop Committee which carries out the Troop’s program. Members are involved in operational areas of the Troop including finance, administration, transportation, fund raising, and other areas as determined by the CC and SM or CM or DC.
NESA National Eagle Scout Association This group provides an opportunity for all Boy Scouts to retain identification with Scouting through service to the local council in which they live.
NOAC National Order of the Arrow Conference A gathering of OA members to address OA issues.
OA Ordeal The initiation ceremony experience for new OA members generally involving personal introspection, service to improve camp or trail, and ceremonies based on Indian legend or lore.
OA Order of the Arrow A national brotherhood of Scout honor campers of the BSA. The OA motto of “cheerful service” indicates their purpose.
Patrol The Patrol is the basic unit within a Troop. A Patrol is made up of 6-8 Scouts who camp, cook, and eat together, and work as a team at various activities.
Philmont / Philmont Scout Ranch A 136,000 acre high adventure Scout reservation near Cimarron, New Mexico. A rugged, outback hiking experience usually lasting 11 days.
PL Patrol Leader The elected leader for a patrol. As a member of the PLC he helps make the decisions that run the Troop. He appoints an Assistant Patrol Leader (APL) to help in running the patrol.
PLC Patrol Leaders Council Made up of the youth leadership of the Troop. They meet once a month to plan the following month’s activities and annually to plan the upcoming year.
PTC Philmont Training Center A center at Philmont Scout Ranch hosting training seminars for selected Scouts and Scouters. Attendance is by invitation after local council nomination.
QM Quartermaster A Troop role for a Scouter, involves managing and maintaining supplies and equipment of the Troop.
Recharter An annual process of re-registering the Troop, including its Scouts and adult leaders.
Roster Typically a list of Scouts and relevant information, such as a Duty Roster or Telephone Roster.
RT Roundtable Monthly meeting for leaders to exchange ideas and fellowship, run by the district..
Safe Haven All Troop activities free from fear of physical and/or verbal abuse.
SA Assistant Scoutmaster Term used on applications and other literature; in practice the term used is ASM. See also: ASM
Scouter Any adult registered leader.
Scouting for Food Good turn event: every year, Scouts collect food for the fight against hunger. The food is given to local food banks for distribution to needy families. This is a national event of the BSA.
Scoutmaster Conference Formal meeting that takes place between a Scout and the Scoutmaster to review a Scout’s progress. A Scoutmaster Conference takes place: at advancement time before a Board of Review, when a Scout requests one, or if the Scoutmaster feels the Scout needs it.
SE Scout Executive
SM Scoutmaster Adult leader, head of the Troop. A commissioned volunteer, 21 or older, appointed by the chartered organization. Provides direction and training to the Scouts so they can run a Troop more effectively. Works with the Troop Committee and the chartered organization representative to provide program opportunities and direction.
SME Sustaining Membership Enrollment Similar to FOS
Sign Off Recognition that a requirement has been met by initialing and dating the Scout handbook
SPL Senior Patrol Leader The most senior youth leader of the Troop, elected by the Scouts. The SPL is in charge of the Troop at all functions and activities and is the head of the PLC. He appoints his ASPL.
TC Troop Committee Committee of registered adult leaders that provides oversight, assistance, and guidance to the Scoutmaster in carrying out the Scouting program within the Troop. Responsible for providing the necessary resources requested by the PLC and SM that are required to carry out the Scouting program.
TG Troop Guide A youth leader who works with the new Scout patrol in the Troop; appointed by the SM in consultation with the SA responsible for the new Scouts.
Tour Permit A document that must be filed with the council office before an official Scouting activity outside council boundaries can take place.
TRS Troop Resource Survey A survey of the talents, skills, and interests of adults who could provide program assistance to the Troop.
TTT Train the Trainer
Uniformed Adult Leader See Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster.
UC Unit Commissioner Volunteer Scouter who works with Pocks, Troops, and teams to help them succeed. Carries information and questions to and from the unit, to and from the local council.
Wood Badge Advanced leader training. A leather thong with two wooden beads, a special neckerchief, and a slide (woggle) are worn by those who have completed training. Teaches leadership and Troop operations skills.
WOSM World Organization of the Scouting Movement
YIS Yours in Scouting A closing line when communicating with others in the Scouting program.
YPP Youth Protection Plan Guidelines and policies, in place to help fight child abuse. This BSA emphasis fights child abuse by teaching youth “the three R’s”: Recognize, Resist, and Report child abuse; by helping parents and Scouters learn to recognize indicators of child abuse; and by teaching them how to handle child abuse situations.