Language of Scouting

The Language of Scouting and BSA Style Manual
Revised February 2020

This reference is the Boy Scouts of America’s definitive resource on terms and style specific to Scouting and this organization. The Language of Scouting encompasses style, usage, grammar, and spelling norms observed by the Boy Scouts of America and used by the Marketing Group and Communication Services Department and its approved editorial and publishing partners. These standards have been developed so that the BSA can disseminate resources and other information in the most professional, consistent, coherent, and uniform manner for all forms of communication—print, digital, multimedia, etc.

Scouting terms are based in part on the Charter and Bylaws and Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America (available here). Grammar, spelling, style, and usage decisions are based on the latest editions of the following references, in order of preference: Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, The Associated Press Stylebook, and The Chicago Manual of Style. Turn to these resources (in the given order) for further reference. The Language of Scouting always takes precedence. Note: If an entry is capitalized, it should be capitalized whenever it is used.

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There are currently 599 names in this directory
1910 Society, The
(or just 1910 Society) Prior to 2010, this program recognized donors who gave at least $25,000 outright or over a five-year period. It was replaced in 2010 with the Second Century Society.

50-Miler Award
This award is earned when a Scout hikes, paddles, bikes, or rides horseback for at least 50 miles over five consecutive days, performs 10 hours of service, and completes the 50-Miler Award application.

The ham radio station of the World Scout Bureau Global Support Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. See also “HB9S” and “K2BSA.”

The second­-highest rank in Sea Scouting. Examples: "Able Award," "Able rank," "Able requirements," "Able Sea Scout."

activity chair
A Venturer appointed by the crew Advisor and president to chair a crew activity or project.

adult leader
The use of this term is not recommended. See "Scouter" and "adult volunteer."

Adult Mentor program
Adult mentors work with young people enrolled in the P.R.A.Y. program. An adult who completes the mentor studies receives a certificate and lapel pin to wear on nonuniform clothing.

adult partner
The adult member of a Lion or Tiger team.

adult program participant
An adult program participant is any person 18 years of age or older who registers to participate in a program in which youth members are also eligible to participate; obligates himself or herself to regularly attend the meetings; fulfills a member’s obligation to the unit; subscribes to the Scout Oath; and participates in an appropriate program based on the current guidelines of the Boy Scouts of America. Adult program participants are subject to the same guidelines as adult Scouters when required by policies and guidelines.

adult volunteer
An adult Scouter who volunteers their services.

Advanced Seamanship
This Sea Scouting course is designed for those who have completed the Safe Boating course. Those who complete it earn the Qualified Seaman bar. See also “Safe Boating.”

The process by which a youth member meets certain requirements and earns recognition. There is no advancement program for adults. See also “methods of Scouting.”

A grouping of themed activities acting as a unit of measure for Cub Scout and Webelos Scout advancement. Some adventures are required to earn a rank, and others are elective. Capitalize the name but not the word “adventure.” Example: “Complete the Tigers in the Wild adventure.” Exceptions: Adventures in Coins (Wolf adventure), Adventures in Science (Webelos/Arrow of Light adventure), and Scouting Adventure (Arrow of Light adventure).

adventure loop
A recognition device awarded to a Lion, Tiger, Wolf, or Bear Cub Scout for completing the requirements of an adventure. Adventure loops are designed to be worn on the Cub Scout belt. Capitalize the name of the adventure but not the words “adventure loop”: “Present the Bear Claws adventure loop.”

adventure pin
A recognition device awarded to a Webelos or Arrow of Light Scout for completing the requirements of an adventure. Adventure pins are designed to be worn on the Webelos colors or on the front of the Webelos cap. Capitalize the name of the adventure but not the words “adventure pin”: “Present the Castaway adventure pin.”

A member of the Order of the Arrow who is at least 21 years of age; is responsible to the Scout executive; supervises the program; and guides, counsels, and teaches an Order of the Arrow organization or committee (“lodge adviser,” “staff adviser,” “ceremony team adviser,” etc.). When used with a person’s name, the title is capitalized (e.g., “Chapter Adviser John Doe”). See also “advisor.”

Lowercase when describing a counselor other than a Venturing staff or volunteer Advisor. Examples: “professional advisor,” “Venturing staff Advisor,” “Venturing volunteer Advisor.” See also “adviser.”

Advisory Council
The Advisory Council to the National Executive Board is composed of nonvoting members of the National Council who, because of experience, have a particular expertise that would benefit the national organization. They are elected to National Advisory Council membership by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board members present at any meeting.

aims of Scouting
The Scouting program has four specific objectives, commonly referred to as the "aims of Scouting." They are character development, citizenship training, leadership, and mental and physical fitness.

(Pronounced Ah­KAY­la.) A title of respect used in Cub Scouting. Any good leader is Akela. The name comes from Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.

See “Scout Executives’ Alliance.”

Alpha Phi Omega
A coeducational service fraternity organized in many of the colleges and universities of America. A program outside the BSA, it was founded on the principles of the BSA and Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Venturing’s program model has four areas of emphasis—Adventure, Leadership, Personal Growth, and Service.

Former Scouts, family members of Scouts (past and present), volunteers, Scouters, and Scouting supporters.

American Indian
This term is preferred to “Native American” when referring to indigenous peoples of the continental United States. “Native American” more generally applies to also include native peoples of the Hawaiian Islands, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Guam. When possible, be precise and use the name of a specific tribe, such as “Chinook Tribe,” “Chinook Indian Tribe.”

Anniversary Week
See “Scouting Anniversary Week.”

An event cannot be described as “annual” until it has been held in at least two successive years. Do not use the term “first annual.” Instead, note that sponsors plan to hold an event annually. Examples: “First Venturing Jam,” “Second Annual Venturing Jam.”

Annual Giving Campaign (AGC)
An opportunity for National Council employees and selected national-level prospects to provide financial support for national operations. See also “Friends of Scouting.”

annual meeting
These meetings are held to elect officers, hear reports of the year’s activities, and study plans for the coming year. Capitalize only when naming a specific meeting. Example: “Fairfield Council Annual Meeting.” See also “National Annual Meeting.”

When referencing a book’s appendix within the text, this word is not capitalized.

The entrance rank in Sea Scouting. Examples: “Apprentice Award,” Apprentice rank,” “Apprentice requirements,” “Apprentice Sea Scout.”

aquatics awards
Several BSA experiential aquatics awards, not tied to advancement, promote water safety and are available to Scouts BSA members, Sea Scouts, and leaders. They include Boardsailing BSA, Kayaking BSA, Mile Swim BSA, Scuba BSA, Snorkeling BSA, BSA Stand Up Paddleboarding, and Whitewater Rafting BSA.

Aquatics Instructor BSA
See “BSA Aquatics Instructor.”

Aquatics Supervision: Paddle Craft Safety
The modules in this skills training course supplement online Safety Afloat training and are recommended for those supervising the appropriate boating activities. Modules include Basic Canoeing, Basic Kayaking, River Canoeing, and River Kayaking. The first reference in a document should include the full title. Subsequent references may be shortened to “Paddle Craft Safety.”

Aquatics Supervision: Swimming and Water Rescue
This skills training course supplements online Safe Swim Defense training and is recommended for those supervising swimming activities. The first reference in a document should include the full title. Subsequent references may be shortened to Swimming and Water Rescue.

An administrative section of a BSA region containing a number of councils. Examples: “Area 2,” “areawide.”

area codes
Use a hyphen with the area code rather than parentheses: 972-580-2000.

area president
The elected volunteer officer in an area who heads the area committee and serves as a member of the regional cabinet.

areas of emphasis
See “ALPS.”

arena show
A series of exciting and dramatic displays of Cub Scout, Scout, and Venturing skills and talents put on by the members themselves for a seated audience. See also “booth show.”

Arrow of Light
The seventh and highest rank in Cub Scouting. The Arrow of Light badge is the only Cub Scout badge that may be worn on the Scouts BSA uniform. Examples: “Arrow of Light badge,” “Arrow of Light rank.”

A youth or adult member of the Order of the Arrow. Plural is Arrowmen.

assistant Chief Scout Executive
There are four assistant Chief Scout Executives responsible for the areas of Field Service, Development, Support Services, and Outdoor Adventures for the BSA. The assistant Chief Scout Executives support and report to the Chief Scout Executive. See also “Chief Scout Executive.”

assistant Cubmaster
A volunteer Scouter, 18 or older, appointed by the chartered organization to help the Cubmaster.

assistant den leader
A volunteer Scouter, 18 or older, appointed by the chartered organization to help the Cub Scout den leader.

assistant denner
A Cub Scout or Webelos Scout elected by members of the den to help the denner.

assistant patrol leader
A Scout who is appointed by the patrol leader as a helper and to take the patrol leader’s place in that youth leader’s absence.

assistant Scoutmaster
A volunteer Scouter, 18 or older, appointed by the chartered organization to help the Scoutmaster by working with a new-Scout patrol.

assistant senior patrol leader
A youth leader, usually in larger troops, who helps the senior patrol leader. Appointed by the senior patrol leader with the Scoutmaster’s advice and consent.

assistant Webelos den leader
A leader in a pack, 18 or older, who is appointed by the chartered organization to help the Webelos den leader.

associate Advisor
Each Venturing crew should have one or more adults, 21 years of age or older, who perform such duties as may be assigned by the Advisor. Associate Advisors often are assigned administrative and program functions.

An ill-defined term that should be avoided.

Capitalize only when referring to the name of a specific award: “Silver Buffalo Award.”

awards and decorations
Capitalize: “Honor Medal,” “Medal of Merit,” etc. However, do not capitalize “emblem.” See also “emblem” and individual names of medals, honors, and emblems.

Awards Central
The online repository for information about official awards and recognitions. This is where the most up-to-date information about BSA awards and recognitions may be found, including award applications and nomination forms. Go to

Baden-Powell, Robert Stephenson Smyth
Founder of the worldwide Scouting movement. He was born Feb. 22, 1857, in London, was made a baron in 1929, and died Jan. 8, 1941. He is referred to as Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, Chief Scout of the World. Abbreviate B-P (without periods). Do not use his first name with his title: “Lord Baden-Powell,” but never “Lord Robert Baden-Powell.”

Usually lowercase when referring to badges that Scouts can earn: “Webelos badge,” “Wolf badge,” “Camping merit badge.” Exception: “Wood Badge.”

BALOO (Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation)
This training experience teaches volunteer leaders how to plan and carry out an outdoor experience for Cub Scouts.

Baptist churches
Do not apply the term “church” to any Baptist unit except the local church. There are more than 20 Baptist bodies in the United States, the largest being the Southern Baptist Convention.

Be Prepared
The Scout motto. The initials of the motto are the initials of Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting. Capitalize only if standing alone: “The Scout must always be prepared.” “The Scout motto is Be Prepared.”

The rank designed for a Cub Scout who is in the third grade.

biannual, biennial
Biannual means twice a year and is a synonym for the word “semiannual.” “Biennial” means every two years.

Means every other month. “Semimonthly” means twice a month.

Means every other week. “Semiweekly” means twice a week.

blue and gold banquet
A birthday or annual dinner for Scouting held by Cub Scout packs, typically in February to celebrate the founding of the Boy Scouts of America in 1910 and Cub Scouting in 1930. May be called “blue and gold dinner.” Capitalize only when part of a full title: “Pack 214 Blue and Gold Banquet.”

This may refer to an executive board and is not capitalized in general reference. It may refer to a board of review only on second reference. Capitalize in reference to the BSA Executive Board or a specific executive board: Rio Grande Council Executive Board.

board of regents
Recipients of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award are invited to join the Board of Regents of the National Eagle Scout Association. The chair of the NESA Board of Regents is elected by those who have accepted membership. Capitalize only when reference is clearly to the NESA Board of Regents.

board of review
A review held to determine if a Scout has satisfactorily completed rank requirements. A review may be held also to encourage Scouts who are not advancing. For the Tenderfoot through Life ranks, the board of review is conducted by the troop committee. For the Eagle Scout rank, the council decides whether the unit committee or the district or council committee responsible for advancement conducts the board of review. At least one district or council advancement representative shall always be a member of the unit board of review. Always lowercase: “Eagle Scout board of review.”

See “ships and spacecraft.”

(Pronounced BO-sun.) The elected youth leader of a Sea Scout ship. The office is comparable to president of a Venturing crew.

boatswain’s mate
The second-highest youth leadership position in a Sea Scout ship; elected to assist the boatswain.

The first rank earned by Cub Scouts who join after kindergarten.

book titles
See “composition titles.”

booth show
Booth displays by Cub Scouts, Scouts, and Venturers are put on simultaneously while the audience walks around to observe them. This indoor or outdoor event may include stage shows for individual unit demonstrations. See also “arena show.”

Boy Scouts of America National Foundation
A foundation established by the BSA to help local councils raise new gifts, provide technical assistance and advice for major gifts, and help donors establish gifts such as charitable unitrusts, scholarship funds, and those that may be distributed among several Scouting entities. The foundation also distributes and tracks financial grants to local councils, raises funds for national BSA initiatives, and serves as trustee for a wide variety of charitable gifts benefiting Scouting. Also commonly referred to as the BSA Foundation.

Boy Scouts of America®
The legal name of the organization is singular. Example: “In 2010 the Boy Scouts of America celebrated its 100th anniversary.” The abbreviation is BSA (without periods) and is used with the article (“the BSA”) when used as a noun. The registered mark should appear at the end of “America” at the top corner on first reference in running text and in general in a stand-alone reference.

Boys’ Life
The magazine for all youth published by the Boy Scouts of America. The title should be italicized. Note the placement of the apostrophe (not Boy’s).

brand names
When they are used, capitalize them. “Brand name” is a nonlegal term for “service mark” or “trademark.” Brand names normally should be used only if they are essential; otherwise, use generic terms. See also “trademarks.”

bridge of honor
An award presentation ceremony in Sea Scouting.

bridge of review
A review held to determine if a Sea Scout has satisfactorily completed rank requirements. For the Apprentice, Ordinary, and Able ranks, the review is held by peers; for the Quartermaster rank, the review is conducted by an approved group of adults in cooperation with the district or council advancement committee. Always lowercase: Quartermaster bridge of review.”

This is when Cub Scouts have completed their grade level at the end of the school year and officially form the next grade level den.

Bronze Palm
See “Eagle Palms.”

Bronze Wolf Award
The only award presented by the World Scout Committee. Bestowed solely in recognition of outstanding service by an individual to the world Scout movement.

Brotherhood membership
The second and final induction phase of membership in the Order of the Arrow. Capitalize Brotherhood only when referring to membership or to the ceremony. Do not capitalize when referring to friendship.

BSA Aquatics Instructor
A five-year training designation for an adult who satisfactorily completes the Aquatics section at a BSA National Camping School.

BSA Brand Center
The BSA Brand Center is an asset management resource, located at, that is designed to help councils produce brand-consistent and cost-effective marketing materials, including fliers, logos, videos, and more.

BSA family camping
See “family camp.”

BSA Foundation
See “Boy Scouts of America National Foundation.”

BSA Learn Center
Accessed via, the BSA Learn Center offers a selection of courses for adult volunteers.

BSA Lifeguard
A professional-level lifeguard training program available to registered members at least 15 years old.

BSA Lifeguard Instructor
A certification for adults who train BSA Lifeguards.

BSA local council
Not “BSA council” or “local BSA council.”

BSA Mission Statement
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law

BSA Vision Statement
The Boy Scouts of America will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.

buddy system
The safety system where Scouts group together and keep an eye out for each other during Scouting activities such as camping, aquatics, hiking, and other activities. For aquatics activities, swimmers of like ability are grouped, check in and out of the water together, and monitor the safety of each other during the swim.

budget plan
A method used by a unit to develop thrift habits. A yearly budget is established and weekly dues are agreed upon.

An appointed youth position of responsibility in a Sea Scout ship or a Scout troop. Bugler is not considered a position of responsibility for the Eagle Scout rank; it is, however, for the Star Scout and Life Scout ranks.

Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America
The document that defines all legal aspects of the operation of the Boy Scouts of America corporation. See also “Charter and Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America.”

The form: “22-caliber rifle.” See also “firearms.”

calling-out ceremony
The ceremony that begins the membership induction process for a newly elected Order of the Arrow candidate. Subsequent references can use “callout.”

camp director
The Scouter in charge of the administration of a Scout resident camp or a Cub Scout day camp or resident camp.

camp ranger
A ranger’s responsibilities may include keeping camp facilities functioning properly, performing camp improvements and maintenance, issuing supplies and equipment related to maintenance, directing the maintenance staff, ensuring that activities are performed in accordance with local council and national safety policies, and managing the off-season program.

Campaign for local council endowment
Many councils conduct a campaign to raise new gifts used to increase their endowment funds. It may be a stand-alone campaign, or it may be a separate component of a capital campaign.

Camping is the hallmark of Scouting. See “day camp,” “long-term camping,” “resident camping,” “outdoor program,” “high adventure,” and “High Adventure Department.”

camping director
A professional Scouter who is responsible for development of the year-round camping program of the local council. This person supervises the long-term camping program and may or may not serve as the resident camp director.

A volunteer Scouter trained to assist in short-term camping. Many councils organize a campmaster corps as a resource for their units.

Derived from two words: camp and jamboree. A camporee is a district or council troop activity that demonstrates the techniques of living in camp. It involves a one- or two-night camping experience and may include outdoor skills competition. Capitalize only when referring to a specific district’s or troop’s event: “Hiawatha District Camporee.”

A camping activity with at least one overnight stay. One word.

A unit’s outdoor home for an overnight, resident, or long-term camp or for the den activities at Cub Scout day camp. One word.


Avoid unnecessary capitalization. When in doubt, don’t capitalize. Many words and phrases, including special cases, are listed separately in this guide. Entries that are capitalized without further comment should be capitalized in all uses. If there is no relevant listing in this guide for a particular word or phrase, consult Use lowercase if the dictionary lists it as an acceptable form for the sense in which the word is being used.

As used in this guide, “capitalize” means to use uppercase for the first letter of a word. If additional capital letters are needed, they are called for by an example. See also “composition titles.”

Following are some Scouting specifics:

Activities. Do not capitalize “pow wow,” “camporee,” “jamboree,” or “show” unless the reference is to a specific event: Midland District Pow Wow, South Central Camporee, the 2017 National Jamboree, Pioneer Day Scouting Show.

Groups. Do not capitalize “pack,” “den,” “troop,” “patrol,” “ship,” “crew,” “district,” “council,” “region,” or “area” unless the reference is specific: Pack 10, Den 5, Troop 6, Fox Patrol, Ship 2, Central District, Circle Ten Council, Western Region, Area 2.

Headings and titles of works. In headings and titles that use uppercase and lowercase letters, capitalize the first letter of the first word, the first letter of the last word, and all other words except “to” in infinitives (Dare to Fly With the Eagles), articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, for), and prepositions of fewer than four letters (at, by, for, in, of, off, on, per, to, up, via), except when used as part of an adverb in a title (Climb On Safely). Do capitalize prepositions of four letters or more (With, From, Between, After). Note that subordinating conjunctions (As, If, When) are capitalized (Scouts to Work at Cleanup As Their Good Turn).

Nationalities, religious organizations, and tribal or racial groups. Do not capitalize group names that refer to color. Examples: American, Islamic, Hispanic, African American, Asian, American Indian, black, white.

Titles of office Chief Scout Executive and Chief Scout of the World are the only titles that are routinely capitalized in all uses. Capitalize other titles only when they precede a name: District Executive Thorpe is working with other district executives; she is the council’s Scout executive.

certificate of merit
See “Local Council Certificate of Merit” and “National Certificate of Merit.”

New entry for chair which replaces BSA president.

(1) A spiritual leader for units appointed by the faith-based community organization chartered to use the Scouting program. (2) One who gives spiritual leadership to a camp or jamboree community; conducts religious services according to his or her faith and arranges for other religious observance as needed; provides help in dealing with morale; visits those who are ill; and provides counseling in case of bereavement.

chaplain aide
A youth leader who works with the troop chaplain to ensure all members have appropriate religious observance during outings and helps other Scouts in the religious emblems program. Appointed by the senior patrol leader with the Scoutmaster’s advice and consent.

An optional geographic administrative unit of an Order of the Arrow lodge corresponding to a district or multiple districts.

Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association
Former and current seasonal and permanent staff members, long-time volunteers, and supporters of the Northern Tier National High Adventure Program are eligible for membership. The group works to preserve and promote wilderness camping, high adventure, and training opportunities at Northern Tier.

Charles L. Sommers High Adventure Base
This year-round facility in Ely, Minnesota, offers cold-weather camping and access to dozens of wilderness routes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota and the Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. See also “Northern Tier National High Adventure Program.”

In the BSA, charters authorize (1) an organization to operate Scouting units (see “chartered organization”), (2) a local council to incorporate as a BSA local council, (3) operation of an Order of the Arrow lodge, or (4) the Boy Scouts of America to incorporate. See “Charter and Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America” and “Charter of the Boy Scouts of America.” Do not use as a verb; use “to obtain a charter” and “to renew a charter” rather than “to charter” or “to recharter.”

Charter and Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America
The published booklet containing the two documents. Italicize title if reference is to the physical book; titles of the separate documents are not italicized.

Charter of the Boy Scouts of America
This Congressional Act of Incorporation, passed on June 15, 1916, authorized and set standards for the incorporation of the Boy Scouts of America. It also protects the name, emblems, badges, and descriptive or designating marks, words, or phrases of the program. See also “Charter and Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America.”

charter presentation
A formal ceremony at which the charter, Scouter commissions, and membership certificates are presented to organization authorities and members of the unit.

charter renewal
An annual meeting attended by the chartered organization representative, head of the chartered organization, troop leaders, and unit commissioner for the purpose of completing the charter application and making plans for the charter presentation.

charter review
See “membership inventory.”

chartered organization
A religious, civic, or other community-based organization that has applied for and received a charter to operate a Scouting unit. Do not use “chartered partner” or “sponsoring unit.”

chartered organization representative
A manager of Scouting in a chartered organization who also represents this organization in the local council and district.

Appointed by the patrol leader, this Scout is in charge of leading patrol songs, yells, stunts, and campfire programs.

The key elected youth leader in the Order of the Arrow who may be a chapter chief, lodge chief, section chief, regional chief, or national chief.

Chief Scout Citizen
Theodore Roosevelt was named Chief Scout Citizen in 1910 when the Boy Scouts of America was founded. Always capitalize.

Chief Scout Executive
The top-ranking professional Scouter of the Boy Scouts of America, used when the Scouter is a commissioned BSA professional. This is the only professional title that is routinely capitalized. See also “president and CEO.”

Capitalize as part of the formal name of a building, congregation, or denomination; lowercase in other uses: “St. Mary’s Church,” “the Roman Catholic Church,” “a Presbyterian church.” Do not use as a catch-all phrase in reference to places of worship.

Climb On Safely
The BSA’s recommended procedure for organizing unit climbing and rappelling activities. The eight points—qualified supervision, qualified instruction, physical fitness, safe area, equipment, planning, environmental conditions, and discipline—help ensure the safety and well-being of participants. Note the uppercase “On.”

club sponsor
A volunteer, 21 or older, appointed by the executive officer to lead an Exploring club.

Code of Conduct
See “Scouter Code of Conduct.”

coed Venturing crews
The membership policy of a Venturing crew is determined by the organization chartering the crew. The organization may determine whether its crew is to be coed, all male, or all female. There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females.

commissioned personnel
The commissioned personnel of a council includes all professional Scouters and all commissioners.

A commissioned volunteer Scouter who works with packs, troops, crews, and ships to help units succeed. In addition to the council commissioner, there are district commissioners, assistant district commissioners, roundtable commissioners, and unit commissioners. See also “international commissioner.”

Commissioning training
Required training for all unit-serving professional Scouters, both exempt and nonexempt. Training includes 84 e-learning modules, followed by a three-day class held in Texas that is taught using team-based learning, testing, and simulations. Training covers basic Scouting and district knowledge, sales, customer service, delegation, and building strategic work relationships.

Commitment to Safety

The BSA’s emphasis on creating a safe and healthy environment for youth, volunteers, staff, and employees by:

  • Knowing and executing the BSA program as contained in our publications
  • Planning tours, activities, and events with vigilance using the tools provided
  • Setting the example for safe behavior and equipment use during program
  • Engaging and educating all participants in discussions about hazards and risks
  • Reporting incidents in a timely manner

The work of the National Council is conducted by volunteers working in committees with the guidance of professional Scouters. There are five groups of standing committees of the National Executive Board.

composition titles

Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions of four or more letters. The word “to” in infinitives is not capitalized. See also “capitalization.”

Italicize the following:

Titles of books, booklets, and periodicals: Scouts BSA Handbook for Boys, Eagle’s Call

Newspapers and sections published separately: Dallas Morning News, New York Times Book Review

Plays: Romeo and Juliet

Movies: Gone With the Wind

Long poems published separately: Paradise Lost

Operas and other long musical compositions: Madame Butterfly

Works of art: Grant Wood’s American Gothic

Enclose the following titles in quotation marks:

Articles and features in periodicals and newspapers

Chapter titles in books

Short stories and essays

Short poems

TV and radio shows

Songs and short musical compositions

Computer games: “The Sims”

DVDs and CDs

Do not use quotation marks or italics for titles of posters, calendars, short fliers, cards, and the like.

A section training meeting for Order of the Arrow members from a specific geographic area.

Capitalize “U.S. Congress” and “Congress” when referring to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Lowercase unless part of a proper name: “congressional salaries,” “the Congressional Quarterly,” “the Congressional Record.”

Conservation Good Turn
An opportunity for Cub Scout packs, Scout troops, and Venturing crews to join with conservation or environmental organizations (federal, state, local, or private) to carry out a Conservation Good Turn in their communities.

Capitalize references to the U.S. Constitution, with or without the “U.S.” modifier: “The president said he supports the Constitution.” Lowercase in other uses: “the organization’s constitution.” Lowercase “constitutional” in all uses.

A person who has special skills, equipment, facilities, or contacts in an interest area related to the interests of Venturing crew members.

May be used to describe an official Scout group at an official Scouting event.

Don’t be afraid to use them, but don’t overdo it. Contractions reflect informal speech and writing. Contractions are acceptable in informal contexts where they reflect the way a phrase commonly appears in speech or writing and when they won’t cause confusion.

No hyphen.

COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience)
This interactive program uses initiative games and other activities to help develop teamwork, trust, communication, leadership, self-esteem, problem-solving, decision-making, and planning. In low-course activities, typically up to 6 feet above ground, participants help protect one another from injury using spotting. In high-course activities, typically conducted 6 feet or more above ground (up to 70 feet high on some courses), participants must be protected by a life safety system such as a belay system, lanyard, or collective safety system.

An administrative body and separate legal entity chartered to be responsible for Scouting in a designated geographic territory. See also “BSA local council,” “local council,” and “National Council.” Capitalize only when referring to a specific local council or the National Council: “Gulf Coast Council.”

council employee
A full-time or part-time employee serving in a support position not classified under professional, professional-technical, or paraprofessional guidelines (i.e., administrative assistants, clerks, custodial personnel, most camp rangers, and seasonal camp employees).

council president
The elected volunteer Scouter who heads the council and chairs its executive board.

court of honor
A recognition ceremony for those who have met the requirements of any one of the Scout ranks, merit badges, or other awards. Always lowercase: “Eagle Scout court of honor.” See also “National Court of Honor.”

(1) A working group of Sea Scouts in a ship. This compares with the Cub Scout den and the Scout troop. (2) A working group of five to 12 members of a high-adventure base contingent. Capitalize only when used with the crew number “Crew 101.” See also “Venturing crew.”

crew code and bylaws
A set of bylaws adopted by the members of a Venturing crew to guide their officers and program.

crew leader
The elected youth leader of a high-adventure base crew.

Cross Over
This is when 5th Grade Webelos join a troop. This should be a special ceremony that involves a local BSA troop.

Cub Scout
A registered youth member of a Cub Scout pack or one registered as a Lone Cub Scout who is entering kindergarten and who has not yet completed fifth grade. See also “Cub Scouting.”

Cub Scout day camp
See “day camp.”

Cub Scout handshake
Used by Cub Scouts and Cub Scouters; like an ordinary handshake with the right hand except that the index and middle fingers are extended toward the other person, touching the wrist.

Cub Scout motto
Do Your Best.

Cub Scout resident camp
See “resident camping.”

Cub Scout salute
A hand salute made by Cub Scouts and Cub Scouters with the fingers of the right hand held in position as for the Cub Scout sign, except that the index and middle fingers are held together. The tips of the fingers touch the right eyebrow or the bill of the Cub Scout cap.

Cub Scout sign
A sign made by raising the right hand straight up high over the head with the palm forward. The first two fingers are wide apart and pointing up as in a V. The thumb covers the nails of the ring and little fingers. Used when repeating the Scout Oath and as a signal for quiet in meetings.

Cub Scout Six Essentials
These are a first-aid kit, flashlight, filled water bottle, trail food, sun protection, and whistle.

Cub Scouter
A registered volunteer of a Cub Scout pack, 18 or older, or a professional Scouter who works with Cub Scouting. (Do not use “Cubber” to correspond to “Scouter” because “Cub” is not a verb.

Cub Scouting
That part of the program of the Boy Scouts of America for boys and girls who are entering kindergarten through fifth grade. Lions are in kindergarten (the year before first grade). Tigers are in the first grade. (Lions and Tigers join and register with their adult partner.) Wolves are in the second grade. Bears are in the third grade. Webelos Scouts are in the fourth grade. Arrow of Light Scouts are in the fifth grade. The first rank earned by Cub Scouts who join after kindergarten is Bobcat.

Cubbing, Cubber
Do not use to correspond to “Scouting” and “Scouter” because “Cub” is not a verb. However, “Cubbing” may be appropriate in historical contexts, as the term was used before 1945.

A volunteer Scouter, 21 or older, appointed by the chartered organization to lead a Cub Scout pack.

Cubmaster’s Minute
See “Den Leader’s Minute.”

day camp
Always lowercase. A day camp is a council-organized program designed for Scouts for two or more days, under council-retained leadership, at an approved site with no overnight stay. The program may operate at the Tiger, Wolf and Bear Scout, Webelos Scout, Scouts BSA, Venturer, or Sea Scout level.

This term is used when referring to the group of Scouts who attend the annual Report to the Nation.

A neighborhood group of four to eight Cub Scouts or Webelos Scouts that meets periodically, usually once a week, and is part of a Cub Scout pack.

den chief
A Scout or Venturer who has been appointed to help direct the activities of a Cub Scout den.

Den Chief training
A one-day training experience conducted by the pack, district, or council to equip den chiefs with the knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm to perform their responsibilities.

den leader
A volunteer leader, 21 or older, appointed by the pack committee to plan and direct the den’s activities.

Den Leader’s Minute
An important, inspirational thought for the day or a brief story that reflects on the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Cub Scout motto, or a patriotic theme—told without moralizing. Part of the closing at the end of a meeting. A Cubmaster may also close with a Cubmaster’s Minute.

A Cub Scout or Webelos Scout elected by members of the den to help the den chief and den leader.

Of the total available youth in a designated area, the percentage who are members. Example: “West District has a Cub Scout density of 45.6 percent.”

Takes the preposition “from,” not “than.” Example: “This boot is different from the one I’m wearing.”


Follow these guidelines when referring to people with physical disabilities:

blind Describes a person with complete loss of sight. For others, use terms such as “visually impaired” or “person with low vision.”

deaf Describes a person with total hearing loss. For others, use “partial hearing loss,” “hearing impaired,” or “partially deaf.” Avoid the term “deaf mute”; do not use “deaf and dumb.”

disabled A general term used for a physical or cognitive condition that substantially limits one or more of the major daily life activities. Avoid the use of “the disabled” to describe disabled people as a group.

handicapped Avoid this term when describing a disability or a person who is disabled.

wheelchair-user A person who uses a wheelchair for independent mobility. Do not use “confined to a wheelchair” or “wheelchair-bound.”

Discovery Award
Second-level Venturing award.

distinguished citizen award dinner
A testimonial fundraising dinner honoring a key community leader.

Distinguished Eagle Scout Award
A recognition bestowed upon individuals who earned the Eagle Scout rank 25 or more years ago; have received extraordinary national-level recognition or fame or have demonstrated eminence within their field; and have a strong record of voluntary service to their community.

A geographical area of the council determined by the council executive board to help ensure the growth and success of Scouting units within the district’s territory. Capitalize only when naming a specific district: “Arrowhead District,” “District 2,” “districtwide.”

district committee
Consisting of chartered organization representatives and elected district members at large, the district committee coordinates the functions of the district to carry out the policies and objectives of the council. The executive officer of the district committee is the district chair.

district executive
A professional Scouter who works under the direction of the local council Scout executive and acts as an advisor to the volunteer leaders in the district.

District Operations 2 training
DO2 training is by invitation only and focuses on the continued development of professional Scouters, allowing them to learn and apply new competency-based skills and improve upon individual performance for success. Part of the BSA's commitment to building a culture that encourages continuous learning.

District Operations Basic training
Scouting U offers District Operations Basic (abbreviated as “DOB”) training for exempt professional Scouters. This training, taught using team-based learning and simulations, builds upon skills learned in Commissioning training and covers membership, exploring, decision-making, and technology.

Do a Good Turn Daily
This is the Scout slogan.

Do Your Best
The Cub Scout motto.

donor-advised fund
A fund established at the BSA National Foundation that some refer to as a “charitable checking account.” A donor makes a gift, setting up a donor-advised fund, and then advises how and when to distribute the funds in the future. It may benefit both Scouting and non-Scouting entities, and often involves a donor’s family members as fund advisors.

Dutch oven
A heavy iron or aluminum pot used for cooking food over an open fire or coals. A traditional Scout dessert is peach cobbler baked in a Dutch oven.

The highest rank for Scouts BSA members.

Eagle Class of XXXX
Correct: “Parker Johnson (Eagle Class of 2021).” Do not use any of these variants: “Parker Johnson (Class of 2021),” “Eagle Scout Parker Johnson (Eagle Class of 2021),” “Eagle Scout Parker Johnson (Class of 2021).”

Eagle Palms
These are awarded for continued leadership and skills development (merit badges) after the Eagle Scout rank has been earned. The Bronze Palm represents five additional merit badges, the Gold Palm represents 10 additional merit badges, and the Silver Palm represents 15 additional merit badges.

Eagle Scout board of review
The meeting unit, district, or council advancement committees have with a Scout to determine the individual’s understanding of Scouting ideals and experiences, and to evaluate how the youth is getting along in the troop. It’s also a time to review rank requirements to ensure that they have been met. Always lowercase “board of review.”

Eagle Scout court of honor
A public ceremony that recognizes a Scout for completing all of the requirements necessary to earn the Eagle Scout Award. Always lowercase “court of honor.”

Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner (or Day)
An annual event in which the council or a group of councils recognizes Scouts who have earned the Eagle Scout Award during the previous year.

Eagle Scout service project
While a Life Scout, the Eagle candidate plans, develops, and gives leadership to others in a project that benefits any religious organization, school, or community. Required for the Eagle Scout rank.

Eagle Scout service project coach
An individual who has been designated by the council or the district to provide guidance to Scouts whose Eagle Scout service project proposal has been approved.

Eagle’s Call
A periodical published for members of the National Eagle Scout Association. Formerly called Eagle Scout Magazine.

elected officers’ seminar
An annual planning and training program conducted by the Advisor for newly elected Venturing crew youth officers.

elective adventures
A part of Cub Scout advancement. There are required and elective adventures for each rank. Example: “Bear Claws elective adventure.”

Do not capitalize: jamboree emblem, Trained Leader emblem, and all of the religious emblems (God and Me emblem, Alpha Omega emblem).

endowment fund
Assets that balance council needs for extra, current income and long-term financial stability and needs; may be used for general or specific purposes. Individual donors may permanently restrict their endowment gifts; funds designated to the endowment by council boards may, at most, be temporarily restricted.

Ernest F. Schmidt Scholarship Grant
The American Camping Association recognizes professional Scouters active in camping with this scholarship, which covers the fees and expenses for participation in its annual conference.

ethnic heritage
Do not use a hyphen for terms describing dual ethnic heritage: African American, Asian American, Hispanic American.

European Scout Voluntary program
Registered members of the BSA may apply to serve as staff members at a Scouting camp in Europe. Applicants apply directly to the European Scout Centers and follow their specific application process.

Applies specifically to the Scout executive and generally to all professional Scouters. Capitalize when used with the Chief Scout Executive title. See also “Scout executive.”

executive board
(1) The National Executive Board is the governing body of the Boy Scouts of America. Voting members are defined in the National Bylaws, nominated by a committee, and elected by the members of the National Council. (2) The executive board in each local council is its policy-making body. Voting members include between 25 and 50 regular council members, the chairs of the committees of the executive board, the chairs of the district committees, and up to two youth members. The Scout executive is a nonvoting member. Capitalize “executive board” only in the name of a specific local council executive board or when reference is clearly to the National Executive Board: “Orange County Council Executive Board,” “the executive board of the Houston Area Council.”

executive committee
(1) The National Executive Board is the governing body of the Boy Scouts of America. Except for the powers reserved to the Executive Board, the duty and authority to manage the affairs of the Boy Scouts of America are vested in the National Executive Committee. Voting members are defined in the National Bylaws. (2) May refer to a committee of the National Executive Board or a committee of a local council executive board. Capitalize “executive committee” only in the name of a specific local council executive committee or when reference is clearly to the National Executive Committee: “Orange County Council Executive Committee,” “the executive committee of the Houston Area Council.”

executive officer
The head of a participating organization that has an Exploring post or club.

A member of an Exploring post or club.

The BSA’s coed career exploration program. The program’s emphases are: career opportunities, character development, life skills, leadership experience, and citizenship. (Emphases should always be listed in this order.)

Exploring club
The part of the Exploring program for sixth- through eighth-graders.

Exploring post
The part of the Exploring program for those ages 14 through 20.

family camp
A family camp is a one-time, council-approved one- or two-night camp at an approved site for Tigers, Wolf and Bear Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Scouts BSA members, Venturers, and Sea Scouts and their families and that involve more than one unit where the council, or its agents, provides the staffing and may provide program and food service.

federal charter
See “Charter of the Boy Scouts of America.”

Fellowship Honor
The BSA's training recognition for professional Scouters who complete advanced levels of training and contribute to the development of other employees through a fellowship thesis.

field service council
The Michigan Crossroads Council is a single council that covers the lower peninsula of Michigan. It is composed of four subcouncils called field service councils.

“Gun” and “firearm” are acceptable terms. All references to “handgun” should be changed to “pistol.” Note the following terms:
air rifle caliber gauge muzzleloader pistol revolver rifle shell shot shotgun

First Class
The fourth rank for Scouts BSA members; between Second Class and Star.

Florida National High Adventure Sea Base
Aquatics adventure programs, including canoeing, sailing, scuba diving, and exploring the reefs of the Florida Keys, and the Bahamas and U.S. Virgin Islands, are offered for older Scouts and Venturers. Mailing address: Florida Sea Base; Boy Scouts of America; P.O. Box 1906; Islamorada (pronounced aisle-a-more-AH-dah), FL 33036.

Founders Circle Award
Prior to 2010, this award recognized donors who made deferred gifts of $100,000 or more through a will or trust. It was replaced in 2010 by the Second Century Society.

Friends of Scouting (FOS)
An annual opportunity for Scouters and interested people in the community to be identified with the local council through their financial support and influence in the expansion of the council program. Enrollees are known as “Friends.” See also “Annual Giving Campaign.”

fundraising, fundraiser
No hyphen.

gift annuity program
A program offered by the BSA at the national level where a donor makes a gift and receives guaranteed lifetime income for one or two people, based on their ages. When the income payments end, the remaining gift is distributed to the local council or Scouting entity chosen by the donor. Also known as a charitable gift annuity.

Gilwell Park
The home of Scout leader training on the edge of Epping Forest, London, England. It is also the place the founder of Scouting, Robert Baden-Powell, chose as his original training ground. Gilwell Park is an international Scout activity center and training center of The Scout Association of the United Kingdom.

General Liability Insurance Program. This program provides primary general liability coverage for registered volunteer Scouters, councils, and chartered organizations with respect to claims arising out of an official Scouting activity. It provides excess coverage for automobiles above a local council’s automobile liability policy or a volunteer’s watercraft liability policy. The owner’s vehicle or watercraft liability insurance is primary. The excess insurance, whether it is the local council auto or BSA general liability, is available only while the vehicle or watercraft is in the actual use of a Scouting unit and being used for a Scouting purpose.

Gold Palm
See “Eagle Palms.”

Good Turn
A distinctive feature of Scouting is its emphasis on service to others. The Good Turn habit is one that all Scouts endeavor to acquire. Always capitalize. See also “Scout slogan.”

goodwill fund
A budget item for every Cub Scout pack and Scout troop.

grand howl
A special Cub Scout yell to recognize a leader or a Cub Scout’s achievement. May also be used to close a den or pack meeting. (See the Cub Scout Leader How-To Book.)

An administrative branch of the National Council; comprises departments. Examples: “Program Group,” “Administrative Group.”

Growing Future Leaders Campaign
A fundraising initiative led by the BSA National Foundation to raise $250 million for funding both new and existing programs and facilities at the local council and national levels.

The informal name of the Scout in charge of patrol hike and camp menus and assembling food for outdoor patrol activities; appointed by the patrol leader.

Guide to Safe Scouting
An overview of Scouting policies and procedures gleaned from a variety of sources first published in 1991. It is available in print, as a PDF to download, and as HTML.

See “firearms.”


Bear Handbook

Handbook for Venturers

Lion Handbook

Scouts BSA Handbook for Boys

Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls

Sea Scout Manual

Tiger Handbook

Webelos Handbook

Wolf Handbook

Avoid using this term. See “disabilities.”

The ham radio station of the World Scout Bureau headquarters in Switzerland. See also “K2BSA” and “9M4S.”

health care
Two words as a noun; hyphenated as an adjective: “Health care is expensive,” “she is a health-care worker.”

health lodge
A quiet, properly equipped place in which to give temporary care to ill or injured campers.

Heroism Award
The Heroism Award may be presented to a registered youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save life at minimum personal risk. See also “Honor Medal” and “Medal of Merit.”

high adventure
Can refer to high-adventure activities or to trek programs administered by units, local councils, or the National Council for older Scouts and Venturers. Use a hyphen when the words are used as a modifier (“high-adventure program”) except in titles of departments and bases as noted in the Language of Scouting: “High Adventure Department”.

High Adventure Department
This National Service Center department develops and administers the national high-adventure program for older Scouts, Venturers, and Sea Scouts offered at the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base in the Florida Keys, the Northern Tier National High Adventure Program in northern Minnesota and Canada, Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico, and the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia.

his, her
Do not presume maleness in constructing a sentence. If possible, recast in the plural to avoid wordiness. Avoid: “A district executive should keep his volunteer records organized.” Better: “A district executive should keep his or her volunteer records organized.” Even better: “District executives should keep their volunteer records organized.”

Historic Trails Award
This award is earned by members of a Scout unit who plan and participate in a historic activity or hike a BSA-approved historic trail.

Honor Medal
A lifesaving award presented to a registered youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated unusual heroism in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk to self. May also be presented with crossed palms (Honor Medal With Crossed Palms) when both unusual heroism and extraordinary skill or resourcefulness are demonstrated in saving or attempting to save a life at extreme risk to self. See also “Heroism Award” and “Medal of Merit.”

Honor Patrol Award
An embroidered star worn beneath the patrol medallion distinguishes a member of a patrol that has won this award by meeting requirements in patrol spirit; patrol meetings; hikes, outdoor activities, and other events; Good Turns or service projects; advancement; membership; uniform; and patrol leaders’ council attendance. Formerly known as the Baden-Powell Patrol Award.

Indian Camperships
An Order of the Arrow program that provides partial summer camp fees for Scouts of American Indian lineage. Sometimes referred to as the Maury Clancy Indian Campership Fund.

(1) This youth leader helps other youth members with rank advancement; appointed by the senior patrol leader with the Scoutmaster’s advice and consent. (2) This term can also apply to any youth or adult who can instruct others on parts of the Scouting program.

Interamerican Scout Foundation
Contributions to this nonprofit corporation support the Scouting movement in the Americas. See also “Order of the Condor.”

International Camp Staff program
Local councils throughout the United States employ qualified Scouters from other countries to be a part of their summer camp and Cub Scout day camp programs. Local councils and applicants complete and submit applications to the International Department of the BSA national service center. Applicants are screened by their own Scout organization, the BSA national service center, and the prospective hiring council.

international commissioner
A volunteer Scouter who represents the Boy Scouts of America in matters dealing with other national Scout organizations and with the World Organization of the Scout Movement.

international representative
In cooperation with the council leadership, a nominated volunteer keeps the council membership informed of the opportunities for program enrichment in the area of international Scouting.

International Scouters Award
Presented by the Boy Scouts of America, an award that recognizes Scouters for their contributions to world Scouting.

International Spirit Award
A temporary emblem awarded to registered Scouts and Scouters who have completed the necessary requirements, have gained a greater knowledge of international Scouting, and have developed a greater appreciation and awareness of different cultures and countries. This award replaces the International Activity emblem and the Youth Exchange emblem.

Do not capitalize.

interpreter strip
A badge available to Scouts BSA members who can write, translate, and speak a foreign language or can carry on a conversation in American Sign Language or Morse code.

Introduction to Leadership Skills
The first course in the youth leadership training continuum. There are versions for Scouts BSA members, Venturers, and Sea Scouts.

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

Site of the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base. It is pronounced aisle-a-more-AH-dah.

Use italics in the following situations: for emphasis (but use sparingly), for some composition titles (see “composition titles”), for new vocabulary, and for foreign words that are not listed in the dictionary.

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. Capitalize “National Jamboree” and “World Scout Jamboree” in all references. Also capitalize “Jamboree” when referring to a National Jamboree or World Scout Jamboree. The BSA has a National Jamboree every four years. World Scout Jamborees are also held every four years. A Scouting group attending a jamboree is referred to as a “contingent.” See also “World Scout Jamboree.”

jamboree emblem
A jamboree emblem may be worn by any member who is registered to attend a jamboree or who has attended a jamboree as a registered participant or staff member.

Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA)
The World Scout Bureau of the World Organization of the Scout Movement sponsors the Jamboree-on-the-Air, held the third full weekend of October each year. This worldwide ham radio event promotes communication and understanding among Scouts all over the world. The BSA’s participation is coordinated by the International Department. See also “K2BSA,” “HB9S,” and “9M4S.”

Jamboree-on-the-Internet (JOTI)
The World Scout Bureau of the World Organization of the Scout Movement sponsors the Jamboree-on-the Internet, held the third full weekend of October each year. This worldwide internet event promotes communication and understanding among Scouts all over the world. The BSA’s participation is coordinated by the International Department.

James E. West Fellowship Award
Named in honor of the first Chief Scout Executive, this award is presented to donors who give at least $1,000 in cash or securities to a local council endowment fund. The award has four levels, up to $15,000.

Avoid this word, but especially in reference to positions of responsibility for volunteers. Use a word like “position,” “responsibility,” or “career,” depending on context

Journey to Excellence
Scouting’s Journey to Excellence is the performance measurement and recognition program for councils, districts, and units that replaced the Centennial Quality program in 2011.

junior assistant Scoutmaster
A troop may have any number of junior assistant Scoutmasters. They handle any duties assigned by the Scoutmaster.

The BSA’s ham radio station in Fort Worth, Texas. See also “HB9S” and “9M4S.”

Key 3
(1) The national Key 3: the national chair, Chief Scout Executive, and national commissioner. (2) The council Key 3: the council president, council commissioner, and Scout executive. (3) The unit Key 3: the chartered organization representative, committee chair, and top unit leader. The numeral “3” is always used in Key 3; it is not spelled out.

A Cub Scouting acronym standing for “Keep It Simple, Make It Fun.”

Kit Carson Museum
Located at Rayado, Philmont Scout Ranch, along the old Santa Fe Trail. This living history museum depicts life of the 1850s and 1860s. Open throughout the summer and early autumn.

Klondike derby
A competitive Scouting event conducted by patrols to demonstrate proficiency in Scouting skills. Traditionally conducted in winter. Patrols move from station to station pulling equipment on a replica of a Klondike gold rush sled.

kwik calendar
A computerized work schedule backdating program, provided by the national service center for use by local council employees.

Lead the Adventure
The Venturing motto.

Leadership Challenge
This training course, presented at select national high-adventure bases, emphasizes and puts into practice Wood Badge leadership skills.

Leadership Challenge training course
This course, presented at select national high-adventure bases, emphasizes and puts into practice Wood Badge leadership skills.

Leave No Trace
The BSA is committed to this nationally recognized outdoor skills and ethics awareness program to reduce impacts on the environment and other people. The seven principles should be followed at all times in the outdoors: Plan ahead and prepare; travel and camp on durable surfaces; dispose of waste properly (pack it in, pack it out); leave what you find; minimize campfire impacts; respect wildlife; and be considerate of other visitors. When used as an adjective, capitalize and do not hyphenate: “Follow all Leave No Trace principles in the backcountry.” Always spell out.

A Scout who supervises the use of troop-owned books; appointed by the senior patrol leader with the Scoutmaster’s advice and consent.

The sixth rank for Scouts BSA members; between Star and Eagle.

Life Scout
The rank between Star Scout and Eagle Scout.

Lifetime Investor recognition
Two special donor recognition levels in the Second Century Society. Presented by the BSA National Foundation to donors who have given either $500,000 or $1 million to Scouting during their lifetime.

The entry-level rank for Cub Scouts who join upon entering kindergarten (or are in the year before first grade). Lions join and register with their adult partner as a member of a Lion den.

Lion den
A group of five to eight Lions and their adult partners who are part of a Cub Scout pack.

Living Circle
A ceremony that is used occasionally as an opening or closing at a Cub Scout meeting. It reminds Cub Scouts of the friendships they are making that link them together with other Cub Scouts.

local council
An administrative body and separate corporation chartered by the National Council to be responsible for Scouting in a designated geographic territory. Voting membership may include active members at large and chartered organization representatives. The program is directed by an executive board of volunteers and administered by a Scout executive and staff of professional Scouters. As of Jan. 1, 2019, there were more than 250 local councils in the United States. The number changes as councils merge and split. The term “council” is not capitalized except in the name of a specific council. Examples: “councilwide,” “Blue Mountain Council,” “council executive board,” “Longhorn Council Executive Board.” See also “executive board” and “National Council.”

Local Council Certificate of Merit
This may be awarded for meritorious actions that do not qualify for the National Certificate of Merit. See also “National Certificate of Merit.”

local council service center
The business center for the local administration of Scouting. “Council office” may be used, but “local council service center” is preferred as being more representative of its function.

A local council Order of the Arrow group chartered annually by the National Council. A large lodge may be organized into chapters.

Lone Cub Scout
A Cub Scout who, unable to join a pack because of unusual conditions, follows the program as an individual under the leadership of a Lone Cub Scout friend and counselor. See also “Lone Scout.”

Lone Scout
A 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. See also “Lone Cub Scout.”

Long Cruise arc
A red Long Cruise arc worn over the Long Cruise badge represents an additional two-week cruise. When five have been completed, the red arcs are replaced by one white arc.

Long Cruise badge
An award given to Sea Scouts of Ordinary rank who have completed a two-week cruise.

long-term camp
A council-organized camp that is three nights or more that operates under council-retained leadership and can include static campsites, transient campsites, high-adventure or trekking programs, or some combination thereof. These programs may operate at the Tiger, Wolf and Bear Scout, Webelos Scout, Scouts BSA, or Venturer level; but Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, and Venturing programs cannot be combined into a single camp experience.

long-term camping
A camping experience consisting of five or more consecutive days and nights in the outdoors.

See "adventure loop."

major gifts

The Sea Scouting equivalent of associate Advisor. See also “boatswain’s mate” and “Skipper.”

Medal of Merit
May be awarded by the National Court of Honor to a registered youth member or adult leader who has performed an act of service of a rare or exceptional character. Such action need not necessarily be a rescue or involve risk to self. See also “Heroism Award” and “Honor Medal.”

Those eligible to participate in programs designed for youth and young adults shall collectively be known as “members” or “youth program participants.”

member at large
(1) Elected voting member of a council or district who is not a chartered organization representative. (2) Voting member of the National Council other than a local council representative.

membership inventory
Part of a unit’s annual charter renewal process when the activity of the unit during the past year is reviewed. Usually held in conjunction with a uniform inspection.

merit badge
A recognition given to a Scouts BSA member for completing the requirements for the badge. There are more than 130 subjects in life skills, hobby, and career fields, with requirements and supporting pamphlets to help Scouts broaden their outlook. Capitalize the name of the badge but not the words “merit badge.” Example: “earn the Lifesaving and Swimming merit badges.” When referring to the merit badge pamphlet, italicize the title. Example: “Journalism merit badge pamphlet.”

merit badge counselor
A registered adult volunteer at least age 18 who is expert in a merit badge field and shares enthusiasm for that field with Scouts and who certifies that requirements have been met.

merit badge show
A demonstration of merit badge skills from booths. Spectators walk around and participate in the merit badge features that interest them.

methods of Cub Scouting
The seven methods are living the ideals (Scout Oath, Scout Law, and Cub Scout motto), belonging to a den, using advancement, involving family and home, participating in activities, wearing the uniform, and serving home and neighborhood.

methods of Scouting
The eight methods are the ideals (Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout motto, and Scout slogan), patrol method, outdoors, advancement, association with adults, personal growth, leadership development, and the uniform.

methods of Venturing
The seven methods are the ideals (Scout Oath, Scout Law, and Venturing motto), group identity, recognition, adult association, group activities and adventure, service, and leadership and mentoring.

See “Cub Scout Motto,” “Scout motto,” and “Venturing motto.

Do not use this in reference to the Boy Scouts of America. See “Scouting movement.”

See “Kit Carson Museum,” “National Scouting Museum–Philmont Scout Ranch,” and “Seton Memorial Library and Philmont Museum.”

my.Scouting Tools
A portal for volunteers and employees that gives access to a variety of Scouting tools based on registered position.

MyBSA is a password-protected site where BSA employees can access the membership system, numerous reports, network support, and many other resources.

National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE)
Conducted at select high-adventure bases, this advanced training is designed to help prepare Scouts, Venturers, and Sea Scouts for positions of leadership. National Youth Leadership Training is a prerequisite for this course.

National Annual Business Meeting
Always capitalize.

National Annual Meeting
Always capitalize.

National Camp Accreditation Program (NCAP)
The method used by the BSA for accrediting physical facilities, staff, programs, development, and provisions for the health and safety of camps.

National Camping School
A weeklong training experience for adults who are key staff members in council camp operations. Sections include Management, Program, Aquatics, Climbing, COPE, Ecology/Conservation, Outdoor Skills, Shooting Sports, and Trek Leader.

National Certificate of Merit
This award may be presented by the National Court of Honor to a registered BSA member, youth or adult, who has performed a significant act of service that is deserving of special national recognition. Such action need not involve attempts of rescue or risk to self but puts into practice Scouting skills or ideals. See also “Local Council Certificate of Merit.”

national chair
This title replaced “national president” in 2018. This individual is the volunteer who chairs the National Council, National Executive Board, and National Executive Committee.

national chief
The top youth Arrowman in the Order of the Arrow. This position is elected by youth Arrowmen. Lowercase except when used as a title with a name: “National Chief Pete Mitchell.”

National Council
This is the corporate entity chartered by the United States Congress to operate the program of the Boy Scouts of America. Members include 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. The program of the National Council is directed by the National Executive Board and administered by the Chief Scout Executive and a staff of professional Scouters at the national service center and in other locations.

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

National Distribution Center
The Supply Group warehouse from which BSA equipment and supplies are dispensed. The address is 2109 Westinghouse Blvd.; P.O. Box 7143; Charlotte, NC 28241-7143.

National Eagle Scout Association
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 Executive Board
See “executive board.”

National Jamboree
See “Jamboree.”

National Leadership Seminar
A weekend leadership training conference conducted by the Order of the Arrow at the regional level.

National Leadership Training Conference (NLTC)
Held annually at a selected location for region training chairs, area training chairs, council training chairs, and selected district training chairs and subject-matter experts. This is where current and future training products to support Scouting are discussed.

National Medal for Outdoor Achievement
The highest recognition a Scout, Venturer, or Sea Scout can earn for exemplary achievement, experience, and skill in multiple areas of outdoor endeavor. This is the only award that allows a Scout to carry over progress on the award from one Scouting program to another. For example, a Scout can start working on this award and then join Venturing and continue to work on it.

national office
See “National Service Center.”

National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC)
The Order of the Arrow’s biennial conference, designed to improve program and leadership skills of all Arrowmen. Training, activities, shows, and American Indian activities are included in this five-day, even-year event. Capitalize all instances: “2018 National Order of the Arrow Conference,” “last year’s National Order of the Arrow Conference.”

National Outdoor Awards
A program designed to recognize Scouts, Venturers, and Sea Scouts who demonstrate knowledge and experience in camping, hiking, aquatics, riding, adventure, and conservation.

National Outdoor Leadership Seminar (NOLS)
Scouting’s largest gathering of volunteers and professionals responsible for delivering the world’s greatest outdoor program for youth. It is four days of elective sessions, keynote speakers, outdoor vendor exhibits, outdoor excursions, special program opportunities, networking, and fellowship with Scouting’s top outdoor leaders.

national Scout association
Used to describe the national Scouting groups in any particular country. In the case of a country having more than one NSA, a federation called a national Scout organization (NSO) is formed for the purpose of national coordination and membership in the World Organization of the Scout Movement. There can be only one NSO per country, and the NSO must gain recognition from the World Scout Conference.

National Scouting Museum–Philmont Scout Ranch
Established in 1959 and relocated to the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico, in 2017, the National Scouting Museum is recognized as the official museum of the Boy Scouts of America. Its mission is to preserve the legacy of Scouting and promote the organization to future generations. The museum houses two large exhibit galleries that explain the history and programs of Scouting, the Order of the Arrow, Philmont Scout Ranch, and the American Southwest. The museum also houses a multifaceted collection of Scouting fine art, objects, and archives.

National Service Center
The administrative offices of the Boy Scouts of America. The address is Boy Scouts of America, 1325 West Walnut Hill Lane, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079.

national vice chief
The youth Arrowman elected by peers to assist the national chief. Lowercase except when used as a title with a name.

National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT)
Local councils conduct this weeklong leadership training experience for youth leaders. Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (ILST), Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews (ILSC), or Introduction to Leadership Skills for Ships (ILSS) are prerequisites for this course.

National Youth Leadership Training Leadership Academy
The NYLT Leadership Academy trains local council youth staff to be world-class presenters, evaluators, and leaders of their home council's NYLT courses.

Native American
Do not use. See “American Indian.”

new member coordinator
A volunteer position that serves as a welcoming ambassador for a unit. The coordinator forms a connection with new members and their families and reports to the unit committee chair.

new-Scout patrol
A youth who joins a Scout troop becomes a member of a patrol composed of new Scouts, where an assistant Scoutmaster and a troop guide help the youth get a good start in Scouting.

new-unit organization
A systematic approach to organizing a large number of units that includes techniques for recruiting the right volunteers, careful planning and scheduling, and an effective publicity campaign.

Northern Tier National High Adventure Program
The Charles L. Sommers High Adventure Base in Ely, Minnesota; the Northern Expeditions Base in Bissett, Manitoba, Canada; and the Donald Rogert Canoeing High Adventure Base in Atikokan, Ontario, Canada, serve as the launching points for canoeing, fishing, and camping by older Scouts, Venturers, and families of registered adult BSA members. Cold-weather camping is offered only at the Ely base camp. Mailing address: Northern Tier National High Adventure; Boy Scouts of America; P.O. Box 509; Ely, MN 55731-0509. See also “Okpik.”

Now & Then
A quarterly newsletter for the retired men and women of Scouting.

See “Scout Oath.”

“Local council service center” is preferred to “council office.”

(1) The National Council, each region, and each council have elected officers who act on behalf of the executive board between board meetings. At the national level, the officers are the Chief Scout Executive (president), chief financial officer (treasurer), and general counsel (secretary). (2) In Venturing, the elected youth officers typically are president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. (3) In Sea Scouting, the elected youth officers typically are boatswain, boatswain’s mate, yeoman, purser, and storekeeper.

official Scouting activity
Activity consistent with the values, Charter and Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, operations manuals, and applicable literature of the Boy Scouts of America.

(Pronounced OOK-pik.) The Okpik Cold Weather Camping Program is offered by the Northern Tier National High Adventure Program. Cold-weather camping, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, ice fishing, snowshoeing, expedition travel, and shelter building are featured. Okpik is the Eskimo word for “snowy owl.” Do not put in all capitals. See also “Winter Adventure.”

open house
A special meeting held by Scout troops and Venturing crews to recruit new members.

Ordeal membership
The induction phase of membership in the Order of the Arrow. A candidate becomes an Ordeal member upon completion of the Ordeal and Ordeal ceremony.

Order of the Arrow
Scouting’s national honor society. Youth members of Scout troops, Venturing crews, and Sea Scout ships are elected by all youth members of their unit based on their Scouting spirit and camping ability. The aim of the OA is to promote the outdoor program and service to Scouting.

Order of the Condor
This program of the Interamerican Scout Foundation recognizes individuals for their financial support of Scouting in the Americas.

The rank in Sea Scouting above Apprentice and below Able. Examples: “Ordinary Award,” “Ordinary rank,” “Ordinary requirements,” “Ordinary Sea Scout.”

Outdoor Code

As an American, I will do my best to …

Be clean in my outdoor manners. I will treat the outdoors as a heritage. I will take care of it for myself and others. I will keep my trash out of lakes, streams, fields, woods, and roadways.

Be careful with fire. I will prevent wildfire. I will build my fires only when and where they are permitted and appropriate. When I have finished using a fire, I will make sure it is cold out. I will leave a clean fire ring or remove all evidence of my fire.

Be considerate in the outdoors. I will treat the land and other land users with respect. I will follow the principles of outdoor ethics for all outdoor activities.

Be conservation-minded. I will learn about and practice good conservation of soil, waters, forests, minerals, grasslands, wildlife, and energy. I will urge others to do the same.

Outdoor Ethics Action Awards/Outdoor Ethics Awareness Awards
These awards are for Scouts BSA members, Venturers, and their leaders.

outdoor program
The total scope of outdoor activities offered by the Boy Scouts of America in which youth members’ differing skill and experience levels are accommodated. Includes Cub Scout overnighters, day camp, council-organized family camps, and resident camp; Webelos Scout overnight camping; Scout overnight, resident, and long-term camping; Venturing and Sea Scout overnight, resident, and long-term camping; jamborees; council and national high adventure; and wilderness camping.

outdoor skills
Skills for living in the outdoors: using shelter for protection, building fires for food preparation, knowing the skills of field sanitation, and properly using woods tools.

Outstanding Eagle Scout Award
A recognition bestowed on an Eagle Scout who has either performed distinguished service at the local, state, or regional level or is known nationally, but has not yet met the 25-year tenure as an Eagle Scout required for the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

See “Webelos Scout overnighter.”

overseas Scouting
Scouts overseas are serviced by the Far East, Transatlantic, and National Capital Area Councils.

Abbreviation for Programs of Religious Activities With Youth. An organization outside the BSA that administers religious emblems for youth-serving organizations, including, for example, the BSA, Girl Scouts, and Camp Fire. Note the periods in the abbreviation.

A group made up of various Cub Scout dens: Lion, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light. The pack includes not only the registered youth in the dens but also registered volunteers. Capitalize only when used with the pack number. Examples: “Cub Scout pack,” “Pack 5.”

See “Eagle Palms.”

Pan American jamboree
The treatment of this term varies by actual jamboree year; for instance, no hyphen for the 1994 Pan American Jamboree.

parents’ night
An open house conducted by a Venturing crew to inform parents and involve them in the Venturing crew and local council.

participating organization
An organization offering Learning for Life program and on file with Learning for Life. The term shall include the participating organization, its board of directors and/or trustees, its officers, and its employees, in their official and individual capacity.

Do not use “partner” when referring to a chartered organization. See also “adult partner” and “chartered organization.”

Pathfinder Award
Third-level Venturing award.

A small group of Scouts (usually five to eight) who belong to a troop and work together in and out of troop meetings. Normally, there are several patrols in one troop. Capitalize only when part of a title, such as “Fox Patrol.” Note: Webelos dens are not patrols.

patrol leader
Elected by the patrol members, this Scout leads the patrol and represents it on the patrol leaders’ council, which plans the troop program.

patrol leaders’ council
Each patrol leader, representing a patrol, meets with other patrol leaders and the senior patrol leader to plan their troop program. The Scoutmaster advises the patrol leaders’ council.

The long-eared, four-footed mailburro of the “Hitchin’ Rack” column in Boys’ Life magazine.

Philmont Scout Ranch
Western high adventure happens here for older Scouts and Venturers in almost 140,000 acres of rugged northern New Mexico. The ranch also has a center for volunteer and professional training. The address is 17 Deer Run Road; Cimarron, NM 87714. (Cimarron is pronounced sim-a-ROAN.)

Philmont Staff Association
Former and current summer and permanent staff members of Philmont Scout Ranch and of the Philmont Training Center are eligible for membership. Some association objectives are to promote wilderness camping and other ranch programs, suggest new programs in ranch management, and offer time and talent to local councils for promoting the ranch.

Philmont Training Center
A national volunteer training center of the BSA, located at Philmont Scout Ranch. The center hosts volunteer, professional, and BSA local council conferences.

Pinewood Derby®
A pack activity that involves making and racing small wooden cars on a track. Capitalized in all instances. The registered mark should appear at the end of “Derby” at the top corner on first reference in running text and in general in a stand-alone reference.

position-specific training
The basic course of training for all unit positions where volunteers learn how to deliver the Scouting program. Sessions are specific to the program and position. Courses are available for face-to-face training in the local council or online through

post advisor
A volunteer, 21 or older, appointed by the executive officer to lead an Exploring post.

pow wow
A one-day training conference for Cub Scout leaders. Examples: “Cub Scout leader pow wow,” “Apache District Pow Wow.”

Specific BSA usages: (1) An elected volunteer executive. See “area president,” “council president,” and “regional president.” (2) A Venturer elected by peers to this office who conducts crew business. (3) Previously used to denote the national head of the BSA (see “national chair”).

president and CEO
The top-ranking professional Scouter of the Boy Scouts of America, used when the Scouter is not a commissioned BSA professional. Capitalize as a title directly before a person’s name: President and CEO Robert Mosby; Robert Mosby, president and CEO. See also “Chief Scout Executive.”

Presidents Leadership Council
Donors qualify for this recognition with gifts of at least $1 million made to or through the BSA National Foundation, designated to any area of Scouting. There are also recognition levels for $5 million and $10 million.

Professional Circle Award
The Boy Scouts of America's training award for professional Scouters who complete the basic levels of professional training.

Professional Development Levels 1, 2, and 3
Abbreviated as PD-L1, PD-L2, and PD-L3. These courses made up the basic training program for commissioned professionals prior to 2013, when they were replaced by District Operations Basic training.

professional development training
Replaced in 2013 by Commissioning training, District Operations Basic (DOB), and District Operations 2 (DO2).

professional Scouter
A registered, salaried, full-time employee who is commissioned to serve in an approved professional position in a local council or on the national staff by having successfully completed formal training (District Operations Basic, Professional Development Level 1, National Executive Institute, or National Training School), or who has been designated by the Chief Scout Executive as a member of the national management executive staff.

prohibited activities
Activity components outside of BSA program guidelines (for example, aquatics activities that fail to comply with Safe Swim Defense) and activities by youth or leaders that are not compatible with the Scouting program or the Scout Oath and Scout Law, and/or that may have unacceptable risks. A list of prohibited activities may be found in the Guide to Safe Scouting.

Project COPE
See “COPE.”

project selling
A fundraising method of isolating specific budget items or projects for presentation to interested donors. “To project sell” may be used as a verb if needed.

provisional unit
When individual Scouts or Venturers are to participate in an activity (such as a jamboree), they may be organized into temporary (provisional) troops or crews.

The highest rank in Sea Scouting, conferred with the Quartermaster Award.

quartermaster (youth officer)
A youth officer in a troop or patrol who keeps the equipment in good shape and maintains an up-to-date inventory of it. In the troop, the quartermaster is appointed by the senior patrol leader with the Scoutmaster’s advice and consent; in the patrol, the quartermaster is appointed by the patrol leader.

raingutter regatta
A pack activity that involves making and racing model boats. Examples: “Pack 1 Raingutter Regatta,” “the raingutter regatta.”

The seven Cub Scout ranks are Lion, Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light. There are seven ranks for Scouts: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle Scout. The Sea Scouting ranks are Apprentice, Ordinary, Able, and Quartermaster. Examples: “First Class rank,” “Star Scout.”

Use “renew a charter” rather than “recharter.” Acceptable only in reference to Internet Rechartering.

(1) One of four geographical administrative units of the BSA: Northeast Region, Southern Region, Central Region, and Western Region. There are regional directors, regional staffs, regional presidents, and regional committee members. (2) The World Organization of the Scout Movement has six regions. See “World Scout Bureau.” Do not capitalize “region” when used alone. When referring to obsolete regional designations, use numerals: Region 1, Region 2.

regional committee
Consists of members of the National Council residing in the region and such additional members as may be elected by the regional committee. The committee meets annually to elect regional officers.

regional president
The elected volunteer officer in a region who heads the regional committee and regional executive board, and is an ex officio member of regional committees, other than the regional nominating committee. The regional president is an ex officio member of the National Executive Board.

regional staff
Professional Scouters on the national staff who work within the regional structure. This includes the regional director, deputy regional director, assistant regional directors, and area directors.

registered member
Annually, every youth and adult who wants to join or continue membership in the Boy Scouts of America must submit a completed application form or reregister and pay an annual registration fee. Membership is a privilege, not a right.

Annually, every youth and adult volunteer who wants to join or continue membership in the Boy Scouts of America must submit a completed application form or reregister and pay an annual registration fee. Registration is a privilege, not a right.

religious emblems program
Various religious organizations have designed requirements and procedures for participants in Scouting programs to earn the religious emblem of their faith.

Religious Principle, Declaration of
The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no person can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God and, therefore, acknowledges the religious element in the development of youth members. However, the BSA is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious development. Its policy is that the organization or institution with which youth members are connected shall give definite attention to their religious life. Only adults willing to subscribe to this declaration of principle and the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America shall be allowed to register.

Report to the Nation
The printed BSA annual Report to the Nation is presented to the president of the United States, both houses of Congress, and other government officials each year by a selected delegation of youth members and their advisors.

Report to the States
This report is developed annually on a state-by-state basis.

resident camping
For Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts, a council-organized overnight camp of at least two consecutive nights in duration that operates under council-retained leadership. For Scouts, a council-organized overnight camp of at least five consecutive nights in duration that operates under council-retained leadership. For Venturers and Sea Scouts, a council-organized overnight camp of at least three consecutive nights in duration that operates under council-retained leadership.

The term used to describe the percentage of youths who move from one phase of the Scouting program to another, such as from Cub Scouting into Scouts BSA.

See “firearms.”

An event conducted by a roundtable commissioner and roundtable staff to help the unit leadership of a district plan and carry out their own unit programs.

An organized fall recruiting plan during which members invite others to join a Scouting unit.

Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America
Article 1 of the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America states, “the [National] Executive Board may establish and amend Rules and Regulations for the further governance and guidance of the Boy Scouts of America including its local councils and affiliates.” Italicize only if reference is obviously to the published booklet Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America.

Safe Boating
This course is designed for Sea Scout ships whose members may not be interested in following the advancement plan leading to Quartermaster, or as supplementary training for traditional ships. Those who complete the course earn the Small Boat Handler bar. See also “Advanced Seamanship.”

Safe Swim Defense
An eight-point plan of recommended procedures for conducting group swims. The eight points are (1) qualified supervision, (2) personal health review, (3) safe area, (4) response personnel (lifeguards), (5) lookout, (6) ability groups, (7) buddy system, and (8) discipline.

Safety Afloat
Guidelines for safe unit activity afloat: (1) qualified supervision, (2) personal health review, (3) swimming ability, (4) life jackets, (5) buddy system, (6) skill proficiency, (7) planning, (8) equipment, and (9) discipline.

Safety Afloat Guidelines
for safe unit activity afloat: (1) qualified supervision, (2) personal health review, (3) swimming ability, (4) life jackets, (5) buddy system, (6) skill proficiency, (7) planning, (8) equipment, and (9) discipline.

Safety Moment
A moment taken, generally at the beginning of a meeting or activity, to prepare for the activity, review safety measures, identify risks, or educate about a topic.

See “Cub Scout salute” and “Scout salute.”

Salvation Army, The
Note the capitalization of “The” in the name of the group.

School Night for Scouting
A one-night event held in a neighborhood school, place of worship, community center, etc., where youth and parents gather to hear how Cub Scouting and Scouts BSA operate and how they can join.

(1)The first rank for Scouts BSA members. (2) May be used to refer to all youth members of the programs of the Boy Scouts of America—Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouting. Use on second reference and in informal usage when the meaning is clearly understood. Capitalize “Scout” and all words beginning with “Scout” (such as “Scouting” and “Scouter”) unless the meaning is not related to the BSA.

Scout Basic Essentials
These are a pocketknife, first-aid kit, extra clothing, rain gear, water bottle, flashlight, trail food, matches and fire starters, sun protection, and map and compass.

Scout benediction
May the Great Scoutmaster of all Scouts be with us until we meet again.

Scout executive
The chief executive officer of the local council responsible for the administration, financing, marketing, motivation, recruiting, and staffing required for successful council operations. Capitalize only when the title precedes the name. Examples: “Scout Executive John Smiley,” “John Smiley is the Scout executive.” “Chief Scout Executive” is the only title routinely capitalized.

Scout Executives’ Alliance
A fellowship of professional and professional-technical Scouters that provides immediate funds to the family of a deceased member.

Scout handshake
This unique greeting is given with the left hand, the thumb separated from the fingers.

Scout Law
A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. (There are 12 points to the Scout Law.)

Scout motto
Be Prepared.

Scout Oath
On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Scout reservation or camp
Land owned by or leased to the Boy Scouts of America to further the Scouting program. A Scout reservation usually has two or more camps.

Scout Sabbath
The Saturday after Feb. 8, Scouting Anniversary Day.

Scout salute
A hand salute made by Scouts and Scouters with the fingers of the right hand held in position as for the Scout sign.

Scout shop
A BSA-owned store, operated by the Supply Group, that sells official Scouting merchandise. Always initial capped, as it is a BSA trademark.

Scout show
See “Scouting show.”

Scout slogan
Do a Good Turn Daily.

Scout Sunday
The Sunday before Feb. 8, Scouting Anniversary Day.

Scout troop

This is incorrect. See “Scoutorama.”

Scout-fact survey
A survey used to find who potential youth members are and where they live.

A unit-serving tool that includes an app called Scouting and allows leaders and parents to track individual advancement progress for their Scouts online or using their mobile phone.

An adult registered with the Boy Scouts of America who serves in a volunteer or professional capacity.

Scouter Code of Conduct
A registration status for adults who want to remain identified with Scouting without a specific assignment. They may be called upon to help with short-term projects.

Scouting Alumni & Friends
An official organization for individuals who have been positively impacted by the Boy Scouts of America. It is led by a volunteer committee and supported by the BSA’s director of alumni relations. Note the ampersand.

Scouting Anniversary Day
Feb. 8, 1910, was the day William D. Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America.

Scouting Anniversary Week
This is the week, beginning on Sunday, that includes February 8, Scouting Anniversary Day. During the week, units are encouraged to conduct rededication ceremonies and to demonstrate Scouting’s purposeful activities.

Scouting family
When an organization is chartered to operate a Cub Scout pack, a Scout troop, and a Venturing crew, it is said to have the whole Scouting family. Other members of the Scouting family are a Sea Scout ship and an Exploring post or club.

Scouting for Food National Good Turn
First conducted in November 1988, this nationwide food collection effort is the BSA’s response to hunger in our society.

Scouting Heritage Society
Prior to 2010, the National Council provided stock recognition supplies to support local councils that wanted to offer their own unique, major-donor recognition. The National Council no longer provides stock recognition items and logos for this purpose.

Scouting magazine
The official magazine for all Scouters. It aims to interpret the program, stimulate action, and strengthen a desire to serve. The title is italicized. The word “magazine” may or may not be used, is not part of the title, and is not capitalized or italicized.

Scouting movement
An idea started in England by Baden-Powell, based on the conviction that boys can live up to a code of conduct and can develop themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually in association with other boys through a program of appealing activities and advancement challenges under the guidance of adults. Use in historical references or when referring to the worldwide Scouting movement.

Scouting program
The program of the Boy Scouts of America is designed to fulfill its chartered purpose to achieve objectives in character development, citizenship training, leadership, and mental and physical fitness adapted to different age groups. The program is carried out in units run by local organizations chartered by the Boy Scouts of America.

Scouting show
Not “Scout show” unless only Scouts and no Cub Scouts or Venturers are involved. See also “arena show” and “booth show.”

Scouting University
Courses for professional Scouters and professional-technical employees are taught at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, the National Service Center, and regionally, depending on the topic. “Scouting U” is an acceptable reference. The mission of Scouting U is to strengthen the BSA culture; provide quality performance services and tools; and improve leadership impact on youth programs through enriching, effective, and fun learning opportunities; all fostering a continuous learning culture. Scouting U also provides instructional design and support for volunteer courses through the National Service Center campus, including position-specific training, Wood Badge, NYLT, NAYLE, and Leadership Challenge. All training efforts in the organization should be coordinated with Scouting U.

Scouting University–National Service Center Campus
The National Service Center campus is where Scouting U offers Senior Leadership 1 (SLE1), Senior Leadership 2 (SLE2), and First Time Scout Executive Orientation (FTSEO), as well as a variety of training programs for National Council employees. The National Service Center campus is also home base for the Scouting U facilitators and instructional designers.

Scouting University–Summit Campus
The Summit campus is where Scouting U offers Commissioning and Managing Performance classes and is located near Beckley, West Virginia. A variety of other courses are also offered at the Summit Bechtel Reserve based upon the training needs of the organization.
Official website of the Boy Scouts of America. The website provides resources and information about Scouting for youth, parents, volunteers, alumni, and the general public.

A volunteer Scouter, 21 or older, appointed by the chartered organization to lead a Scout troop.

Scoutmaster conference
A distinctive feature of the troop advancement plan in which a Scoutmaster helps a Scout accept the responsibility for the youth’s own growth toward each rank.

Scoutmaster’s Minute
A part of the closing ceremony of a troop meeting or campfire in which the Scoutmaster encourages Scout-like conduct by telling a story.

A wide area network that electronically connects all local councils, regional offices, the National Distribution Center, Scouting U, and the national service center.

A show or demonstration of Scouting activities.

An emphasis that some councils use to reach out to urban and rural communities. Scoutreach represents the council’s commitment to making sure that all young people have an opportunity to join Scouting, regardless of their circumstances, neighborhood, or ethnic background.

Scouts BSA
Scouts BSA is the traditional Scouting program for young men and women ages 12 through 17. Service, community engagement, and leadership development become increasingly important parts of the program as youth lead their own activities and work their way toward earning Scouting’s highest rank, Eagle Scout. Members are referred to as “Scouts BSA members” or “Scouts.” Scouts BSA and Scouts should never be preceded by the word “girl,” and girls in the Scouts BSA program should never be referred to as “girl Scouts.”

Scouts with disabilities/Scouts with special needs
A program element of the Boy Scouts of America that emphasizes the involvement of youth who have visual, hearing, or other disabilities. An alternative advancement program is available for these youth members.

A youth officer who checks attendance and keeps records. The troop scribe is appointed by the senior patrol leader with the Scoutmaster’s advice and consent. The patrol scribe is appointed by the patrol leader.

Sea Base Alumni and Friends Association
Involvement is open to all current and former staff members and former program participants. The organization supports current Sea Base staff and the programs they deliver, connects past and present staff members, and advances the overall mission of the Boy Scouts of America.

Sea Scout
A registered youth member of a Sea Scout ship.

Sea Scouting
Sea Scouts specialize in traditional nautical activities, e.g., sailing, motorboating, paddle sports, scuba, and maritime careers.

Second Century Society
A national recognition society for donors who give at least $25,000 outright over five years, or $100,000 or more deferred. There are four levels, up to $1 million and up. Gifts may be designated for operations, capital, or endowment. Replaced both the Founders Circle Award and the 1910 Society.

Second Class
The third rank for Scouts BSA members; between Tenderfoot and First Class.

A Venturer elected to this office in the crew.

Geographical and administrative grouping of Order of the Arrow lodges.

senior patrol leader
Each troop has one senior patrol leader, a Scout elected by the troop members to help all the patrols succeed. This youth leader may be assisted by one or more assistant senior patrol leaders.

service patrol
The name given to a patrol that has accepted an extra work assignment for the good of the troop.

service star
An insignia worn over the left shirt pocket of the uniform to denote number of years of service.

Seton Memorial Library and Philmont Museum
The Seton Memorial Library is an integral part of the National Scouting Museum–Philmont Scout Ranch. Its books and magazines speak to the history and programs of Scouting and Philmont Scout Ranch, as well as the art, peoples, and culture of the Great Southwest. Approximately 50 percent of the library contains volumes originally owned by Ernest Thompson Seton. A research library is also on-site.

The unit that conducts Sea Scouting for the chartered organization. Equivalent to a Venturing crew. Examples: “Sea Scout ship,” “Ship 38,” “Sea Scout Ship 38.”

ships and spacecraft
Italicize the names of ships (the Titanic) and spacecraft (the Discovery) unless you are referring to a spacecraft that is named after part of a space program, such as Apollo 13. Lowercase “space shuttle.” Do not italicize abbreviations that appear before the name of a ship, such as SS or HMS: SS United States.

shooting sports
Always lowercase.

short-term camping
A camping experience consisting of one to four days and at least one night outdoors.

See “firearms.”

An outdoor event—“showing and doing”—that helps a leader blend leadership skills with outdoor and camping skills.

Silver Antelope Award
A recognition given by the National Court of Honor to a Scouter for distinguished service to youth within the region.

Silver Beaver Award
A recognition given by the National Court of Honor to a Scouter for distinguished service to youth within the council.

Silver Buffalo Award
A recognition given by the National Court of Honor for distinguished service to youth on the national level.

Silver Palm
See “Eagle Palms.”

The Sea Scouting equivalent of Advisor. The Skipper is assisted by a mate.

social media

The Boy Scouts of America uses a variety of social media to reach out to Scouts, Scouters, and the community at large.

space derby
A pack activity that involves making and racing model spaceships. Examples: “Pack 1 Space Derby,” “the space derby.”

See “ships and spacecraft.”

Use when some of the people involved may be men. For example: “Scouters and their spouses,” not “Scouters and their wives.” However, do not presume maleness in reference to Scouters—volunteer or professional.

square knot
Generally, embroidered square knots are representative of pin-on medals or around-the-neck awards and are designed for the greater convenience of the wearer. They are the only wearable insignia for the Award of Merit and Professional Training Award. Embroidered knots from other Scout associations may be worn on Scouters’ uniforms.

The fifth rank for Scouts BSA members; between First Class and Life.

state names
Spell out the names of U.S. states unless space is a factor (such as in tabular material). Use the two-letter postal abbreviations in addresses with zip codes only. Punctuation: Place a comma between the city and state name, and another comma after the state name: “He traveled from Chicago, Illinois, to Dallas, Texas, en route to his home in Flagstaff, Arizona.”

STEM Nova Awards counselor
A registered adult volunteer at least age 21 who has knowledge in STEM topics and is willing to guide youth participants in research and experiences. The counselor certifies that requirements have been met while maintaining quality and safety in the program.

STEM Nova Awards program
A program that lets Scouts explore STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. There are separate Nova awards for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA members, and Venturers and Sea Scouts, as well as Supernova awards that recognize superior achievement. Examples: “Nova Award,” “Nova Awards program,” “Wright Brothers Supernova Award.”

STEM Scouts
This is a coed program of the Boy Scouts of America aimed at exposing youth to science, technology, engineering, and math through creative, hands-on activities, field trips, and interaction with STEM professionals. The unit is a referred to as a lab.

Strategic Plan, National
A three- to five-year plan that helps provide a focus for the growth and success of Scouting. Capitalize when referring to the BSA’s National Strategic Plan; council strategic plans should be lowercase.

Summit Award
The top-level award in Venturing.

Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve
Located near Beckley, West Virginia, this BSA property is a multipurpose, year-round destination for Scouting activities and adventures. It became the permanent home for the national jamboree in 2013 and also features a high-adventure base, a national flagship Scout camp, and a leadership training center. The preference is to use “Summit Bechtel Reserve” whenever possible. Using “the Summit” or “SBR” is acceptable on second reference only, with a preference for using “SBR” only when space is a factor. The address is 2550 Jack Furst Drive, Glen Jean, WV 25846.

Summit Bechtel Reserve Staff Association
Anyone who has served on staff or as training faculty at the Summit Bechtel Reserve is eligible to apply for membership. The group promotes a continuing interest in and support for the vision, mission, and programs of the Summit Bechtel Reserve.

A major annual activity, trip, or project of a Venturing crew requiring long-range planning and extensive preparation. Generally, the highlight of the crew’s program.

Supernova Awards
In-depth, challenging awards available to youth within Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouting; part of the STEM Nova Awards program. A Supernova mentor serves as a counselor and helps guide the youth along the way. See also “STEM Nova Awards program.”

Supernova mentor
A registered adult volunteer at least 21 years of age who has expertise in STEM topics and is willing to guide youth in significant STEM-related accomplishments while maintaining the quality and safety of the program and ensuring the requirements of the Supernova awards are met.

Supply Group
The arm of the Boy Scouts of America that supplies official uniforms, equipment, and literature to the field. Includes administrative offices located in the National Service Center, the National Distribution Center, and Scout shops located nationwide.

supply item
Offset supply numbers with a comma, not parentheses: Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls, No. 39006.

swimmer classifications

All youth and adult participants in aquatics activities are designated as swimmers, beginners, or nonswimmers based on swimming ability confirmed by standardized BSA swim classification tests, which should be renewed annually.

Swimmers: Jump feet first into water over the head in depth. Level off and swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy resting backstroke. The 100 yards must be completed in one swim without stops and must include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating

Beginners: Jump feet first into water over the head in depth, level off, and swim 25 feet on the surface. Stop, turn sharply, resume swimming, and return to the starting place.

Nonswimmer: Anyone who has not completed either the beginner or swimmer tests.

Symbols such as the ampersand (&) and number sign (#) should not be used in running text, titles, and so forth. The ampersand should not be used for the word “and;” use “No.” in reference to a number, such as a catalog item number (“No. 54321”).

TAP (The Adventure Plan)
This step-by-step planning guide for unit leaders covers all types of outdoor activities, from a simple hike to a national high adventure. It includes the four phases of planning: adventure selection, preparation, the adventure, and after the adventure. For links to many useful resources and for more information, go to

(1)The Lion or Tiger and adult partner. (2) An administrative branch of a National Council department. Examples: “Professional Development Team,” “Environmental, Health and Safety Team.”

The second rank for Scouts BSA members; between the Scout rank and Second Class.

three R’s
Traditionally, they are “reading, ’riting, and ’rithmetic.” In Scouting, the 3 R’s of youth protection are recognize, respond, and report.

A Cub Scout who is in the first grade and registered, with an adult partner, as a member of a Tiger den.

Tiger den
A group of five to eight Tigers and their adult partners who are part of a Cub Scout pack.

titles with names
In general, confine capitalization to formal titles used directly before an individual’s name: “District Executive Karla Wallace,” “Karla was a district executive.” An exception is Chief Scout Executive, which is always capitalized. See also “capitalization.”

Top Hands conference
The plan of action for the BSA’s future direction is crafted in these meetings of Scout executives and regional and national personnel.

total available youth (TAY)
The number of youth in an area who meet BSA membership requirements.

Totin’ Chip
A recognition given to Scouts who subscribe to the Outdoor Code and understand and can demonstrate the proper handling, care, and use of woods tools.

When possible, use a generic equivalent for a trademarked name unless the trademark is essential. Some common examples: “adhesive bandage” rather than Band-Aid; “polystyrene plastic foam” (or “plastic foam”) rather than Styrofoam; “chocolate bar” rather than Hershey bar; “tissue” rather than Kleenex; “resealable plastic bag” rather than Ziploc bag; “flying disk” rather than Frisbee. When a trademark is used, capitalize it.

trading post
The camp or reservation store where equipment and supplies may be purchased by campers.

train-the-trainer conference
In this conference, the people responsible for training unit leaders become acquainted with the principles, methods, and techniques of training. The conference is held by a council or a cluster of councils. Do not capitalize unless giving the name of a specific conference: “Viking Council Train-the-trainer Conference.”

trained leader
Every leadership position in Scouting has several training requirements to be considered fully trained. Leaders who complete all of the requirements for the particular position are qualified to wear the “trained” emblem on that uniform.

Trained Leader emblem
This emblem may be worn by all leaders, youth and adult, who have completed Youth Protection training and the basic training course(s) appropriate to their positions. It may be worn only in connection with the emblem of office for which training has been completed. Do not italicize.

(1) A Venturer elected to be responsible for funds in the crew. (2) A Scout who keeps a record of patrol dues and makes up a budget for patrol outings; appointed by the patrol leader.

The unit that conducts Scouting for the chartered organization. Capitalize only when used with the troop number. Examples: “Scout troop,” “Troop 14,” “Scouts BSA troop.”

troop guide
A youth leader who works with Scouts in the new-Scout patrol; appointed by the Scoutmaster in consultation with the assistant Scoutmaster responsible for new Scouts.

troop historian
A youth leader who records the troop’s activities both in writing and visually; appointed by the senior patrol leader with the Scoutmaster’s advice and counsel.

troop open house
Same as “troop rally night.”

troop rally night
A coordinated council or district membership effort using volunteers and professionals in which youth are identified through a Scout-fact survey and referred to troops. The program at a troop rally night should be aimed to sell Scouting to prospective Scouts.

troop resource survey
A survey of the talents, skills, and interests of adults who could provide program assistance to the troop.

One word in all uses.

A distinctive part of Scouting is its uniformed membership. Examples: “Scout uniform,” “dress uniform,” “field uniform,” Scouter uniform,” and “Sea Scout uniform.” See also “methods of Scouting.”

The entity that conducts Scouting for the chartered organization; it consists of registered youth members and registered adult volunteers. A unit may be a pack, troop, crew, ship, or lab. Its affairs are administered by the unit committee, which is appointed by the chartered organization.

unit leader
The adult volunteer leader of a unit is a Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Advisor, Skipper, or Lab Manager.

United States Fund for International Scouting
Within the Boy Scouts of America National Foundation, the USFIS provides the opportunity for substantial support of World Scouting by individual, business, corporate, and foundation grants. Gifts to the USFIS are deductible as charitable contributions.

universal Scout badge
A miniature Tenderfoot insignia. Often worn on civilian clothes by Scouters.

university of Scouting
As a general term, lowercase. When used as part of a proper noun, capitalize: “Longhorn Council University of Scouting.”

A registered youth member of a Venturing crew. The word “Venturer” should be used only as a noun referring to a youth member. Use “Venturing” when a modifier is needed. Examples: “One Venturer built a kayak.” “One member of a Venturing crew built a kayak.”

For young men and women ages 14 through 20, or 13 with completion of the eighth grade. “Venturing” is both a noun and a modifier. Examples: “Venturing is a program for young adults.” “Young women and men take part in Venturing activities.” “Good Venturing Advisors are crucial to successful Venturing crews.”

Venturing activity interest survey
An annual survey of the career and leisure interests of high school students conducted by the local council. Survey results may be available to help crews recruit new members.

Venturing Award
The first-level Venturing award.

Venturing crew
Youth members and adult volunteers who conduct the Venturing program within an organization chartered by the BSA.

Venturing Impact Plan
A council organizational plan to “sell” business, industry, labor, professional, and community groups to organize Venturing crews.

Venturing Key 3
The Venturing officers' association president, staff Advisor, and volunteer Advisor.

Venturing motto
Lead the Adventure.

Venturing officers’ association (VOA)
A group of Venturers at the district, council, area, regional, and national levels that provides support for membership, resource sharing, and events for Venturers and Venturing crews.

Venturing program conference
Conducted by many councils to provide program support and training to Venturing leaders. The Advisor, associate Advisors, president, and vice presidents from each crew attend.

Venturing salute
A hard salute made by Venturers with all four fingers of the right hand extended, as for a military salute.

A national gathering of Venturers that occurs every four years. Regional VenturingFest events are held every two years.

A recognition status accorded to members of Scouting who have served five years or more. Examples: “10-year veteran,” “15-year veteran,” “20-year veteran.” Units also achieve veteran status and may display veteran insignia on their flags and uniforms.

vice chair
A National Council, local council, district, or unit committee title. This term is not hyphenated.

vice president
(1) An adult volunteer elected position in a local council. (2) An elected youth position in a Venturing crew. This term is not hyphenated.

Vigil Honor
The highest honor the Order of the Arrow can bestow upon its members, for service to the lodge, council, and Scouting.

A campmaster for Cub Scout family camping programs. See also “campmaster.”

The rank designed for a Cub Scout who is in the fourth grade. “Webelos” is an adjective and should not be used as a noun.

Webelos badge
The sixth rank in Cub Scouting; earned by Webelos Scouts in a Webelos den.

Webelos den
A group of Webelos Scouts who meet weekly under the supervision of a Webelos den leader.

Webelos den chief
A Scout or Venturer who has been appointed to help direct the activities of a Webelos den.

Webelos Scout
(Pronounced WEE-buh-los.) A Cub Scout who is in the fourth or fifth grade and is a member of a Webelos den. The word “Webelos” (which means WE’ll BE LOyal Scouts) should always be used as a modifier, never as a noun.

Webelos Scout overnighter
A one- or two-night campout by Webelos Scouts and their parent or guardian.

Websites, BSA entry
The official website of the Boy Scouts of America

Awards Central
Awards Central is the BSA's repository for information about official awards and recognitions. This is where the most up-to-date information about BSA-related awards may be found, including award applications and nomination forms.

Be a Scout
This website provides information about Scouting opportunities.

Boys’ Life magazine
The website of Boys’ Life magazine contains information about the current issue, games to play, projects to download, and more.

Florida National High Adventure Sea Base
The website of the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base.

Marketing & Membership Hub
The hub for marketing and branding materials, including news, videos, photos, logos, campaign collateral, brand guidelines, and more.

The site where adult leaders can access confidential membership information and resources.

This site gives volunteers and leaders access to and information about training opportunities, tracks training, and provides other helpful resources.

National Eagle Scout Association
This site has information about the National Eagle Scout Association, including a section for NESA members.

National Scout Jamboree
Get the latest information on national and world jamborees, upcoming or recent past.

National Scouting Museum
The official website of the National Scouting Museum

Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases
The website of the Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases

Order of the Arrow
The website of the BSA’s national honor society.

Philmont Scout Ranch
The website of Philmont Scout Ranch.

Scouting Alumni & Friends
Website for alumni and others who support Scouting.

Scoutbook and Scouting app

Scouting magazine
The Scouting magazine website contains information about the current issue and more.

Scouting Safely
Scouting Safely is the hub for the most current health- and safety-related information.
The BSA’s official online source for camping equipment, uniforms, handbooks, pinewood derby supplies, and other essential Scouting merchandise.

Sea Scouting
The website of the Sea Scouting program.

STEM Nova Awards program
Information about the STEM Nova Awards program.

STEM Scouts
Information about the STEM Scouts program.

Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve
The website of the Summit Bechtel Reserve.

Youth Protection program
Information about the BSA's Youth Protection program, policies, training, and more.

Youth Safety
This webpage offers an easy-to-navigate overview of our youth protection program using language and visuals that help the general public or those who are new to Scouting understand what the Boy Scouts of America does to help keep kids safe. This webpage does not replace the Youth Protection webpage; instead, it offers an overview of our policies in a simplified version for those who may not be familiar with our terminology or our program details.

Wilderness Commitment
Those who make the Wilderness Commitment follow the Outdoor Code and the Wilderness Pledge.

Wilderness Pledge
Through good camping and hiking practices, I pledge myself to preserve the beauty and splendor of America’s wilderness, primitive, and backcountry areas. I commit myself to: Set a personal example in following the Outdoor Code; train those I lead in the skills and attitudes needed to protect and preserve wilderness for future generations, and assure that parties of which I am a part observe the hiking and camping standards that will “leave no trace” of our passing.

Wilderness Use Policy
An official policy that outlines the size limit, skill level, and conduct of any Scouting group going into backcountry or wilderness areas. The objective is to minimize the effect such groups have on those delicate areas. See also “Leave No Trace.”

Winter Adventure
The Winter Adventure snow camping program (formerly known as Kanik) is offered by Philmont Scout Ranch. Ski touring, snow shelter building, snow camping, winter ecology, use of winter tools and equipment, and techniques for designing and making equipment are featured. Kanik (pronounced CAN-ick) is from the Eskimo word for “snowflake.” See also “Okpik.”

See “Wood Badge.”

The rank designed for a Cub Scout who is in the second grade.

Wood Badge
Training award granted upon completion of the Wood Badge course. A leather thong with two wooden beads, a special neckerchief, and a slide (woggle) are worn by those who have completed the training. See also “Gilwell Park.”

woods tools
Those tools, including knife, ax, and saw, used by Scouts and Scouters carrying out outdoor skills and related advancement requirements.

World Baden-Powell Fellowship
This program of the World Scout Foundation recognizes individuals for their financial support of world Scouting. See also “World Scout Foundation.”

World Friendship Fund
The means by which Scouts and Scouters of the BSA may provide material help to Scouts and Scouting around the world.

World Organization of the Scout Movement
An international, nongovernmental organization that is composed of three principal parts: the World Scout Conference, the World Scout Committee, and the World Scout Bureau. As of January 2019, 170 national Scout organizations are members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.

World Scout Bureau
The secretariat of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. The bureau is directed by the WOSM’s secretary general, who is the chief administrative officer of the World Organization. The World Scout Committee appoints the secretary general. The legal seat of the World Scout Bureau is located in Geneva, Switzerland. The Secretary General’s Office is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Regional offices are in Kenya, Egypt, Philippines, Ukraine, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Republic of Panama.

World Scout Committee
The executive body that represents the World Scout Conference between meetings. There are 12 committee members from 12 countries; they are elected for terms of three years.

World Scout Conference
Meeting every three years, this is the governing body of the World Organization of the Scout Movement that is composed of delegates from each of the member national Scout organizations. There can be only one national Scout organization per country. In the case of a country having more than one national Scout association, a federation is formed for the purpose of national coordination and world membership.

World Scout emblem
This emblem of the World Organization of the Scout Movement is worn by Scouts and Scouters around the world to indicate their membership. Each national Scout organization determines the manner in which the emblem is worn.

World Scout Foundation
Contributions to this foundation are invested permanently to produce regular income for the benefit of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.

World Scout Jamboree
The largest regular event organized by the World Organization of the Scout Movement, held every four years in a different country. It is primarily an educational event to promote peace and understanding. See also “Jamboree.”

World Scout Moot
An event organized by the World Organization of the Scout Movement every four years in a different country, for youth ages 18 through 25. The Moot gives young adults in Scouting an opportunity to gather with the objective of improving their international understanding as citizens of the world.

World Scout Parliamentary Union
An international organization that unites the National Scout Parliamentary Associations (NSPAs) that exist in almost 100 countries worldwide.

WP Society
The program set up to recognize those who make what the Boy Scouts of America calls a "transformational legacy gift" of $25 million or more. The initials "WP" were chosen in honor of the Waite Phillips family for the most significant gift given to the BSA in the 20th century, Philmont Scout Ranch.

Young American Awards
These local council awards may be given annually to young adults between the ages of 15 and 25 who have achieved excellence in the fields of science, religion, service, government, business, athletics, art, music, or literature. Recipients need not be members of the Boy Scouts of America.

youth leader
A youth leader is a youth member or adult program participant occupying a position of responsibility for leadership development purposes.

youth leader training
See “National Youth Leadership Training.”

youth member
See “member.”

youth ministry outreach
Used to describe how the Scouting program is used within a religious organization.

Youth Protection program
This BSA emphasis fights child abuse by teaching youth the “three R’s”: Recognize, Respond, and Report child abuse; by helping parents and Scouters learn to recognize indications of child abuse and situations that could lead to potential abuse; and by teaching them how to handle child abuse situations or reports. Youth training is called personal safety awareness. For all registered adults (volunteer and professional Scouters), Youth Protection training is mandatory.

youth-serving executive
A Scouting professional who serves the council at the unit level. Note the use of the hyphen.

youth, youths
In reference to individuals or the period in life, use the singular form. “Youth” may also be used as a collective noun, such as in reference to a group of young people that cannot practically be counted (“The youth of this state …”). In reference to a countable group, however, use the plural form (“The youths of this congregation.”). In the BSA, “youth” is used in reference to a member age 17 or younger.

zip code

zip line (n), zip-line (v)