Activity Uniform: The official term for what is usually referred to as the Class B uniform. The activity uniform is a more relaxed uniform intended for campouts, hikes, outings, and other activities.
APL (Assistant Patrol Leader): This is a Youth Leadership position. The APL assists the Patrol Leader (PL).
ASM (Assistant Scoutmaster): This is an Adult Leadership position. The ASM assists the Scoutmaster (SM).
ASPL (Assistant Senior Patrol Leader): This is a Youth Leadership position. The ASPL assists the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL).
Baden-Powell: Lord Baden-Powell was the founder of the scouting movement.
Be Prepared: The motto of Scouts BSA.
Blue Card: These are the record of Merit Badge progress. To work with a Merit Badge Counselor, the Scout must first obtain a Blue Card from the Advancement Chair, have it signed by the Scoutmaster, and present it to the Merit Badge Counselor they are working with for them to initial their progress and finally sign off when all the requirements have been met. The Scout will then take the card back to his Scoutmaster for a completion signature and then present it to the Advancement Chair for recording. The Scout should keep his copy of every Blue Card until after they have reached the Rank of Eagle. Plastic baseball trading cardholders work well for storing Blue Cards.
Board of Review (BOR): As a requirement of each rank advancement a Scout must appear individually before a group of three to six adults (usually members of the Troop Committee) to ensure that the Scout has met the requirements for that rank. By policy, the Scoutmaster (SM) and Assistant Scoutmasters (ASM) cannot sit on a Board of Review (BOR). A Board of Review (BOR) takes place after a Scoutmaster Conference (SMC) for Rank Advancement, when a Scout requests it or if the Troop Committee feels the Scout needs it. Eagle Boards of Review are conducted in a slightly different manner and will include someone from the District level.
Bridging: A ceremony where Webelo Cub Scouts cross a ceremonial bridge to signify their transition from Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA.
BSA: Initials that stand for the Boy Scouts of America.
BSA Lifeguard: A 3-year certification awarded to Scouts or Scouters who meet prescribed requirements in aquatic skills.
Buddy System: Whenever a Scout needs to go somewhere at camp, hiking, Merit Badge Class, etc. it is always done in groups of at least two. A Scout always takes a “buddy” Scout with him. Also used as part of the “Safe Swim Defense” program.
Camporee: Campout attended by several troops within the District.
Chaplain: An Adult Leader position, who guides Scouts related to the observance of the 12th point of the Scout Law – A Scout is Reverent. Is a mentor to the Chaplain’s Aide.
Chaplain’s Aide: A Youth Leadership position. The Troops’ religious leader.
Chartered Organization: The organization that is officially chartered by the BSA to carry out the scouting program.
Chartered Organization Representative (COR): The main liaison between the chartered organization and the troop, as assigned by the chartering organization.
Class A Uniform: This is another term for the Field Uniform, which is the complete, formal uniform worn for most regular meetings, Courts of Honor (COH), travel to and from camps, special occasions, and other times as requested by the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) or Scoutmaster (SM).
Class B Uniform: This is another term for the Activity Uniform, which is the more relaxed uniform intended for campouts, hikes, outings and other activities.
Commissioner: Adult volunteers working at the District or Council level, who are assigned to units and are a resource to unit leaders.
Committee Chair: A registered Adult appointed by the Charter Organization to chair the Troop Committee. This person presides at the Troop Committee meetings and works closely with the Chartered Organization Representative (COR) and the Scoutmaster (SM) to ensure the scouting program meets BSA guidelines.
COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience): BSA activity involving heights, trust, and team building.
Council: A group of Districts makes up a Council.
Court of Honor: An awards ceremony held quarterly where Scouts are recognized for their rank advancements, merit badges earned, and other accomplishments. Family members are encouraged to attend. Refreshments are generally served at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Cracker Barrel: A term for a social gathering with refreshments, generally held at the end of the day on campouts.
Cub Scout Mode: The Cub Scouts and Scouts are both great programs, however, they are very different. Cub Scouts progress together, led by adults. Scouts progress at their own rate and are led by other youth/scouts. It can take some time for those that were in Cub Scouts to understand the different ways things are done at the Scouts BSA level. Until an adult and/or youthfully grasp the concepts of a Scout Led Troop, they may be said to be “In Cub Scout Mode.” (Please realize, this is NOT meant as an insult. It is more of a short-hand reminder.)
Den Chief: A Scout who helps a Den Leader direct the activities of a Cub Scout Den.
District: A subdivision of a Council.
Dutch Oven: A large cast-iron covered pot used to bake and cook in over a wood or charcoal fire.
Field Uniform: This is the official term for what is commonly referred to as the Class A Uniform. The Field Uniform is the complete, formal uniform worn for most regular meetings, Courts of Honor (COH), travel to and from camps, special occasions, and other times as requested by the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) or Scoutmaster (SM).
Firem’n Chit: A certification given to Scouts who have been instructed in and understand fire safety rules.
Good Turn: “Do a Good Turn Daily” is the Scout Slogan. A good turn is something you do without being asked or expected to do it and for which you expect no reward.
Grubmaster: The Scout responsible for developing the food shopping list and securing the food needed by his patrol for an outing/campout. The Grubmaster isn’t necessarily the Cook for the meals but may participate in the food preparation.
Guide to Safe Scouting: This booklet is the Bible when it comes to safety-related issues in scouting. Those items in BOLD print are rules that MUST be followed. Everything else in the booklet is recommendations that should be followed. Troop leaders frequently consult this to see if planned activities are being done safely and within prescribed BSA policy.
Jamboree: Scout meeting or campout on a grand scale. There are district, regional, national, and international Jamborees.
Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI): Scouting and ham radio join forces to make many international contacts through the “air” waves (JOTA), and through the Internet (JOTI), traditionally the 3rd weekend in October.
Journey to Excellence (JTE): BSA’s performance recognition program designed to encourage and reward success and measure the performance of our Troop, encouraging excellence in providing a quality program.
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster (JASM): A youth between 16 and 18, who has already held major leadership positions within the troop, appointed by the Scoutmaster (SM) to help in guiding the troop and youth leaders.
Junior Leader Training (JLT): A training class taught by the senior youth leaders for newly elected and appointed youth leaders.
Leadership: To advance in the more senior ranks a Scout must hold a leadership position for a set period of time. The rank requirements in the Scouts BSA Handbook list the leadership positions that qualify.
Leave No Trace (LNT): A set of guidelines that set standards for outdoor activities that are environmentally sound and considerate to others using the same area.
Life to Eagle Advisor/Mentor: An adult leader who is an Eagle and is eager to assist Life Scouts with any questions they may have on their journey to the Eagle rank.
Merit Badge Sash: As Scouts earn Merit Badges they are sewn on a Merit Badge sash, which is normally worn only for formal occasions such as a Court of Honor (COH).
National Eagle Scout Association (NESA): Open to membership to any youth or adult who attained the rank of Eagle Scout.
NTE (Not a Troop Event): This designation will be placed on calendar listings that may be of interest to Scouts, but are not scheduled to be attended as a Troop event.
Order of the Arrow (OA): A national brotherhood of Scout honor campers of the BSA. Members are elected by their peers after meeting the basic requirements of camping knowledge and experience. Scouts and Scouters can be elected to the OA. The OA motto of “Cheerful Service” indicates their purpose. They are often found improving scout camps, running the district and council events, and providing service to the scouting community.
OA Ordeal: The initiation ceremony experience for new Order of the Arrow members generally involving personal introspection, service to improve the camp, and ceremonies based.
Palms: After a Scout reaches the rank of Eagle, they can earn a Palm for every 5 additional Merit Badges they complete and three months of service they provide to their troop for each Palm.
Patrol: The Patrol is the basic unit within a troop. It’s made up of 6-10 scouts who camp, cook, and eat together. They work as a team at various activities and events. They elect their own Patrol Leader (PL).
Patrol Boxes/Equipment: The Patrol Equipment consists of stoves, lanterns, and cooking equipment. The Patrol is responsible for the storage and upkeep of this equipment. This equipment is stored and transported in Patrol Boxes which need to be cleaned and inventoried after each outing.
Patrol Leader (PL): The elected leader of the patrol. An Assistant Patrol Leader (APL) can be elected or appointed by the Patrol Leader (PL) to help in running the patrol.
Patrol Leaders Council (PLC): Made up of the youth leadership of the troop. The PLC meets once a month to plan meeting themes, campouts, and activities. The PLC also meets once or twice a year to work on the long-term planning of campouts and other activities.
Permission Slip: To go on an outing, the Scout must have a Permission Slip signed by his parent. The Permission Slip also provides details about departure time, cost, and special directives. It is the Scouts responsibility to make sure they have the appropriate Permission Slip signed and turned in by the due date for the outing.
Personal Flotation Device (PFD): Otherwise known as a life vest. Those used in scouting must be US Coast Guard approved. The Guide to Safe Scouting will be followed as to when a PFD will be required.
Philmont: A high adventure Scout camp located in the northeast corner of New Mexico.
Quartermaster (QM): The Quartermaster is responsible for keeping an inventory of equipment and works to maintain the equipment’s good condition. There are three types of Quartermaster, Adult, Troop, and Patrol. The Patrol Quartermaster works with the Troop Quartermaster to ensure equipment is ready and in good working order for his patrol’s needs. The Troop Quartermaster works with the ASM and is responsible for ALL the troop equipment (including Patrol equipment).
Re-Charter: The annual process of re-registering the Troop, Scouts, and Scouters. Each unit designates leaders to collect the information and present updated paperwork to the council.
Register or Regrets: To help with planning campouts and other activities, all Scouts need to log onto the Troop website regularly, and for every Event listed indicate if they will be attending (select Register, then Yes) or if they will not be able to attend (select Regrets, then No) and Submit.
Roundtable (RT): Monthly meeting for adult leaders to exchange ideas, fellowship, and announcements that are run by the district.
Safe Swim Defense: An eight-step plan for safely conducting swimming activities.
Safety Afloat: Guidelines for safe troop activities utilizing watercraft.
Safety Circle: A safety zone around someone using a pocket knife, hatchet, ax, or other sharp tool. Basically, it is an arm’s length plus the length of the tool in all directions. No one should be in another person’s Safety Circle when a sharp tool is in use. The Safety Circle is euphemistically referred to as the Blood Circle by many scouts.
Scout Led Troop: Unlike almost any other youth program, Scouting is a youth-led and youth-run. Adults do not run a Scout Troop. Instead, the adult leaders support and mentor the youth leaders. The key method of learning is doing. At Troop 1401 our Scouts have the opportunity to learn leadership skills by practicing them. Youth leaders will make mistakes, and the adults are there to guide them, pat them on the back for every attempt, and encourage them to do their best.
Scout Spirit: The way a Scout tries to live up to the Scout Oath, Law, Slogan, and motto in his everyday life.
Scout Sunday: The BSA designates the Sunday that falls before February 8th (Scouting Anniversary date) as the primary date to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to scouting. It is often observed by the Troop attending church services with the members of their church.
Scoutbook: A web application designed for mobile devices to keep track of a scout's advancement, camping nights, hiking miles, service hours, and more. Provides real-time access to progress.
Scouter: Any registered Adult Leader.
Scoutmaster (SM): The Adult Leader who trains and guides the youth leaders in carrying out the scouting program. One or more Assistant Scoutmasters (ASM) help the Scoutmaster (SM) and are often assigned specific roles and duties.
Scoutmaster Conference (SMC): A formal meeting that takes place at a Troop meeting or activity between a Scout and the Scoutmaster (SM), or a person the Scoutmaster (SM) designates, to review a Scouts’ progress. A Scoutmaster Conference (SMC) takes place at advancement time before a Board of Review (BOR), when a Scout requests it or if the Scoutmaster (SM) feels the Scout needs it.
Scouts Own: Non-denominational religious observance of reflection usually conducted on campouts. The Scouts Own allows each Scout the opportunity to obey the twelfth point of the Scout Law in his own way. Let your troop leaders know if you do not want your son to participate in this activity, as we wish to respect every family’s religious beliefs.
Sea Base: A high adventure Scout camp located in the Florida Keys.
Senior Patrol Leader (SPL): The senior-most elected youth leader of the troop. The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) is in charge of the troop at all functions and activities. There are one or more Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders (ASPL) to help him in running the troop.
Silver Beaver: A recognition given to Scouters by the National Court of Honor for distinguished service to youth within the council.
Totin’ Chip: A certification that enables the bearer to use knives, axes, and saws. It must be earned by the Scout through educational and hands-on safety sessions led by an adult leader or older Scout appointed by the Scoutmaster (SM). Any time a Scout is observed doing something unsafe with a sharp tool, the card may be taken away and must be re-earned.
Troop Committee: The registered adults that provide oversight, assistance, and guidance to the Scoutmaster (SM) in carrying out the scouting program within the troop. The Troop Committee is responsible to provide the necessary resources requested by the Patrol Leaders’ Council (PLC) and Scoutmaster (SM) that are required to carry out the scouting program. Key members include the Committee Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Quartermaster, Life to Eagle Advisor, and Coordinators for Outdoor/Activities, Advancement, Membership, Community Service, Training, and Records.
Troop Website: The Troop website is used to convey messages to our members (via the weekly E-Blast sent every Monday), handles registration for campouts and activities, provides information/files on everything from Annual Medical Forms to Winter Weather Checklists, a Troop Roster to assist you in contacting other members, a Photo Album with pictures shared from some of our activities, fundraising information, and links to Scoutbook, Advancement sites, and much, much more. Be sure to check it out and log in regularly to keep up-to-date on all that’s going on.
Two-Deep Leadership: A BSA policy mandating that a minimum of two adults must always be present with any youth. One of these adults must be 21 years old. This is part of the BSA Youth Protection Guidelines.
Winter Rendezvous: A winter/snow oriented competition organized by the district with team building games and activities.
Wood Badge: Advanced training for Scouts BSA Adult Leaders. Any adult who has taken Basic Leader Training can attend this advanced training course to expand their knowledge of the scouting program and be of more help to the troop.
Youth Protection Training (YPT): A 72-minute interactive video presentation and training program that is offered online. The program provides valuable information on how to recognize child abuse, how to set up safeguards, and how to report suspected abuse. All registered adults are required to take Youth Protection Training (YPT) every two years. It is also encouraged that ALL parents take YPT so they better understand why adult leaders strictly adhere to these rules.
A big thank you to Troop 808 of Lakewood Colorado for this list. https://www.bsatroop808.org/
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