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Scouting
Terms, Acronyms and Abbreviations
D to L


Choose a Letter Range From These:
A to C D to L M to S T to Z


Den - A group of about seven Cub Scouts within a Cub Scout Pack that have weekly meetings.

Den Chief - An older Boy Scout (usually at least a First Class Rank) who works with Cub Scouts in their Den and Pack meetings and who assists an adult Den Leader.

Den Mother - An old adult Cub Scout leader term for a lady that lead a Cub Scout Den. Nowadays they are called Den Leaders and can be either men or women.

Den Leader - A BSA volunteer Scout Leader (21 year old or older, man or woman) who leads a Den. They plan and conduct Cub Scout Den meetings and the rank advancement program.

Denner - A BSA Cub Scout youth leader who helps the Den Chief and the Den Leader with Den and Pack meetings. This is generally a rotating position so each Cub Scout may serve and learn about Den leadership.

Denner Shoulder Cord - A BSA Cub Scout Denner award in the form of a gold double-stranded shoulder cord and yellow tab which is worn on the left shoulder with the cord suspended under the arm of the uniform shirt. It is only worn during the term of office and removed when the term is completed. After the term the tab is worn alone without the cord to indicate their previous service as a Denner.

Distinguished Eagle Scout Award - Presented to Eagle Scouts who has distinguished themselves in a career of public life and service for at least 25 years after earning their Eagle Scout rank. Some who have earned it include President Gerald Ford, Apollo Astronaut Neil Armstrong and Astronaut James Lovell Jr..

District - A section of a local BSA Council's geographic area comprized of individual cities or towns and the Scout units (Packs, Troops, Posts, etc.) within them. A BSA Council can have as many Districts as they want to divid the teritory they cover into.

District Executive - A paid professional adult Scout leader (man or woman) responsible for organizing and managing non-paid adult volunteer Scout Leaders and Scout units within a district (or districts) within a local Council. The local BSA Council pays this person a salary and the BSA National Council provides the local Councils with a list of trained candidates that can fill their needs. BSA acts kind of like a contract employeement agency to a BSA Council.

Ditty Bag - A small bag carried on a hike or campout that can hold a first aid kit and other small personal hygiene items.

Eagle Scout - The highest youth rank award in the Boy Scouts of America. A Boy Scout must earn 21 Boy Scout Merit Badges, plus plan and lead an Eagle Scout service project that benefits a school, church or their community. The award is a silver metal eagle that is suspended from a red, white and blue ribbon, and their is also an oval award patch that can be sewn on the left uniform shirt pocket. Adults Scout Leaders, who earned Eagle Scout as a boy, can wear a red, white and blue square knot patch above their left uniform shirt pocket to signify the award.

Explorer - A registered male or female youth, age 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) or 15 through 20 years old. Their group is called and Explorer Post and they are part of the Boy Scouts of America Learning for Life Program. Explorer Posts are a career-based program that gives youth an opportunity to visit community organizations and explore the dynamics of various careers. Explorer Posts can specialize in a variety of career skills, including the following: Arts & Humanities, Aviation, Business, Communications, Engineering, Fire Service, Health, Law Enforcement, Law & Government, Science, Skilled Trades, Social Services and others fields. To learn more click these links Exploring or Learning for Life

Fast Start Training - A video tape training aid and self-study course for adult leaders in Boy Scouts of America. There is even an online version of it on the Internet now. There is a fast start training for every level of the BSA Scouting program (Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing, etc.).

First Class Scout - The third rank badge for a Boy Scout in the BSA.

Fleur-de-lis - The generic Scout emblem that in the shape of the three leaf Lily or Iris flower.

Gilwell Training Center - An international adult Scout leader Training Center located outside of London, England. It was founded by Lord Baden-Powell and is the home of Wood Badge Training.

Gold Quill Award - The highest award of medal of merit presented to BSA Boy Scouts for outstanding journalism, reporting, photography, and communication. Awarded for contributing articles and stories to the early "Lone Scout" and later "Boys' Life" magazines or other publications.

Good Turn - As in "Do a good turn daily." The act of providing a free service to anyone without expecting a reward or praise. It is the Scout slogan that was introduced by Baden-Powell.

Gorp - A mixture of dried fruit, hard candies, nuts, chocolate chips, M&M's candies, cereals, grains, pretzels, and other small high energy foods. Usually stored in a zip-loc plastic bag, then kept in the pocket and eaten on the trail as a snack while hiking.

Grand Howl - An English Cub Scout ceremony that Cub Scouts use to open or close a meeting, or honor a visitor, in which they form a living circle and then do the Akela howl. Cubs do this by starting in squat-down position, (like a frog), with their hands between feet. Then all Cubs shout Akela! We'll Do Our Best, (in a long drawn out fashion). Then they spring up to a standing position with two fingers of each hand pointing upwards at each side of their head, to look like the two ears of a wolf.

Green Bar Bill - The nickname and pen-name for William Hillcourt, who use to wrote a monthly Patrol Leader's column in Boys' Life magazine for five decades. The Green Bar(s) stood for the two green bars seen on a Patrol Leader's shoulder patch (badge of office).

Grubmaster - A Boy Scout who organizes, buys, stores and distributes the food for a patrol on a campout.

Handclasp - The Boy Scout handclasp or handshake is made using the left hand. It is a tradition started by Baden-Powell who got it from his military service in Africa. African natives held their shield for protection in their left hand. If they put down their shield and offered you their left hand to shake it showed they trusted you and offered their friendship.

Heroism Award - A BSA medal awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at minimum risk to themself.

Hikemaster - A Boy Scout patrol member who is appointed by the Patrol Leader to organize and lead hikes.

Hiking Staff or Hiking Stave - A walking stick or pole used on hikes. Sometimes it's a simple long pole, sometimes its elaborately decorated or carved and it can have many useful tools added to it.

Hillcourt, William (1900-1992) - Born in Denmark. He became the BSA National Director of Scoutcraft and he wrote 12 Scouting handbooks, many of the best ever seen. Also see Green Bar Bill.

Hornaday Award - A high award presented to youth and adult members of the BSA for conservation and the preservation of wildlife.

Honor Medal - A BSA medal awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save life with considerable risk to injury to themself.

Honor Medal with Crossed Palms - A BSA medal with crossed palm attachment that is awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated exceptional heroism and extraordinary skill or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save life with extreme risk to injury to themself.

International Conference - A conference for leaders involved in World Organization of Scouting (WOSM). It is held every two years to exchange new methods and techniques for use in Scouting.

Interpreter Strip - A cloth patch (badge to foreign scouts) that youth and adult members of the BSA earn for proficiency in a foreign language and includes sign language for the deaf. It has the name of the language embroidered on it and is worn above the Boy Scouts of America strip above the right uniform shirt pocket.

Jamboree - A huge special gathering of Scouts and Scout Leaders from many different units or regions within a state (a Regional Jamboree) within the American Nation (a BSA National Jamboree) or the World (a World Jamboree). Jamborees are usually held every four years. The National Jamboree use to be held in different locations, the first one was held in Washington D.C. in 1937. The BSA National Jambore is now always held at Fort A.P. Hill (an Army Training Base) in Virginia. The World Jamboree is held in a different country each time and the first one was held at Olympia, London, England in 1920.

Junior Assistant Scoutmaster - A youth leadership position for Boy Scouts who are still working on rank advancement. They assist the Scoutmaster and the Assistant Scoutmasters to lead a Boy Scout Troop.

The Jungle Book - A book written by Rudyard Kipling that tells the story of a Jungle boy named Mowgli and a wolf pack. Baden-Powell used it to develop the theme behind his Cub Scout program which is still used today.

Kim's Game - A memory game played by Scouts where they get to take a quick look at a large group of objects (around 20) that are say hidden under a blanket. Then they are covered up and the Scouts have to list all the objects they saw. The game was derived from a story called "Kim" written by Rudyard Kipling.

Kudu Horn - A long, straight, spiral twisted horn from a species of antelope which ranges from South Africa to Ethiopia. The animal's horn is hollowed out and made into a musical instrument that is blown into to create a sound. Baden-Powell introduced it at his first Brownsea Island Boy Scout training to call the patrols together. It is still used today at Wood Badge training sessions and Boy Scout summer camps as a traditional way of gathering Scouts and Scouters.

Law of the Pack - A Cub Scout has to memorize this in the BSA Cub Scout Program to earn is Bobcat Badge, their first award. The BSA Law of the Pack reads: The Cub Scout follows Akela. The Cub Scout helps the Pack go. The Pack helps the Cub Scout grow. The Cub Scout gives goodwill.

Learning for Life - A BSA program that is used in the school system or career oriented to help youth be better prepared for their future as adult citizens.

Life Saving Awards - Are medals presented by the BSA National Headquarters in Texas to youth members who either save or try to save a life. They come in four levels depending on how much risk was involved in the action (listed here lowest to highest level): Medal of Merit, Medal for Heroism, Honor Medal, and the Honor Medal with Crossed Palms.

Life Scout - The fifth rank badge earned by a Boy Scout (BSA), one rank below Eagle Scout. The badge is in the shape of a red heart with the Scout emblem on it.

Light of Christ - A religious medal earned by Catholic Tiger Cubs and Cub Scouts.

Light Is Life - A religious medal earned by Catholic Boy Scouts.

Lion - This was the 4th and highest rank badge in the OLD BSA Cub Scouting program. It was done away with in 1967 and replaced by the Webelos program.

Living Circle - A BSA Cub Scout Den opening or closing ceremony where the boys form a circle and join it together using their left hands to hold the thumb of the Cub Scout to their left and then they raise their right hand in the Cub Scout Sign and give the Cub Scout promise or some other Cub Scout related saying or yell as an entire group.

Lone Cub - BSA Cub Scout program for a single boy who has no Cub Scout Pack to belong to where they live. They are a registered member of the BSA, so they can still learn and work on badge advancement with an adult mentor.

Lone Scout - A BSA Boy Scout program for a single boy who has no Boy Scout Troop to belong to where they live. They are a registered member of the BSA, so they can still learn and work on badge advancement with an adult mentor. The Lone Scout has a special round patch (badge) that they wear on the shoulder of their uniform shirt that has a profile of a standing Indian Brave figure on it.


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Last Revised 05-14-06
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