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Scouting
Terms, Acronyms and Abbreviations
M to S


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


Merit Badge - are round Boy Scout (BSA) cloth badges with embriodered emblems that represents a career field or a hobby. They are awarded for completing requirements that are covered in a Merit Badge booklet for the given badge. As of 2003, there are 119 different Merit Badges that a Boy Scout can earn. A Boy Scout must earn 11 Required and 10 Elective Merit Badges to become an Eagle Scout. They can be sewn on the sleeve of a long sleeve Boy Scout uniform shirt, but are usually worn on a Merit Badge Sash. In the early days of the BSA, Merit Badges were square in shape.

Merit Badge Counselor - Is an adult with a vocation or avocation (expertice) in a given field of study covered by a Merit Badge. They instruct and help a Boy Scout meet the requirments for a badge. Adults must be registered, approved and trained by a BSA Council's Adavancement Committee before they are allowed to work with Boy Scouts, then they are added to an approved list of Merit Badge Counselors. Many Counselors cover more than one Merit Badge. The number of badges a counselor can cover is determined by an individual BSA Council.

Medal of Merit - A BSA Lifesaving or Meritorious Action medal awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has performed some outstanding act of service of a rare or exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.

National Council - The corporate entity or headquarters for a Scouting movement in any country. They have been given rights by a countries national government to own and operate a Scouting program.

National Scout Office - The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) National Council (Headquaters) is located at 1325 West Walnut Hill Lane, Irving, Texas, 75015. When they first started they were located in New York, N.Y., then they moved it to New Jersey, and their final office in Irving, Texas.

National Scouting Museum - A BSA Scouting Museum that started in 1959 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It moved to Murray State University in western Kentucky in 1986 and in October 2002 it moved to 1329 West Walnut Hill Lane Irving, Texas 75038 adjacent to BSA headquarters. Click HERE to visit their web site.

National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) - A National Organization for Eagle Scouts, both past and present.

Neckerchief - A triangular piece of cloth that is wrapped and worn around the neck and held in place with a neckerchief slide or woggle as they call in in other countries. In the old days the neckerchief was square in shape and folded in half to form a triangle. Neckerchiefs come in many colors with both printed and embroidered designs and colored trim. Baden-Powell introduced the neckerchief to Scouting, fashioning it after cowboy's who wore a bandana around their neck. There are many uses for a neckerchief besides a neck decoration. In foreign Scouting they sometimes call this part of a Scout uniform a scarf.

New Leader Essentials (book) - A BSA basic training guide for all adult Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Venture Crew Leaders.

Order of the Arrow (OA) - BSA's national brotherhood of honor campers which promotes Scouting's outdoor programs. Found in 1915, by E. Urner Goodman. To be eligible for election to membership, a Boy Scout must prove his camping and Scouting ability. The OA is known for their Indian regalia (costumes) dancing, and special campfire ceremonies. Mebers are elected to this organization by members of their Boy Scout Troop, who are both members and non-members of the OA. It is a high honor to become a meber of the OA. There are three levels of membership in the OA. They are Ordeal, Brotherhood and Vigil member.

Pack - A group of dens in Cub Scouting, a unit that conducts the Cub Scout program for their chartered organization.

Parvuli Dei - A religious medal earned by Catholic Cub Scouts and Webelos.

Patrol - Subdivision of a Boy Scout troop, it usually has five to ten youth members. It meets together for activities and elects its own boy leaders.

Patrol Leader - an elected youth leader of a Boy Scout patrol.

Paul Bunyan's Axemen - A double-bitted axe patch that can be earned in BSA by those boys skilled in using and caring for an ax.

Pedro - The cartoon burro mascot of Boys' Life magazine.

Phillips, Waite (1883-) - A Wealthy Oklahoma oil man who is best known for giving BSA Philmont Scout Ranch. He also provided income for maintaining the property from the Philtower office building in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Philmont Scout Ranch - It is a 137,000 acre camp that was a gift to BSA by Waite Phillips. Later he gave 91,000 acres more so that Scouts could have the best backpacking, horseback riding, mountain climbing, and other outdoor adventures around. There are more than 10 base camps, and fourteen trail camps that individuals, Boy Scout Troops and Venturing Crews can enjoy. Training courses are held for Scouter Leaders here, for both volunteers and paid professionals. A leaders family is also welcome to stay here while a parent is attending training sessions. A trek at Philmont is called a Philtrek.

Pope Pius XII - A religious medal earned by Catholic Venturers (male or female).

Post - The unit that conducts the Explorer program for their chartered organization. Exploring is part of BSA's "Learning for Life" career education program for young men and women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) or 15 through 20 years old. Each Explorer Post has a career focus. The most common are Police, Fire, and EMS Explorer Posts that are typically sponsored (chartered) by a town's or city's Police and Fire departments.

Pow Wow - A one-day training conference, held annually, for Cub Scout leaders.

President-Elect - The top elected volunteer of the Boy Scouts of America.

Quartermaster - A Troop or Patrol leadership position. The person who looks after the equipment and supplies. Also the highest award in Sea Scouting.

Queen Scout, King Scout - The highest rank in Boy Scouting in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Rank - In scouting, positions of degrees earned by passing tests.

Region - one of the geographical administrative units of a national Scouting program.

Registration - All individuals of the Scouting program must be listed in an registry of members. Usually requires filing a form and paying a yearly membership fee tot he National Scouting organization.

Religious Awards - To aid a Scout in his duty to God, churches and synagogues have developed awards for the Scouts and Scouters of their faith. These are not Scout awards or metals but awarded by a religious group. They may be worn on the Scout uniform, along with a special square knot patch issued by BSA. Some of these awared are; "Ad Altare Dei" for the Catholic Faith, "Ner Tamid" for the Jewish, "Pro Deo et Patria" for the Lutheran, "God and Country" for the Protestant, and the Mormon's offer the "Faith in God," and "On my Honor" awards.

Rockwell, Norman (1894-1978) - He was the main illustrator for BSA for over 60 years. He became the visual spokesman for the movement, defining Scouting for the BSA. He started with BSA in the fall of 1920, with a commission to do an illustration for Boys Life. Nearly every year from 1925 to 1976, he illustrated the annual Boy Scout calendar. He was honored with the Silver Buffalo. He was famous for his artwork outside Scouting including creating covers for the "Saturday Evening Post" and other magazines. You can learn more about him and visit the Norman Rockwell Museum web site by clicking HERE

Roundtable - A monthly district or council adult Scout Leader meeting that helps Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Venture Scout Leaders learn how to plan and organize their unit's Scouting program, advancement and how to build leadership morale and Scout Spirit. It's also where they learn district and council news. This term was derived by Baden-Powell after the "Knights of the Roundtable" and the days of chivalry.

Schiff, Mortimer L. - One of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America. He was an a member for the BSA Exceutive Board, International Commissioner and the National President of BSA at the time of his death in 1931. His mother donated money to buy the land to the BSA for the Schiff Scout Reservation which was dedicated on October 18, 1933. It was open from 1933 to 1979 and located in Mendham, NJ. It was a memorial to him and his father John M. Schiff. It served as the BSA National Training Center for Scout Executives until BSA moved to Irving, Texas, today it is a 400 acre Cub Scout summer camp. You can visit a web site about the Reservation and its history by clicking HERE

Scout - The word means one who listens, from the French word "to listen." B-P said that the term Scout means "the work and attributes of Backwoodsmen, explorers, seaman, airmen, pioneers, and frontiersman." So with a scheme to make his new program with character building appeal to boys (and girls), he gave it a name to draw them. "Scout" is now synonymous with B-P's program and Scouting in general world wide.

Scout Badge - The design of the Scout Badge is the north sign on the mariner's compass. It is used by all scouts, with only slight changes. Called by many names, the Fleur-de-lis, trefoil, or arrowhead shape was one of the distinctive features of the world Scout movement introduced by Baden-Powell. It means that a Scout always points the right way in life just as a compass does in the field.

Scoutcraft - The act of being a Scout and the outdoor skills they learn and use.

Scouter - a registered adult member of a Scout group, who is 18 year old or older, and who serves as a youth leader in the Scouting program.

Scout Executive - The highest full-time paid professional Scout Leader who directs a local BSA Council. They are hired and report to a Council President and can be fired by the Council President and the Council Executive Board as well.

Scouting - All the activities of the Scout program.

Scoutmaster - Written as one word, not two, who is a volunteer, non-paid, adult Scout Leader (male or female, 21 years old or older) who runs a Boy Scout Troop.

Scout Motto - see BE PREPARED.

Scout Oath and Law - Two of the codes of conduct that a Scout and Scouter learns to live by.

Scout-O-Rama - A Scout Show or event where Scouts demonstrate their outdoor skills and scoutcraft for the general public.

Scout Participation - A requirement for rank advancement in BSA, it means a Scout attends meetings, wears his uniform correctly, and shows Scout spirit.

Scout Sign - The signs that show you belong to the World Brotherhood of Scouting. They include the Scout sign, the Scout salute and the Scout handclasp (handshake).

Scout Slogan - see GOOD TURN.

Scout Spirit - Is the way a Scout acts and tries to live up to the Scout Oath, Law, Slogan, and motto in his everyday life.

Scout Week - A week that brackets the birth date of the Scouting program. BSA's is observed in February each year. Units make window displays of Scoutcraft and Blue and Gold Banquets for the Cub Scouts.

Scribe - A BSA youth leadership position. The keeper of the Patrol and/or Troop records or log.

Sea Explorer - A registered member of a U.S. Sea Explorer ship (male or female) first termed Sea Scouting in 1912. It was the first branch of Scouting for the older boy, and was started by Arthur A. Carey. Sea Explorers were replace by Sea Scouts and are now part of the BSA Venturing Program.

Second Class Scout - The second rank and badge earned by a Boy Scout in the BSA program.

Senior Patrol Leader - The key elected boy leader over a troop. His duties include Troop administration, and those assigned to him by the Scoutmaster.

Seton, Ernest Thompson (1860-1946) - One of the first organizers for the Boy Scouts of America. He was born in England, moved to Canada, then relocated to the United States. He was an artist, an illustrator, a naturalist, and an author of fictional books. He organized the " Woodcraft Indians" and brought them into the BSA Scouting program, but because of a clash of personalities, he left the BSA in 1916. He wrote the First BSA Handbook for Boy Scouts.

Ship - A chartered Unit of five or more Sea Scouts who's program specializes in learning seamanship and nautical training.

Silver Award - The highest award that a Venturer or male Explorer can earn in the Boy Scouts of America.

Silver Beaver Award - An award for adult Scout leaders (male or female Scouter) presented by the BSA National for noteworthy service to Scouting within a BSA Council.

Squad - a term for a group of about seven to eight Varsity Scouts.

Star Scout - the fourth rank earned by a Boy Scout in the BSA program.

Sunshine or Fair Weather Scout - A derogatory term referring to a Scout that only shows up to Scout activities and campouts when the weather is good or when he feels like it.

Swappin' - A Scout term for trading at Jamborees and other Scouting events, like a Trade-O-Ree.


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Last Revised 05-14-06
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