Appendix B

Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Terms used in Scouting

Compiled by: Ric Koval, February, 1996
Edited by: Mike Nostrand and George McMullin III, February 2001
Updated January 2017

This listing of "Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in Scouting" grew out of a series of questions asked by new Scouts and parents alike.  The list is not all inclusive as there are many other terms used for programs and offices and titles that are not included.  Still, this is an excellent primer to help get started on "Scoutspeak."

Abbreviation Term Definition
AD Area Director A professional Scouter on a Regional Staff who relates to, and works with the Area President in giving direct service to local councils.
ADC Assistant District Commissioner A professional Scouter who assists the District Commissioner.  See Also: District Commissioner (DC).
AP Area President The ranking elected volunteer (non-commissioned) officer in an area who heads the Area Committee.
APL Assistant Patrol Leader Youth second leader of a patrol.  Selected by the Patrol Leader and takes the Patrol Leaders place in his absence.  A member of the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) which runs the Troop.  See Also: Patrol Leader (PL).
ASM Assistant Scoutmaster A commissioned volunteer, 18 or older, appointed by the chartered organization, who helps the Scoutmaster (SM) administer the troop program.  The term SA is used on applications and other literature but in actual practice, ASM is the more common acronym.  See Also: Assistant Scoutmaster (SA).
ASPL Assistant Senior Patrol Leader Selected by the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) with the Scoutmaster's (SM) advice and counsel, he helps run the troop alonside the SPL and the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC).
BOR Board of Review A review held to determine if a Boy Scout has satisfactorily completed rank advancement requirements.  For first five(5) ranks, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle, the Board is comprised of members of the Troop Committee.  For Eagle, the Board of Review consists of members of the Troop Committee and members of the District Advancement Committee.  See Also: Court of Honor (COH).
B-P Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell Founder of the worldwide Scouting movement.  Born in London, February 22, 1857.  Created a Baron in 1929.  He is referred to as Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, Chief Scout of the World.  He died January 8, 1944.  The Boy Scott motto—Be Prepared—honor his initials
B-P Award Baden-Powell Patrol Award An embroidered star worn beneath the patrol medallion distinguishes a member of a patrol that won this award by meeting requirements in spirit, patrol meetings, hikes, outdoor activities, Good Turns, advancement, membership, uniform, and Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) attendance.
Brotherhood The Order-of-the-Arrow's (OA) second level of membership.  The Ordeal member after 10 months of membership may seal his membership in the Order by taking a further pledge to service of others, Troop, and Lodge.
BSLTA Boy Scout Leaders Training Award A training recognition for adults in Boy Scouting (other than Scoutmasters).
C.O.P.E. Project COPE (Challenging Outdoor Physical Experience) A team building and self-esteem building physical challenge designed to broaden a scouts abilities and self confidence.  Scouts depend on themselves and each other to complete the course while guided and guarded by trained COPE Counselors.  Consists of problem solving exercises, low course (6 feet or less off ground) and high course (25 feet or more) where participants are belayed and safety is of utmost concern.
Call-out The ceremony that begins the membership induction process for newly elected Order of the Arrow Candidates.  See Also: Order-of-the-Arrow (OA)
Camporee Derived from two words: camp and jamboree.  A District, Council, or Troop activity to demonstrate techniques of living in camp.  Involves a one- or two-night camping experience.  May involve Scoutcraft competition.
CC Committee Chair The adult leader of the Troop Committee, may also be a member of the chartered organization.  Provides the motivation and direction to the Committee.
CD Camp Director The Scouter in charge of the administration of a Boy Scout camp or Cub Scout day camp or resident camp.  May also refer to Camping Director—A professional Scouter responsible for development of a council's year-round camping program.
CM Committee Member an adult volunteer who serves on the committee that carries out the unit program.  Members are involved in operation of the unit as in finance, advancement, transportation, fund raising, and other duties determined by the Committee Chair (CC).  Committees may be found at the unit (pack, troop, post), district, or council levels.
CO Chartered Organization A religious, civic, fraternal, educational, or other community-based organization that has applied for and received a charter to operate a Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Scouting unit.
COH Court Of Honor A ceremony to honor and recognize Scouts for their achievements and rank advancements.  A special COH is used when a Scout reaches Eagle.  See Also: Board of Review (BOR).
Commissioner A volunteer Scouter who works with packs, troops, and teams to help the units succeed.  In addition to council commissioner, there are district-, assistant district-, roundtable-, program-, and unit commissioners.
CR/COR Charter Representative/Chartered Organization Representative An adult representative of the group or organization that currently holds the Boy Scouts of America Charter.  Reports information to and from the chartered organization and the Troop.  Represents the organization to the local council.
Crackerbarrel A gathering of Scouts and/or Scouters for friendship and fellowship with light snacks and refreshments.  See Also: Mug Up
CSE Chief Scout Executive The top ranking professional Scouter of the Boy Scouts of America.
DAM District Award of Merit A recognition for Scouters who give noteworthy service to youth at the District/Exploring Division level.
DE District Executive A professional Scouter who works under the direction of the Scout Executive and is responsible for the achievements of the district.
Fast Start A preliminary training session for leaders explaining Troop organization, Troop meetings and, and the outdoor program.
Gilwell Gilwell Park The training center of the British Scout Association and the original homesite of Wood Badge Training.  Located in Epping Forest, England.
Good Turn Good Turn is a distinctive feature of Boy Scouting and its emphasis upon service to others.  The Good Turn habit is one that all Scouts try to acquire.
ILST Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops A training course for junior leaders conducted by the Scoutmaster (SM) and Senior Patrol Leader (SPL).  Also sometimes referred to as Troop Junior Leader Training (JLT).  The purpose of the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops course is to teach Scouts with leadership positions about their new roles and how to most effectively reach success in that role.  It is intended to help Boy Scouts in leadership positions within their troop understand their responsibilities and to equip them with organizational and leadership skills to fulfill those responsibilities.  Completion of ILST is a prerequisite for Boy Scouts to participate in the more advanced leadership courses National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE).  It is also required to participate in a Kodiak Challenge Trek.
Instructor This youth leader helps other youth members with rank advancement; appointed by the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) with the advice and consent of the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL).
IOLS Introduction to Outdoor leadership Skills A basic training program for adult Scout leaders consisting of basic Scout craft and outdoor skills.  It is usually a two day course.
Jamboree The term chosen by Lord Baden-Powell to describe the first international gathering of Scouts camping together in London in 1920.  The term is used to indicate a national or world gathering.
JASM Junior Assistant Scoutmaster Scouts, 16 or older, who help the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL).  The JASM is appointed by Senior Patrol Leader with the advice and counsel of the Scoutmaster (SM).
Lodge A local council Order of the Arrow (OA) group chartered annually by the National Council.  A large, or geographically diverse lodge may be sub-divided into chapters.  See Also: Order of the Arrow (AO)
Mug-up The Canadian Scouts equivalent to our term Crackerbarrel; a time of fellowship and friendship with light snacks and refreshments.  See Also: Crackerbarrel
NESA National Eagles 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.
OA Order of the Arrow An adjunct program of Boy Scouts of America (BSA).  It is an organization of honor campers dedicated to service and leadership in the Troop and community.  Arranged in Lodges (1 per Council) and Chapters (if Council is large).  Lodges may take a native American name usually of the Nation or another totem near them.
Ordeal This is the Order-of-the-Arrow's (OA) first level of membership.  Scouts, at least First Class, who meet other requirements are elected by their Troop mates and pass through an "Ordeal" meant to encourage self-reflection and awaken an awareness of others' needs.  Membership is "not so much for what you have done, but for what you are expected to do."
Philmont Scout Ranch The 136,000 acre scout reservation near Cimmaron, MN.  Each year Philmont hosts Scouts and other groups participating in high-adventure hiking and treks.  A rugged, outback experience usually lasting 10 days.
PL Patrol Leader Youth leader of a patrol consisting of between 6-12 other boys.  The patrol elects the PL and APL.  As a member of the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) he helps make the decisions that run the Troop.
PLC Patrol Leaders Council The youth leaders of a Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop.  The PLC consists of the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL), Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL), Patrol Leader (PL), Assistant Patrol Leader (APL), and Scribe.  The Troop Guide (TG), if appointed, may also be required to attend.  The Scoutmaster (SM) employs the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (ILST) training program to equip the PLC with the skills necessary to run the Troop.  See Also: Leadership Skills for Troops (ILST)
PTC Philmont Training Center A center at Philmont Scout Ranch that hosts training seminars for selected Scouts and Scouters on topics ranging from Order of the Arrow Adviser, Commissioner training, etc.  Any adult leader may attend.  See Also: Philmont.
SA Assistant Scoutmaster A commissioned volunteer, 18 or older, appointed by the chartered organization to help the Scoutmaster.  This term is used on official applications and other literature.  In actual practice, ASM is the more common acronym.  See Also: Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM).
SM Scoutmaster Adult leader and head of a Troop.  A commissioned volunteer, 21 or over, appointed by the chartered organization.  Provides direction and training to the Scouts so they can run a troop more effectively.  Works with the Troop Committee and the chartered organization representative to provide program opportunities and direction.
SPL Senior Patrol Leader Youth Leader of the Troop.  He is elected by the members of the troop and is the head of the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC).  He is assisted by the Assistant Patrol Leader (ASPL).
TC Troop Committee A group of adult volunteers appointed by the Chartered Organization and led by the Committee Chair (CC) to administer the affairs of the troop program.
TG Troop Guide A youth leader who works with the new Scout patrol in the troop; appointed by the Scoutmaster (SM) in consultation with the Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM) responsible for the new Scouts.
TRS Troop Resource Survey A survey of the talents, skills, and interests of adults who could provide program assistance to the Troop.
UC Unit Commissioner A volunteer Scouter who works with Troops to help them succeed.  Carries information and questions to and from the unit and/or to and from the local Council.
Vigil Honor This is the Order-of-the-Arrow's (OA) highest level of membership.  The lodge may call out a Brotherhood member, with at least two(2) full years of membership for this honor.  Reflects an understanding and dedication to a life of service and of living the Scout Oath and Law.
Wood Badge A training course for Scouters that teaches leadership and unit operation skills.  Either a full week or three(3) weekends are used to present course materials.  Success is measured by completion of a "Ticket" (a student's contract with him / herself to provide significant service to the Boy Scout movement.)
Wood Badge Beads A 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 presented to those who complete the training and their "Ticket."
WOSM World Organization of the Scouting Movement The international, non-governmental organization that is composed of over 120 member countries, which through the World Scout-Conference, -Committee, and -Bureau administer the basis of Scouting program around the world.
YPT Youth Protection Training Guidelines and policies, in place, to help fight child abuse.  The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) teaches the"three R's": Recognize, Resist, and Report.  This helps Scouts, parents, and Scouters learn to recognize indicators of child abuse and teaches them how to handle child abuse situations.

Congratulations!  You made it to the end.  Now you have a basic glossary of Scoutspeak and the words we use.  Hopefully this will help to eliminate much of the initial confusion we create by the use of unfamiliar terms and acronyms.  If, however, you hear something that's not on this list, please ask the question!  We'll be delighted to explain.