Scouting Terminology


  • Group – The local unit of Scouting that will consist of one or more section led by a Group Scout Leader GSL .
  • Beaver Colony – A Beaver Scout Section that may be divided into small groups called Lodges. Beavers are aged 6 – 8.
  • Cub Pack – A Cub Scout Section that will be divided into groups called Sixes, each led by a Sixer. Cubs are aged 8 – 10 1/2
  • Scout Troop – A Scout Section that will be made up of a number of patrols each led by a Patrol Leader. Scouts are aged between 10 1/2 – 15
  • Explorer Unit – An Explorer Scout Unit is managed by the District. Members are 15 – 18.
  • Scout Network – This is a County coordinated network for members aged 18 – 25.Each Section will have its own Leaders, usually a Section Leader supported by Assistant Section Leaders together with helpers and instructors.
  • GSL – Group Scout Leader (GSL) ensures the effective operation of the Scout Group. The Scout Group consists of the three younger Sections – Beavers (aged 6-8), Cubs (aged 8-10½) and Scouts (aged 10½-14).

The Group Scout Leader is responsible for ensuring that the Group has a team of ‘fit and proper’ adults who are well inducted and supported, and that a Balanced Programme is being delivered to all young people in the Group.

  • AGSL – Assistant Group Scout Leader
  • BSL – Beaver Scout Leader
  • ABSL – Assistant Beaver Scout LeaderBeavers section Leaders are named after wild animals.
  • CSL – Cub Scout Leader
  • ACSL – Assistant Cub Scout LeaderCub Section Leaders are named after Rudyards Kipling’s Jungle Book. The CSL is called ‘Akela’ and Assistant Leaders use the names of other characters.
  • SL – Scout Leader
  • ASL– Assistant Scout Leader
  • ESL – Explorer Scout Leader
  • AESL – Assistant Explorer Scout Leader.

The terms Leader and Scouter are both used to describe those adults who hold a Warrant. The warrant is the appointment card that is given to those who accept the appointment as a uniformed Leader. Such appointments are made by the Scout District.

Other adults may be Helpers or Skills Instructors. Helpers usually provide general help to a section on a regular basis whilst Skills Instructors provide more specialised support. Both are issued with Certificates of Appointment. Besides the Leaders, the Group will have a team of other adults who provide support chiefly with administration and fund raising. These will be lead by a Group Chairperson. The Group Chairperson is strictly speaking the Chairperson of the Group Scout Council. This meets annually at the Group Annual General Meeting ‘AGM’ and includes all those, especially parents, who are connected to the Group.

The more routine management of the Group’s affairs is conducted by the Group Executive Committee often called ‘the Executive’ and meets on a monthly basis.


Uniform jargon:

  • Necker/Scarf,  rolled or folded and worn around the neck, usually colour-coded as to group
    Woggleneckerchief slide: holds the neckerchief
    Turk’s Head Woggle: braided leather, given on completion of Wood Badge part I leader training (1 weekend or on evenings)
    Wood Badge: two wooden beads on a leather lace, presented on completion of a part II leader training course (1-week or 3 weekends)
    Epaulette: worn on the top of the shoulder, colour-coded for each section



Other Terminology

  • JOTA: Jamboree-on-the-Air (international ham radio event, every year in October)
    JOTI: Jamboree-on-the-Internet (held same time as JOTA)
    Brotherhood Camp: describes a camp with Scouts of two countries, such as Canada and the U.S.
    Church parade: church service designated for Scouts to attend as a group, sometimes also with the church’s regular congregation, Scouts normally parade up the aisle with the colours
    Colours: flags, carried by the Colour Party
    Cubs’ OwnScouts’ Own: short interfaith religious service typically held at camp
    Thinking Day: Feb. 22 celebrated by Girl Guides worldwide
    Chief Scout : honorary position held by the Governor-General (currently Bear Grylls)
    Chief Scout’s Award: highest award in the Scout section, recipients are called Pathfinder Scouts
    Scout Shop: store that sells Scout uniforms, books, and supplies
    Gilwell Park: International [leader] Training Centre in London, England
    Gilwellians: people who have completed Wood Badge Training
    Gilwell Reunion: Reunion weekend of Wood Badge holders held every September at Gilwell Park in England.

Gilwell Reunion