Language of Scouting

The Language of Scouting and BSA Style Manual
Revised November 2018

This reference is the Boy Scouts of America’s definitive resource on terms and style specific to Scouting and this organization. The Language of Scouting encompasses style, usage, grammar, and spelling norms observed by the Boy Scouts of America and used by the Marketing Group and Communication Services Department and its approved editorial and publishing partners. These standards have been developed so that the BSA can disseminate resources and other information in the most professional, consistent, coherent, and uniform manner for all forms of communication—print, digital, multimedia, etc.

Scouting terms are based in part on the Charter and Bylaws and Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America (available here). Grammar, spelling, style, and usage decisions are based on the latest editions of the following references, in order of preference: Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, The Associated Press Stylebook, and The Chicago Manual of Style. Turn to these resources (in the given order) for further reference. The Language of Scouting always takes precedence. Note: If an entry is capitalized, it should be capitalized whenever it is used.

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