Speak like a Scout

Have you ever wondered about a woggle or debated the meaning of HOP? Scouting has its own weird and wonderful language that can be a challenge to decipher.

Here are some of the words and phrases:

Akela – This is a traditional title for the Leader in Charge of a Cub Scout Pack.  (See “Jungle Book”.)

B-P – When Scouts talk about B-P, they aren’t referring to a servo! These initials are our simple abbreviation for the man who started it all back in 1907, Lord Robert Baden-Powell. 

Cuboree – This is a mix of mud, water and plenty of laughter as 3500 Victorian Cub Scouts share an action-packed camp every three years.

Gang Show – This is an annual stage show, named after the UK original. The Melbourne Gang Show has been running since 1953, written, performed and produced by Scouts and Guides. Melbourne Gang Show is one of seven shows put on by Victorian Scouts. Apart from Sunraysia and Albury Gang Shows, there are “Showtimes” – Camberwell, South Metro, Strzelecki and Whitehorse Showtime.

Gilwell Park – B-P’s famous UK training base inspired our own Scouts Victoria campsite at Gembrook, which has the same name.   

Good Turn – This is a traditional phrase that’s still used by Scouts and Guides around the world. It’s all about doing something good for somebody else every day.

Grey Wolf Award – This is the highest award available to Cub Scouts.

Handshake – Scouts traditionally shake their left hands for greetings and badge presentations.

HOP - The 'Joey Scout HOP' is the formal opening ceremony used by Joeys. It represents the motto 'Help Other People'.

Jamboree – You probably already know the meaning of this one, because these large scale Scout camps are famous around the world! Our own version, held every 3 years, is known as ‘AJ’ for Australian Jamboree.

Jungle Book – Many Cub Scout titles are drawn from characters in Rudyard Kipling’s famous book, including Bagheera, Baloo, Kaa and Akela.

JOTA / JOTI – The 'Jamboree of the Air' and 'Jamboree of the Internet' are a massive, once a year opportunity for Scouts around the world to get to know each other through amateur radio and the internet.

Kangaree – This is a weekend camp for Joey Scouts, held every two years

Mob – A group of Joey Scouts is known as a ‘mob’.

Moot - Every three years, Rovers converge on one location for a ten-day extravaganza of activities at the National Moot.

Pack – A group of Cub Scouts that meet together is known as a Pack.

Patrol - A small sub-group of a Scout Troop. A Patrol is led by the Patrol Leader.

Salute – B-P came up with our global Scout salute - holding up three middle fingers with the little finger tucked under the thumb – and we still use it at Scout ceremonies.   

Six - A small sub-group of a Cub  Scout Pack. A Six is led by the Sixer.

Troop – A group of Scouts that meet together is known as a Troop. (The same word is used as a collective noun for baboons. It’s not known if there is any link!)

Woggle – This is a handy one to know for trivia nights. It’s the name of the ring used to hold the Scout scarf, and it dates back to the 1920s. (The Americans had their own version, called Boon Doggles.)

Wood Badge – Advanced qualification for Leaders which ends in presentation of wood beads, a parchment and a Gilwell Scarf.

Venture – This is the Venturers’ version of the Jamboree.

YiS – This signoff on emails or letters is an abbreviation for 'Yours in Scouting'.

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