Here's a quick test of acronyms and initialisms for you. How many of these 10 can you name?
You can check your work after the jump.
- Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation
- Troop Leader Conference (or Council)
- National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience
- Assistant Senior Patrol Leader
- Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience
- National Youth Leadership Training
- Jamboree on the Air
- Friends of Scouting
- National Eagle Scout Association
- Yours in Scouting (a common way for Scouters to end a letter or e-mail to one another)
If you didn't get all 10 right, you've proven our point. Being a new adult volunteer can, at times, be a little intimidating. And a barrage of capital letters can make new leaders feel confused from the start.
So what should you do? Well, for each meeting you run or handout you distribute, make sure to give the spelled-out version of each acronym or initialism. This helps everyone—even the veteran leaders—remember just what those letters mean. After that, feel free to save time or space by using the shortened version.
Chime In: Does your pack, troop, or crew avoid using confusing acronyms? We'd love to hear some tips on how your unit handles this issue.