What is a Scouter? The ‘by the book’ answer and your definitions

For those of us who have been in Scouting for the majority of our lives, the answer seems obvious.

But recently I got an email from a Cub Scout parent who shall remain nameless, asking, “What is a Scouter? I see this word all the time but am unclear about what exactly you’re referring to.”

I realized we use this word all the time in Scouting magazine, on my blog and on social media. And I suppose we just assume that all those new adult leaders out there know the word through some type of magic.

Let’s fix that today. First, the simple definition. The BSA’s Language of Scouting defines this noun as “A registered adult member of the Boy Scouts of America who serves in a volunteer or professional capacity.”

That’s the by-the-book definition, but we can do better. So I asked our Facebook friends to weigh in on the subject. I’ll share two of my favorite answers and then present a word cloud I created from the responses, all after the jump. 

My Scouting colleague Gary Scott said, “A Scouter is one who knows it’s not about them but about the youth we serve, who knows it’s not about building campfires in the rain and tying square knots but it is about sharing leadership skills and opportunity with others, who knows that Scouting is not perfect but is a safe environment for youth to learn lifelong skills, who knows we are blessed by the opportunity of doing our small part to support the Scouting movement.”

Excellent, Gary.

And Gwen Druckrey added her short but sweet definition: “one who started because of their sons and stayed because of yours.”

I love that.

In fact, all of the responses were great, and I was inspired to throw them into Tagul, a free word cloud maker. Loyal readers may remember two years ago when I created this word cloud in honor of National Volunteer Week.

Click the image below to view high-res, and thanks to all who were a big part of this little project.

Scouter-wordart

About Bryan Wendell 2880 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.