Which Scout sign and salute do I use?

Scouting-101-logoEver since June 1, 2015, all BSA members — Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers and Sea Scouts — have recited the Scout Oath and Scout Law as part of their program.

The so-called “One Oath, One Law” transition was meant to keep things consistent throughout a young person’s Scouting journey.

But what about the Scout sign and salute? Here’s a quick reminder.

Cub Scout signCub Scouting: Two fingers

In Cub Scouting, we still use the two-finger sign and salute. That hasn’t changed.

Who: Cub Scouts and Cub Scout leaders

WhenGive the Cub Scout sign each time you say the Scout Oath and Scout Law. It’s also handy when you want to quiet a room quickly.

How: Hold your right arm straight up, with your index and middle finger separated, like a peace sign.

Why: The two raised fingers stand for the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. The fingers look like the sharp ears of the wolf, ready to listen to Akela.

Cub Scout saluteTwo fingers together held above the brow.

Note: Lions also use the two-finger Cub Scout sign and salute, as confirmed in these FAQs.

SourceCub Scout handbooks (all current versions, Tiger through Webelos)

Boy Scout signBoy Scouting: Three fingers

In Boy Scouting, we use the three-finger sign and salute. It’s the same one used by Scouts around the world.

Who: Boy Scouts and Boy Scout leaders, Varsity Scouts and Varsity Scout leaders

When: Give the Scout sign each time you say the Scout Oath and Scout Law. It’s also handy when you want to quiet a room quickly.

How: To make the Scout sign, raise your right arm to shoulder height with your elbow bent at a right angle. Cover the nail of your pinky with your thumb and hold the three middle fingers of your hand upward and together.

Why: Your thumb and little finger touch to represent the bond uniting Scouts throughout the world. The three fingers stand for the three parts of the Scout Oath: duty to God and country, duty to others and duty to self

SaluteForm the Scout sign with your right hand, then finish the salute by bringing that hand up, palm down, until your forefinger touches the brim of your hat or the tip of your right eyebrow. The Scout salute is a form of greeting that also shows respect. Use it to salute the flag of the United States of America. You may also salute other Scouts and Scout leaders.

SourceBoy Scout Handbook, 13th edition

Venturing signVenturing: Three fingers

Ever since May 2014, Venturers have used the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Venturing also switched from the full-hand (four-finger) sign to the three-finger sign used by their Boy Scouting brethren.

Who: Venturers and Venturing advisors

When: Give the Scout sign each time you say the Scout Oath and Scout Law. It’s also handy when you want to quiet a room quickly.

How: To make the Scout sign, raise your right arm to shoulder height with your elbow bent at a right angle. Cover the nail of your pinky with your thumb and hold the three middle fingers of your hand upward and together.

Why: Your thumb and little finger touch to represent the bond uniting Scouts throughout the world. The three fingers stand for the three parts of the Scout Oath: duty to God and country, duty to others and duty to self

SaluteForm the Scout sign with your right hand, then finish the salute by bringing that hand up, palm down, until your forefinger touches the brim of your hat or the tip of your right eyebrow. The Scout salute is a form of greeting that also shows respect. Use it to salute the flag of the United States of America. You may also salute other Venturers and Venturing advisors.

Source: Venturing.org

Sea Scout signSea Scouting: Three fingers

For Sea Scouts, the change to the three-finger sign and salute appeared on May 6, 2013, in the third online update of the old Sea Scout Manual. While Sea Scouts often will recite the Scout Oath and Scout Law, they still use the Sea Promise.

Who: Sea Scouts and Sea Scout leaders

When: Give the Scout sign each time you say the Scout Oath, Scout Law or Sea Promise. It’s also handy when you want to quiet a room quickly.

How: To make the Scout sign, raise your right arm to shoulder height with your elbow bent at a right angle. Cover the nail of your pinky with your thumb and hold the three middle fingers of your hand upward and together.

Why: Your thumb and little finger touch to represent the bond uniting Scouts throughout the world. The three fingers stand for the three parts of the Scout Oath: duty to God and country, duty to others and duty to self

SaluteForm the Scout sign with your right hand, then finish the salute by bringing that hand up, palm down, until your forefinger touches the brim of your hat or the tip of your right eyebrow. The Scout salute is a form of greeting that also shows respect. Use it to salute the flag of the United States of America. You may also salute other Scouts and Scout leaders.

Source: seascout.org

STEM-Scouts-16STEM Scouts: Three fingers

STEM Scouts use the three-finger sign for the Oath and Law.

With the Pledge, if in uniform, the Scouts use the three-finger salute. If not in uniform, they may place their hands over their hearts.

Generally, the guidelines for Boy Scouts and other groups that use the three-finger sign apply.