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Style guide: G


Gambia, the – not Gambia

games – Any game or activity should be written in lower case (blind man’s bluff, netball). Exceptions would include the use of a pronoun in the name: Kim’s game.

Gang Show when in Scouting context, and Birkenhead Gang Show as an event title


gay should be used as an adjective, never as a noun: a gay man, a gay person. NEVER refer to ‘gays’ collectively.

Getting Started publication and training


Gender issues Phrases such as career girl or career woman are outdated and patronising (there is no male equivalent): never use them.

actor or comedian: covers men and women; (but distinguishing between waiter and waitress is acceptable – for the moment).

firefighter, not fireman; PC, not WPC (police forces have abandoned the distinction), postal workers, not postmen.

Avoid terms which reinforce outdated stereotypes. If your nurse is a man then he is still just a nurse rather than a male nurse. If you need to use an adjective because your point is to make a distinction, use ‘female’ and not ‘woman’: female MPs, female pilots.

Do not gratuitously describe a woman as 'mother-of-three': family details and marital status are only relevant in stories about families or marriage.

Use humankind or humanity rather than mankind.

Never say ‘his’ to cover men and women: use his or her, or a different construction, there is usually a way round the problem – often by using ‘their’.

general election – lower case

General Synod – upper case

geography – distinct areas are capped: Lake District, Peak District, Midlands, Potteries, as are official Scouting designations; but those defined by compass points are not: the north-east, the south-west and so on

Gibraltar is an overseas territory (not colony) inhabited by Gibraltarians

Gift Aid Scheme

Gilwell Park – it’s acceptable to say UK Headquarters or UKHQ when referring to Gilwell Park in an official capacity; ie the place where most of the employees of The Scout Association are based.

Do say: ‘You will be supported by the Adult Support Team at UKHQ.’

Don’t say: ‘Wintercamp is held at UKHQ every year.’

Gilwell Park Conference Centre but the conference centre thereafter

Gilwell Park Scout Activity Centre but the activity centre thereafter

girl – female under 18, see young people

– refer to Guides rather than Girl Guides, although the organisation is now known simply as 'Girlguiding' rather than 'Girlguiding UK'.

Globe Trekker – upper case, two words

GMT is Greenwich mean time; if you wish to distinguish between local time and GMT use the following formula: ‘We arrived at our destination at 7am local time (6pm GMT)’

God is upper case

godchild, godparents, godmother, godson, goddaughter, godfather (unless referring to Coppola’s masterpiece)

goodie bag, not goody bag

Google is upper case when referring to the company: ‘There were huge profits at Google this year.’ It’s OK to lower case it when using it as a verb: ‘I googled campsites in the area’

government lower case in all cases (use 'the government' not 'government')


grandad but granddaughter


grassroots – one word as in ‘grassroots movement’

great-aunt, great-grandmother, great-great-grandfather and so on

Great Britain comprises England, Scotland and Wales only, not Northern Ireland. Use UK instead.

Great Tower Scout Activity Centre but the activity centre thereafter

green – lower case when descriptive: ‘the green movement’ or ‘attractive
green activist’; but upper case when referring to the Green party.

greenfield – one word

Group (as a shortened form of Scout Group) ‘I’ve been involved with my local Group for 10 years’; ‘I’ve been involved with the 15th Chingford Scout Group for 10 years.’

Please do not use Group (meaning your Scout Group) as a collective term if you’re including Explorers and Network. They are not part of Scout Groups.

Group Executive Committee

Group Scout Leader

Guinness World Records not the Guinness Book of Records

gurdwara – meaning temple, is lower case. Same for synagogue, mosque, church

guy rope

Gypsies and Travellers



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Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW