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Maker Scout ________?


Maker Scout ________?

There have been some emails flying around off of the board about what exactly a group of maker scouts should be called. So far we almost only use troop, however, some people feel that this has a paramilitary feel too it. A quick look in a thesaurus tells us that almost all words that mean a collection of people have strong connotations.

TLDR: Post what you think we should call a group of maker scouts.

accumulationaggregationassemblage,assemblyassociationassortmentbandbatch,battery, bevy, bodybunchbundlecartel,categorychaincircleclasscliqueclot, club,clump, clusterclutchcollectioncombination,combinecompanyconglomeratecongregation,coteriecovey, crewcrowdfactionformation,ganggatheringgradeleaguelotmess,organizationpackparcel, partypassel,platoon, poolpossesetshooting match,societysortsuitesyndicateteam, tribe, troop, trust

After looking through the words you will probably first weed out the words that have explicitly negative connotations. Leaving:

accumulationaggregationassemblage,assemblyassociationassortmentbandbatch,battery, bevy, bodybunchbundlecategorychaincircleclass, clot, club,clump, clusterclutchcollectioncombination,combinecompanyconglomeratecongregation,coteriecovey, crewcrowd, formation, gatheringgradeleaguelotorganizationpackparcel, partypassel,platoon, pool, setsocietysortsuite, team, tribe, troop, trust

Now I may be wrong but we probably are not looking for a name that comes from statistics or taxonomy. Leaving:

accumulationaggregationassemblageassemblyassociationassortmentbandbatch, battery, bevy, bodybunchbundlechaincircle, clot, clubclump, clutch, companyconglomeratecongregationcoteriecovey, crewcrowd, formation, gathering leaguelotorganizationpackparcel, partypassel, platoon, pool, society, suiteteam, tribe, troop, trust

If we want to remove the bland/ general words:

band, battery, bevy, chaincircle, clot, clubclump, clutch, companycongregationcoteriecovey, crewformation, leaguelot, packparcel, platoon, team, tribe, troop

Removing words that just don't make sense:

band, battery, bevy, club, companycongregationcoteriecovey, crew, formation, leaguelot, pack, platoon, team tribe, troop

Now I am sure you could expand the initial list by including animal groups like:

pod, flock (birds and camels), pride, gaggle (geese), Murder (crows), herd, troop (Monkeys and goats, I know it was already there but this is how I think of it), school, shrewdness (apes), sloth (bears), clouder (cats), seige (cranes), parliment (owls), wisp (for the snipe hunters),... you get the point

Most of these sound horrible.

Hopefully people now see that english has a limited set of words to describe a group of humans working together, and that the military has co-opted most of the cool ones.

Given all of this I feel that best words with the least militaristic sound, the least bit of dictionary lookups, and the most maker feel are

Crew, Tribe, Team, and I also still like Troop.

Now I have different views than everyone else so please let us know what you think.  

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Oh, no, I think Makerscout Clump is the way to go!

Or Glob! A makerscout GLOB.

We should think kids. What would kids want to be in, a Troop, a Tribe, a Glob, a Clump?

A buzz, a hive?

Maybe we make up a new word for this?


One thing to keep in mind. Think about how hard it is to explain what hackerspaces are to people not in the know. We are trying to describe what Maker Scouts are in the context of hackerspaces. We are already two layers deep into explaination. I don't think we want to be spending time explaining what the word we use to collectiveize Maker Scouts means. Keep it simple.


I have been telling people that Maker Scouts have mentors and facilitaters rather than leaders and that a group is a tribe not a troop. Now that I think of it more deeply, though, I realize that Makers come in gaggles and are led by kittenherders. Alas, only other Makers can understand the full truth of this, so I will stick to my current words until/unless the group consensus agrees to or consistently uses another set of terms.


Troop is Paramilitary?  What about Scout? 

Seriously what is our target audience if we're worried about sounding too "military?"  Personally I thought we were looking at a very general audience of, lets face it "normals."  Sure we're going to get Makers and their buddies right away but if we're going to get as large an audience as possible we can't be too "inside baseball" or we become those fringe crazies. 

I like the SCA for instance but the simple fact that they call their groups "kingdoms" puts people off as being too "goofy." 

For instance the Maker Scouts fit as most "normal" people have good image on what a scout is.  Sure they might not know what a "maker" is but a scout fits as a kids organization in most folks heads.  So let's not over complicate this and follow KISS. :)

That said Troop would be fine but so would Tribe or Band.  I'm just advising against going too far from "normal" for basic things like this.  We want the kids to be able to talk to others about what they're doing in a way that "normals" will get.  Think Sunday Morning Television talk shows and the local morning shows.  How do you want those talking heads to introduce the local maker group?

"Good morning it's 7:15 AM and this morning we're joined by Maker Scout Glomp 115 here in Fresino."   Doesn't quite fit does it?  We want a positive and understandable image to as wide a group as possible. 


I agree that we don't want to be too off the wall. I saw this that might be a good guide on what is already out there: To me "troop" and "scout" are paramilitary terms. Not that there is anything wrong with that...



I could not agree with you more. I tried and there was some kind of approval force field. I did think to myself how funny it was that someone might let their child be a scout but not if she/he was in a troop. Too funny. I will put up a poll in a couple minutes. 


I like mentors and facilitators.


Link to a poll like i promised.


I got a 404 at the URL Jarick.

To wisecricket: Guild is good too.

Perhaps we look for a name and standardize it; perhaps we ask each of the Makerscout ____s to come up with their own, as part of an activity? Could be a fun activity, especially if the ____ has to use their 3d printer to make the letters / stamp / legos / robots they use to explain it. What do you think?


Fixed it. I had pushed an update and something was lost.


I like the sounds of crew honestly its not to formal but still respectable, and not just plain crazy like if we cal them a scimatic or something. I also really like the thought of calling leader mentors because that leaves the door open, if the child has left maker scouts (got to old) but  he/she still want to come back because the needed help, it will make them feel like they can.


How about use the word "Guild"?


  1. A medieval association of craftsmen or merchants, often having considerable power.
  2. An association of people for mutual aid or the pursuit of a common goal.



James and Jarick,

I cannot view your full comments regarding this naming convention. I wonder if anybody else has the same problem. 


Never mind.. I found your recent comments attached on previous thread.


Within Boy Scouts there are "patrols", which are groups within the troup that you can break into for small-group activities.

We can use the term "nodes" as in nodes on a network... ;) 


Hey Nodes was my idea! :-) Call them Nodes and name each one after a Linux  distro. 

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