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  • #16
    The Cub rank neckerchief should be optional, provided the cub is wearing the proper hat for their rank. That would serve the purpose of immediate recognition beyond the scope of a badge, and would allow a little more fun in the uniform. How do I go about lobbying to make changes on these types of things?


    • #17
      You would want to contact the national office and ask for a contact name for cub scout advancement.

      But first!!! Have you considered that the neckerchiefs were not designed to please you or others your age but for a cub scout aged boy? Perhaps you should talk to a 9 year old after he is presented his new rank and neckerchief and see how he feels of your efforts to take his neckerchief.

      We need to keep in mind who these elements are there for.

      Bob White


      • #18
        I think that what you will find, is the boys will want to get rid of the hats and leave the neckerchief. Most of the boys in the Pack I work with do not wear the hats, but they do wear the neckerchief.


        • #19
          "The reason for the uniform change is linked to the social needs of youth at this stage of their development. They want to have ways to display their growth and graduation from one level to another."

          If today's kids need a different cap every year plus those stupid "Immediate Recognition" kits to feel "good" about themselves, we're in a sad situation.

          We're raising generations of kids that expect a pat on the back just for showing up for work on time. Next they'll expect


          • #20
            Today's show is brought to you by the letter Y and the word Curmudgeon.

            curmudgeon Pronunciation Key (kr-mjn)
            An ill-tempered person full of resentment and stubborn notions.

            [Origin unknown.]
            curmudgeonly adj.
            curmudgeonry n.

            Source: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
            Copyright 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
            Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
            (This message has been edited by Bob White)(This message has been edited by Bob White)


            • #21
              Gee Bob,

              By hurling insults at me you have demonstrated that you cannot abide by the Scout Law. Perhaps you should seek counseling and until you are cured, you should not have anything to do with Boy Scouts.


              • #22
                Bob --

                Perhaps you or someone else can shine some light on the business end of the supply division. The cost vs. quality of Scout Stuff comes up regularly and seems to be a constant source of complaint.

                What kind of margins does the supply division work on? Are they a significant source of revenue supporting general operations? Are these kind of numbers made available?

                Personally, if supply division profits support general operations, I have no problem with that. But basic uniforms and supplies should be at cost. I just spent about $75 for a new Cub Scout uniform. That's too dang much. If that's what it cost BSA to deliver those goods, there are big problems at supply.


                • #23
                  I can give you my point of view as a volunteer, a parent of a scout, and from my nearly two decades in retail sales.

                  First as a parent. I too paid the $75 for my sons uniform. He wore it about 60 times a year for 3-years. Thats 180 times of use and unless my calculator is malfunctioning that is less than .42 each pride filled time he wore that uniform. No other piece of clothing he owned lasted that long. I paid as much each year for his little league uniform and he only wore that about 14 times. after he switched to a tan Boy Scout shirt we took all his patches from his Blue Shirt and gave it to another family to use, that is durability. So as a parent I am very pleased with the quality and value of the uniform.

                  As an adult volunteer I have had the same experience. My uniform pants last me 2 to 3 years. That's longer than most my pants last. My shirts have lasted 5 years or longer. That's about $20 a year and I wear my uniform over 100 times a year. I have absolutely no problem with that. If you want greater durability you can get the wool blend uniform. I have seen those last a dozen years or more.

                  As far as as the quality of the patches they are the best in the world. I collect scout emblems from around the world and few even come close to the quality of our accessories.

                  As a retailer, I can tell you that on top of the actual cost of the uniform material the manufacturer attaches an enormous mark-up. They have labor, warehousing, shipping/receiving, net profit and more that they add to the piece. They get the largest part of the pie. Then it goes to BSA supply where they add all of their overhead costs, Then it goes to the retailer or council store where they have a small profit they are allowed to add. Every store regardless of size must sell official BSA products at a price fixed by nmational to avoid consumers being gouged. From that they pay a licensing fee to the national office each year, regardless of how much they sell. This is not a big money maker for the BSA.

                  As far as the uniform being sold at cost compared to other items, that just isn't feasible. It costs as much to handle a box of mugs as it does a box of shirts and you need to cover the overhead on both.

                  I can appreciate the immediate sticker shock of a brand new complete uniform. But when you look at the length of service it's a bargain. Pair that with the avenues available for finding perfectly good pre-owned uniforms, cost is really not a problem for anyone willing to take a few minutes to look around.

                  By the way my son just got his second Tan shirt after wearing his frst one for three and a half years. Now he has two of my old ones that no longer fit me (I think it's the soap my wife uses My shirts shrink about every 5 or 6 years .

                  I do wish the pants pockets were roomier but thats a minor problem.

                  Hope this helps,
                  Bob (proud to wear a full uniform) White(This message has been edited by Bob White)


                  • #24
                    I don't disagree with you about the quality of the basic shirt and pants. In fact, I've argued your same position at committee meetings. I've yet to see a boy wear out a uniform before they out grow it. I've also made the same comparison between the cost of Scouting vs. sports.

                    However, you can go to any Wal-mart or Tartet and buy similar-quality clothes for half the price. With the quantities national is dealing with, they should be able to negotiate similar discounts. I understand distribution costs and overhead, but the retail markup on apparel is astronomical. BSA should be able to offer uniforms at a lower price.

                    My biggest gripe is with the hats and neckerchiefs and similar accoutrement. They're junk. I've had to buy my boys new hats half-way through the year. The Webelos neckerchief is so thin, it's impossible to roll or fold it properly. I don't know what it is, but it's just the wrong type of fabric for the use. And it cost twice what it should have. Our new neckerchief slide is the color of an old penny -- not a drop of lacquer on it. I could go on.....

                    Patches? You're right. Everything should be of that quality and value. I'll add that the boys books and other literature is very reasonable. As for the mugs, camping gear and other miscellaneous stuff, I have no problem with them charging whatever the market will bear. Those are non-essential items and subject to competition from non-BSA suppliers.

                    And don't think you can out uniform me, bunkie. You won't find anyone more proud to wear the uniform than I.



                    • #25
                      I haven't checked out the new neckerchief or slide so I'll take the 5th on those. But I can guarantee you that Walmart sells a heck of alot more clothes than the BSA and quantity affects cost. I will disagree on their quality too. I spend more money replacing jeans each year than I spend on scout uniforms. Don't even get me started on Tennis shoe replacements.



                      • #26
                        I may be wrong about this, but it is my understanding that the BSA follows a "Made in the USA" policy for their uniforms. I think you would be hard-pressed to find one of those reasonably-priced garments at Walmart or Target that is made in this country. That has a major impact on price, though I think there are other contributing factors.

                        I am not saying the BSA should change that policy. Perhaps they should survey their "customers" as to what is more important, lower price or "Made in the USA." I personally would vote for "Made in the USA," though I think there are other issues that could reduce the prices at least a bit. I can't pin it down, but I have a strong suspicion that someone somewhere along the supply chain is pocketing a bit too much of the $44 price of a pair of BSA pants.


                        • #27
                          The following are just my own observations -

                          1) I too thought about den-specific neckerchiefs, but then recalled that custom neckerchiefs are reserved for Boy Scouting. And the neckerchiefs, like other parts of the uniform, promote group identity. IMHO we want these kids to identify with those in their age group, not set 'em apart. Teamwork.

                          2) I trust that profits or license fees on BSA-official merchandise further the program generally. (If I weren't willing to concede that, well, there are more important questions to consider.) I wish our family's other clothing held-up like our scouting garb.

                          3) I too thought the age-specific hats, new neckerchiefs, etc. a bit of overkill. Obsoleted a bunch of our pack's continually-reused uniform inventory. But we'll follow the program. These decisions were probably made by scouters just trying to do their best. *We* would want others to support our decisions, believing we had the best possible end in mind, wouldn't we? And if we don't like it, we can always contact National.

                          (IMHO the plastic "Instant Recognition" kits are nuts, but I absolutely agree w/the concept: recognize 'em as often as possible as soon as possible. Deferred gratification is something they'll grow into - witness the Webelos activity pins, by comparison. Consider substituting homemade items and a "den doodle".)

                          4) I agree w/BobWhite's comment that few of us are qualified to remember the perspective of a Cub-age boy. I do know that they like new/different things, too - "tradition" can get boring. But IMHO, far more important than the specific appearance of a uniform item awarded to a boy, is the sincere recognition and congratulations awarded him by caring, supportive adults w/whom he has a relationship founded on trust.


                          • #28
                            I don't really care for the age-specific hats. I think the neckerchiefs get worn more and do a great job of designating the different groups of Cubs. The other great thing about the neckerchief is all the things you can do with it!

                            A great game is to tell the boys when you throw the neckerchief in the air they have to laugh or yell as loud as they can, when it hits the floor they have to be quiet. Great way to break up announcements (no,no, don't sing) or award presentations. Vary how far from the floor you throw the neckerchief. Or do I like I did and drop the thing as soon as you pick it up --- you get this very short burst of laughter and then absolute silence!

                            And let's not forget the game of fireman's drag. This game also excites all those parents who just washed that uniform for the meeting. Shows the durability of the uniform as well!


                            • #29
                              Does anyone remember when the Cub Scouts all wore the same Blue Cap with the Cub emblem on the front and yellow ribbing on it? And also they ALL wore a yellow neckerchief. I think that looked good, but understand and agree with the updating of the two.

                              Instead of trying to make a new neckerchief, we are going to focus on working together as a den and have as much FUN as possible. If you really look at it, it's not about the color of your hat and neckerchief; but the fun you have and leasons you learn.

                              My son was excited to get his Wolf neckerchief. Besides, we will have much fun thinking of slides to make.

                              Tim Dyer


                              • #30
                                Have a great time Tim!