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Neckers - When did the colors for each rank begin?

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  • Neckers - When did the colors for each rank begin?

    I was just thinking that I need to get my son to the store soon, to get a jump on picking up all his blue "Bear" "stuff".
    ....and thinking that I might want to pick up a necker for myself too. Currently our leaders don't wear neckware.

    Do I remember correctly, that when I was a boy, a CS wore the yellow necker, like today's Wolf, until he aged up to the WEBELOS den?

  • #2
    I think sometime around 1984 they started using the different color neckers for each rank.


    • #3
      I don't mind the proliferation of neckers for each year group but would prefer a pack/group necker (esp if the pack feeds a troop at the same CO). However, the slides and hats need to stop. When I was a cub (90-93) it was wolf hat/slide (generic cub scout) and webelos hat/slide. No need for a slide a year (besides they should make their own).


      • #4
        I agree. The slide and the belt buckle are two things, too many.


        • #5
          In a large pack outing the different colors do help herd the cats. But since the hats cannot be worn indoors I think they are a bit overkill.


          • #6
            Yeah, that's a good point about hearding the cats..... but that only works if they wear the uniforms.
            Yet another reason I'm opposed to the T-Shirts or class B uniforms.


            • #7
              Originally posted by King Ding Dong View Post
              But since the hats cannot be worn indoors I think they are a bit overkill.
              Why not? For over a century scout hats have been worn indoors. I really don't know where this nonsense is coming from.

              Just the other day, I watched an adult leader ask her scouts to remove their hats during the national anthem. The hat is (an optional) part of the uniform, you don't remove it during the national anthem or a flag ceremony (whether indoor or outdoor).


              • King Ding Dong
                King Ding Dong commented
                Editing a comment
                The Air Force Officers in my old troop were adamant about the hat rules.

                Now we could get al lawyerly and say the whole pack meeting is a ceremony, but lets not go there.

              • Rick_in_CA
                Rick_in_CA commented
                Editing a comment
                What idiot at national wrote that? So lets ignore a century of scout tradition. Sigh... Another stupid rule from national to ignore.

              • King Ding Dong
                King Ding Dong commented
                Editing a comment
                Rick, I was not aware it is considered rude to wear a hat indoors until a Tiger den was politely addressed about it by a Major. Fired up the Google machine and it seems this has always been the case but norms have been changing. Come to think about it, in all the old movies the men always removed their hat indoors or when addressing a women. The rules may have been ignored in scouts because if they take off their hats the boys will misplace them or a big argument ensues about which hat belongs to whom. "Just keep the darn thing on".

                The expression "handed your hat" is from someone removing the hat of another person wearing it indoors and handing it to them.

                Here is one link with some explanations.

                Last edited by King Ding Dong; 07-24-2013, 10:37 PM.

            • #8
              Yes KDD, but there are times when the hat is worn indoors.

              from that referenced web site
              People in Uniform: People in the military, Boy Scouts, police and people in other uniformed organizations keep their hats on during “full dress.” Many other interesting regulations about hat wearing in the military exist, so hat etiquette is a required course in the military

              From another site I googled:
              There are some locations that would normally be considered indoors but for military purposes are considered to be outdoors. For example, drill halls are considered to be outdoors when being used for military reasons, even though technically it is an indoor area. Theater marquees and covered walks are also considered to be outdoors. Subways and airport terminals can be considered indoors or outdoors.

              Read more:

              and finally, from the BSA Guides to Awards and Insignia (I found this with google, I do not have this in my head...)

              Headgear Regulations
              Official headgear may be worn while the unit
              or individual is participating in an indoor formal
              ceremony or service duty, except in religious
              institutions where custom forbids. Typical indoor
              activities of this type are flag ceremonies,
              inspections, orderly duty, or ushering service.
              In any informal indoor activity where no official
              ceremony is involved, the headgear is removed as
              when in street clothes. The Scouter dress uniform
              is always worn without headgear.
              Pins may be worn on the jamboree hat
              but only while at the jamboree, and Webelos
              activity badges may be worn on the Webelos
              cap (see page 19). The large standard First
              Class metal pin, No. 17, has been reinstated
              as an option to the cloth First Class rank
              badge. The large pin may also be worn only
              by boys on the front of the campaign hat,
              No. 501 (64–76), sizes 6 1/2 to 7 3/4, and the
              expedition hat, No. 637 (91–94), sizes 6 1/8 to
              7 5/8. Adults may wear the adult universal hat
              pin, No. 50150, on the campaign hat and the
              expedition hat. No other pins may be worn on
              official headgear of the BSA.
              Cub Scout leader headgear is optional. If it is
              worn, pack leaders wear the olive/red visor cap;
              den leaders wear the same visored cap as the
              youth they serve.


              • #9
                Go look at the history of official representations of boy scouts (and cub scouts) from the last 100 years in the Boy Scout Handbook, Boys Life and others. You will see scouts presented as usually wearing hats indoors, and sometimes not wearing hats. What you will almost never see, are scouts HOLDING hats. The message is clear - hats are optional, but if you have one, wear it.

                Whoever wrote the current hat rules at national is ignoring boy scout tradition. In my opinion it is not rude for a scout to wear his hat indoors, but it IS rude to ask him to remove it.

                Just go to google images and type in "Norman Rockwell Boy Scouts" and see what you get. In fact, forget about the hats - do this anyway enjoy some great art!


                • blw2
                  blw2 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I would suggest that perhaps we don't see images of scouts holding hats, more because it doesn't make for a good looking image.
                  Most of these images are staged, either for marketing or for artistic purposes. Not for portraying policy, custom, or etiquette...... so I don't "hear" that same message.....
                  That being said, I do hear what you are saying and I agree that there are appropriate times to wear them indoors.
                  I might also agree that they could be considered optional..... depending on the situation

              • #10
                In regards to the color neckers for Cubs, that has been around since at least 1979. Looking at my old Bear Book, it had a 1979 printing on it.

                As for the slides and hats, that came bout in the 1990s. I admit I can live with the slides, most folks will go through about 2 a year. Hats on the other hand.