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  • The boy scout uniform

    I've got my son a tan shirt. Do I get red numbers or green/gold ones? Does he need a necker? Or a hat? I've heard variations of when he can start earning merit badges. Will he need a sash right away or not for awhile? Is the council patch the same as the cub scout one? Where do the aol and knot badges go? He can wear his cub religious knot on the boy scout uniform, right?

  • #2
    As I am new to scouting, I will let the more experienced people offer more advice, I'd say take your son to his troop meeting and see what they all are wearing

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    • #3
      Is he a Webelos or a Boy Scout? If he's a Webelos, technically he should use red numbers. Necker is up to the Pack, and the same with hat. Sash isn't until he's a Boy Scout. He can earn those from the beginning, but honestly should start off with just doing the T--2-1 advancement, and get a MB or two at summer camp. The Webelos badge goes on the left pocket. The AOL as a Webelos goes below the left pocket. The knots go above the left pocket.

      www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34283.pdf‎

      www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34635.pdf‎

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      • #4
        Good move getting a shirt! Now, regarding uniforming, you'd best ask the troop he's going to what their style is. Ideally the boys will have thought about this and made up their mind how they want to look.

        Unless your town is on a council boundary, they will use the same council patch.

        He can get by without a sash. Although it is handy for holding merit badges and (on the back of the sash) patches from his favorite activities. Without the sash, you will want a box or binder with baseball-card collection sleeves for him to keep his things.

        Yes, the religious knot stays with him into adulthood. For each religious award he earns (as a Cub, Boy Scout, Venturer, even Adult), he may add a device to that knot. Get a boy-scout handbook and you will see where the AOL goes on his left pocket. Or read up on it here: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/...gniaGuide.aspx
        The AOL knot, I thought, was for adults because they are not to have any badges of rank on their uniform. I'll let others correct me if I'm wrong.

        He can earn merit badges as soon as he becomes a boy scout (some folks insist he earn the scout badge, but as a Webelos, he's got the material in his head already -- getting him to spit it out is usually a matter of confidence for most boys); however, his first job is to become a first class scout. How to do that is in the handbook. Learning those skills should be a priority. In fact, his first three ranks (Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class) don't require any merit badges, just a mastery of first class skills. It's not that he *can't* work on merit badges while working toward 1st Class, it's that he doesn't need them until four months after he's earned FC.

        A good troop will present all of the FC skills in a year. Even so, some boys take years to earn FC, by then they will have earned plenty of MBs in the natural course of being a scout. For now, I suggest getting a handbook for your boy and just have fun reading it with him.
        Last edited by qwazse; 02-05-2014, 12:45 PM.

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        • #5
          I was planning a trip to the local scout shop to pick up the book and whatever else was needed. His is currently a webelos, but will become a boy scout by the end of the month. We are lds and the lds troop right now has one boy in it. They largely don't even bother with uniforms. We still have to go to visit the community troop. He may join that one in addition to our lds troop, simply because the troop needs boys. If he does join both troops, which numbers should he have on his shirt? The scout master has said that the boys aren't supposed to earn merit badges until after the first year at least, but the 11 year old scout leader says he can start once he's a boy scout.

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          • qwazse
            qwazse commented
            Editing a comment
            I've heard of it done. Never seen it myself. Most boys I know are not multiples of different troops. If they are multiples of a crew, they either have both uniforms and switch, or just wear their troop uniform. Most adults I know just shell out the $$ and get different uniforms.

            The velcro thing might be a good idea in this case. But, picking one set of numbers for this year would be fine with most SMs. (The LDS have special troops that are only for age 11.)

          • christineka
            christineka commented
            Editing a comment
            The 11 year old leader talked to me yesterday afternoon. (His wife is webelos leader for the other pack that we're working with.) He's really excited and has plans to get the boys to 1st class in 6 months (I think that's what he said- it was 3 ranks, starting at tenderfoot) He asked some bgwig about merit badges and they can earn them right away. He's having the one and only current 11 year old earn merit badges right now, so that he doesn't have to repeat the rank stuff in March when two more boys come in. (I had a similar issue with webelos, with the lds way of boys changing ranks on their birthday.) He said he plans to get the boys to earn citizenship and first aid and because there is only 3 boys and only 3 allowable campouts, they'll each have a turn being camp cook. I really need to go get that book because this guy is speaking about stuff I don't know! (Scout shopping is on the agenda for today.) He said my son needs green loops because that changed with the centennial of scouting in utah. 11 year old leader is apparently district commissioner (whatever that is) and is very supportive of my son joining a community troop. Apparently, he's friends with the guy, who runs the only good community troop. (He and his wife do cub scouts in the community) I plan to bring my son over to visit tonight.
            Last edited by christineka; 02-06-2014, 09:44 AM.

          • qwazse
            qwazse commented
            Editing a comment
            Sounds very exciting. None of us mentioned merit badge pamphlets because you didn't say which badges he'd be going for at this point. The shop would gladly sell those to you, but it's likely the SM has copies.

        • #6
          Originally posted by christineka View Post
          I've got my son a tan shirt. Do I get red numbers or green/gold ones? Does he need a necker? Or a hat? I've heard variations of when he can start earning merit badges. Will he need a sash right away or not for awhile? Is the council patch the same as the cub scout one? Where do the aol and knot badges go? He can wear his cub religious knot on the boy scout uniform, right?
          The second page of the uniform inspection sheet has diagrams showing the placement of patches (including knots and AoL). www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34283.pdf‎

          Comment


          • #7
            Your son can technically start working on merit badges as soon as he becomes a registered Boy Scout, but as others have said it is not the most critical and can be somewhat overwhelming for a new scout. Merit badges involve asking the scoutmaster for a "blue card" and contact information for merit badge counselors, contacting those merit badge counselors to ask them for their help, and arranging a meeting between at least 3 people (the counselor, the scout, and the scout's buddy). That can be a very difficult series of steps for a youth to accomplish, and all of that happens before he starts working on a single requirement. The system is designed that way to challenge the boy, but it is often best to let him concentrate on the Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class requirements early on to build up his skills and confidence.

            As far as the lone scout being made to not "repeat the rank stuff", I cannot begin to express how much I disagree with that. The skills learned on the trail to 1st Class are the bedrock of a good scout experience, and should honestly be repeated for the scout's entire career. Learning enough basic first aid to pass the rank requirements as an 11 year old is a great thing. Retraining and relearning those skills year after year could mean remembering them in time to save someone's life one day. The same idea applies to essentially all of the skills needed to earn those ranks.

            Velcro for the unit numbers is a very good option. If you look around, you can find velcro made in roughly the same tan color as the shirts, which works great if one troop has 3 digits in its number and the other has only 1 or 2 digits.

            Green loops have been current for Boy Scouts for a couple of years, but there are still plenty of Scouts and Scouters happily walking around with red loops on their shoulders. At this point, it would actually be harder to find the red ones than the green anyway. Just don't go for yellow, silver, blue or orange!

            By the way, for the necker and hat questions: those are up to individual troop decisions as decided by the youth members. If the LDS troop doesn't have any standards yet, your son may be able to start the discussion and help make the decision once he joins up. Of course, if he does end up joining both troops, he may end up needing two different hats and two different neckers to switch back and forth along with those unit numbers on his sleeve!

            Comment


            • qwazse
              qwazse commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes, I am pretty firm against 1st class/1st year. But that is because in a troop of 12 or more scouts, there's inevitably someone who will "game the system" and try to get requirements signed off as fast as possible without being sure of the boys' skills. In a group of 3, you can expect see each skill repeated over the period of 6 months.
              That's why we have our PL's sign off on T2F requirements. They usually only have a couple of boys who are at those ranks, and after a few campouts, get a good idea of the level at which they need to be tested.

              There's a certain level of accountability in this case, where the LDS SM knows the boys will be part of a community troop with which he is familiar. Especially as a DC, he will catch it at roundtable if he sends along scouts who have a 1st Class patch but lack the skills!

            • christineka
              christineka commented
              Editing a comment
              A fourth boy will join the troop this summer. The scout leader intends to have the older three teach the younger boy when he comes into the troop.

          • #8
            Thanks all! We went to the local scout shop and picked up numbers, loops, the handbook, and a second arrow of light badge. (Boy lost his between ceremony and home.) I meticulously picked out the old numbers (second hand shirt) and added the new numbers (for the lds troop) and the arrow of light. At this point, I am not sewing it on the cub shirt for a few weeks to just have to pick out the stitches to move it to the boy scout shirt. I'll move the knot when he changes shirts. The thought of numbers held on by velcro, sounded like a recipe to lose numbers. Boy has a second, slightly larger shirt. (I bought a large lot of shirts, sold all but two, and essentially got the two for free.) He can have community numbers on that one. If we do two shirts, would you go buy a second set of arrow of light and religious knot or just not worry about it?

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            • qwazse
              qwazse commented
              Editing a comment
              Leave it up to the boy. Have him take it out of his allowance.

          • #9
            Oh- boy looked at the book. I showed him where the rank requirements were. I think he is shocked that in boy scouts he won't be awarded for every little thing he does. I've often wondered why boys start out in cubs, having to do a relatively large amount of work just for one badge (we didn't do beads), and then the year before boy scouts, get awarded for every little thing he does. It just seems backwards. I would think the younger the boy, the more immediate rewards would be needed.

            Comment


            • qwazse
              qwazse commented
              Editing a comment
              Yep. He actually has to read all those chapters! And I honestly feel sorry for him because I think the '70s versions of the handbook was a much easier read. (Fewer colors, more plain-spoken.) Plus we got skill awards (belt loops), but I think they were more trouble than they were worth.

              Brought my old book in last month. It really interested the boys. They liked comparing what I did (MBs I chose to earn) to what they were planning to do.

              Anyway, as it looks like his LDS troop will be working on some required-for-eagle merit badges, he will have about half of those skills down before he knows it.

          • #10
            Originally posted by christineka View Post
            I've often wondered why boys start out in cubs, having to do a relatively large amount of work just for one badge (we didn't do beads), and then the year before boy scouts, get awarded for every little thing he does. It just seems backwards. I would think the younger the boy, the more immediate rewards would be needed.
            That's why the call them "immediate recognition beads".

            Comment


            • SSScout
              SSScout commented
              Editing a comment
              AKd: You may meet a few old timers, such as myself, who can remember making the pen holders and cork thunderbirds in the Denleaders rec room, and all we received "immediately" was a "good job!" from our mom or dad. The book got signed,, the smiles from the DL and our folks, THAT was immediate. The Arrow Points or Bear badge came at the Pack meeting two or three weeks or a month later. We were having fun and seeing the pleased look on our folks face and my dad's hand in mine was our "immediate" reward. When did a plastic bead become more important than that?

            • AKdenldr
              AKdenldr commented
              Editing a comment
              SSScout, I didn't say I liked the bead system. We used an den doodle and that seemed to work better with my scouts. I do think the pace of life is faster today and parents have a hard time zero-ing in on what is important. If some beads or stickers help today's parent focus on participating with scout or getting him to those activities, I'll all for it. In my experience it took about 5 months for a boy to earn rank in our pack. That is a long time for a 6, 7, or 8 year old boy. Arrowheads, as you know, are awarded after rank, even if previously earned.

              (Are you active in a pack now? If so, there are many things that the CM can do to "tone down" excessive awards if this is a pack problem.)

          • #11
            District and Council exeutives receive the "I cant believe they bought it" award

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            • Oldscout448
              Oldscout448 commented
              Editing a comment
              looks like they couldn't afford flak vests

            • blw2
              blw2 commented
              Editing a comment
              now that's just plain funny!

              ..... "Medals, the new armor."

          • #12
            When I was Tiger Leader, I was pretty meticulous about the beads, the boys LOVED them. When we did a Go See It in Activity Shirts (once or twice), I awarded the bead at the beginning of the next meeting, then another bead at the end. One time I did two at the end (as I was getting a handle on things), it worked marvelously.

            I found it ridiculous, the boys LOVED IT.

            The new Tiger leader didn't bother with the beads, the boys are haphazard on attendance and our Tiger retention from month to month is lower than I'd expect.

            Young boys will sit through the most boring of meetings to earn a bead.

            The Wolf Year I learned that the boys start to complain of being bored in meetings... but when I remind them that we HAVE to do this to earn their next bead, they stop whining and sit attentively like life depends on it.

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            • #13
              Pack18Alex,
              You are probably correct in your assessment of beads and how they affect the boys. This works well for the Cubs and accomplishes the short term desire of the DL. Well behaved boys, give them a bead. However, that process only works for a while. Next they'll want bigger and better awards for paying attention, maybe candy, or a small prize. Then it escalates to the point where in Boy Scouts, the bead at the end is Eagle. If I just keep following the process, I'll get the reward.

              Nowhere along the line does it create one iota of leadership or character development on the part of the boys. If they just follow directions, pay attention, and do what the leaders say, you'll get your Eagle. As a result we have seen many concerns expressed on the forum of how well that works.

              I would think for Tigers, it is a god-send because the boys don't know the ins and outs of the program yet, but by the time they get to AOL that system needs to be totally abandoned, maybe even by the end of the Bears year.

              Stosh

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