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Cub Scout Red Vest & BSA Policy

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  • #16
    While I commend folks for using the inspection sheet, the INSIGNIA GUIDE is considered the 'uniform Bible" and all other documents are suppose to reflect that. So if national supply catalog show's Cub scout not wearing a necker, it is incorrect as the IG says they need to have a necker appropriate to their grade.

    Of if national produces a picture of Venturers wearing green Scout pants, we know it's wrong b/c the IG says so.

    Or if we want to inspect a Crew using the recommended uniform,we have to use the IG as their is no inspection sheet.

    The red vest is mentioned in the IG, is considered a uniform item, and can be worn.

    I aint touching sea scout uniform regs though as that is a can of worms.


    • #17
      I don't think that the Red Vest is part of the Cub Scout Uniform.
      I do think that the little guys look really great wearing them.
      I have seen a good many adult leaders who wear just about any and every patch that they lay their hands on, on the red wool jacket. Which is a no, no and ruled by policy.
      But the Red Vest is just like a Lad wearing his jacket.
      Having said that. I'd have no problem if a Lad wants to wear his vest to a Pack event such as a B&G. I might however have a slight problem with something like a Flag Retirement or where the Cub Scouts are in the public eye. I kinda like the idea of them being uniform in uniform, so if everyone was wearing them, I'd be OK if it was just one Lad? Maybe not.
      Putting policy aside.
      I think most times it's just best to do what the person in charge of the event wants to go with.
      We don't want to make mountains out of mole hills.
      For me? This shouldn't be a big deal.


      • #18
        Policy on this, hmmm ... not sure, may have been the page I used to get that pesky wet fire going. Let the scout be proud of his/her accomplishments.


        • #19
          I agree with those who say the vest is an official uniform piece and can be worn while in uniform. I couldn't find anything conclusive in the IG, but the "Cub Scout Leader Book" No. 33221, has this paragraph under the heading, "How to Wear the Uniform"

          [I]Patch vest. A red vest is available to display temporary insignia and previously earned badges and insignia.[/I}

          The other paragraphs under the same heading are "Caps," "Neckerchiefs," "Temporary Insignia," and "Jackets," all of which are clearly uniform items.

          I also question the motivations of someone who wants to tell the boys they cant wear their vests.


          • #20
            The red vest was more common in the BSA up until the early 80s (or there abouts) and then it faded for awhile.

            I wore one as a boy scout in the 70s...and I don't recall there being official guidance on it. It was an official BSA supply item. Just buy it and wear it how and when you pleased.

            It's easy to overthink scout uniforming. This happens when folks run around imposing policies that don't exist, or are personal preference, or local village lore.

            I like ScouterAdam's comments: "Like to see someone enforce that. Wear them. The boys earned the awards/patches. It's showing respect."


            • #21
              From the previous version of the Cub Scout Leader Book: "Various other types of Cub Scout garments are available,
              such as official activity Tiger Cub T-shirts, sweatshirts, and
              red patch vests. These items are for casual wear and are not
              considered part of the official uniform."


              • #22

                What edition are you using? Not doubting you in the least, and no disrespect is intended. I ask because at one time Tigers were NOT considered Cub Scouts and was a separate program from Cubs, although they met at pack meetings. TC who finished in may earned a TIGER CUB GRADUATE patch to be worn on the right pocket, and later the TIGER CUB Strip worn under the right pocket. It wasn't until the late 90s early 200os that tigers were fully incorporated into Cubs, i.e. earning the Bobcat badge, no longer having the TC motto, wearin ghte blue uniforms, etc.

                As for the TC t-shirt and sweat shirt, they WERE official uniform for TC and parents in the 1980s and 90s. As noted once uniform, always uniform. So I have no problem with a Tiger wearing a vintage uniform t-shirt.

                One of the challenges I've found with the BSA is that publications do not get proofed enough and errors occur. One only needs to look at some of last year's supply catalogs,as well as introduction of teh Centennial Uniform to see mistakes made.


                • #23
                  A little (OK - a lot) late, but something I've been drilling over and over. Initially, I came to the same conclusion as Moxieman. However, after re-reviewing the IG, I have concluded that the red patch vest -while optional- is part of the official cub scout uniform. In addition to the fact that it is sold by the official organization as "the perfect complement to any official scouting uniform," The insignia guide clearly does not prohibit it.

                  The IG - as quoted by Moxieman - states "[p]reviously earned badges and insignia not representing present status make a fine display on a BSA red patch vest, a trophy hide or blanket, exhibited in the home of the recipient, or at functions where such a display is invited." This should not be misinterpreted to read that the vest, etc. may only be "exhibited in the home . . . ." The "exhibited in the home" clause is one item in a list, not a general condition for all items in the same list. In fact, the only place the IG specifically bans excess patch wear is on the uniform shirt itself. Thus, the BSA patch vest is not precluded from being worn with the uniform by the IG.

                  Moreover, it seems more than a coincidence that BSA would go to great effort to classify the vest as a "BSA" item, and that they would specifically sell it as a "compliment" to the uniform. It almost seems as if BSA is trying to hint that it is authorized official uniform wear. It would be nice if they would come out and say as much explicitly.

                  In any case, while the uniform regulations are incredibly important, I think that other posters here have a great point. Scouting is for the scouts. Patches are designed to be recognition in the form of displaying scout accomplishments. As the uniform should appear neat, the BSA has restricted the scout to wear one temporary pocket flap patch, and one temporary pocket patch at a time. The BSA has made an accommodation to scouts who are especially ambitious to create an optional accessory vest. Although it is not required, it is counter-intuitive to restrict it completely.


                  • #24
                    Nobody really tries to follow proper uniforming. Yes Tigers get the blue shirt but I'm seeing 100% of the Cubs without uniform pants on. So what's the big deal about wearing the vest? I try to wear a full uniform all the time, but if one looks closely they may find 50% of my knots upside down. I don't really worry about it at all. I also wear my Eagle mentor pins on the collar of my shirt and no one says anything about disrespect.

                    And when all is said and done, who really cares enough to be truly uniformed? If I thought wearing blue jeans was a sign of disrespect, the scouts would never do a flag ceremony again.

                    I even had one incident at a summer camp that had a no-uniform day and when the troop that was doing the flags that day showed up in uniform they were asked to take them off for the ceremony. My boys showed up in full uniform, unaware of the situation, turned around and went back to the campsite where they did their own ceremony in full uniform. What are the BSA rules about a camp having a no-uniform day and incorporating flag ceremonies into it?



                    • #25
                      Originally posted by lawyerscout View Post
                      A little (OK - a lot) late, but something I've been drilling over and over. Initially, I came to the same conclusion as Moxieman. However, after re-reviewing the IG, I have concluded that the red patch vest -while optional- is part of the official cub scout uniform. .... Although it is not required, it is counter-intuitive to restrict it completely.
                      Hi LS! Welcome to the forums.

                      I think folks often mistake "uniforming" in scouting with military uniforming. So, they come into scouting (cubs especially) expecting a lot of spit and polish, line-em-up, let-em-march, cog-in-a-grand-machine kind of thing. Instead BSA uniforming is designed to display each boy's view of his scouting experience in the widest variety possible. The IG gives just enough regulation so that every youth has a "canvas" to work with, but folks on the sidelines can still see the underlying pattern from which all of this variation is coming from.

                      So in one den, you can have boys of similar rank with or without a vest, with different neckerchief slides (preferably hand-made ones that hold well!), and event patches that almost (but not completely) overshadow the basic insignia. A new DL may not appreciate this -- until one boy is unaccounted for at the end of a parade route -- then that unique vest or goofy slide comes in real handy when you need to provide a description!

                      With a little less flair, adults may do the same with their field uniform. Like Stosh, it's a rare day when I try to right an upside down knot. I would only mention it to someone else if I knew them well enough to know they'd care, and would only do so if I had a sewing kid and an hour to lend a hand in the fixing!


                      • #26
                        For the Uniform Police

                        "The Cub Scout uniform has the following parts:
                        • Shirt—The official uniform shirt is available with long or short sleeves and has button-flap pockets and "Boy Scouts of America" lettered in gold above the right pocket.
                        • Trousers or shorts—Official blue.
                        • Belt—Official navy-blue web belt with metal buckle and Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, or Webelos Scout emblem.
                        • Socks—Official socks are available in three lengths: ankle, crew, and knee. Tiger Cubs' socks are navy blue with orange tops. Cub Scouts' socks are navy blue with gold tops.
                        • Cap—Official navy-blue cap with orange front panel and tiger cub emblem for Tiger Cubs; yellow panel and wolf emblem for Wolf Cub Scouts; blue panel and bear emblem for Bear Cub Scouts. Webelos Scouts wear an olive cap with a plain panel bearing the Webelos logo.
                        • Neckerchief—Triangular neckerchief is orange with navy-blue trim for Tiger Cubs, gold with navy-blue trim for Wolf Cub Scouts, light blue with navy-blue trim for Bear Cub Scouts, and plaid for Webelos Scouts. Official BSA neckerchiefs are the only neckerchiefs that boys should wear. Packs should not make their own pack neckerchiefs.
                        • Neckerchief slide—Official gold-tone metal slide with the Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, or Webelos Scout logo. Boys may wear handmade neckerchief slides."


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Oak Tree View Post
                          Good grief. What adult is trying to suck the fun out of Cub Scouting? If some Cub Scout wants to wear the red vest, which is clearly designed to be worn with the uniform, why would you stop him?
                          I agree with this. Some boys are really motivated by earning patches. Something that keeps them having fun and participating is a good thing, IMO.