If a Tiger Cub doesn't have pride in a full-uniform when he goes off to a den meeting, by the time he's 18 going for his ECOH, things won't have changed much. Cut enough corners often enough and it's going to be perfectly acceptable for an Eagle candidate to show up for his ECOH wearing blue jeans and a camp t-shirt. After all, a uniform is not a required part of the program.
Announcement Announcement Module
No announcement yet.
T Shirt / Activity Uniform / Class B Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
- Jul 2009
jblake47 said 'The money kids spend on blue jeans is very comparable to scout pants, but no one wants them. A durable shirt from any good sporting goods store is going to cost pretty much what a new uniform shirt costs. Well the patches can be taken off and put on a new shirt, the belt doesn't wear out nor do the socks very often. Necker, hat, all don't need replacing unless lost.'
Respectfully, there is a lot of privilege in that statement. Some kids spend $40 on blue jeans. Mine don't, nor do the kids of most of my friends. Some kids spend $25-$35 on a single shirt. Mine don't, nor do the kids of most of my friends. We are an average middle class family. Most of the shirts my kids own cost less than $10, most of their jeans and pants cost less than $12, and that is for new clothing. Even their clothes for church and special events cost less than their scout uniforms. Their scout uniforms are, literally, the most expensive clothing they own. Scout uniforms are also the most difficult for me to find at a discount or used. Every single member of my family is in BSA. That's SIX uniforms to buy and maintain. So yes, I would prefer it if uniforms didn't come back from a camp out ripped and torn, no matter how much character and experience it adds to a shirt. I don't have the budget for it.
This discussion doesn't even consider that the scout shirt is the last kind of shirt most boys would chose for outdoor adventures if they could chose whatever they wanted. I bet regular cotton t-shirts would be first, with t-shirts made of some sort of wicking technical fabric second. My sons consider button-front shirts to be 'dressed up' and for them, scout uniform shirts fall in the same category. I suspect that is the other reason why parents and boys like to save uniforms for 'good'. Current uniforms don't represent current trends in everyday clothing. The pants do, but there isn't anything really special about scout pants. They look like a thousand other brands of cargo pants and we own lots. Not so much the shirts with buttons.
Cost is pretty much irrelevant to the discussion. My Venturing Crew people would spend up well over $1000-$1300 to get outfitted. No one went on the field with half a uniform. I recently picked up a former reenactor's gear and put together a complete kit for an infantry soldier. I put a price tag of $1,000 on it and had it sold before I could box it up to sell.
Sports uniforms cost more than BSA uniforms. And the $12 you spend on a dress shirt at Walmart for church is also the same price as a camp t-shirt.
And when all else fails, I have picked up uniform pants on E-bay for as little as $5-$10 and shirts about the same, maybe a bit more because of the demand for them.
I guess it just bothers me that I hear more excuses to NOT wear the uniform than I do TO wear the uniform.
- Aug 2008
With no disrespect, esp. since you know my position and how I agree with uniforming strongly, but price is a matter. And I'm an old fogey enough to make the scouts buy all, or most of their uniforms, which can take even longer.
I know kids who didn't get into sports b/c they couldn't afford the fees and expenses. Heck some of those kids could barely afford scouting if it wasn't for the fundraisers. I don't think they should be ostracized.
BUT I do think the goal is to get them uniformed ASAP. That might be in a year, it might be 3, as that was my case before I had official uniform pants.
Now I do believe in unit closets, ebay, good wills, etc. heck I was making a little spending money buying shirts from a thrift store, cutting off the patches for my collection, and selling the shirts for a quarter profit (plus the patches), But it did take me three years to get official uniform pants, and then it was from someone in the unit who outgrew his and not from a thrift store.
I know locally you cannot find scout uniforms in any thrift stores because SCOUTREACH has contacted every store and they do not get sold, but rather go to those units.
Ok gotta shop ebay now to get oldest's new tan shirt for May.
I too am an old fogey that like you feels it has a lot to do with pride.
Yes, cost is an issue as it is with any activity people are involved with, It's an issue, maybe even a problem, but it should never be an excuse. Issues and problems can be dealt with, excuses cannot.
Until a boy can afford a uniform, he wears blue jeans and maybe a BSA t-shirt. Not a problem. No unit in the program is going to say he has a uniform on, however. But put on just a BSA shirt and now the majority say, that's a uniform and now you're okay. Half-uniforms are not uniforms.
From Tigers on up, the message given to the boys is shirt-only is okay and "substitutes" as a uniform. Go to any scout activity and the vast majority of scouts are a hodgepoge of "uniforms" and this passes off as scout pride?
When I was a SM all my boys were in full-uniform and they were the only troop in the council to do so. They were the only troop that showed up for all meals, flags, and campfires in full uniform. The only others around who wore full uniforms were a few adults, usually old fogeys like me.
Where is the scout pride when the Eagle candidates have to hunt around all over to come up with a full uniform? Is the begrudging trip to the scout shop to buy a pair of pants really scout pride?
And as one final caveat, what is the message on pride and honesty when adult leaders say shirt-only is acceptable as a full uniform?
I still remember as an ASM listening to the SM tell the boys on inspection night that it was okay to not have scout pants, but the pants had to have belt loops.
If one is not wearing a BSA uniform, at least be honest about it and don't suggest to the public or even other scouters that cutting corners is acceptable to the program.
Yes there are boys and their families that just can't afford the uniform. The boy shows up wearing a BSA Camp t-shirt and blue jeans to the meeting. The only reason he has the t-shirt is because the money the family scrimped up to treat him with spending money at camp all went for the t-shirt. He wears it at every scout activity, and for flags, out of respect for the fact that it's not the official uniform places his hand over his heart. The uniform does not make the man. I'd take a whole troop of boys like this and if I have to buy them all uniforms out of my own pocket, I wouldn't hesitate one iota.
- Mar 2012
I'll join the chorus for full uniforms. The nice thing with cubs is that the uniforms have basically stayed the same for 30 years so there are no shortage of experienced uniforms on eBay. Generally speaking they are lightly worn.
Next year one of my goals as cubmaster is to get from the 5% in uniform pants up to 20%. We only have the official uniform shirts and this thread tells me to stick with that.
I like what we did in Philmont's Conservation department. When in basecamp we all wore the "class A". When working in the backcountry about half the staff switched to the polo shirts. But quite a few of us stuck with the full uniform. We looked good in the dining hall and at all our events. Nobody could accuse our department of being soft either given that we did the most physical labor on the ranch.
For troops, uniforms at meetings and while traveling. Ok to switch to a troop shirt when you get there.
Scouting continues to be one of the cheapest activities our kids do.
- May 2002
- May 2012
My Troop uses our "Class B" for weekly meetings, but our "green bar" wears them every meeting, if you show up without your class b on next week the whole troop wears "A"s, first and last day of camp is "A" any sort of traveling or weekend camping trips is a B, we have a set class b, but its common that guys will wear our philmont trail shirts or some other scout shirt, and that is acceptable to me.
on the cost aspect, my SM has been known to "help out" some boys and their families, we all also donate our outgrown uniforms, ive got three pairs of pants (though outdated, still acceptable for uniform) to take with me tomorrow, and i have a scout in mind who doesnt have a pair to give them too.(This message has been edited by Jkaufman_95)
My Cub Scout Pack is a uniformed Pack for Den Meetings and Pack Meetings. These little guys will soon outgrow these uniforms so they should wear them as much as possible. Why spend good money on a new scout uniform if you are not going to wear it?
Our activity T-Shirts are worn when an activity or occassion makes more sense to wear them. If the activity puts the uniform at risk of damage or tears, we go with the t-shirts.
"Our tiger leader doesn't uniform."
At least you have a Tiger Den Leader. As a CM, that would mean alot to me.
- Feb 2011
Tigers and Wolves are the proudest to wear the uniform so poor uniforming is not a good start. They really enjoy it. We brought our Class A's to campouts for opening and closing and awards. We wore our Pack T-shirts the rest of the time.
A leader who does not wear the uniform sets a very bad example--that he thinks it does not matter or he is "too cool" to uniform. Come on I did it and I weighed almost 280 pounds and looked like a dang fool...but I did it and my stature in their eyes grew.
- May 2012
Last year I was a Den Leader for Tiger Scouts and just Moved to Wolf Den Leader.I wear my Scout Uniform to all meetings I attend to set an Example for others..
Over the Years I have practiced the following (even as a Scout)
New Uniforms...Newest Being reserved for Banquettes and Ceremonies or Public Demonstration/Fund Raisers
Older Ones for Camp outs..
For Tigers we gave them time to Acquire the Uniform..
Den Meetings I asked them to wear a Scout T-shirt
Pack Meeting I asked the To Wear Blue Uniforms
For Camping Activities/Field Trips
Always Bring a full Uniform
If time Allows we wear full uniforms to Flag Ceremonies and Campfires and Award presentations at events...Otherwise we wear T-shirts. Unit T-shirt so the Boys could be readily Identified amoungst the several hundred attending easily when moving from event to event. We design and buy our own not the same BSA STOCK OFF the SHELF everyone wears.
We wear Full uniforms to church services..
We do not stress over caps because they tend to lose them and parents have enough trouble keeping up with hats, water bottles, chairs, Slides, Flash lights etc....
We do stress when Worn they are to be worn correctly though..Hats on straight, not turned around..
To me it seems that BSA has gotten more Commercial and Fancy Brand Oriented...Nike BSA Shirts???
I think the Quality has gone down hill a bit also
- Dec 2011
We moved to a new pack and they wear the pack T-shirt most of the time except for B&G and other special meetings. After being in for a year, I'm moving up to CM and want to change the uniform policy, but it looks like an uphill battle as most of the leaders and parents like the T-shirt policy. Any ideas?
- Jan 2012
I'm in a similar boat.... although I'm not CM. I still like the idea of changing to be a uniformed pack.
I plan to start wearing my full uniform to every meeting.
I hope my son will want do the same. I'm hoping I will encourage it by wearing mine, but i also realize that he'll see the other boys in T-shirts and he won't want to wear it. I'm a believer in picking battles, and don't think that this is one to push too hard on.
I've heard and read most all of the arguments. Honestly.... with the exception of a unit in a very poor area, they are all 'bunk' IMHO.
Like was said earlier, it seems to me that the boys want to wear it.... especially the younger ones. It's undermined by the parents and leaders enabling.... no encouraging.... nonconformity. It may not be written that full uniform is required..... but it cerrtainly is encouraged.....
- Jan 2012
We had discussed doing another run of t-shirts this fall, but I am thinking that would hurt our efforts...