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How do you fix Uniform "Irregularities"

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  • How do you fix Uniform "Irregularities"


    Been in Pack for over 2 years. 1st year rode with the flow, observed, took mental note on where I'd be a good fit etc. Coming on 3rd year and have noticed many "Irregularities" in uniform wear. We have Bears with Tiger totems still on. Rank on wrong pocket. Rank in wrong sequence. Whittle'n chip on either pocket flap. Several scouts with NO patches at all! I will admit I am a uniform guy. Been wearing one since I was 18. SO..
    I want to approach the uniform issues but with everything we are going through with lack of leaders, new CC, new CM, recruiting drive, popcorn, etc. I don't want to come off as a Uni-Nazi. I thought perhaps I could put together a uniform guide to give out. Something with real pictures that would help the kids know where stuff should go. I just feel if you are going to wear the uniform, please wear it properly. I grimace when i see a world crest right over top a pocket with a religious knot NEXT to it.
    Yours in Cheerful Service,

  • #2
    ==Sarcasm Section==

    Man up and take control! Uniforming is the only part of Scouting that matters!

    A the next meeting, have the boys line up at attention and snap down the line with full gunny attitude and dress down every boy at length. Those that can't maintain focus because of low blood sugar, meds wearing off, etc., get to drop and give you 100 pushups ... one arm, fingertip.


    Reality Check!

    Are the boys (not lads, or young men) having fun and learning something? If yes, bite your tongue...permanently. All you'll do with a uniform speech is upset the boys and tick off the parents.

    (This message has been edited by WasE61)


    • #3
      Instead of pointing out the incorrect things award the correct ones....

      One pack meeting have a pocket full of hershey kisses.....every boy who has their bobcat in the right spot gets a kiss, wolf, bear, webelos......

      Announce the next months incentive, last summers day camp patch in the right spot or what every you would like to see corrected....

      Before long you will see it straighten out....

      Why in the world did the BSA design the toten chit and whittlin chip to look like it belongs on the pocket flap???????


      • #4
        Base'; so non OA scouts can put something there that fits, showing they are members of the Tote -n-chit lodge. Learned my lesson a long time ago about even suggesting an error to any scout other than my own unit. Was made to understand in no uncertain terms it was none of my business, and he (the leader, at least in camp said that is where it goes). Oh well; grit teeth and as noted persevere with what is important.


        • #5
          Definitely like the idea of giving rewards for getting things correct. Depends on how much time you have and how much you want to encourage.

          Communicate what you're looking for. The right rank badge? The right quality unit patch? No patches in completely wrong places? Then reward that with something small.

          We've done ice cream sandwiches for the patrol that gets the best score on a uniform inspection.

          Just the fact that you are paying attention to it will get people to do better.


          • #6
            skeptic they don't fit and they look really stupid on the pocket....

            See it WAY to often.

            Lots of mad moms after the hersey kiss thing..

            Not all the boys have shirts...... We apply for them year after year and just don't get them from council...... So this year I have purchased a bunch of heavy navy blue shirts for $6 each....we are planning to sew the patches to the tshirt.......We recycle the neckercheifs year to year.....(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)


            • #7
              1st.) I've learned in life to never bite your tongue on anything. period. Just be more thoughtful on the approach and tone you take. To many yes men in the world. Honest opinions are truly valuable. You just gave me yours WasE61, thank you. I'm sure even B.D. would agree the truth in this.

              2nd.) I can't speak for the other Dens but mine are having a great time. We stay active through the summer while the other Dens take the summer off. We have more then doubled in the 2+ years. I have active parents in my Den and they always ask about where things go, is this permanent, temporary, fun patch for vest etc. I give extra waumpaum for uniform wear at meetings, which they trade for prizes on store day. ( dollar store stuff.)

              3rd.) Please, throttle back hero, I'm ex Army Infantry, i don't expect the kids to be covered down in a 3 by 9 formation. Yes this not the military! It's all about them doing their best at what they are trying. But they can't be expected to know where something goes if they are never told where it should be. They would never complete rank requirements if they never knew what they were. Obviously it would be hard to correct most of the issues now because 90% of the patches have been melted into the fabric with that "lovely" glue.

              4th.) Why wouldn't you take the time to tell your scout where that patch you just awarded him, and he is so proud of, actually goes.

              I've decided to offer to change the "generic inspection sheet" in the new member packets to a more detailed/informative uniform sheet. That way i have provided the information. What you choose to do with it is up to you. I feel warm and fuzzy already.

              Your in Cheerful Service.


              • #8
                Here's a good ceremony you can use as a model when you catch one of those Tiger Cubs without a proper uniform....



                • #9


                  Unfortunately, the boys probably love the uniform, but don't have an idea about patch placement. I'll guarantee you, no cub scout is sewing on their own patches, it is the parent that is stapling or baby-pining the patch onto the shirt (and incorrectly too). I would wager a unit created uniform guide/sheet would be found on the floor or in the garbage at the end of a meeting. Personally, I would waste time creating a single sheet pamphlet that already exist. There are other methods that may slowly improve "irregularities".

                  Sometimes families cannot afford a complete uniform. Albeit, I have seen families lay down $600 for only two months of baseball, which the families claimed they could not afford a $75 uniform. But you and your pack would have to determine the economy and for which family(ies) uniforming is beyond their financial reach.

                  Some years ago, some of the leaders would bring in seamstress/tailoring business cards. A few of the local tailors knew the Boy Scout uniform and would do "a dollar a patch" deals. There was no family connection, no kickbacks, no free sewing for leaders. It was all just to tell new parents, that there is a fast, easy and fairly cheap location to get patches placed on correctly. Of course, hand out the cards to the parents, not the boys.

                  Like Basement said. Offer rewards for good uniforming. Similar to his idea. I knew a Scoutmaster that would place his scouts against the wall. Quite a few feet away, he would set a bowl of candy bars. He would say, "All those in a Scout shirt take one step forward, all those in scout pants take another step forward, all those wearing scout socks take one step forward. etc etc." Finally maybe a quarter of the boys would reach the candy bars. He would then put the remaining candy bars away, and ask the SPL to continue with the meeting. Over the span of the school year, the uniforms would become more and more complete and better in appearance.

                  Finally, maybe you may see a hometown pack or troop that looks good. Possibly during Scout Show or Cub Day Camp or founders day parade, you may loudly comment (within earshot of parents) "Would you look at those boys, WOW they look sharp!".

                  Good Luck and hopefully your Pack will really look sharp in a few months!

                  Scouting Forever and Venture On!
                  Crew21 Adv


                  • #10
                    Alot of mistakes are made with the cub uniform because parents don't know or it does not really matter to them. My advice is to do infrequent, polite reminders during Den meetings for those major obvious errors that make the uniform look "out of uniform" with the rest of his Den or Pack (i.e., council strip on wrong side, tiger totem on a Bear, etc.).

                    I would not "call out" any young lad that does not have any of his patches sewn on. He already knows that. I have an excellent adult Den Leader that did not have any patches on his shirt for an entire year. I never said anything to him about (and I'm the CM) because it did not matter. His uniform still looked good and it had "Boy Scouts of America" on it.

                    One thing I do when I present an award or rank badge to a scout is tell him and parent where it goes on the uniform. They really appreciate that.


                    • #11
                      Since you *aren't* the CM, expect parents to pull kids if you try to go off on this tangent.

                      It sounds like uniforming is not a priority to the Pack.

                      Just sayin.

                      Thank you for your service to our country, BTW.


                      • #12
                        If each parent is given an inspection sheet, and there is a patch placement guide on the inside cover of each handbook, not much else you can do, IMHO, except set a proper example with your own and your son's uniforms. One idea I've seen in my own Scout Shop and at POW-WOWs and Roundtables...have a manequin set up with a proper uniform for all to inspect and compare to their need to say anything...just put it on display.


                        • #13
                          When a rank or patch is awarded, attach placement directions.

                          If you have a boy with the award correctly sewn on his uniform, ask if Johnny would like to stand up and show everyone where it is on his uni.

                          Other than that, don't sweat it.


                          • #14
                            One thing that Mike "Settummanque" Walton, the guy who runs the USSP Uniform website, says that I agree with is offer to fix uniforms if you're going to make a comment. Now, this refers to patch placement and all that. For getting full uniforms, take stock of the unit. If you know there are people in there who can barely afford the shirt, think long and hard before rewarding others for having more. You end up putting the parents in the unenviable position of explaining that they can't afford it or may offend them into not returning. If it's a matter of people just choosing not to wear the uniform and money isn't an issue, then sure, think of positive rewards. Just be careful in how you approach the issue, as it's one of those things that can be an annoyance to you that comes off as petty to others.


                            • #15
                              Think of it as a SOF unit with nonstandard uniforms and relaxed grooming standards. One assumes not many maintain regulation haircuts and even fewer shave.