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  • 'Adult' Uniforms

    I was at District Roundtable a couple of weeks ago was struck by the sheer volume of crap that the Adult leaders had on their uniforms. I'm not talking a patch or two, I'm talking fistfulls of beads and loops hanging from every epaulets, pockets, and everywhere else. I've seen South American Generals with less stuff on their uniforms.

    These are the people that are supposed to be leading by example as Roundtable is a resource for new leaders. It looks shody and frankly gives the impression that these people aren't in it for the scouts, they're in it for yet another childhood. Does anyone else see things like this?


  • #2
    To a degree...... yes.
    Sometimes I have to resist the urge to roll my eyes when facing a fellow scouter with a 2ft x 2ft tangle of knot awards.
    .....But then I think, if they are earned why not wear them? I think for some it does offer a bit of encouragement, and a bit of payback in terms of bragging rights for all of the hours of volunteer work they have obviously done.

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    • #3
      61rover, well said and I agree.


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      • #4
        There's a SM from another troop who comes to RT every-once-in-a-while who has a stack 2-inches deep of activity patches hanging off his right pocket button; it takes every ounce of my self control not to cut the button off.
        Square knots don't bother me, if they earned it there's no reason they shouldn't wear it. BSA has adult awards to motivate and recognize volunteers, and in many cases to ensure adherence to policy; people that sneer at them have a problem. That said, BSA recommends no more than 9 in 3 rows; pick your favorites if you have more. (I only have 2 myself, AoL and Leaders Training Award)

        If it really bothers you, the furthest I go is to compliment their accomplishment and follow it with a friendly "it would look nicer if you wore it [wherever it's supposed to go.]" But I wouldn't do that with a stranger.

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        • #5
          There is a difference between stuff they have earned and goes on the uniform and stuff that does not belong on the uniform officially or in moderation.

          If someone has earned enough awards to look like a 10 star general, I say go for it! I mean they have put in all those hours and it really denotes that person as someone who has been around and active in scouting for a long long time.

          People wearing stuff they didn't earn or things that shouldn't be on the uniform officially, that is a different matter.


          I would think your Roundtable would be pleased with having such experienced and long standing scouters attend it.

          And if your son had earned a bunch of awards to wear on his uniform, would you tell him "No that would look tacky, dont wear them all!". These adults are something for the kids to look up to and aspire to be And I bet you these adults could go through every single award and tell a story about ir or explain it to the kids that may ask them.

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          • #6
            I know of a couple of leaders that treat their uniforms this way and usually see them at RT. I think there are some that really enjoy the uniform aspect of the program and it reflects in all the do--dads on their shirts. While these things are annoying, I don't think there is anything we can do about it. I usually keep quiet and let them bask in their "uniqueness."

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            • #7
              I laugh at this as well. What bothers me more is the leaders who refuse to buy the uniform pants. Blue jeans are not uniform pants.

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              • #8
                So....
                1. Don't mind the knots. Do mind more than 9. Rules say stop at 9 so set the example. Not in favor of knots not earned (i.e., West knot).
                2. Don't mind temp patches on the right pocket. Usually wear the most recent summer camp one or whatever we as a troop earned.
                3. While you can wear a temp patch high above the right pocket, it is pretty silly we wear your Jamboree 1973 patch. Sure you went, but really? Does a 50-something man need that much validation in his life? Wear the 2009 Jambo patch or your Philmont trek patch. Better yet, leave that space blank. I think the rules call for the current Jambo patch anyway.
                4. Interpreter strips seem to be non-existent any more. I could wear 4 but wear only one. Want to avoid looking like Richard Dreyfuss in "Moon over Parador".
                5. Service stars are another thing you don't see. Don't mind seeing those on scouters for cub and boy scout service.
                6. Adult patrol patches tick me off. I get the concept but they are not allowed. Actually saw a scouter wearing 12 knots tell a guy with an adult patrol patch that he was not compliant with uniform standards.
                7. Unit anniversary bars are for certain years of service. Personalized unit bars for 20 years of service are just tacky. Great you have a 20 year-old unit but wait 5 years and then buy the correct insignia.
                8. Name tags, wish I saw more of these.

                Comment


                • desertrat77
                  desertrat77 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Krampus, I'd like to offer a different view on the Jambo patch. I view those old patches as heritage. The folks that wear the patches took part in BSA history. If they are still wearing a uniform, it shows tenure too. Disclaimer: I've never been to a jambo and have no intention of doing so. Not my thing. But I support the folks who go. Philmont was my pinnacle of scouting as a youth ('77).

                • Scouter99
                  Scouter99 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  We stopped giving out service stars because no one put them on their shirts, so it was money down the drain. I buy my own. We buy 1 name tag once the person has been in the unit for a year, after that it's out of their pocket.

              • #9
                I'm sensitive to the the "scouting pants" issue. When the new uniform came out, I bought all my sons the new pants. I bought three pair for myself. All three of mine fell apart. I returned some and got more. They wore out too within six months. So I've got lots of junk pants that I could return for more junk pants. Either they wear thru or disintegrate.

                Luckily, I bought lots of the old-style pants for my sons that were on clearance. Saved our budget. So at this point, my sons are properly uniformed to staff scout camp. I wear pants I buy elsewhere that don't fall apart. The first ones I bought ten years ago are still good. Don't fit me though.

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                • #10
                  We had a scouter who wore an older style uniform (green) with the 1937 Jamboree patch...that he earned because he was there and stood shoulder to shoulder with BP, West, Beard, and other.. He died a few years ago at the age of 90-something. He also wore his original Eagle medal, from the 1930s. Who among you would have been rude enough to criticise his wearing of the uniform? Sheesh.

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                  • Krampus
                    Krampus commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Old guys like that would be an obvious exception. 40 or 50-somethings wearing more bling than Lady Gaga is ridiculous. When the 50-somethings become 70 or 80-somethings, then more power to them. But for now get real.

                • #11
                  This cracked me up, as I haven't seen one award or patch on any of the adult leaders in our pack yet. I'm not sure why (I know some of them have been in it 10+ years) but I can't recall seeing one. Therefore I can't say if it would 'bother' me or not, I highly doubt it although I can see where the excess may look tacky (I don't mean the stuff you rightfully earn but putting EVERYTHING on there, including stuff that shouldn't be on there.) I personally think the old patches are cool, I wouldn't mind seeing them if someone wore one around me (I'd have to be nosy and ask about their experience but that's about it.)

                  As for uniform pants (saw someone mention this), I think myself and our cubmaster are the only two that wear them. Everyone else wears jeans or dickies.

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                  • #12
                    Originally posted by gsdad View Post
                    I laugh at this as well. What bothers me more is the leaders who refuse to buy the uniform pants. Blue jeans are not uniform pants.
                    agreed. I'm in full uniform down to the socks.
                    Just trying to set a good example to my son. If you're gonna do something, do it! Don't go half way.

                    I understand that it might be a money thing for some, but I don't think that's the case most of the time.
                    The only other 'excuse' I can imagine that I might be ok with is bad fit..... I understand that for some of us may not be very comfortable in ill fitting clothes..... how's that for pc?

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                    • #13
                      [QUOTE=blw2;n374612]
                      Originally posted by gsdad View Post
                      Don't go half way.
                      Yeah, I've tried that route. I've had pants that wear our and pants that tear. My boy's shirt say things such as " oy s outs of meri a " because the letters fall off. I've got rings of threads on my shirts. I've had official belt buckles that just give way ... twice from metal fatigue. I've buy clothes elsewhere and have none of these problems. In one year, I had two return two official belts and three pairs of pants. I'm only up for hemming so many pairs of pants a year.

                      So unto BSA gets better quality and I've got enough energy to try again, I'll focus on just replacing my scout shirt every year or two. And I've got the BSA socks. Love the BSA socks. My sock drawer is filled with them.

                      ...

                      Two years ago, I was working a university of scouting and helping getting the cooking setup (grates, coal, bricks, cooking surfaces). I wore a junk shirt because I did not want to tear or get my official shirt greasy as I unloaded the truck. I walked thru the midway on the way to the men's room to change and two scout leaders did not say hello to me. After I changed, those scout leaders said hello to me. I chuckled and asked why they didn't say hello to me earlier. They said because they didn't recognize me out of uniform (their joke). I walked away. Those are the type of scouters that drive scouts away and hope my scouts can avoid.

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                      • #14
                        I'm a cub leader, and so I tend to have a different perspective on this than many. At the Cub level, it's rare to get a long time leader with lots of bling, knots, etc. More of the long timers I meet tend to go the opposite direction - they shun knots, rarely wear WB beads, etc. A temporary patch - what's that? So, the new Cub leaders that I know pick up on that and don't bother either. In my 4 years with my son's pack, I am the only person to ever earn a knot out of probably 30 different leaders. As such, I get questions all the time from the boys - Hey, what's that on your uniform?

                        I'd love to have some around the block guy show up at the pack meeting with more bling than you could imagine. I imagine a lot of kids would love it!

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                        • #15
                          I wear my little Cub Service year from my two years as a cub Scout, the boys asked about it in the beginning of the year, no one in our Pack leadership ever wore won. I earned my Tiger Knot (now the lame Den Leader knot instead of the cool orange one, boo), which is the first leader award in our Pack History.

                          I think if we had more adults in uniform and with uniform bling it would be good... I put a few random things I qualified for on mine... my wife teases me about it, but my son is proud.

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