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    • I dont think this is exactly correct. I was at the National Law Enforcement Conference in Washington DC when Jim Kaminski made the initial announcement concerning Explorers being removed from traditional units and being placed with Learning for Life and it was far more complex than that. Most of us in attendance were not very supportive of this change and the reasons for this change.
    • Here is the actual truth on why Venturing crews can choose their own uniform: when Venturing split from Exploring in 1998, it was so sudden that no uniforms were in existence. Here is the background. Someone sued a police department for discrimination when they could not join a Law Enforcement Explorer Post. It went to court and BSA lost. BSA rushed to separate traditional Sea Explorer Ships, High Adventure Explorer Posts and  Religious based Explorer Posts from the Career Oriented Explorer Posts. So Career Oriented Explorer Posts like Law Enforcement, Aviation, and Fire and Rescue remained Exploring under the BSA's Learning for Life subsidiary.  Sea Explorers became Sea Scouts once again, and HA and Religious based Explorers became Venturers. There was no uniform available. In fact National made a bunch of Venturing, BSA name taps to be added to the green Explorer shirts, but no Venturing socks or shorts came out for a year afterwards in 1999, and the pants came out 2 years after Venturing split off in 2000. I got a hold of a Venturing BSA name tape when I was at the 1998 All Hands Conference, and never put it on. I wore my green Exploring shirt so much in 2 years of summer camps, that the shirt was faded enough that the name tape did not match in color.
    • I agree that proper uniforming is important but I do not place it high on the list of priorities.  I believe that the reason Venture Scouts can choose their own uniform requirements is a direct coorilation with the fact that many young adults don't like the idea of wearing a uniform.  I don't like the idea of wearing a scout shirt with jeans, and I don't like generic ball caps with the uniform bug I would rather see the youth then gripe about his Atlanta Braves ball cap. I think it's silly to have a position patch on both sleeves or to have a row of six service star above the pocket. But if someone chooses to do that it is fully and completely their decision and it is neither my responsibility or duty to correct that person.  At one time it was appropriate to wear one national and one world jamboree patch above the pocket.  Although that has changed some still do it and to me it is of no consequence.  If a person wants to wear a mentor pin, eagle parents pin, or 25 square knots it is of no consequence. On one occasion I knew a scouter who wore a Vigil pin on each collar and there are many who wear a legend patch on the back of their OA sash.  Beaded OA sashes are prohibited but a lot of people wear them and even Mr. Goodman is seen in pictures wearing a beaded sash. That's not to mention special shoulder loops or awards that are authorized and presented by local councils.  To me, in the grand scheme of things it just is no big deal.  As far as lessons go, everything that young folks do does not need to be a lesson, some things are just fun. I also feel that adults who are uneducated in the area of psychology, sociology,  psychiatry,  peer pressure, and all of the outside factors that contribute to a person's individuality should proceed with caution when attempting to teach a lesson on ethics, morality, honesty, and human interaction. I wonder how many volunteer "teachers" are familiar with the basic learning modalities and are skilled in the techniques needed for each of them. But that's another subject. These are my thoughts and opinions on the subject.  In short, I choose my battles carefully without losing focus on more critical issues.
    • @Mrjeff, I hope you don't feel that you are being personally attacked by this discussion; certainly that is not my intent and I apologize if you feel such. My confusion stems from the fact that you seem to opine that this is a binary, one-or-the other choice - that either you care about uniforms, or you care about people. In fact, you even state: But why do you imply that it must be one or the other? Do you truly think that we don't focus on the youth and having fun, and that we go to bed at night thinking about patches and pins? Heaven forbid; the very suggestion is silly. Rather, I believe in doing ALL of these things - and with a specific, meaningful goal: to help make these young people into better adults, better citizens, and better family members. I believe in making Scouting fun just as much as I do in getting these kids to look and feel their best, because these things help make them better people. But uniforms aren't the end goal. Fun is not the end goal. These are certainly tools that we use to engage young minds and hearts - but they aren't the end goal.  You needn't worry about offense; I have learned not to be overly concerned with something a stranger on an internet forum posts about something I already understand, and I certainly wouldn't be so petty as to be offended by anything you say. Speak freely here! But do please note that here, you are suggesting that people who do focus on the uniform, somehow, DON'T focus on the person, and just because they pay attention to how they dress in the uniform. You even use large capital letters to make this point. Yet that's not quite reasonable, is it? Just because somebody really cares about the uniform, that does not make them any less interested in the person than you are. The emphasis on one is unrelated to the sentiments of the other. Yet in that same vein, the way a Scout (or leader) wears the uniform does tell us a bit about who he is, and what he believes, and what he thinks of himself. The clothes, in fact, help us focus on the person. That's why we do this. I would like to state, emphatically, that we are all on the same side. We all want to help these young people grow into responsible, mature adults, and we do it with all manner of methods - making the program fun is a huge part of it. So is the uniform. So are the outdoors, and the patrol method, and service. The whole POINT of these things is to focus on the person - just as you said. If we didn't care about each youth who walks into our meetings with all our hearts, we wouldn't care about any of these things. But we do, and so we do all we can to make sure every Scout has the best, richest experience possible. You say let's make it fun, and focus on the person. I agree 100%. But I also say let's do MORE. Let's get our uniforms right. Let's do the patrol method correctly. Let's do EVERYTHING we can, and let's do it RIGHT - BECAUSE THE SCOUTS DESERVE IT.
    • I have given a reference in the app. Not sure where the scout gave his scouting experience.
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