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Rip Van Scouter

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  1. Doesn't this just about cover it? http://www.scoutingmagazine.org/issues/0605/d-lett.htm "First, when referring to uniforms, Class A and Class B are military terms that are not used in the BSA. The correct Scouting terms for the two versions of the uniform are "official uniform" and "activity uniform." Although less formal, the activity uniform is still considered an official uniform, and therefore it is appropriate for boys to use the Scout salute while wearing it during a flag ceremony." And from Scouting.org (National BSA website): http://www.scouting.org/CubScouts/Uniform/Parents.aspx "Wearing the Uniform -- In general, every Cub Scout should wear his uniform to all Cub Scouting activities, including den and pack meetings, unit outings, and any activities done with members of the den or pack. When playing sports, going to camp, or participating in other physical activities, a pack may opt to have the Cub Scouts wear an alternate uniform, such as an activity shirt. Pack leaders should provide advance notice of any occasion when the boys should wear anything other than the complete uniform. Here are some tips for wearing the uniform: DO keep the uniform clean and in good repair. The official uniform is a sturdy, machine-washable garment that will last for years with proper care. DO be sure to wear the complete uniform. A Cub Scout wearing a uniform with parts missing is not in uniform. DO NOT wear non-BSA badges, awards, or insignia on the Cub Scout uniform or make any alterations to the uniform or insignia. DO NOT mix uniform parts with non-uniform clothing, such as wearing a uniform cap with other clothing or wearing the uniform shirt with blue jeans. The uniform should be treated as a unitworn in its entirety, or not at all." I WISH MORE PARENTS AND LEADERS, AS WELL AS SCOUTS WOULD KNOW, BELIEVE, AND FOLLOW WHAT IS SAID IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH. AND YES, I AM SHOUTING! BTW, if you beat a dead horse long enough, does it turn into glue? :-)
  2. OK, 212! I may be slow, or sleepy, but you didn't need to post it 4 time! I must have missed the Roundtable where they made the announcement. Or maybe GSLAC is starting a rebellion! Is there a similar new uniform (other than the new Cub Switchbacks) in blue for the Cub Scout program? Or will all Cubs, not just Webelos, eventually be wearing tan and (forest) green? I wonder why BSA felt the need to switch from olive green to forest green? Especially since the military abandoned olive green anyway in favor of camouflage several years ago. At least it was possible for parents to buy olive green cargo or other casual pants or shorts, rather than the expensive BSA pants. Is this National Supply's not-so-subtle way to force parents to buy the "official" pants? It is doubtful anyone will find anything like this "forest green" at Wal-mart, Target, or Kohl's! Why isn't there anything on this on Scouting.org?
  3. John, I am confused. How do you "migrate away from" the use of District patches? I would think they are either allowed, or they are not. And, what "new uniform" would you be "migrating" towards? Has something new appeared on Scoutstuff.org as a new "official uniform"? I have not seen anything like that. The only new shirts I have seen recently have been "activity", "action", or "crew" shirts (found under "Apparel", not "Uniforms"). The new "switchback" official uniform pants are only one more variation on the olive green pants/shorts that have been used for many years now. By the way, one man's "clutter" is another man's recognition and identification! In fact, I do not see any major change in insignia (other than the ADDITION of the US Flag, the International Scouting patch, and Square Knots) since I was a Boy Scout in the early 1970's. Besides the elimination of the District patch in your council (which is not authorized by National anyway), what other "de-cluttering" is taking place?
  4. John-in-KC wrote: "Funny. My Council uses the terms Class A and Class B in its official literature." Funny. My Council requires (or at least authorizes) the wear of district insignia on the Scouter uniform, in clear violation of the BSA Insignia Guide as follows: "District Insignia - Districts are operational arms of the local council. Individuals are not identified as residents of a district, but of the local council and the Boy Scouts of America. For this reason district insignia is not authorized for wear on the uniform. Where it seems desirable to identify district participation in council activities, district flags or banners may be authorized. They are described in the flag portion of this book." So it seems that Council actions and policies are not always in accordance with National!
  5. What is funny about this whole "topic" is that the majority of Scouters I encounter seem to accept the BSA uniform shirt as a uniform by itself, even if worn with blue jeans or any other pants or shorts. Yes, it can be a struggle to get the boys to wear the bottom half of the uniform, but if the leaders don't even lead by example, and I see MANY leaders in jeans or other non-uniform pants or shorts at meetings, why should the boys, or the parents for that matter, feel it is important? So if Scouts can salute in half of a uniform, why does it have to be the top half only? I would rather see a boy salute wearing a Scouting t-shirt and uniform pants or shorts (the correct "activity uniform", also called "Class B" by many), than merely wearing a "field uniform" (Class A) shirt only! As has been pointed out, Class B is fairly typical for hot summer camp or other outdoor wear when attending flag ceremonies, and I believe that the Scout salute should be encouraged if there is a genuine attempt to look uniform in appearance(A or B shirt, neckerchief with the A shirt, tucked in at the wasit, and at least some olive green bottoms for Boy Scouts and Webelos, or dark blue bottoms for Cubs and Webelos who still wear the blue uniform. To me, uniform hats (which are optional anyway, right?) and uniform socks are minor issues. I think the one poster is correct, on any military bases you will see many uniforms. I myself wore plain medical whites and a maroon ballcap (with a medical insignia patch) as a medic in the USAF, with merely a nameplate and small collar rank pins to identify it as a military uniform, and yet, I was expected to treat it no differently than my fatigues or blue service uniform, and salute officers and the flag while in that "uniform". Well, OK, we did wear the official USAF blue web belt with the whites, whoo hoo! The idea that a Scout should not salute unless wearing a cap is ridiculous. Military regulations require the wearing of a "cover" outside, and the errant recruit is quickly taught that they are "out of uniform" if any item is missing, especially the "cover" when outdoors. However, as Scouting headgear is optional, it should not be a criterion for whether or not you are "in uniform" to salute.
  6. Stosh, What you do may be special and you have every right to be proud of it. However, don't count out Boy Scouts when it comes to Honor Guards, especially for Flag Cermenonies. Yes, Boy Scouts are not allowed to drill with firearms, but there is plenty of D&C that can be done with out firearms. At one time Boy Scouts even used Staffs for a sort of "Manual of Arms". Yes, Boy Scouts can not present a "Rifle Salute", nor execute fancy spins and tosses, as in the "Queen Anne Salute" and other maneuvers, but they can do an excellent job with a Bugler playing taps at a funeral, accompanying the pall bearers, and folding and presenting the draped flag shrouding a veteran's coffin, or as the Honor Guard for a Flag Raising/Lowering ceremony at public events (baseball games, parades, political rallies, etc.). Many veteran's have also been Scouts and Scouters and so are very appreciative of Boy Scout participation in such events. Sometimes the Boy Scouts may be the ONLY honor guards available. Better than nothing, right? I am still curious where Sea Scouts get special exception to the BSA "No firearms except on qualified target ranges" policy, blank ammunition notwithstanding, since blanks can also be very dangerous. The "Guide to Safe Scouting" makes this clear by limiting rifle shooting to rifle ranges with quilified instructors, even for Venturers, which I believe is where the Sea Scouts program falls under. http://www.scouting.org/pubs/gss/gss08.html
  7. 1Vigil, I like your style. I have thought about approaching my boy's Scout troop about starting an Honor Guard unit. They are probably the typical BSA troop. No one wants to drill or practice Flag ceremonies, except at the weekly troop meeting. And then it is almost unbearable to watch. It was so bad this last week (all the older boys were out ata "Life to Eagle" seminar, that the Scoutmaster had to step in and review a few details for the boys, like securing the right grommet on the flag so when they hoist it up the pole (they use a rope and pulley even on the short wood pole!) it will not be upside down nor get stuck when the knot does not go through the pulley. There was even confusion about which side the American flag goes on! The pair hoisting the flag took so long to get it hoisted that the SPL called for the Pledge of Allegiance before they had even secured the flag to the rope! When the SPL yells, "Troop, Fall In!", he follows this by a pathetic "Troop, Attention!" Silly me, I always thought you were supposed to "Fall In" AT ATTENTION! That, "Scout Salute", and "Troop, AT EASE" and "Dismissed" are about all the commands they know. I have yet to see them actually march. When the troop ventures forth from their campsite en masse at a camporee it quickly becomes nothing but a line of stragglers. Maybe, having a trained Honor Guard, who then could work in a little troop drill now and then, might be a good start. Anyway, when I was a scout, over 30 years ago, we practiced Army drill, but without arms. We were not a "gung-ho" troop, like another troop in our district that to this day wears the Campaign hat as their standard headgear, has a guidon twirling the "troop flag" (actually a golf course hole number flag with their two-digit troop number, as a regular BSA flag would be too unwieldy), and acted as if they were a military unit, but we DID know how to march to Assembly and Flag cermemonies and how to "Fall in" correctly, and then "Dress Right, DRESS!", so we still looked sharp. I continued to practice and drill after Scouts in Army ROTC in college, a stint in the Air Force Reserve, volunteered with a local Civil Air Patrol unit as a drill instructor for the cadets, and finishing College on the Pershing Rifles competition Drill Team, including being on the Honor Guard for football games (firing our signal gun for touchdowns) and college/town parades (St. Patricks Day parade was very big where I went to college. If you are from Missouri, you can probably guess where that was!) Let me know if you do complete that drill and Ceremony manual. I would love to get a copy. Does BSA have ANY official policy on close order drill? I have seen that at one time BSA did even have an official drill manual, including "manual of arms" training with hiking staffs instead of rifles or swords. Sounds like a good idea to me! What do you think about an Honor Guard with an arch of Crossed Staffs when a "retired" Eagle Scout gets married for the Bride and Groom to walk under outside the church? I actually participated in one wedding with "crossed sabers" back in college. What a blast!
  8. I went to our Cub Scout Roundtable this week and at the sign-in table, along with the usual flyers, were a couple of bags of sample patches, one being a new oval "Centennial Recruiter" patch, and the other being a rectangular strip with the words "BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA" in all red, block-style capital letters. This patch/strip is different in appearance from the one that comes on the uniform shirt. For one thing it has a red, merrowed border around its perimeter, like on the standard "RECRUITER" strip. For another, the word "OF" is all full-size letters, while it is smaller letters on the uniform shirt. The backing cloth itself, while tan like the shirt, is a stiffer material, more like twill, with visible thread rows, not like the finely woven shirting material of the standard strip. So my question is, where, if anywhere would these be worn on the uniform? Does the "Centennial Recruiter" patch replace the old "RECRUITER" strip? It would seem too large to wear under the right pocket, as the strip is now. I am assuming the criteria to earn this patch would be the same as the old one, except that it must be earned during this Centennial celebration period. What about that new strip? Is it for wear on some new shirt that will replace or co-exist (like the Switchback pants)with the existing shirt(s)? I use the plural because there seem to be some minor design differences between shirts of different materials, and one can still choose short or long-sleeve. Perhaps it is for wear on a red jacket or jack-shirt, with someone at HQ deciding that the universal emblem is not enough identification for official outerwear. Neither of these appear yet in the Scoutstuff.org catalog, so I thought I would ask here. The fellow (a district staffer and unit commissioner) manning the sign-in table had no idea about either. "The DE just dropped them off" he said. Anyone know about these new patches? Oh, and in case you were wondering if these were "official BSA" or just Council or District custom patches, the clear film backing is patterned with the "Supply Division" and "Scout/Stuff" logos.
  9. When I was a Boy Scout in the early 1970's I attended Junior Leader Training Camp. We were encouraged to come up with imaginative Patrol names, even if it included a non-sequitor or made no sense. We selected "The Atomic Thumbs" ("Atomic" energy being consider cutting edge and environmentally friendly back then!) and our logo which we put on our patrol flag (easily could have been inked onto a blank patch if it was a permanent patrol name) was a giant human thumb with a pictorial representation of an atom at its center, several electron orbital rings around a round nucleas, a common symbol for atomic energy. Our patrol name and flag/logo was highly commended by every Scouter who saw it!
  10. I too feel that this is inappropriate "nitpicking". As a Pack Trainer, who does care about proper uniforming, I walk a fine line between offending/insulting/hassling parents and even other leaders about proper uniforming and informing and educating them. Some people are grateful for the correction, but it must be done in the proper manner. We must keep in mind that some parents are just looking for an excuse NOT to continue with Scouting, since it requires actual WORK on their part and they are continually being asked to HELP. These are the parents of kids who need Scouting the MOST, since they obviously are not learning good values at home! In fact, rather than look for faults in their uniforming I applaud these scouts and their leaders for several things. First of all (and I do not have the picture in front of me) as I recall, almost everyone was wearing a distinctively and uniform (in that they were all the same) piece of headgear. It is not unusual to see troops with non-official headgear. What is unusual is to see them all wearing the SAME cap! When I see my older boy's troop in the field or walking into meetings their headgear runs the gamut of nothing at all (usually around half) to all sorts of Baseball and other caps in various colors and styles. The same can be said for their choice in legwear, i.e. pants/shorts. Until the more popular "switchbacks" came out, it was rare to see more than a handful of boys in "official" pants or shorts, let alone anything approaching olive green. Mostly bluejeans predominate, even with the leaders! Thankfully, Troop 2000 and its leaders seem to take the lower half of their uniform as seriously as the upper half! I actually find the troop's choice of a tasteful brown basball cap with what appears to be an official embroidered emblem applique (that is available in the scout shop) to be highly commendable. It would actually be nice to see something like this adopted as the official headgear rather than the ugly red and olive cap now being sold. Look how nicely these hats complement the official brown campaign and expedition hats. Could it be these ARE new hat designs being field tested? If so, BRAVO! I would love to see Cub Scouts go back to a single design (maybe two, keeping the current Webelos cap) blue cap, possibly with a small Cub Scout logo embroidered in gold, rather than different caps for each year. Really, that is just too much to expect parents to buy a new hat EVERY year, and most don't. I think the switch to yearly neckerchief slides was a mistake also. At least the dark blue generic slide should have been kept as an alternate. What will future Pack leaders wear when no slides are available except those designating an age level? Personally, I selected the NO NECKWEAR option, except with the long sleeve shirt, for which I obtained one of the discontinued but still approved olive leader neckties. (I hate bolos! Let the cowboys wear them, not Scout leaders! Making them offical and discontinuing the necktie must have been part of the BSA HQ move from NJ to TX! *grin*)
  11. "I know Troops have the option of designing and wearing their own caps, but I thought Packs had to wear the official BSA headgear?" Maybe so, but then, just what hat do Pack leaders (not Den Leaders) wear? The photos on Scoutstuff.org always show the Cub Scout leader (blue loops) as hatless, while chatting up or standing next to a Boy Scout leader (red loops) wearing the official red/green Scout hat. Well, there is the "Cub Scout Leaders Bush Hat, Price: $35.35", but its styling reminds me of the US Air Force Female Training instructor hats, so, no thank you! (Male USAF TI's wear dark blue "Smokey Bear" campaign hats, similar to their Army and Marine bretheren.) The Adult inspection guide says that Den Leaders wear the same hat as their cubs, or they and other pack leaders may wear the "blue and gold Cub Scout hat". Well, I have been a Cub Scouter now for about three years and have NEVER seen a "Blue and Gold Cub Scout hat" except in old photos, and usually they are being worn by kids. I guess I could wear the red/green Scout cap, but that red front just screams Boy Scout program. Instead, I chose a custom cap that our council scout shop carries, dark blue with a small embroidered gold Scout fleur-des-lis on the front. Well, at least it is Blue and Gold! I also have an Expedition Hat that I wear when in the field with the universal adult hat pin. Funny, it costs $35.49, but looks exactly like the Scout Stampede Hat by Stetson sold on Scoutstuff.org for 52 bucks! I mean, who are they trying to kid? Look at the two descriptions: Scout Stampede Hat, by Stetson Olive wool felt hat with a 3" brim and a leather chin strap. Crushable construction that lets you stuff the hat into your backpack or pocket, and the hat "pops" back into shape. Price: $51.99 Boy Scout Expedition Hat Ruggedly handsome wide-brim hat is designed to shield your neck, face, and eyes from sun, wind, and rain. Made of 100 percent wool felt, it's also waterproof and crushable, so you can roll it up, smash it down, and snap it back into shape. Shown with Universal Emblem Hat Pin, sold separately. Price: $35.49 Hmmm, wool felt, crushable, waterproof, leather strap, 3-inch/wide brim. They both look like "Indian Jones" Fedora-style hats from the 1940's, so who wants to pay an extra $16.50 for the Stetson name? And why did Scoutstuff suddenly start selling so many Stetson-brand unoffical hats? Who is getting rich? I hope all that money is going into programs for the boys (and girls) and not just salaries and perks for the Top Scouters! Sometimes I think Supply Division must have a former Oil Company CEO running it! Look at how long they got away with overpricing the red wool shirt-jac! And don't get me started on those $95 Campaign hats!
  12. That is also a good idea, but when you pay $150 for a garment, "Made in the USA", supposedly for better quality, you expect sort of expect the buttons NOT to start falling off after only a few wearings, and not even a washing! Is that too much to expect? I guess anyone who buys one at the new lower price can put some of the savings into paying a seamstress (or seamster?) to oversew the buttons so they won't fall off!!!!!!! Funny thing, the uniform shirt comes with extra buttons sewn on inside at bottom. Why didn't they think of doing that for the Jac-shirt as well? If anyone has an old red BSA jac-shirt (with rimmed, 4-hole, red plastic buttons, which they have outgrown and it is not in good enough shape to sell on e-Bay, I will gladly pay the postage (I'll send you a S.A.S.E.) if you want to cut off the buttons and send them to me! Thanks in advance!
  13. Good thought on contacting the manufacturer. Why not go direct to Woolrich? I guess I will try that next. Then Bemidji, thanks! Supply Division finally replied to my e-mail. All they said was they do not have any buttons! They did not respond to my suggestion that I might seek a replacement jac-shirt based on defective sewing! Anyone else have a problem with this with recently manufactured Woolrich-made jac-shirts? The Scout shop ladies say there is a new manufacturer, but all the ones I saw on the rack looked the same and had the same number on the tag, WPL 6635.
  14. Current style is 3/4-inch (19mm) red plastic 4-hole with a rounded (not flattened) rim and a matte (not glossy) finish. They are flat on the backside. On some buttons I have found the holes are too large and take up most of the area inside the rim. On others they are way too small. I found some on a website in the UK that look right. A package of four buttons is $3.00 (not bad) but shipping cost from the UK was another $7.00 !!! I fired off an e-mail to Supply Division but have not got an answer yet.
  15. Well, last summer I finally broke down and asked me wife to get me the red wool jac-shirt from the Scout Shop for Father's Day. You just don't find size 5X on e-Bay it seems! I thought $150 was just a little too high, and I was right! Too bad I didn't know they would bring the price down to $99 only a few months later! I have been wearing it day-in, day-out, for Scout meetings and casual wear (no BSA patch), since it is so nice and warm and comfortable. My wife even "steals" it now and then. The problem is the buttons are falling off. I try to save them, but have lost three already. I would rather NOT scavenge the extra cuff button and the neck button (which have not fallen off) so I can close the jac-shirt properly, and I would rather NOT replace all of the buttons with a similar, though not identical sewing store replacement. Scavenging was the idea of the lady at the Scout Shop who told me she had no idea where to find replacement buttons. I am tempted to see if the Supply Division lifetime uniform replacement policy includes the jac-shirt with buttons falling off! Where can you find identical matching 4-hole red plastic buttons for this Woolrich-made jac-shirt? (The manufacturer code on the label, WPL-6635, is unique to Woolrich and found on non-BSA Woolrich garments as well.) I thought there might be some in the BSA sewing kit, but no luck. I have tried googling for the words, red, buttons, 4-hole, scout, etc. and only come up with e-bay listings for used jac-shirts or internet button dealers (where I can't seem to find a match either). Help!
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