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The Latin Scot

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Posts posted by The Latin Scot


  1. Speaking for LDS units, we do have age-based patrols, but other than the fact that they are divided by age they are, for all intents and purposes, run just like other BSA units. I cannot speak on how that has influenced the NSP program direction. What I can say is this - while the Church does not have any current plans to leave the BSA (despite the many paranoid alarmists or reactionaries who would tell you otherwise), the decision to include girls in the program would be the final breaking point. In our religion, we believe strongly in the importance of both the male and female roles both in strengthening families and in building healthy societies. To change the very nature of a program that, for over 100 years, has met the needs of boys' growth and development by including girls, whose needs and natures are fundamentally different, would be in my eyes a tragedy of epic proportions. And not just for the boys mind you. The girls who are being raised like boys may be suffering an even greater loss than anybody, since they would be the ones being put into a program that was not designed to meet the needs of their sex. Their unique qualities and gifts are not treated nor nurtured by the Boy Scout program, and while the activities would be fun for some of them, the full power and potential of women is not something which the Boy Scout of America is equipped to develop. It's unfair to them, it's unfair to the boys. It's unfair to the nation.

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  2. Yes, this is an older article that already generated a few threads on the very topic (long before I joined these forums). I personally feel that if they are going to receive help uniforming their Scouts, it would be far better spent on pants/shorts than on campaign hats, even if they're just plain olive pants or shorts from a generic brand. You can get almost the entire uniform for the price of just one of those hats, while you can often find nice olive-green shorts for youth at Walmart for under $10! As a whole they would look better as a unit, too. Don't get me wrong, I am glad they don't make it hard on the boys if they can't afford everything, but to choose campaign hats over pants and socks and belts ... that just seems strange to me. And mind you, I LOVE my ol' smokey. 

     

    I think this kind of maneuver is just meant to keep people from feeling bad if they can't afford the full uniform (which is good), but they do it by splurging on a flashy, but unnecessary, item which garners attention but doesn't meet the need (which is bad). It becomes a smoke and mirrors act - "look! they might be poorly uniformed, but they have hats! FANCY HATS!" Even if they did get a good deal on their campaign hats, it still can't be less expensive than getting them other, more essential parts of the uniform that would make them look far more, well, uniformed. Giving them their iconic hats doesn't distract from the fact that they are, for all intents and purposes, in their street clothes. 

     

    In my own opinion, of course.  ;)


  3. I like the idea of expecting the potential leaders to present all relevant information/potential conflicts/whatever to the boys before they vote - but what I like shouldn't have any final bearing on the internal affairs of the Troop.

     

    The simple fact, as the others here have pointed out, is that the Troop committee has no say in the internal affairs of the Troop. Nor does the Scoutmaster, nor his assistants. The only people who have any voice in Troop elections are the boys of the Troop itself. Any meddling from adult leadership or the Troop committee robs the boys of their right to lead their group, run their program, and yes, even their right to make mistakes, learn from them, and improve their program. The whole point of the Scouting program is to teach boys the leadership skills and character virtues they will need to be successful, self-reliant adults, and a central part of that program is allowing them to run their own activities and choose their own leaders. That is what teaches boys why it is essential to choose good leaders through the democratic process, and how to become skilled leaders themselves - it generate both conscientious citizens and responsible authority. If you decide to take away the very processes by which those qualities are meant to be learned, bending them to your own ideas of how the program should be run (and therefore, unjustly manipulated), you might as well take their uniforms and badges away from them too, because at that point you aren't running a Scouting program any more.


  4. I like that idea a lot, and I have seen it nicely done before too. 

     

    I have decided to wear the patches for a few months to complement his uniform, which already has the new patches on it. But after a few months, I will switch them out and frame them nicely, making sure to show him how much his gift means to me. I think this will be the best solution, and seeing as most of the leaders I work with don't even know what the trained patch is, I think I will be able to avoid any nit-picking patch police.  :rolleyes:

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  5. Thanks all for your replies. I haven't ever worn a patch from an event I did attend, but this is an exceptional case, and since the patch is from my own lodge and council, I think I will go ahead and honor the wishes of the young Scout who gave it to me. I won't wear it for more than a few months though; that way my Scout will feel honored while I avoid the nit-pickers who may question my right to wear the thing. After a decent amount of time I'll just pop it off and stitch on the regular patch.

     

    THIS is why it pays to know how to sew.


  6. I am glad to hear it; hopefully the process goes smoothly so that the family can draw comfort from this honor during their time of grief. My thoughts and prayers are with them, as well as with you and your troop. All the best.

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  7. Okay, so I get that the boy can wear his patches, which makes sense since he attended the events; it seems completely right.

     

    But as for me, it's okay then to wear patches from my council and lodge even if I didn't attend the event? I wouldn't wear the official Jambo patch, naturally, but then a council strip or OA flap is okay for me to wear even if I didn't go to Jamboree myself? I actually wonder the same about another patch set I got two years ago; another Scout gave me an OA flap and matching pocket cover patch from NOAC (both exceptionally handsome patches), but since I didn't go to NOAC, I haven't felt right about wearing them. But they are from my own lodge, and they are so attractive - if I can wear them, I will. Heck, even if the official language is just vague enough to get away with it, I may wear them anyway and go with Stosh's approach - tell the story and ignore the naysayers.  ;)


  8. Hey gang; I had a new issue come up that has me a little befuddled, so as always, I come to you for insight. I don't have any experience with patch trading or collecting beyond the patches I have saved from my own Scouting days, so I am pretty much clueless in this regard.

     

    A boy I know just got home from Jamboree (had a great time, memories for life, etc.). As a gift to me, he brought me the special lodge patch issued by my OA lodge, as well as a collectible council strip, also from my own council. I was very grateful (he's one thoughtful kid), but then he asked me if it was permissible to wear Jamboree-issue patches on the uniform. I could only tell him that I had no idea, but that I would find out ASAP.

     

    Are Jamboree Council patches and lodge flaps just meant to be collected and admired, or can they be worn as long as they are appropriate to your location? And if so, must one have attended Jamboree to wear them? Both myself and this young Scout are eager to know; he wants to wear his, and he brought me the pair specifically so that I could wear them too, but we are both uniform purists and will only use them if it follows established uniforming protocols, regardless of whether it means one, both, or neither of us can use them. Any input is, as always, appreciated. Thanks!


  9. I understand that customs can change and norms are never normal long. However, I cannot cede to the subsequent belief that because they do change, that means they should, nor that I should be the one to change it. A Scout is courteous. He is polite and well-mannered, and even if he does not necessarily understand why he should remove his hat at the table, or open the door for a lady, or keep his elbows off the table, he still does so, because he knows that observing such customs will make life easier for the greatest number of people. Now, it is an accepted fact that these rules and ideals change, although never as dramatically or absolutely as some would have us believe. Maybe in a crowded room few will notice if if a Scout doffs his hat nowadays, but there may be somebody who does, and by tailoring his manners to please even that one person, the Scout serves everybody in the end by setting an example of courtesy and kindness that is appreciated and sets the tone for the Scouting movement as a whole. A Scout is always conscious of who may be watching his actions, and he always tries to set the best example he can. Good manners, the living of ideals and customs simply because they make the lives of others easier, should define a Scout's behavior. 


  10. I've learned not to let thick hair like mine become an excuse for disregarding courtesy. While I may be embarrassed by what my hair chooses to do with itself whenever I remove my hat, I acknowledge that showing respect at the table matters more than how I look. And if somebody gets offended by my hair (or even by the hat for that matter), that is their choice. I am certainly not going to let the opinions of others dictate to me what I should and shouldn't do. Common decency in our era demands that hats be removed at the table - that is one of the few absolute cases of hats coming off. The others are when entering somebody else's home, and when entering a religious sanctuary, be it a church, temple, chapel, mosque or synagogue. Other than those instances, their wearing can be debated, as this thread demonstrates. But those three - meals, homes, and religious centers - should be beyond dispute.

     

    @The Latin Scot, I know you (part) Scottish guys go in for skirts and high socks  :p , but we are talking the late 1970s here. I am pretty certain that elastic was prevalent in garments back then, if the jock straps they required us to wear in PE are any indication.

     

    @@Col. Flagg The 1970's?!? Okay, then yes, that is a little odd. But they weren't required uniform items by then, so it must have been a local/unit aberrance you were dealing with, for which you have my sympathy. But you certainly aren't wrong about my Gaelic tastes; I just bought a new pair of high socks for those chilly California January days when it gets all the way down to the low 50's. They actually look pretty snappy with my campaign hat to compliment them. I mean, what else do you want me to do, wear long pants?!? That's just crazy talk. 


  11. Well, if my knowledge of sartorial history is correct, I recall that the garters were necessary back in the days before elastic was common enough to be used in socks to hold them up. In fact, it wasn't until the 40's or 50's that socks were able to fully incorporate elastic in the nylon to create socks that didn't require garters to keep them in place. So I imagine that since the BSA uniform favored knee-high socks back in the day (which was the usual style move with short pants in that era), it would have been natural for them to issue uniform garters as well. And as late as the 1930's, putting ribbons on the garters for a little bit of decoration was a perfectly normal thing to do, since anybody wearing socks would have needed the garters anyway to hold their socks up. But it's very possible some units or councils might have clung to that option for some time long after they were no longer a necessary element of the uniform; it would have been akin to seeing Scouts still wearing the red tabs on their epaulets today.


  12. I think you missed the link in this post that quoted the policy and gave you document. ;) I took out the middle man (the blog).

     

    I didn't miss it; yours was one of the posts that pointed me in that direction in the first place. I apologize if I should have credited you more specifically, but I am grateful to you for putting up that link. Thank you!

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  13. Thank you all for helping to point me in the right direction. I found this link: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2013/10/29/tuesday-talkback-when-should-scouts-wear-hats-indoors/which pointed me to the official policies regarding hats, which I greatly appreciate. I also thank you veterans for letting me know the military protocols regarding their "covers" (a term which I am now excited to introduce to my Scouts!). If those in the military remove their hats so promptly and habitually when they go indoors, it seems only fit and proper for me to do the same. Thank you for giving me such clear models to emulate!


  14. Hey everybody, I have a question about the wearing of official uniform headgear indoors. I have a campaign hat which I love to pieces, and wear as often as I can. Now to be clear, I was raised well enough to know that I should remove it inside chapels, in front of ladies, at the table, et cetera, and of course when I am wearing any other kind of hat it comes off when I am indoors, but I was under the impression that when wearing official uniforms, be they Scout, military, law enforcement, or whatever, they could be worn otherwise even when indoors. I don't ask my Cubs to remove their hats indoors for den meetings; we meet at our local church, but in the classroom wing, not the chapel (where I do insist hats be removed out of reverence). But in all other cases their hats are always on; it's a part of their uniform and I like to see them fully dressed.

     

    My brother, however, is of the mind that all hats should be removed as soon as we walk through the doors of any building, period - uniform or not. I have searched all the materials I have over and over and can't find a conclusive answer yet, but I know somebody here will be able to help - when are official uniform hats appropriate to wear, and when ought they to be removed? Any help or insight, but especially official BSA publications on the issue, will be greatly appreciated.


  15. I didn't realize there was a time limit on First Class. So it takes them 18 months to earn First Class. Why is that an issue worth changing the whole program back for?

     

    I must be missing something here too? If LDS units no longer operate over 14 years old, is the push to get them Eagle before 14 now? What's the problem if kids make FC in 18 months. I have several guys that took 18 months to get FC. Several of those were the first to make Eagle from their peer group. I just don't see why we needed to reverse the requirements to allow making FC in one year for one particular group.

    LDS units DO and WILL operate over 14 years old. The only change is that instead of automatically being registered into a varsity unit at 14 and then a Venturing crew at 16, now the boys simply continue to be registered in the Troop if they want to continue Scouting. LDS Scouts can stay in Scouting all the way until they are 18 if they want; they just won't be registered in a Church-sponsored Varsity or Venturing unit is all. People really need to understand this; there are a LOT of misconception being thrown around everywhere. 

     

    But yes, we keep the 11-year olds separate from the boys 12 and up because of the way we divide our programs for youth. Children under the age of 12 fall under the Church's Primary program for children, so 11 year-old Scouts fall under a different overall program than the boys 12 and up, which fall under the Young Men's program. Because of the fundamental divide in how the Church runs it programs, 11 year-olds are still treated as children (which they are), so we don't like to throw to much camping on them at that age is all. At 12 we let them camp all we want. Some people do it younger, some wait till they are even older than that. But as a Church we do it at 12. 

     

    Now, what the BSA chooses to do is its own choice, so let's not create all kinds of misguided or incorrect information about the Church's role in this when really, that isn't the case.

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  16. So bsa makes the change back to avoid losing more lds kids? Great. They'll leave anyway in three years so why water down the program?

     

    I wouldn't suggest promoting rumors that have no basis in fact. As a devout Latter-day Saint who keeps a close watch on the Church's policies and directions, I can assure you there has been no hint nor rumor nor suggestion that the Church has any plans to leave the Cub Scouting or Boy Scouting programs anytime soon. Furthermore, this isn't watering down the program, but restoring it to what it was before because of numbers that were affected by the change in the first place. Simply because you choose to cast it in a negative light does not actually make it a bad thing. By your logic, the change somehow, suddenly produced better Scouts, and now the BSA wants to make them worse again by going back to the ways things were not two years ago. I can hardly imagine that being so. 

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  17. I would debate with you about sewing being a great skill but that's not the intention of this thread (pun intended).  I was taught sewing in home economics class back in the 6th grade and in the decades that have passed I have only used it to sew on an occasional button or my son's patches.  I'm not saying its worthless but I would rate it lower than many of my other skills I use daily or weekly.  The wife doesn't sew at all.

     

    I can also say that at least all of my son's patches are on his uniform and easily updated unlike many of the others in the troop.  Funny, CC (middle age mother of two if it makes any difference) was just at my house last night and complained about the sewing.  Scouts have gone into BOR with wrong ranks and offices because they didn't want to be bothered with the patches.  I also don't like the patch area of the shirt after patches have been sewn and removed several times for officer or rank.  IMO it weakens those areas greatly, not that it matters a lot.

    Wow ... this actually sounds like a validation for sewing if ever there was one!

     

    See, if people really know how to sew, there is no visible mark on the shirt after patches are removed because the stitching is neat and the thread is a proper match. When you remove it, you simply undo the threadwork and there's little evidence that the former patch was there (unlike a giant blank patch of velcro waiting for its new patch - and what happens when that bit of velcro is itself removed, I might ask?). Also, sewing on a new patch takes maybe 10 - 15 minutes. Are our lives so impossibly hectic that we don't have a few minutes to sit and sew on a small patch? If so, we need to re-prioritize some things. Now, if I see a Scout walk into a Board of Review with the wrong patches, I don't blame sewing for being too hard. I don't blame his mother for not getting it done, heaven forbid. It's the boy's fault! A small infraction, mind you, but let's not blame the skill (or lack thereof) for the problem.

     

    And as the son of a tailor, I apologize, but sewing is an invaluable skill that really has no replacement. My clothing lasts far longer that that of my friends because when something tears, I can fix it up, and if it gets worn, I can mend it. If I bulk up a bit at the gym I can alter pants or jackets accordingly, and when I slim down I can tailor them back to size. I can hem my own pants and modify my shirts - in fact my Scout uniform is even tailored to fit just right!. And my father the seamster can do a hundred times more. He upholsters the furniture, makes curtains, bedding, tablecloths, pillows, shirts, dresses, costumes - he made my sisters dolls when they were young and their prom and wedding dresses when they were older, he made us incredible Halloween costumes growing up - over the years my family has saved thousands of dollars that other families have to spend to buy all those things. So, while I apologize for the rant, I stick to the truth that for those who understand its manifold applications, sewing is a priceless skill.

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  18. With all do respect, if the Scout Shop is owned by National, then they would be the experts as they are required to know the uniforms regs and how to get the answers from the The Official Guide to Awards and Insignia. Trust me, I worked for National Supply once upon a time, and that is something they were adamant about: providinf correct information.

     

    No special respect due; the fact is my friend worked at a Scout Store for years and he was never required to be an expert on uniforming (good thing because he never was, bless his heart). And when the lady who supervises all the stores in my area can't even remember which Scouting roles wear which colored epaulet loops, I'm afraid I can't agree with you. In my Scout Shop they get things wrong all the time, as they do in the Regional Shop as well. A Scout Shop employee is just not going to be a reliable expert on uniforming, nor do their opinions necessarily reflect national policy. The best bet is to look at the official publications or ask somebody whose opinions you can trust.

     

    On that note, I do see to my shock that the Official Guide does in fact authorize the diamond rank emblems on the blue shirt. Twist! This is not the same as what is printed in the Webelos Den Leader's Manual, nor in the Webelos Handbook (I just reviewed them this morning to be sure). But as that is the case, I rescind my previous statement and grant that they can opt for the rank diamond option if they please. My apologies for being wrong; still, in my Den we are sticking with blue on blue and tan on tan, and never the twain shall meet! Less sewing for my parents.  ;)


  19. Thanks. Your answer makes sense, but conflicts with the official info page and the info that came from the scout store with his uniform. 

    The people who work at the Scout store are not uniform experts, nor do their opinions reflect official BSA standards. At my Scout store they are often wrong when people ask them various uniforming questions. The Official Guide to Awards and Insignia makes it clear that the wearing of past Cub Scout rank patches in the traditional diamond pattern is allowed on the blue uniform, but NOT on the khaki. The only rank patches a Webelos Scout can wear on the khaki shirt are the oval Webelos rank patch and the Arrow of Light. This is also confirmed in the Webelos Handbook, which is about as clear and official as you can get.

     

    While your unit may have "voted' to continue to wear the earlier rank patches on the khaki uniforms, it is technically incorrect uniforming, and in my mind there is no need to do so anyway - the new uniform is indication enough of their progression through the ranks, and there is no point in wearing the earlier patches. The boys of Webelos Scout age should be looking ahead to their new and upcoming Boy Scout journey, not stuck looking backwards to their younger days. If you choose to wear the past rank patches on the khaki uniform anyway, that is your choice, but know that it is improper uniforming, and technically goes against BSA uniforming policy. And isn't following directions a big part of what Cub Scouts are being taught to do? Better to let the sharp new uniform make its own statement, and wait for the proper oval Webelos rank patch to embellish it correctly.  ;)

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