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About PNormand

  • Rank
    Junior Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    College Station, Texas
  • Occupation
  • Interests
    Scoutcraft, outdoors, Philmont, uniforms, history
  • Biography
    Eagle Scout, youth camp staff 3 yrs, former O.A. Lodge officer, O.A. Vigil (1972), college graduate, former Air Force officer, former Scoutmaster, former Troop Committee Chairman, father of a 4th generation Eagle Scout, retired Real Estate Broker.

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  1. PNormand

    Explorer Uniform

    Tahawk: I feel your pain, although I came along a bit later. I joined Troop 97 in 1960. I have done a bit of research, and I now know that the BSA kept tinkering with the Explorer program. The Forest Green shirts were introduced for Explorer Scouts in 1944. That was the same year that the term "Post" was introduced for Explorer Scout units. But, then, in 1949, the BSA technically dropped the term "Explorer Scouts" in favor of the term "Explorers." But, honestly, did ANYONE pay attention to this subtle change? I doubt it, and by 1965, when I joined an Explorer Post, no one knew that we weren't "Explorer Scouts." That's what we called ourselves, and that is what we acted like. I received my Eagle in 1966, as a member of an Explorer Scout Post, although I am sure that some pencil-pusher at the National Office would correct me for calling it that. Then, in 1959, "Explorers" was changed to "Exploring." Again, was ANYONE aware of this subtle change? We knew that they dropped the old Explorer advancement awards of Apprentice, Bronze, Gold and Silver, but the only thing we really cared about was completing our merit badges required for Eagle. So, it didn't matter a whit to us. I'm sure all this was spelled out in the Exploring Manual, but ... come on, nobody read that. I still have mine, some 55 years later, and it is pristine – never opened, never read. I did, however, read my Order of the Arrow Handbook from cover to cover. What is clear is that, over the decades, the BSA has demonstrated again and again, that they have no clue what boys really want. They've had experts conduct surveys of teenage boys to ask them what they want, but any marketing expert knows that you can't always believe what people "say" they want. They'll tell you one thing, but then they will go and buy the other thing. Sticking with Baden-Powell's old formulae should always be the answer.
  2. PNormand

    Explorer Uniform

    My Explorer Post in Fort Worth, Texas, wore the Forest Green shirts with the lighter, olive green, Scout shorts, and never stopped until it was forced to convert to a "Venture Crew." (But, they still call it a "Post.") Neckerchiefs were optional, but popular, and some wore them and some didn't. In the winter we wore the Forest Green long pants. But, NOBODY ever wore field caps, neckties or white spats (leggings). (No one wanted to get laughed at.) Those were items that you only saw in the handbook or the catalog. During the late 1960s, and into the early 1970s, when most other Explorer Posts in the area caved to the pressure to "specialize" in various career fields, and then admit girls, those posts abandoned the Explorer uniform, opting for a blue jean and tee-shirt type of uniform. My Explorer Post, on the other hand, stuck with the old Forest Green shirts. (In the summer, most of our Post members worked on the local camp staffs, and wore the Forest Green shirts at camp. We actively attended the National O.A. Conference, or went to Philmont or Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base, and we wore our Forest Green shirts with Scout shorts, Philmont belts, and knee socks. Many of us were officers in the O.A. until we were in college and turned 21. After turning 21, we became part of a large group of Post alumni who were all registered Post Advisors.) Even though the dark green shirts were no longer in the BSA catalog, the National Supply Office still carried them for us. A friend of mine on the East Coast told me that, in the late 1970s, he once asked the National Supply Office about the Forest Green shirts, and he was told that they still carried them "because there was one Explorer Post in Fort Worth, Texas, that still wore them." LOL – That would be my Post. After all the old traditional Posts in Fort Worth specialized and admitted girls, it normally took them about 3 years to fold. It was sad to watch all the old traditional Explorer Posts in the city, that had been around since the 1950s, adopt these ill-advised changes, and then go belly up. New posts were created as "Police Posts," "Emergency Service Posts," and I suppose other careers like "Insurance Saleman Posts," "Stock Broker Posts," and who-knows-what, etc., but the members of those Posts never participated in Council Scouting events, the summer camps, or the Order of the Arrow. They essentially operated outside the local Scouting community. As a result, my traditional Post, with the traditional Explorer uniforms, was the largest and most successful Post in the city.
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