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Tiny1pj

Uniform Costs

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Ok my turn... first of all, IMHO the prices are too high. However there are ways of making things last longer... The bigger issue here for me is pants. The BSA issue pants do wear out rather quickly... My shirts have lasted many years to date. Anyway I own two pairs of pants. One official BSA pair that I reserve for courts of honor and things of that nature. The second is a pair of G.I. Olive Drab BDU's. These I wear every where else. Campouts, meetings, outings of all sorts. The reason is they will outlast the BSA issue by years. I agree each scout should be in complete uniform. I also agree that GI olive pants are close enough for every day wear... I feel that this is a letter of the law vs spirit of the law issue. Yes I like to see BSA issue for Boards of Review and for Courts of Honor but at our meetings and campouts BDU are fine. If many of you dissagree, that's fine, I just wanted to let you know how we do it.

 

Oh one more thing if the prices weren't so inflated how come Professionals get 50% off there first uniform purchase?

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Like the saying goes

 

If you do Scouting for money, then you are a professional

 

If you do Scouting for free, then you are a volunteer

 

BUT

 

If you pay to do Scouting, then you ARE a scout!!!

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True, but I would hope that if you were so interested in becoming a professional scouter that you would already own a uniform or two.

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I also agree that the costs of BSA uniforms are high considering the quality.

 

Although the current uniforms are far better than the light weight olive green uniforms of the early 70s - they fit better than those did too. But the current uniforms are no where near the quality of the heavy olive green uniforms of the 60s.

 

I personally like the tan shirts and the olive green trousers. However, the quality is poor. Stitching comes undone too easily, the trousers are of poor quality and the fit could be better. The shorts are too baggy and too long. I would prefer pocket flaps on all 4 of the trouser pockets - especially the back pockets. Those of you who remember the heavy olive uniforms of the 60s will remember even the front trouser pockets had a flap that could be buttoned down out of the way for easy access to the pocket - or you could button the pocket up to prevent things from falling out.

 

I would like to see two type of trousers, a dress pair similar to slacks and a field pair with pocket flaps and a cargo pocket on the side of the both legs above the knees. A strap adjustable waist rather than elastic would be great on the field trousers.

 

The tan shirts need longer tails and need to be more wrinkle and stain resistant.

 

Now one can prolong the life of the current uniform by just plain taking care of it. Hand the shirts - I always encourage Scouts to take a lightweight plastic hanger on outings to hang their shirts rather than wad them up. I do not encourage Scouts to wear their uniforms around campfires, when cooking, high adventure, etc. Just wears them out faster.

 

I would also like to see an official long sleeve T-Shirt for wear under the short sleeve tan shirt when the weather is cool. This would prevent us from having to buy long sleeve shirts. Lots of us wear a long sleeve T-Shirt under our tan shirts but they are of every color. Perhaps colors such as tan, brown, olive green or forest greenare good suggestions. I wear a forest green one. Might even have the option of a turtleneck....

 

I think what is needed is a complete review of our current uniforms - paying particular attention to quality and cost. A good contract negotiator paired with someone who knows about uniforms and fabric could get better quality and pricing.

 

Another thing. The red wool shirt jac is way too expensive and not safe at all for cold weather. It is basically a very expensive wool shirt. I would suggest an acrylic pile jacket of similar design with a hooded nylon windbreaker that could be worn separately or over the pile jacket. I picked up a forest green zip up the front pile jacket and a forest green hooded nylon zip up jacket which is water resistant at Wal-Mart for about $30 for both. The layering is great and it gives two separate wear options. Not official but to my knowledge there is no official required outterwear. And the forest green is a great color - looks good with the Boy Scout uniform. And for wet weather, I have a forest green wet weather parka that I can wear over the whole works if I have too. Another layer for cold weather. I have a similar set up in Olive Drab green.

 

Just my opinion. But it sounds like the cost and quality of the Scout uniform is a concern for all of us.

 

 

 

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I was browing around a local thrift store and came across a brand-new, never been washed cubscout shirt. I got it for $3.95. I looked around some more and found that they had Boy scout pants. I went to another thrift store the next weekend and found my son a pair of cub scout pants for $1.94. I spent less than $6.00 and had a complete uniform. Be sure to check your local salvation army and thrift stores. I have also seen a lot of uniforms on ebay.

 

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tdyer56 is on the money about looking in the thrift shops. It has made a large differance in who is or is'nt in uniform.

 

Another thought - or concern if you will,

 

I think the only problem with a "given" uniform is that the boy will not always appretiate it. The boys in my wife's den who bought their uniforms, are more likely to wear them, than the ones that I gave uniforms to.

 

Paul

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I wear my uniform to every scouting event. Weekly meeting to Jamboree. None is Scout pattern nor bought from Scout shops. No-one says anything to me about it. It looks close to the real thing I suppose.

 

None of my scouts have bought from the Scout shop either. Cost, quality and accessibility are all reasons. I encourage thrift shops and buying similar colours in any style they want. If a kid likes it they might wear it.

 

Besides, when it's covered in badges who looks at the lable inside the collar? It's what they do not how they look that people seem interested in. I just ask them to wear it neatly in public (tuck your shirt in and do the buttons up Tim...)

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I've seen alot of good ideas in this thread. The Air Force has a military clothing board that meets at regular intervals to review the current uniform items. Maybe the BSA could use a similar board.

I particularly like the idea of having a dress (courts of honor) and field uniform. A BDU style and quality pant would be a nice addition. The long sleeve T-shirt or sweat shirt sounds good as well. I think the bottom line is that if the BSA wants to make sales they need to listen to their customers and design some good quality clothing at reasonable prices.

 

Does anyone know a national level scouting exec that we coul dforward our thoughts (or even this thread) to?

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And amid all this uniform crisis, let's not forget the exorbitant cost national pushes upon us for those wonderful wall tents and other equipment...

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I know I am a little late getting in on this discussion, but... I agree that the BSA uniform is too expensive for the quality of the product. I work for a State wildlife agency that uses a similar colored shirt that is of a lot better quality for the same price. However, until we get things changed I will continue to buy the class A uniform that is available. I am proud to wear it. That doesn't mean I will gladly play $100 for it. I am always looking for sources of inexpensive uniforms and part. I appreciate those who have mentioned e-bay. I never thought of that before. I found a web site through this site (C.U.B. CodyAK) that advertises used uniforms. Has anyone ever dealt with them? Are they still up and running? I sent an email, but have had no reply.

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I agree, I would like to see a lower price on the official scout uniform...and on gasoline, and property taxes, and milk, and postage stamps. Come to think of it I can't think of anything that I wouldn't be thrilled to pay less for.

 

In the mean time I volunteered to be in the BSA and I am proud to wear the uniform from shoulder to shoes. I can't imagine my two brothers who are police officers wearing pants that look almost like their uniform pants, or a pro ball player wearing a knock-off of thier shirt just because it's cheaper. Why would anyone want to look alomst exactly like a scout instead of wearing a scout uniform.

 

Could the uniformed be improved? Sure. I think this thread has some very good ideas. I would recommend that they be written to the uniform division at the nation service center.

 

Here is one for consideration. I'd like to see the uniform activity pants zip-off at the knees to convert from long pants to shorts, and be made from an inexpensive quick drying fabric such as Supplex. I also agree that the wool jack-shirt needs redesigning. I really like the idea of it being deeper piled and Dark Green (bright red is not low impact). But the jacket is optional so I'm not concered about wearing a non-BSA product.

 

All the use of military wear instead of scout uniform pants bothers me. It is a violation of uniform policy to wear military wear with the official uniform. We are teaching the scouts to follow the rules of our society. How effective can you be as a role model for that, if you can't even follow a dress code without rationalizing why the rules don't apply to you.

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Our troops solution is this as the boys grow they donate there slightly used uniforms to the troop clothing bin. Then when someone joins or needs a new shirt or pair of pants they can look in the bin. Thus the scouts are uniformed. I also love to shop thrift shops. I have purchased many scouting items and extras for out patrol kits for little of nothing.

Also if we don't have it and the scout needs it we will obtain it for them but they have to "pay for it" by doing a bit of extra for the troop or patrol.

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