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Chippewa29

Uniform Inspections

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I'd like to know what other troops do in regards to uniform inspections. We haven't done them in my troop for almost a decade because a former SM (well before even my predecessors) conducted a uniform inspection to fill a lull in the middle of a Court of Honor without telling anyone. Obviously, some of the Scouts were embarrassed by it and some of the parents were horrified. I sat in the back with my mouth almost hitting the floor (I was a 19 year old ASM and didn't know how to react). That was one of many things that caused that SM to be booted less than a year later.

 

About 4-5 years later, when I was out of college and a full time ASM, I proposed doing uniform inspections with the Scouts. Instead of doing it in a big group, I would conduct it one patrol at a time in a private room and make sure that I pointed out the positives as well as any negatives that may come up. The parents threw a fit and said they didn't want their sons subject to that ridicule (the ones mentioning that were around when the previous incident occured).

 

I feel that when doing a uniform inspection, it doesn't need to be a Marine-style-spit-shine-white-glove quality inspection. However, I believe a big part of wearing the uniform is wearing it correctly and with pride. How do other troops handle the situation?

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In our troop, the SPL conducts a formal uniform inspection about once every three months. More recently, the PLC decided that a Scout must wear his complete uniform (hat to socks) to every Troop meeting. If he is not wearing the complete uniform, he is not allowed to participate in the weekly game (conducted at the same Troop meeting). I haven't heard of a single complaint yet. It's not an issue in our troop.

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Our troop has an uniform inspection every 3 months as well. BSA sells cards that describe the perfect uniform and the parols are scored off that. Inspections are always well known before they take place

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Okay, here's the mom's point of view -- DO INSPECTIONS!

 

Don't humiliate them, but I think uniform inspections are great. An example, my son plays community league basketball, I tell him to tuck in his shirt before the game (as they must do) and he ignores me. The coach or the ref or a teammate tells him to do it, and he does it immediately. From what I've seen with Webelos, some of the boys and parents, don't know the proper way to wear a uniform (even though the dads are in the military).

 

The purpose of the uniform is to present a positive image and to give the boy more of a feeling of pride. I can speak from experience if you are allowed to dress however for work, eventually that affects your attitude about work. If the boys can wear their uniforms sloppy, that carries over to their attitudes.

 

As we are visiting troops to decide which one to join, that first impression of how the uniform is worn is very important. I know there is much more, but the uniform is something all the parents look at and comment on. Not so much "full uniform" but is it worn neatly, shirt tucked, buttoned correctly, hat worn correctly, neckerchief not in a bundle, etc.

 

 

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In my Troop, we do uniform inspections periodically. Some announced, some not. I feel as does the other adult leaders in my Troop that proper unifroming in Scouting is important. We as adults set the example by wearing our uniforms to all Troop meetings. While I only require my SPL & ASPL to wear their uniforms to Troop meetings the rest of the Troop must wear their Troop 1 shirts. If we plan a uniform inspection, the word is passed to the SPL & it is his responsibility to make sure the rest of the Troop gets the message.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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We conduct quarerly uniform inspections for our Webelos. Ed I'm wondering why you wouldn't want all of your Scouts in full uniform for all troop meetings (unless there is a special activity)?

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When my sons and I joined our current troop I was less than thrilled with the effort the troop was putting into their uniforms. I feel that a uniform (in whatever form it takes) is important to esprit de corps. I went to the PLC and told them that I wanted to see an improvemnt in this area and why I felt that way. I asked them to come up with a plan for improving our uniform wear and to get the troop as a whole to approve it.

 

In light of another recent conversation here, some of you may not like this. The BOYS decided that they would do a uniform inspection (about 5 minutes) as part of EVERY troop meeting. Our uniform consists of beret, class A shirt (w/red eps and appropriate patches), BDU pants, scout belt, and scout socks. The boys decided that there were eight distinct portions to the uniform and that each peice was worth 10 push-ups imediately following the inspection if not properly worn. They, the SPL and PLs, are fully in charge of this program, it is understood by all, and it has dramatically improved the appearance of our troop.

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ScouterPaul,

We got shirts with our Troop logo on it for the informal stuff. If we are doing something special or holding a court of honor, the uniforms are required.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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An easy way to do this is to NOT inspect the entire uniform. At least once a month do an inspection. Limit the inspection to one part of the uniform. That part is not announced in advance. It might be an item of insignia, or belts, or socks, or whatever. This reduces the time spent on this and can achieve much the same result. Boys should be scored, and patrols should be scored. This should be another element of healthy competition among patrols

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Weekender,

 

You're going to get an ear full now! Weekly uniform inspections! BDU pants! Push ups! This thread may never end...

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Rooster, if the kids came up with the standard by which they are measured, and the consequences of not having the parts of the uniform are known, how can that be a bad thing?(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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I'm not personally offended. I have been following similar discussions on other threads. It appears that several Scouters would have problems with this for the following reasons:

 

1) Weekly Uniform Inspections - Too much pressure on the kids...Or, may cause embarrassment.

 

2) BDU pants - Not officially sanctioned for a BSA Class 'A' uniform.

 

3) Push Ups - Some Scouters feel this constitutes corporal punishment (which is not allowed by BSA).

 

Quite frankly, given this specific scenario, I'm not concerned at all about any of items listed above. How much do you want to bet that this discussion does not end with my explanation? My response to Weekender was a prediction. I was anticipating that his post would awaken some strong opinions and passions that others had already expressed on these topics (although I wasn't planning to participate in this one).

 

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Our troop hasn't been very consistent in uniform inspections however, we are doing a full inspection whenever a boy comes up for a board of review. All the boys were given the criteria in advance so they should know what to expect. The members of the BOR have a checklist and requirements for each of the ranks. For example, the boys who are working on lower ranks are cut some slack if they are missing any part but are told what they are missing and encouraged to get it. Once the boy has advanced to First Class he is expected to be in full uniform (our class A allows for OD BDUs or clean blue jeans). His BOR will be stopped if he's not in full uniform.

 

The troop has talked about doing inspections one piece at a time as well. Our Council JLT does that and it definitely keeps the boys on their toes and prepared.

 

Melodee

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Chippewa,

Why not try introducinguniform inspections in a very low key way. Get the inspection sheets from council and give them out to the boys. Have them pair off and inspect each other. Then let them take the official sheets home and say "we'll do another review of the uniforms in two weeks. I'm sure all of you can have any mistakes corrected by then." Or quietly take a boy aside who has his patch on the wrong side or something, ask him if he knows it's missewn and can he work on getting it fixed. We had one boy who had his patches all reversed. When asked about it, he was apologetic but said his mom said she'd put them on once and wasn't about to do it again. Period.

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