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Chippewa29

Uniform Inspections

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sctmom,

 

That's a great analogy. If a Scout is not wearing his uniform, Review Boards should act as if he showed up for a job interview in blue jeans and a T-shirt. In fact, is this not the reason why BSA exists...To prepare him for the real world?!

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sctmom,

I require the Scouts in my Troop to be in full uniform for Scoutmaster's Conferences & BOR's. They must also have their Scout handbook with them. If either is missing, their conference or BOR is postponed until thee next week.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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I personally have never experienced a scout showing up for a BOR in no uniform whatsoever. I think the situation described was handled entirely appropriately. sctmom's analogy to a job interview is also one that has occurred to me. BORs, done right, are good preparation for this part of life. Dressing appropriately is part of that.

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We do similar for our Scoutmaster conferences and BORs. One thing that we are also doing is increasing the expectations for complete uniforming at each level of advancement. I.e., at the lower rank levels we will cut some slack for missing items, located incorrectly, etc. but always point these out to the boys and keep track on our BOR form. When they come up again for the next BOR we can check to see if they've fixed the problem. In 100% of the cases so far each boy has fixed the problem and is recognized for this accomplishment.

 

We have never had a boy show up for a BOR out of uniform but we have a policy in place (no uniform = no BOR) just in case.

 

--Melodee

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Recently at a troop visit, I overhead the conversation about a scout that was to have his BOR that night. The people standing there were SM, ASM, scout and scout's mom. The scout had on his uniform shirt and basketball shorts (he had practice after the meeting). The SM and ASM commented on this. Then asked for his handbook. Oops, he forgot that. They said NO board of review. Show up next week in complete uniform and with your book, you have to have your book. Scout goes "I know, I know". Mom goes "If you knew you would have done it." SM and ASM said "mom, he did KNOW. trust us."

 

I also noticed same SM telling a scout to put his neckchain INSIDE his shirt before going into the room for his BOR. The SM was doing little informal uniform inspections before the boys went in there, very discreetly but effective. I liked that. I was impressed with their attitude about it. No, these boys weren't going to pass a Marine white glove uniform inspection, but they were learning and making progress. That's important.

 

If you show up for ball games without your uniform you don't get to play. My son's age group has to tuck in their shirt to play basketball, otherwise no playing. That might be a better analogy to use with the boys. What would they think if they saw a professional team playing ball and they weren't in complete uniform?

 

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GLEN:

BDU= Battle Dress Uniform, what the military wears. They are available in a wide variety of colors and camo patterns. I personally would allow BDU pants ONLY if they were olive drab color IF I had a say in the matter in my troop.

They are better for field use than BSA pants, but I don't like to see them on more formal occassions like Courts of Honor and such. Camo has been specifically discouraged by BSA from what I understand.

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It is my understanding that camo is not merely discouraged but is actually against BSA standards, as are any military-type uniform pieces. The official uniform pieces often look military enough without adding flight jackets and combat boots.

 

If is probably very important to keep in mind that whether the Scout, Scouter or even parent thinks that such wear is "cool" (or whatever the vernacular may be these days...), the BSA has no intent to represent itself as a paramilitary organization. Yes, it (or its British parent)possibily had its beginnings somewhat in that direction, but the appearance of such is frowned upon in many parts of our country.

 

Of course, if you can get your hands on a full uniform from the 20s using the jodhpur pants and all (BSA policy allows the wearing of any age official uniform, as long as it is in full, i.e., not with 60s pants and 70s shirt, et al), that should provide a military look, albeit a rather dated one. :)

 

By the way, I'm a veteran, and I've worn enough military uniforms... I just wish the official stuff fit better and was a bit lower in price. :(

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I've been trying to find "Official" BSA Policy on a lot of information I've received and have had no luck.

 

Examples:

 

Supposed BSA Policy...

 

"Hatchets not allowed." Incorrect, there is no prohibition and they are still selling "Official" BSA Hatchets in the catalog.

 

"Only folding knives." Incorrect, Sheath knives are not encouraged but are not against BSA policy.

 

I'm afraid from now on if someone says "it's against BSA policy" I'll have to ask for a reference because I can't find any "Official" policy. The only guidelines I have found are in the guide to safe scouting which is where I found the info I mentioned above.

 

If anyone knows where the BSA hides their policy documents, please let me know.

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Anything in official BSA publications would be considered official policy. Refer to the Scout Handbook, Committee Guidebook, Insignia Guide, Scoutmaster Handbook, Guide to Training Jr. Leaders, etc. etc. etc. BSA has more publications than the IRS!

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Understood, however, guides are not rules, suggestions are not policy. I have stood in front of my troop and said it is against BSA policy to carry sheath knives and therefore we will not do it...and now I've had to go back and say I had incorrect information. I have no problem with going to the scouts and saying the BSA recommends that people not carry sheath knives for the following reasons, but if there is not a clear, written policy on an issue I don't want to say that there is.

 

Our troop committee and PLC are going to have a meeting soon to go through the guide to safe scouting and various other documents. The boys, with adult input, are going to be asked to come up with a reasonable set of rules as to where we will or won't follow anything labeled as BSA recommendations and where we will or won't make some recommendations even stronger or more strict troop policy. But from this point on I want to be absolutely sure that if I say "it's BSA policy" it truely is policy not just someone elses interpretation of a BSA suggestion.

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Also realize you need to know camp rules. Some BSA camps have the "no sheath knife" rule. So, it also depends on where you are.

 

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We seem to have drifted from uniforms into the area of BSA policies. It's an excellent discussion but should probably be in it's own string. I've started one in the Open Discussions forum. I apologize if I come off preachy, but to me BSA Policy seems a pretty clear-cut subject.

 

Enjoy

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I wasn't going to get in on this but some pretty scary things have been said here.

 

The POLICY of the BSA (and no unit has the authority to add to or subtract from advancement policies) is that "the boy should be neat in appearance and wearing as correct a uniform as possible".

 

That does not mean that we can refuse a Board of Review if he is not in uniform. Such a rule within a troop would be a violation of BSA policy and the scoout would have the right to an appeal before the council advancement committee. I will tell you from first hand experience on two appeal boards that I was asked to sit on by the national office that rarely will we find against the scout. Once a unit strays from BSA policy they will be found in error. the program is here for the boy not the adult and we will give the boy an impartial review.

 

If you know a boy has a uniform and he doesn't wear it, hold the Board and discuss with the boy whether he is showing maturity and spirit by not "being prepared" for his Board. Can you refuse the rank if he is not doing his best to meet the ideals of the program. (read the Advancement guideleines on the steps to take when you postpone advancement.

 

What if he only has a shirt and belt? Did he wear them as correctly as he could? Does that meet the rule? Sure!

 

Does that mean we change our expectation or our definition of what a uniform is? No! The Uniform is from Shoulder to Shoes and is defined ONLY by the BSA. No UNIT has the authority to change the reuired uniform pieces. Official shirt, offical pants, official belt, official socks. The scout may not have all the pieces or all the resources at this time, but our goal and our definition of a "Boy Scout Uniform" is set by the National Executive Commttee and no one else. Military wear in scouting is prohibited by our charter with the U.S. congress. Can that be any clearer?

 

I can understand a boy not having a full uniform in his possesion at some point in time. What amazes me are fellow volunteers who believe thay have the authority to alter the uniform according to personal whim.

 

Punishment for not being dressed according to your expectations? That violates so many policies it is staggering. Guys take a weekend off and set your priorities.

 

Character Development, Citizenship and Mental and Physical Fitness. Those are our only goals. You are not teaching these boys the lesson you think you are.

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If a kid owns a pair of official Scout pants but chooses to show up for a Board of Review wearing baggy shorts with his crack showing, I would have to say that he is NOT "wearing as correct a uniform as possible". I would be dismayed if the Board overlooked that and reviewed him anyway. And I'd be totally disheartend if the boy filed an appeal with the Council.

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You really do need to read the Advancement policies and procedures. In the event you just described, if you failed to review the scout, he would be allowed to appeal.

 

However, if you give him the Board of Review, the board can postpone the advancement based on the scouts attitude, spirit, lack of evidence as to understanding and using the motto, lack of understanding or living the scout law "a Scout is Loyal,Clean, Courteous, Obedient" throw in Trustworthy if youlike.

 

The Board must then tell the scout 1.why he did not recieve the advancement

2. what specific actions must he take to complete the requirement (in this case, show scout spirt)

3. and be given a day and time for a new review.

 

Those are the rules.

 

The Scoutmaster, and the troop Advancement Chairperson need to know and follow all advancement policies and procedures.

 

As an aside,keep in mind that the primary rule of advancement is 'did the scout do his best' not did he do as well as someone else, or as well as everyone else, or as well as a particular adult wants him to do. Did he do his best?

 

If he did he advances and if he didn't then he doesn't. That is a guideline that every scout and adult should be able to follow.

 

 

 

 

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