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Chippewa29

Uniform Inspections

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Bob White,

 

I appreciate the up-to-date and accurate information regarding BSA policies (in particular those involving uniforms). I really do. I don't appreciate the accusation of neglectfulness.

 

You said, "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."

 

This comment is way off the mark and unnecessary.

 

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While we can't add to BSA policy, I feel each unit has descretion as to what is "dressed properly". Some Troops don't require Scout pants but require the Scouts to be in pants other than blue jeans. Some Troops don't require neckerchiefs. Some Troops require a full scout uniform. To me, these are all different views of the same policy.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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The boy would get a 30 second Board of Review:

1. He did not receive advancement because he failed to wear his Scout pants and his butt crack demonstrates a poor Scout attitude.

2. He must specifically put his pants on prior to the next BOR.

3. Come back next month.

 

 

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And there in lies the rub. Uniform policies exist to keep the symbols of scouting 'uniform' throughout the BSA program, not just uniform within a single unit.

 

the policies allow a choice of approved shirts, pants, belts, and socks. Along with a wide variation of neckwear and headwear. the choice of footwear is almost limitless.

 

You can even have matching t-shirts, just don't call it a BSA uniform. We do not have authority to swap non-official pieces with official pieces.

 

 

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FScouter, it's amazazing how quickly we get to know each other over a posting. Why I can already sense the humor with which you wrote of the the 30-second Board of Review. As a scouter, dedicated to the healthy development of boys, I realize that you would actually have the committee members on the board discuss the boys developing character with him and guide him to a positive resolution for the growth of the scout.

 

Both of us realize that we can create greater change through meaningfull contacts with the boys and that there is little vakue to a 30-second Board.

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You're either in uniform or not. The Scoutmaster's Conference prepares the Scout for his BOR. Every Scout is treated individually, as it should be. If the Scout is NOT prepared for his BOR, the Scoutmaster discusses where improvements need to be made, and a BOR is rescheduled. I (the Scoutmaster)work with the Scout in scheduling his BOR, and he is told to be in uniform or no such BOR will happen. It's not a threat, it is simply expected. You can quote rules and procedures til the cows come home, but in my many years of Scouting, I'm not aware of any of my Scouter associates who do otherwise.

 

sst3rd

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Bobwhite: Perhaps the 30 second Board of Review example was a bit flippant. But I would hope the Board would not pass the boy regardless of how qualified he may otherwise be. Our troop policy is that the boy must wear his complete uniform, that is to say all the uniform parts that he owns, when presenting himself before the Board for review. All the boys know and accept this, and are counseled as such at the scoutmaster conference. What message do we send if we set a policy, and look the other way when a boy ignores the rule?

 

I shouldnt speak for our committee, but I believe they would counsel the boy and query him as to why he would choose to wear only part of his uniform. They would explain that the BOR is important, and that a proper uniform helps demonstrate respect for the BOR process, the committee members, his scoutmaster, and himself. They would then briefly go over the topics they had planned to discuss during the review. He would then be dismissed and encouraged to come back next month.

 

No, we would never refuse a Board of Review. But refusing to advance him and asking him to come back to try again is not cause for an appeal to Council. And it certainly is not punishment.

 

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I'll chime in here a little on the conversation between FScouter and Bob White about refusal for BoR. In our troop, one of the things we've been able to accomplish, as part of the chain of command, is the chain of communication, at both the adult and Scout levels. And it has been long standing troop policy that BoR's are done only in full uniform as defined and required by the troop. A boy showing up without that full uniform is informed that he'll have to wait until it's rescheduled. That's part of learning responsibility for ones actions. The lines of communication are constantly drilled within the troop, so that even the smallest little thing is attended to. And the requirement for full uniform at BoR's is part of that. The candidate is reminded numerous times by his PL, his SPL, his SM and AMS's, and....guess who else...his PARENTS...for they become part of the communication tree, too. We run things that way, and the parents absolutely love the fact that their sons are being called on for not following the rules that are constatnly part of the communication tree. The boys all know what they're supposed to be doing and how, at all times. Should they choose to forget, or not conform, they're reminded. The luxury we've been able to gain over the years is a parental participation that agrees with the way things are done...for the most part. If a boy is refused a BoR, he and his folks get a note saying why. The nice thing is that we know that if the boy goes home complaining, Mom & Dad will simply ask him why he didn't follow the rules. Win/win, there. It really works to reinforce the responsibility part of life. And that's part of what we're trying to instill in the guys, right?

 

Oh, as an aside, I should say that the candidate is inspected presented to the BoR by the SM and the SPL. The candidate knows that the SPL will be looking to see that he's presentable for the BoR. Sometimes it's a wonder when a candidate will show up at a meeting expecting a BoR during the evening, but will be lacking a uniform part, and the rest of the corps will work with the SPL to make him presentable, hoping that the adult leadership is unaware. Watching them work together on those kinds of things can make it all worthwhile sometimes.

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We seem to have come full circle in this discussion, and then some. This started talking about uniforming, drifted into advancement and now is a mingling of advancement and uniforming. I think it would be clearer if we kept the 2 separated for the time being.

 

The bottom line that I tried to explain when I jumped on board this conversation is that there seems to be some basic misunderstanding of BSA administration.

 

NOT everything written in scouting literature is POLICY, (rules unalterable by the units) Except for three areas. UNIFORM, a trademarked symbol owned by the BSA, ADVANCEMENT, no unit has the authority to add to or subtract from the requirement found in the Official Boy Scout Handbook or the Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures pamphlet. SAFETY, information in Bold print in the Guide to Safe Scouting must be obeyed and cannot be altered.

 

Requiring full uniforms in order to advance is in direct violation of the policies of the BSA and has never been and will never be a requirement. Individual units and individual adult members signed an agreement through thier Charter and in their membership application to follow the BSA policies and program NOT to change them to fit thier personal vision of what the program should be.

 

Please see the new string on Board of Reviews and SM Conferences.

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Maybe you see this as splicing hairs, but I see a distinction between your position and that of FScouter and jmcquillan that is not being recognized. FScouter and jmcquillan don't seem to be saying that the purchase of the full uniform is required. From my reading of their posts, they require the boys to wear as much of the full uniform that they own (or have access to) before their Troop will allow a BoR. To me, this is not denying advancement or adding a requirement. I agree with jmcquillan. We need to teach the boys responsibility and provide consequences when that responsibility is not fulfilled.

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The way I feel about all of this is simple: Let a scout's board of review reflect all of his behavior. I feel that the purpose of the review is to do a final check of wether a scout deserves a rank or not. Denying him of this prevents him from getting even constructive criticisim. Besides, it sounds like National doesn't want people to be blocked from their BOR. What's the harm in letting him get one setp further before laying into him about something.

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I am SPL and I conduct a monthly UI.( uniform inspection) I only require them to have fixed hair, tied shoes, uniform and patches placed properly, and blue jeans or scout pants. I do not allow not in uniform scouts ( depending on what the uniform problem is) participate in the game I plan every meeting. Also, anyone know of a site with nice simple scout games???

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Ryon,

Consider a different approach. If you take the game away from the scouts they will just look for an activity on the meeting night where thay can have some fun. In addition it is not your place as the SPL to affect the manpower of the patrol. They already have a patrol leader.

 

Let's look at a way that allows everyone to play, rewards the the scouts that wear the uniform and encourages others to improve.

 

How about monthly or weekly door prize. They can be scout posters, flashlights, patches, a handbook etc. For every uniform piece that a scout wears correctly they get to put their name in the drawing. A scout with a proper shirt gets their name in once. Shirt and uniform pants or uniform shorts..twice. Uniform shirt, uniform pants, uniform belt...three times. Uniform Shirt Uniform pants, uniform belt uniform socks...5 times. You could even count grooming for a one as well. That way everyone has a chance to play and the ones who wear the most complete uniform are rewarded with a greater opportunity to succeed.

 

Think about it,

Bob White

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Some just don't "get it."

 

"And it has been long standing troop policy that BoR's are done only in full uniform as defined and required by the troop."

 

I sincerely hope the poster did not mean that the troop defines what the full uniform is. That definition has already been made.

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