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Bob White

Motivating scouts to wear full uniforms

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Many units I come in contact with have been very successful in getting scouts to wear full and correct uniforms. They have all done it without the use of threats of punishments. Ithought I would share some of those methods with you and maybe you would have some to add as well.

Bob

 

1. Take the time to explain to parents the imortance of the uniform and why we wear one. let them know from the beginning that the uniform includes shirt, pants, belt, socks, and if your unit has chosen a neckerchief, and uniform hat.

 

2. Have all Adults set the example, no exceptions. it is better to not have the adult then to havve one who won't wear a proper uniform.

 

3. We did intermittent door prizes at troop meetings and to be in the drawing you had to be in full uniform that night and have your book. It was fun to see scouts who got pants just to be in the drawing.

 

4. Positive statements to scouts who wore fill uniforms as to how mature they looked.

 

5. Special event color guard teams that required a full uniform to be part of.

 

6. Have a committee member who checks the goodwill stores and garage sales for inexpensive uniform pieces.

 

7. Encourage scouts to use some of their shares of fundraising proceeds to purchase missing uniform pieces.

 

8. Encourage parents to make uniform pieces part of Birthday and holiday gift giving.

 

what POSITIVE methods have you used?

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I like your message with the exception of if an adult doesn't have a full uniform u don't need the adult. I am sorry to say but lately it has been hard to get and keep adults and kids in the troop and pack in our area. So I will take the adult and work on the getting of the uniform.

 

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It has been my experience that a registered adult that won't wear the uniform also will not follow other scouting program elements and regulations. A bad leader is worse than no leader.

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BobWhite,

Boy, you & I are bumping heads a lot lately!

 

Toss a leader because he doesn't have a complete uniform? Your COR will let you do this? WOW! Doesn't this person need training?

 

I have a ASM who doesn't own Scout pants but has all the other required parts and they are impeciable. He is an excellent leader & I would ask him to quit because he doesn't have Scout pants. The reason why he doesn't have them isn't important (I do know what it is).

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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I said in my first post that these are common traits I see in units who are successful in getting scouts to wear their full uniforms.

 

I also never said that I would not toss or dismiss an adult who was not in uniform.

 

I said I would not recriut an adult who refused to wear the uniform.

 

If your son wanted to be on the football team but refused to wear the uniform, I'm sure he would not be asked to be on the team. I feel the same way about an adult in scouting, if he or she wants to be on the team they need to be in uniform. They need to play scouting by the methods of scouting, not some of the methods, or just the methods they like. Uniforms is one of the basic methods.

 

What is wrong with that?

 

They might be a good leader without accepting all the methods but they would be a better leader if they did accept them. Why not have the better leaders?

 

Bob

 

 

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Best method we have used is leading by example. We had a few scouters that owned full uniforms but seemed embarrased to wear them. They didn't grasp much of the other methods of scouting either. As their boys got older they faded away and the troop has improved. The scouters and the SPL make a point of wearing full uniforms and neckerchief. You can really see the difference and now someone without their neckerchief sticks out. The last SPL instituted a points system by patrol with each person present was worth 1 point, if they were fully uniformed they were worth 2 points. The patrols had to list whether members were uniformed or not when they took attendance. The results were posted on our bulletin board. Now the new SPL is looking to build on this with a possible award to the highest scoring patrol.

I have always taken it upon myself to find used uniforms which I sell to the boys with a money back guarantee. If they return the uniform to me when they are done with it I will give them their money back.

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I could not agree with you more about the importance of uniforming. And I totally agree that adults should set the example and wear it. But, I have not yet been able to convince four members of our committee to buy the uniform. Maybe you have an idea.

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Fscouter,

I'd be glad to help. I need some info first. What is their job in the troop. What is your best guess as to why they don't wear the uniform?

How necessary are they to the successful delivery of the scouting program to the boys? be as objective as possible.

Bob

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The four individuals are all moms of Scouts in the troop. Their positions are secretary, treasurer, activities, and advancement. They all have two reasons for not buying a uniform: they don't work with the boys on a regular basis, and they don't want to pay the price. (The cost now is well over $100 excluding insignia). I'm not sure what you mean by "how necessary are they". The functions they're responsible for are important and necessary, but are mostly behind-the-scenes as far as the boys are concerned. Excluding boards of review of course.

 

The CC/COR owns and wears the uniform.

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OK here is my suggestion, bearing mind if your going to give a room a new coat of paint you will need to spend more time in the preparation then you do in actually painting. There are tools to gather, surfaces to prepare and furniture to move. the actual painting takes far less time.

 

Getting adults to change takes time and preparation to as well, and there are some tools to gather.

 

 

I would arrange with you local district training team for basic training for the entire committee. We took a meeting night and while the boys held their troop meeting in one room, with the SM and an ASM present, we took 15 adults (that included 10 current committee members) and presented New Leader Essentials. 10-days later while the troop had a lock in, we took those same 15 people and for 3 hours presented troop Committee Challenge, the new troop committee training program. We now have only 1 committee member and 1 ASM who haven't completed Basic Training.

 

OK so why is this important to uniforming? The committee now understood what scouting is really about and how we dod what we do, and why the the uniform is important AND what a scout uniform really is.

 

Now as soon as the Troop Committee Challenge was over, the scoutmaster came in and thanked every for taking a few hours to learn what scouting is really about and what an important role they each play. he told them how much he depended on each member to show the boys what it means to be in scouting by the work that they do, and the example that they set. with that heartfelt address he handed every person there their Badge of Office, their TRAINED strip and their red shoulder loops. As the trainer, I presented their Pocket Certificates, and 2 weeks later at our Court of Honor, they received their Troop Committee Challenge Certificate.

 

At that Court of Honor committee members who never wore a uniform, were already in full uniform with their patches sewn on. No one said go get a uniform. We said what we do is important, what we do is noticed by the boys, and here are you first uniform pieces.

 

My wife, the new Troop Outdoor Activities Chair,(without me saying a word) walked out of the training, looked at her patches and said "looks like we all get uniforms."

 

Try this first. Then approach the adults on a one-on one personal basis and explain the positive effects that they have on boys when they are in uniform.

 

Let them know if there was some way that they could be in uniform at Boards of Review, Courts of Honor, and other troop events it would be appreciated. If the only problem was cost, I would look at the troop buying the uniform and the family paying it back a little at at time over the next year.

 

By the way my wife just bought the entire adult leader uniform without patches (the troop provides all basic patches for youth and adults) and the cost was $90.89, over 12 months that's only $7.50 a month.

 

When you say that the Treasurer and Secretary don't come in contact with the boys. Why not? the Patrol Method would have the Troop Scribe taking attendance and working on the troop newsletter under the guidance and partnership of the committee Secretary. The Troop Treasurer would be collecting the patrol dues from the Patrol Treasurers and working with the committee Treasurer to track troop finances and make financial reports to the PLC. (Adult Association is another important method of scouting)

 

So I wouldn't let them off the uniform hook, I'd get them into more contact with the scouts.

 

Maybe some others have ideas to addas well. I'll stop typing and let my fingertips heal.

 

Happy Scouting,

Bob

 

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Bob,

Just couldn't resist.

 

There are some Troops (mine included) who don't have the numbers to have all the Scout leadership positions. In my Troop (that term again)we only have a SPL, ASPL, 3 PL's, & 4 QM's. The SPL & ASPL have been working with a couple Scouts to apply for the Instructor & Troop Guide positions.

 

My treasurer is the mom of 2 Scouts. She is already paying for both uniforms plus other costs. And yes, both Scouts participated in the Troop fundraisers & did quite well. I don't require her to wear a uniform when she attends a Troop meeting. I don't feel it is necessary. She does wear her uniform shirt when we celebrate Scout Sunday & other similar events.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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We just started a Patrol of the Month competition, with the elements coming straight from the BSA Baden-Powell Patrol Award. Points are awarded, and Scouts get extra points for official BSA items. Time will tell if it works. I like the idea of a door prize with the full uniform and a handbook to get a ticket.

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Bob White - Your plan sounds well thought out. Our troop has made tremendous progress towards pursuing Scouting aims and implementing the methods. There is much still to accomplish. Two committee members have done Fast Start, the other three have not. Perhaps we could all do it again at the next committee meeting.

 

Our district has Troop Committee Challenge on the calendar for later this month. Sad to say, they don't yet have a leader to run it, and the training may not happen.

 

Our troop has no scribe, nor a treasurer (is that a position?) thus the boys have little contact with the committee, other than at a board of review.

 

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Fscouter,

Best of luck as the Troop progresses.

Contact your District Training Chair or Districtexecutive for a trainer to help you get started. As I posted earlier you will want to do the 90-minute New Leader Essentials before you do Troop Committee Challenge. NLE lays the foundation for all other training courses in scouting. Fast Start is a short video for a new volunteer to view at home for quick orientation (it can be done in a small group as well, but it does not replace NLE).

 

Happy Scouting,

Bob White

 

 

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evimori,

If the person in your troop HAS a uniform they should wear it to all events that the boys are in uniform, not just ones that are "special".

 

 

NetScouter

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