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OldGreyEagle

To Camo or not to Camo

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While I don't really mind the camo, I agree with others that it should be restricted to maybe just the pants. We do not need to come off as paramilitary.

 

Someone mentioned BSA coming out with field pants. Why not take the rugged military BDU pants and copy it in BSA green? These pants are certainly rugged enough and are very comfortable. I know of several scouts that would like to see this.

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We have a Venture Crew sponsored by the National Guard, the scouts along with the adults who were in the Guard want to use some camo in there official uniform but our local scout exc. said no.

They will probally use some camo neckerchief that can be removed for very official activities

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I thought it was the crew's decision on what their uniform is. Where does it say you must get district or council approval?

 

Brad

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I don't know the rules for uniforming a Venture crew. The local Scout executive may well be within his rights/authority to tell your crew "no camo". However, I would call National before accepting it as a definitive answer. Often, local officials don't really know what they're talking about, but feel inclined to act as if they do. He could be using his presumed authority to enforce his personal opinion. You owe it to yourself and your crew to check it out a little further.

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There is no reason that outerwear and trousers cant be camo. Where in the manual does camo apparel equate para-military? It doesnt! Where is camo outside of the BSA oath and laws? It isnt. Arent we talking about B Class uniforms where the shirts must have a BSA related design of some kind anyway? And in an extreme point of fact, brown shirts were the apparel worn by Nazi youth, hows that for fallacious analogy? This is just political correctness gone awry.

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I would argue that the full uniform is not the best choice for camping trips. It's not particularly comfortable and shows dirt easily. I prefer class B's on camping trips...giving the Scout and Scouters more of a choice for comfort and durability.

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To digress a bit...

 

It is pointless to pretend that there are no links between scouting and the military. The links are there and we should not be ashamed of those links, at the same time that we should make it clear to ourselves and others that scouting is not a para military organization for youth.

 

There are at least two other ways that scouting mimics military practice.

 

The "knots" that most adults wear on their shirts are abbreviated forms of insignia for various accomplishments the adult has done and that scouting recognizes. This is very similar to the ribbon insignia worn by military people on their class A blouses, that are abbreviated insignia.

 

How many people have ever been up close to a unit flag at the batallion level or higher for either the marines or the army? Ever notice those "battle streamers" hanging from the flag? Those are awarded to the unit for participation in various campaigns. Don't ask me how the military identifies a "campaign" for this purpose, but somehow they do. In parades where the service flag is being carried for the entire armed force, all the battle streamers ever awarded should be present. This makes for a pretty heavy flag. We do the same thing with camporee streamers and similar unit level awards. Just because we mimic a practice of the military here doesn't mean that we should stop doing it or that we are paramilitary.

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I don't think anyone has (or should have a problem) with the ceremonial parts of the military in Scouting. I think they add a tremendous amount of class to the movement. As I mentioned before, the concerns people have with linking the Scouts with paramilitary (and wearing camo) has more to do with safety. Our problem a few years back was the kids wearing the camo ended up taking the camp games and making them into war games where kids were getting hurt (and I'm not talking about falling down while running through the woods) and fights breaking out because of the overagressiveness. Now that the wear of camo has dropped dramatically (it hasn't been banned), those problems ceased to exist.

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Everyone in Scouting knows we are not "paramilitary", and we're not teaching our boys how to be soldiers. But what does John Q. Public think when he sees a group of boys and adults stomping through the forest wearing military camouflage clothing? Does he think "OHMYGOD, a paramilitary right wing extremist hate group" or does he think "Hmmm . . . hunters", or does he think "How nice, a group of fine upstanding Boy Scouts" ?

 

Well, who's to say for sure what impression is given, but certainly there will be members of the public that will associate camouflage clothing with a dangerous paranoid paramilitary hate group. I'm not sure the benefits to Scouting from wearing camo outweigh the detrimental effects.

 

Just a thought.

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And the saga continues people are going to think whatever they want, which is because we live in America. I guess it just seems silly that some people believe it is necessary to ban a type of clothing that is associated with the people that gave us the freedom to wear it. My last statistics show that about 1 of every 2 Scouts goes on to join the service. Is this because they like wearing camo or because of they love America and want to serve it? If some of you think that wearing camo is going to somehow transform the person wearing it into a militaristic killing machine, I question what youre teaching your Scouts. I always thought that we were to teach our Scouts to act like Scouts in and out of uniform. Seems to me like a great test would be by encouraging them to wear camo on Scout functions. Again, I think those of you that want to ban camo are nuts, but hey isnt it great to live in America?

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Eisely, good points. The military is not just about fighting and being mean. They do a lot for our country and for the young men and women who join them.

 

There is a difference between military and militia hate groups. That has to do with attitude and behavior. I've seen scout groups in official BSA uniform that acted like their were in boot camp. The adults were resonsible for this behavior not the boys. Regardless of what the kids have on, the adults are there to make sure things don't go too far -- as in the case of the troop that so carried away about nighttime "war" games. Isn't that when an adult is to step forward and say "enough, you don't do that HERE"?

 

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I agree with the above post. Although I generally do not approve of camo, there is nothing wrong with either camo or the full uniform

as they are both good in there own way. Also, there is nothing wrong with being like the military. Just don't be a militant hate group.

 

 

 

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Benign inanimate apparel is no more a cause of a certain behavior than any other inert object. Ones conduct is strictly controlled by the individual and anecdotal evidence makes bad precedent.

 

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I disagree. Being in Full Uniform is a deterrent to wildness/being child like. When wearing class A both the scout knows and the people around them know how they should act.

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