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BSAs next uniform

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They have two directions that they can go. One is to make the field uniform even more fragile and impractical than it is now. They other is that they can make the field uniform a true field uniform. I think that the former is more likely to happen.


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My thinking would be that National would make the uniform more in tune to the youth in the organization. If you check the new hats out, you'll see they are the low profile type that young people wear. I would assume that the uniform shirt, and pants would go to the same type of style.

But, when they changed the socks, they did bring back the knee sock. You never know with the BSA


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I think Yaworski has hit gold, Boy Scout pants with faux "boxer" trim sewn in. The trim would be 2.5 inches wide with an elastic waistband and the print would be the fleur de lis, or OA symbol or even ranks. Since the trim would be 2.5 inches, no more could ever be seen and every boy would look the same


Now we just commission Michael Jackson to design the top and we will have it made(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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  • 4 weeks later...

If you ever wanted proof that the right hand and the left hand don't even know each other's office and floor numbers at national bsa hq, the issue of uniform shorts is it.


Have you noticed what STAFF wear at Philmont and Sea BAse? They wear commercial shorts made by Columbia Sportwear Company. Both Philmont and Sea BAse embroider their own emblems on the legs and the staff wear them without complaint.


As for my troop, we're changing over to Columbia shorts. WE bought matching ones for Sea Base and they worked very well with the uniform shirt and socks, color is kind of a drab brown/green. Philmont and Sea Base, by the way, use a cream or buff color.


so National, wake up, and get the uniform division and the high adventure division working together -- BUT FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE DON'T LET THE UNIFORM DIVISION SET UNIFORM POLICY!!!!!


By the way, the Columbia shorts have GREAT pockets, especially the "map pockets" on the back.


yis, Jim


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  • 2 weeks later...

Add wool to the long pants and long shirt! it would make them less suicidal to wear in the winter. Adding cotton to the shorts and short shirt would make them cooler in the summer. Besids, who in their right mind would wear shorts and a short shirt when they need to keep warm? More seasonal clothing coupled with better clothing selection by the wearer would make life better for everyone. By the way, cotton doesn't kill - wet cotton kills, and then only when it's cold (otherwise cotton is better than synthetic in the heat). Also, how an some places sell offical campaign hats for $30 when the catalog sells them for $80? Who's making the profit there?

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It has been pointed out to me here in the threads that the Class A uniform is not intended for outdoor activity use. Most units have a "class B" uniform that they choose and wear. How can wearing a shirt emblazoned with a variety of patches be a good idea if rock climbing or rafting? They are worn for traveling, ceremonies, events and meetings. Not intended for everyday camping and hiking use.

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I didn't know HA staffs mixed commercial outfitter/technical clothing with official BSA items. What more of a wakeup call do they need?


I'm a traditional guy who believes in uniformity. But how about official options that include real cargo pockets, zip off legs, quick-drying material, and so on? Anything from Columbia's a good bet.


Listen, being halfway around the world and frustrated by BSA's refusal to allow online ordering, I'd be content at this point to be allowed to order the existing stuff on the internet and get it in two weeks!

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I'm sure Bob White could answer this. Most people have no idea how to effect this kind of change. So you have parents, scouts and leaders who dislike the quality of the uniform.....how do you get National to listen? People could call them individually and complain....which I'm sure happens all the time. How do you organize with a unifed voice and say, "hey, we have no problem whtsoever with a uniform, we just think it can be better quality and more functional" and get them to listen and take action? While some people would complain about additional cost, I'd go for an official Class A and even possibly leave it as it is and an "official" set of options for Class B for the field. While some would say this is too expensive, they are already doing it on their own anyway.

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I know that if I asked a hundred scouts and scouters to describe the perfect scout uniform I would get a minimum of one hundred completely different descriptions. Imagine what national goes through trying to make a million plus people happy.


The biggest problem is not the uniform. The problem is how we use the uniform at the unit level. Think of it as a dress suit not as work clothes. when I get dressed up I have one or two coordinated suits I wear. I change the accessories from time to time for a varied look but it is still a dress suit. When I am doing work in my shop, in the yard, canoeing, winter camping, fishing, I dress acording tpo the activity. No one set of clothes was designed to do it all. The scout uniform is no different. The field uniform is for dress wear. The activity uniform is for some outdoor and active events. but for the most part you should dress for the activity.


now some will say that BDU's are for everything. Not so. In the military different branches and different divisions have specific duties. Different general duty uniforms exists for different military and naval units. Even the military does not expect one apparel to do it all.


I can tell you that the national office is continually looking at and testing new uniform ideas and you are more than welcome to share your thoughts. Remember that it takes a long time to make a change in an organization this large. Just the logistics of a major uniform shift takes a long time to work out. So you need to be patient. I would not be surprised to see to a change in the next few years.


By the way speaking from personal experience, the Philmont Staff shorts while I agree are better construction and have better features for active use than the green uniform shorts are not without their draw backs and they do not cost less either.


So in the mean time, dress for the activity and the environmental conditions, wear the uniform for formal occassions, most troop meetings and public awareness events.


Bob White

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Hang on, Bob. I'm not going to do what some do and pick your post apart, but I do want to pick your brain. You said we're "more than welcome to share our thoughts" on uniform improvements. Great. With who? My DE, who will immediately draft a strongly worded letter to the Chief Scout Executive? You seem to have been involved in more than one national-level forum, and may have these guys' numbers in your rolodex (or PDA if you're a digital type), but most of us don't. How do we communicate this, and more importantly, how do we get feedback?


Many posters come back to military uniforms, since improper wear of military uniform items with the Scout uniform is a recurring issue (I'm a full-uniform guy who thinks the BSA pants are comfortable for troop meetings, ceremonies, etc., BTW, and despite having a closet full of military uniforms, never mix that stuff with Scout uniform items). While it's true that the military has different uniform types for dress and field use, they are completely different types. BSA doesn't, however. While there are activity shirts, there are no activity pants -- you're expected to wear the dress pants (or shorts) with the activity (field) shirt. Huh? The military equivalent of the BSA uniform guidance would be to wear a BDU (activity)shirt with dress pants. I think most posters understand the inherent incompatibility.


Here's another big comparison between BSA and the military when it comes to uniforms. Every branch of service has a uniform board that considers changes under the harsh light of public scrutiny, shares ideas with the troops by pushing them down the chain through command and public information channels, solicits ideas from the field, tests options in the field on real people, and ensures new items are immediately available for issue/purchase. Old items can be returned by sales stores, or marked down for quick sale. It's a rarity for a troop to complain about quality, fit, durability, or utility of his military uniform items; and troops will complain over just about anything.


I don't think anyone on the forum is talking about a major redesign akin to the French Army getting away from red pants. Frankly, most posts I've read are okay with the basic look, but want a different trouser design for outdoors, better quality, updated materials. And, changes don't mean you have to get rid of your old stuff if you like it...once an official uniform, always an official uniform.


I agree, you'll never make everyone 100% happy no matter what you do. But, based on a fairly large sample size (look around a district camporee), Scouts and Scouters don't like the official pants for outdoor activities, and many if not most don't wear them for outdoor activities. I don't think this can be a case of BSA digging their heels on as a matter of principle, as they're rightly doing on matters of religious belief or adult leader character/compatibility.


Let's face it, most of us are used to being able to fill out a comment card or something, send it in, and get a direct response. How do we get our comments to Irving?


Thanks as always for your insight...





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