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mk9750

Red Wool Jacket

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MK9750, you're not alone. I'm currently loading up a second jacket with patches.

 

I loved checking out the red patch jackets of adults when I was a kid, and I think it's a great advertisement for the program. You constantly get kids and others wanting to look it over and talk about the many outings symbolized by the patches.

 

It's interesting that patches are such a big part of the scouting program, but they make it so hard to wear them. What good do they do sitting at home in a box or hanging on a fake skin? I can't see myself walking about with a patch blanket drapped around me, and I don't think the patch vest is an acceptable option for most adults. Also interesting that kids are encouraged to load the vest, which closely resembles the jacket, with as many patches as possible.

 

I've also heard people suggest using an "unofficial" jacket for patch display. I love the jac shirt, but I've been unable to find something like it in an alternate color on Woolrich or similar websites. Perhaps one day BSA supply will see this as the big revenue source it could be and offer an official "load it til you collapse from the weight of all the activity patches" jac shirt for scouters like us.

 

 

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petal,

 

Yep, same here. I made a commitment to my two sons a long time ago that I would put patches from every event we went on together, and only those events, on my jacket. That jacket is something of which I am very proud.

 

But obviously, I have been misusing it. So I won't wear it anymore. However, I refuse to change it. I have a little corner in my office that has momentos of all things Scouting. I think I'll put a nail in the wall, put the jacket on a hanger, and hang it backwards for everyone to see. that way, they also won't see the BSA patch on the front, which is what I guess makes it uniform, and not just a jacket.

 

I don't agree with this, but if those smarter than me say it's true, it probably is. But one thing I won't do is knowingly go against one of the policies of a group to which I belong. No more jacket for me.

 

Mark

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I don't see where anyone has said you cannot wear your jackets mk9750 or petal_ms_scouter. We simply stated that the BSA has guidelines for certain uniform pieces and that the red wool BSA Jacket-shirt is one of those item.

 

In my years is scouting I have never met a member of the ficticious uniform police. I have never witnessed anyone being told to change their uniform. The BSA relies on the integrity of each individual leader to follow the rules of the program just as I would hope you would expect scouts to follow all the rules of their troop and community, and not pick and choose which ones they personally like or dislike to follow or ignore as they please.

 

It's a personal choice. Whether you hang up your jacket forever, change it to follow the uniform policies, or wear it as is, is up to you. The rules won't change no matter what you do, what is affected is the personal example you choose to set for other as a leader.

 

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Bob,

 

That is exactly what I was saying. I disagree with the fact this should be governed by the uniform guidelines. It's a coat, for Pete's sake! but if it is in the guidelines that it shouldn't be worn with all of the patches on it like I have, I would never willfully contradict a guideline. As you say, no one may ever tell me to take it off, but if it isn't right, it isn't right. I don't want to be the guy that one of the young people who see me as an example points to when he says "Well if Mark can do something not quite right, so can I".

 

But it is too important to me to take the patches off, so I'll just dispay it somewhere where my mind can wonder to terrific times...

 

Mark

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mk9750,

I just wanted to make sure you understood that it was your choice and not something other people were forcing you to do, or saying you should do.

 

It's OK to disagree with the uniform policy but understand that the policy exisited before you sewed that first patch on. I would bet that you chose to display your patches that way because you saw someone else do it and it looked cool (and I agree it does look cool). But that just exemplifies the power of 'setting the example'.

 

The important thing is that whatever you do you don't do with anger or resentment, but because it was the ethical choice to make based on the Oath and Law.

 

Are there worse things we can do wrong as leaders than have too many patches on our jacket? Of course there are. But scouts watch everything we do as leaders and so we need to be thoughtful of all our choices.

 

Thanks for listening,

Bob

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I too have a wool jacket and a box full of patches representing things I have done. I will continue to comply with the rules, and the only elective patch on my wool jacket is a large patch for the 1957 jamboree.

 

One of the most ridiculous examples I saw as a scout was an adult leader at the OA conference in Lawrence, Kansas in 1958 who had every square inch of his uniform covered with patches, including his trousers. I am sympathetic with the desire to take pride in accomplishments and to display symbols of those accomplishments, but this bad example has stuck with me all these years. Kids do remember bad examples as well as good examples.

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A poster I saw recently: "Perhaps the purpose of your life is to serve as a bad example for others".

 

At the risk of dating myself, does anyone remember the GREEN wool jac-shirt? Green was for youth, red for adults and Explorers.

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While I still have to read the Uniform Guide. I have made up my mind about the "Outer Wear" For the Wood Badge Staff.

Much as it would be great to have the staff lined up, looking like a Norman Rockwell picture, and much as it would be nice to have everyone wear the same uniform, and look good.

It is not in the Staff Guide, because the Red Jacket, may not be uniform for everyone. I'm thinking of Venture Crew Leaders.

It would be like putting the Army, Navy and Air Force, in one uniform.

So the choice to wear it or not, will be up to the individual.

However, if they do opt to wear it, it will be within the guidelines.

I have the patch on the pocket and a 1975 World Jamboree Patch, on the back.

A very dear and close friend of mine has a Gilwell patch and two big patches on the back. If he opts to wear it the Gilwell Patch, and one of the big ones on the back will have to be removed.

While I'm not happy about the name; Uniform Police. While I was serving as a Commissioner, I did make a point of telling the adults when they were not wearing the uniform right. While I have never informed, them that something had to be removed.My thinking was maybe they just didn't know. It was always done in such a way as if a friend was just letting a friend know.

While the question of uniform, has been the topic of many, many Threads, to my mind life isn't hard, just follow the rules.

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Bob,

 

I'll stop wearing it because it is the right thing to do. I stop begrudgingly (God only knows if I spelled that one right!), not happy that I must. But I must because it is the right thing to do.

 

It's the same attitude I take when I have to drive the speed limit, or call a penalty stroke on myself in golf. I don't like to do either, but right is right.

 

Not to worry Bob, I'm not angry about it! I just disagree.

 

Mark

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I must admit I have too much time on my hands to reply to this thread. But not to long ago someone asked what does a person do to get re-energized for that one hour a week. For me the uniform in scouting is a tool of pride and discipline for the boys. But it's only a tool. While many struggle with how to wear the uniform because they don't want to be in "violation" of the code, I see the code as a guideline to look uniform. No more or no less than the guideline the scouts have in their handbook. "Violation" seems such a harsh word for the adult who gives fives hours for that one hour a week and does so because passion drives him or her to do it. While I was SM, I asked adults set the example by wearing a full uniform properly. How strict do I have to be for that request? I explain to our adults, role modeling is 90% of building men from boys. Wearing uniform is easy compared to behaving properly 100% of the time. But how concerned can one be if the adult wears his nametag on the wrong side of the shirt or a patch wrong? One poster says he has never seen an adult ask to change his uniform when worn incorrectly, but I have seen one chewed out in front of many for just that nametag.

 

For me the uniform is just a tool for building character. That combined with my personal philosophy of: the main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing. I am not saying that adults shouldn't set the example and follow the code. Heavens no, I know that setting the example is the most important for building character in boys. But for some strange reason, I feel hurt that mk9750 shouldn't show his passion for the scouting game. Given the choice of adult who I want my scouts modeling from, an excited mk9750 who expresses the love of scouting even in his jacket, or the grouchy old guy who embarrassed the SM in front of the whole District, I choose mk9750.

 

A few years ago I was walking our Council Scout show and noticed a one legged SM also wearing a wooden peg leg. The peg leg was obviously carved out by hand and it had what looked like a million signatures on it. I asked the SM about it and he said it was his Scouting leg he wore while scoutmastering. He along with the scouts in his troop carved it out of a tree limb, and he lets any scout willing sign it. How cool it that? I over heard him tell another adult he doesnt wear that leg at Wood Badge.

 

Its hard for me to explain the fuel of my passion when some nobody says, its just boy scouts for goodness sake. But in a discussion like this, I want to yell, Hey, this is Boy Scouts for goodness sake. Not to simplify our program, but to bring back the focus of why we do the scouting thing. How do we keep the flame of passion lit when the five hours we cram in the one-hour a week feels like 20? I think you have put scouting on. We all do it in different ways, but there is something we do that makes us feel good about ourselves when we are scouting. I am not one who shows my passion on the uniform. I have a lot more knots waiting to be sewed on than already on my shirt. I have a smoky bear hat Ive never worn and I dont have the Red Jackshirt yet. But Im going to Philmont this year and I have to sew that bull on something. Still, I like to set a quiet example and red is not quiet. I do like other adults wearing them. I like them wearing patches. I love the staves adults take with them everywhere. I believe every troop needs a peg leg, or something like it if you know what I mean. There needs to be at least one adult who wears that boyish excitement of scouting. We need the adult that every boy counts on to reflect that romance that most of us feel when we go scouting. Should we adults wear the full uniform properly? You bet, as a preacher of the Three Aims, role modeling is the most important for me. Should we hide our emotions and passion when they appear in violation? Well thats hard to say. We each have our own drive to be a scouter. We sacrifice, we endure, and we give our all. We have the love of scouting that most cant understand, except the Scout. The scouts can see it. They still have an eye for adventure and boyhood glamour. They know the adult who works scouting, and the one who wear it. Do we sometimes punish the passion needlessly? I dont know why this subject seemed to disappoint me so much. But maybe it was the choice of not showing off a million signatures to the adult patrols in a Wood Badge course. And I wonder if maybe we adults can sometimes be too adult even in uniform. I guess I want to say the main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.

 

I love this Scouting Stuff.

 

Barry

 

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Barry,

 

I love you being in this forum! You make some of my posts seem short (well, OK, not all of them, but some!).

 

Thanks for the support.

 

I am not embarassed by the way I wore my jacket before: I've read the guidelines, but only as it pertained to uniforms, not jackets, so even though I may have been incorrect, I wasn't purposefully or knowingly doing so.

 

But you phrase why I disagree with the guideline much better than I could. To say I love Scouting, and what it has done for my sons (and me) is inadequate. Saying I am passionate doesn't even cover it. Whatever the phrase would be that describes my attitude, I enjoy bragging about my association with Scouts. I am proud that I am valuable enough to belong. I'm not always so sure I deserve to be, but I'll accept that if the Troop hasn't booted me out yet, I'm of at least some small value. I know that there has never been a day when I didn't know for sure I got way more out of my association with Scouting, and specifically our Troop, than I get from it. One of those thigs I get is the joy I get from being with my boys while Scouting. Thus the patches on the jacket.

 

Well, there I go. I was determined to make this post short to make my point about Barry's diatribes. you know what the kids say: Point one finger at you, I point four back at me!

 

Mark

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Hi guys,

Read this thread right after our former Scoutmaster brought in his jacket with 10,000 patches and encouraged the new scouts to do the same. I was pretty sure that wasn't right so I went to the 2002-2004 Uniform guide. Bob, correct me if I'm wrong but it seems that you can wear the universal BSA patch on the left pocket, the Philmont bull above the left pocket, high adventure base emblem on the right pocket.Large OA, NESA, Jamboree,Philmont or international emblems on the back also.

 

Here's the problem with regulations, I have an old Northern waters canoe base patch, one of the big ones (6"like the "official OA" size)that I planned on putting on the backof my red shirtjack. It clearly is in the spirit of the regulation, i.e. one large patch on the back, but is not specifically listed as acceptable. Will I be in breach if I do that? I guess so, and like Mark I won't do it.

 

Incidentally, how do I go about cantradicting our previous SM without causing a drama?

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Hi Greyfox,

 

I would agree that wearing one jacket patch from a High Adventure Base on the back of the Red Jac-shirt would seem to be in the spirit if not the letter of the rule. Mainly because the Philmont High adventure patch is approved and on a later age it says the Florida High Adventure Base Conch-shell patch is approved.

 

As far as how to approach repairing past uniform misunderstandings use your resources. "Hey, I just found out there is a manual for proper uniforming called the Insignia Guide 2002-2004. This has some interesting stuff in it. Did you know that........."

 

 

Hope this helps,

Bob

 

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My only uniform pet peeve is an adult wearing the Eagle Scout Badge. Yes, they earned it, but the patch is a youth's patch. The adults should wear the knot. It preserves the honor of the youth earning the rank and still identifies the bearer as an Eagle Scout.

 

I'm proud of my red, white, and blue knot.

 

DS

 

PS -- I'm big on the spirit of the law. Wear the canoe badge patch and stay in the spirit. If anyone has a problem with that, stick your tongue out, wrap your lips around it and push air out. They should hear a pbbbbbbbbt sound!

 

DS

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Barry,

You and I are obviously from the same school of scouting. And big fans of Curly in "City Slickers". As I enter the second half of my life (I hope there's at least half remaining!), I have also adopted that mantra, oft reminding myself of what's really important in life. My latest hobby is collecting old scouting literature and reading about our "roots". Some of my most fascinating reading is that of the words of the Founder himself, B-P. I read a passage about Scout Masters (as they were called then) that suggested that the ONLY badge a SM should wear is the SM badge of office, as that was all that was really required to identify him. Any other adornment of the uniform was thought to be self-serving and therefore of no value to the boys. In another passage, B-P admonished leaders that the uniform should be neat and presentable and that wearing every award to which one was entitled only served to clutter the "look", "lest one appear like a Christmas Tree." I am reminded of a visiting Troop from another council at camp one summer, whose SM proudly wore 7 or 8 rows of square knots and about 6 service stars and WB beads, looking for all the world like General Patton marching his perfectly uniformed troops, down to their socks, to assembly every evening, rather than silently watching his boys lead themselves from the shadows. It was truly impressive, but we silently wondered how much fun and leadership development was happening in that Troop.

 

By the way, the Scout Staff (stave) was considered by B-P to be an integral part of the scout's "kit", along with the full square neckerchief and woggle. It was necessary equipment in order to "Be Prepared". Every part of the uniform down to the sock garters (made of wool thread with which one could repair holes in the socks) had a purpose and was designed to be functional and "hygienic".

 

I'm also a fan of Miss Manners...it is never considered proper to suggest to someone that their appearance does not meet with your approval. As someone who's fought a weight problem for 45 years, I happen to agree.

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