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Hops: I'm an Air Force officer who's done a number of things, currently up to my eyeballs in anti-terrorism.

 

LastEagle: Let's see, how best to put this? Campaign hat from BSA catalog: $80. Chin strap and band from BSA catalog: $20. Plastic cover to protect campaign hat from the rain: $10. Hat block to keep campaign hat in shape: $25. Look on Scoutmaster's face when he sees his Scouts using campaign hat as Frisbee: Priceless!

 

KS

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Speaking of hats -

 

I have worn all the differant forms of hats the BSA, Army, and Navy have used since 1973. Given that, here IMHO:

 

1. Beret - Looks cool when worn properly - Takes time and effort to train, and not really a useful item in the field. More of a "Dress" or Honor Guard/Color Guard item to me.

 

2. Overseas Cap (Envelope looking thing) - Easier to wear properly, looks good for formal activities, but NO useful purpose in the field.

 

3. Ball Cap - Most common and least expensive hat option. Not much more useful than the beret for keeping warm or cool. Lots more options.

 

4. Campaign Hat - VERY expensive (if you go with the officisl stuff), very good for keeping the sun off your whole head, and as you wear it, it "becomes" yours, developing character. My favorite for fomal functions.

 

5. Expedition hat (Indiana Jones Hat) - Mid range price, Looks good, greak for keeping sun and rain off your head, not real good for winter. My favorite for field use.

 

6. Boonie Hat (Solid color with "camoflage band") - Most useful field hat out there, does not look good for dress activities. Can be had for the price of a good ball cap. Great coverage for protection from sun and rain. This is my troop's favorite. THey like to wear it with one side tied up and the chin strap on the top of the head

 

7. Aussie hat (Snaps allow the sides to be held up) - Essentially the same as the boonie hat, and similar price. Given this option (recently available on the net through the Sportsmans Guide), I think the boys will be changing the troop hat.

 

In the cases of all but the ball cap and overseas cap, the boys and adults wear their rank on the front of the cap.

 

YIS Paul Johnson

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Now to the Jacket/Coat -

 

Why not the less expensive, easier to care for, and attractive "Polartec", "Polarfleece" or similar coats, instead of spending $100 or more for the "official" pendelton wool shirt-jac?

 

They can be found online and in local stores, even here in Wyoming, for around $20-40, in all sizes. Look at Sierra Trading Post, Cabellas, Sportsmans Guide, etc. The addition of the "BSA" patch on the left chest area, make it the official troop uniform.

 

Just MHO - God bless,

 

Paul Johnson

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Shoulder loops on the spruce green Venturing uniform shirt should be changed to white. If you're going to have them, they should be a contrasting color. The currectn green on green is a lousy choice.

 

This would also allow Venture Patrol members to wear the green shoulder loops on the khaki Scouting uniform without conflict.

 

 

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The red beret? Totally useless in the field, but then when we are in the field we are usually not in uniform so everybody is wearing more appropriate head wear. However, when we are in uniform, nothing looks sharper!

Do I like the red berret? Just check out our troop web site:

http://troop_477.tripod.com

 

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I would like to see as an option the uniform long sleeved shirt and pants to be offered in wool. This would make them a lot safer in cool wet weather. They would essentially look the same as the cotton blend uniforms so they would work just as well at ceremonies, but would be better if cool wet weather were in the forecast.

 

As for the campaign hat, it is far more useful than the baret and overseas cap. The beret looks pretty dorky if the sun bleaches it out to a pink too. The campaign hat is for sale from some websites minus the BSA hat band for about $30, and it can take a little rain without the cover. A few pieces of cardboard and a rubber band can also make a good hat board, so it is possible to reduce the costs somewhat. I am going to get one this summer, as well as mabey trying to locate some wool uniform look alike shirts and pants.

 

I agree that an offical fleece shirt could be made too, and likewise a real mackinaw coat for even colder weather. Another good idea would be an insulated visor cap for the winter, like those old woolrich hunitng caps. The big thing is to keep what is currently offered still available too.

 

Oh, by the way, a red windbreaker is also available if you really want to be in uniform in cooler weather.

 

They should make it OK to privately purchase equipment that is of the same style and color and function as offical gear and allow the owner to add offical BSA logos to make this commercial gear "offical". The BSA windbreakers are like $30, and a commercial jacket exactly like it is only $15, and the patch is only a few more.

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Willysjeep, your wishes were granted in the past. Actually, I'm referring to the 100% wool uniform the BSA used to have available. All you have to do is find one in your size and you can be warm, as well as official.

 

The BSA does sell a polyesther/wool combination uniform -- I like them and they are my uniform of choice -- but they are actually less warm than the poly-cotton worn by most Scouts and Scouters.

 

You might try e-bay or call an old council scouter who was around in the '70s. There's a former board member of your council who is a friend of mine up there in Houghton who might be able to help you locate one. Contact me privately and I'll give you his name.

 

DS

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I did take a peek at e-bay. It looks like all that's listed now is a really old green wool scout shirt. I didn't know there was a current poly/wool blend available. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Really with proper underclothing the offical uniform can meet just about any summer camping requirement. On the somewhat rare occasions where extra warmth is needed long underware can be worn to increase it's warmth. I really wish scouts and scouters would wear the offical shirt and pants or shorts more than the activity uniform. There aren't too many things that can't be done in a button up shirt. I guess the cost is what keeps a lot of people from wearing their uniforms everywhere, but it's going to wear out anyways so you might as well get all the use you can form it. Ah well, thanks again.

 

PS: Send some boys to Mackinac Island with Troop 466 this year!

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An Old Grey Eagle said: I wouldnt mind if they brought back the campiagn hats though, they were spiffy.

 

What do you mean "Bring back." The Smokey hat never went away. Not long ago I found a troop web site for a unit in which everyone wears a campaign hat. Of course, they don't buy the expensive BSA hat but who would buy an $80 hat for a kid anyway?

 

Don't worry about tearing up the field uniform by wearing it in the field. No long ago I was told by the manage of our Scout Shop that the lifetime guarantee included rips and tears.

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When I was a Scout Leader in England the uniform hat was a green beret.

A total pain.

No one really knew how to wear the darn thing.

We do need to find a uniform that everyone will feel good wearing. At present I see as many Scouts wearing Blue Jeans as I do uniform pants.

Would changing the pants to some sort of Blue Jeans, be the end of Scouting ??

(I have already ducked )

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At present I see as many Scouts wearing Blue Jeans as I do uniform pants.

 

We can complain about the quality of the uniform pants but the biggest problem is the adults, both the leaders and the parents.

 

How many leaders do we see wearing everything but green pants. Any green pants, not just official BSA? Out of the 25 or so registered adults, only six wear green pants. I see khakis, blue jeans, sweats, yada, yada, yada.

 

So with the leaders setting a bad example, the parents see no reason to pay $30 for a pair of BSA pants. For some reason, spending $75 for a soccer uniform is okay but $50 for a Scout uniform isn't. I'd be happy if they'd go to Old Navy and buy a pair of olive twill pants.

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Hops: I'm an Air Force officer who's done a number of things, currently up to my eyeballs in anti-terrorism.

 

An Air Force officer who wears a beret. . . hmmmmmm.

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Lets be careful about thinking the past was better. All too often our memories act as a filter that magnifies those images we prefer to recall. Back when uniforms were heavy cotton, the buttons were steel and held on with cotter rings. Before you could launder the shirt you had to remove all the buttons then put them back on after you ironed.

 

You also treated burns with butter (a very bad idea) and used artificial resuscitation (pushed on the back and pulled up on elbows) for water rescue (another bad idea).

 

Most things improve with time, except for memory.

 

I think the beret lokks very sharp on a military uniform. I think perhaps the BSA felyt it was too military looking with the BSA uniform (it was also a very hot hat to wear) when the sun was shining and absorbed humidity like a sponge. As with the campaign style hat it is being worn by fewer and fewer members. There becomes a point when it is simply not financially feasibly to produce or warehouse.

 

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

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