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Almost all the boys in our troop managed to come up with full uniforms, mostly because the troop strongly supports doing honor guard duty at a couple of local ceremonies (Veteran's day and Memorial Day) and full uniform is unconditionally required for these events.


Having caused the parents to spend the $$$, the SM is not shy about telling the boys to wear them to get their money's worth!


I personally am the proud owner of both the uniform pants and shorts - but I find them both stiff, itchy and uncomfortable despite having been washed and worn quite a bit. The fabric doesn't breathe in summer, nor does it dry in anything like a reasonable length of time, forcing me to wear either clean, soggy shorts or not-clean dry shorts to dinner every other day at summer camp. I can't wash them after morning flag and have them dry in time for dinner. Uggh. But I wear them.


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Since when does little leaugue set their rules by the Boy Scouts of America or vice-versa.

(by the way the little league rules also state that the teams will provide the uniforms for the players and that the uniforms remain the property of the league, If your unit bought the uniforms for every scout perhaps they would wear them?)


The question was about the BSA making uniforms mandatory. Since choosing to wear the uniform is part of the lesson that is being taught you can expect that it will never be mandatory.


Through the use of the uniform we are trying to teach the scouts to; set the example, develop a sense of belonging to a community, develop self esteem, take pride in personal appearance, do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, make good decisions.


The purpose of the uniform is not so that the "group" looks good. It is to help each individual grow and develop.


Scout leaders need to use leadership skills that extend beyond "do what I tell you to do or you will be punished". If scouts do what you want only because you tell them to, then your sphere of influence is only as far as your eye sight.


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

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You want the quality to improve but the cost to go down?


It's a nice thought Hops but that's not the way the world works. Better quality materials come at a higher cost. You can't lower prices if your costs are going up.


I'd like to buy a better home this year than I did 20 years ago for less money. What would you say my chances are. Heck I'd like to by a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread for less than I did last year. What do you think my chances are.


Did you know the BSA uniform is American made. We could lower prices tremendously if we had it manufactured in China. were you aware of the quality guarrantee. You should ask your local service center what it covers, you might be surprised. Of course we could do away with the guarantee and lower the price a little.


Keep in mind that the purpose of the uniform is to teach specific lessons not to force compliance. There is no skill involved in telling someone what to do.


Bob White

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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.


Sorry but my heavy cotton shirt from 1967 has plastic buttons that are sewn on.



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).


What does this have to do with uniforms?


I am always amused by the number of leaders who do not set the example by wearing a full, uniform when they complain about the fit. When I ask them when did they last wear a pair of uniform pants, answer "oh, I've never worn them".


I've never worn the BSA pants either but I've tried them on. I can't stand the feel of the fabric on my skin. I don't like the fit.


Maybe the first generation green pants as designed by Oscar de le Renta were good but those days are gone.

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The heavy cotton shirt and pants are still available in todays uniform style. The slacks are cut like dress pants.


The comparison to the old first aid techniques was just a reminder that things usually change for the better we just glamorize the old ways in our memories. I was a Boy Scout in 1967 and todays uniform is far more comfortable and sharper looking than the button down pants pockets, knee socks with garter belts and tabs, and overseas hat. (Actually I kinda liked the overseas hat!)

I still have some of my old shirts and todays shirts are built better.

BW(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Today's cotton shirts aren't near the quality of the old ones. The material isn't as durable, the stitching isn't the same quality.


I have a cotton short sleeved shirt that started falling apart before it was three years old. Let's assume that I wear it 27 times a year (I have a long sleeved shirt for fall and winter. Since I only wear the shirt for a few hours at a time, I don't wash it every week so it gets laundered maybe 9 or 10 times a year. I also hang dry all of my shirts so it never sees the dryer. In three years, it's been through the washer 30 times and is falling apart. I have cotton dress shirts that have been laundered every other week for three years and are still presentable.


Comfort is in the "eye" of the beholder. What's with the square cut tails on the shirts? I don't like having a big wad of fabric stuffed into my pants.


BTW, I like the knee socks with garters. They look sharp.



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For what it's worth --


I'm backing Bob White on most of this thread. His opinions on the uniform as a method of Scouting are on track.


I'd love to see higher quality uniforms offered at a lower price. I'd love to see it offered as part of the $10.00 registration fee, provided it was earned by the youth and not given by an adult.) However, I also want it made in America by an American Union and that carries a price.


There are 100% cotton options, 65% poly/35% wool options (my personal choice) and the standard 65% poly 35% cotton blends.


As to the argument that the uniform should be cheap and mandatory, my thought is this . . . if the council suddenly said that registration fees are $150 and include uniforms and you don't have to sell popcorn or give to FOS, how many new youth would you attract to your unit?


In affluent areas, probalby nothing would change. In most areas . . . boom!


Just a thought.




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You'd probably see a drop in the afflulent areas as well. Folks don't mind spending $150 or more to play football but $50 for Scouts is unreasonable.


Bob says that making the uniform mandatory defeats the purpose of it. I don't think that I'll buy that. The military has a mandatory uniform and the reactions to the uniform vary from service to service and even from unit to unit. I've never know a Marine that didn't take great pride in his uniform and what it represented. On the other hand, with the exception of the elite unit, most soldiers seem to view their uniform as a necessary evil.


Quite honestly, I wouldn't mind paying more for a uniform if the quality was there.


For the Scouts, the prices should be more reasonable and there should be a more aggressive marketing campaign to point out that the pants are designed to be grown into and that there is a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

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Welcome to the forum. You may have got a lemon of a uniform there. I was an Asst Scoutmaster at the 2001 National Jamboree and the two short sleeve shirts I bought for that trip are still quite serviceable.


I have seen scouts uniforms crumpled, soiled, and an alsolute mess but after being washed, they look pretty good. I think complaints about the uniform, and the cost, quality, etc is just obfuscation. In our troop the new crossovers almost always come with a complete uniform down to the socks and belt. I am not sure why cost wasnt an issue when the initial complete uniform was bought, but replacing pants when the originals are outgrowned is.


And I would love to buy a higher quality car at less cost. I mean, if you look at the computer industry it can be done. If the automotive industry had kept pace with computer performance, you would be able to buy a car that gets 100 miles to the gallon, seats six and goes 0 to 60 in 8 seconds and costs 50 dollars. Of course, the thing would crash at least twice a day.


I would love to have better quality uniforms at less cost, everyone would. I would love to get my uniforms for free, everyone would. But until Scoutopeia is acheived, we have what we have.


BTW when I talk to kids who quit scouts or are comtemplating quiting the reasons are usually


* The meetings are boring

*I dont have enought time (thats kid talk for I have other activities that are more interesting to me)

*No one listens to my ideas

* We dont go on enough outings

* My parents forced me to join, and this outdoors stuff just isnt for me.


Not sure any of them ever said the reason I quit is because the pants suck



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Since when does little leaugue set their rules by the Boy Scouts of America or vice-versa.

(by the way the little league rules also state that the teams will provide the uniforms for the players and that the uniforms remain the property of the league, If your unit bought the uniforms for every scout perhaps they would wear them?)


Did someone say that BSA had a rules shareing agreement with Little League??


Little League does provide the uniforms, and everyone is expected to wear them. Bob, your suggestion might not be such a bad idea.

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OGE said that there isn't a more awful sight than seing an adult with a Scout Shirt on and various shades of bluejeans (I think I got the quote basically right. My apoligies to OGE if I missed it). He couldn't be more right.


At a Troop court of Honor last fall, we invited our new UC. He must have come in during the opening flag ceremony, because none of us saw him come in. Everyone sat down, and the SPL began introducing all the important guests. The SM wispered to the SPL to introduce the new UC, and invite him to say a few words. He came to the podium in an open neck uniform shirt and jeans. After having seen our Troop in 100% impeccable uniforms, doing a flag ceremony that was close to drill team quality, he expressed his embarassment for his appearance. He hasn't accepted one of our invitations since. We did see him at RT, in his blue jeans.


I think I've posted this before, but our Troop was a non - uniform Troop until about 10 years ago. It also struggled in a number of other areas, including boy apathy in general. The new SM at the time made a bold move. He demanded that all boys begin wearing full uniforms to all meetings. I know that is certainly not the acceptable method to teach what uniforming is all about, but at the time, he did what he thought he should (I wasn't yet in the Troop). He lost a number of boys over this issue. And he was sad to sse them go. But the boys who were left were very receptive to wearing the uniform, and the tradition was started. Now, 10 years and a 4 fold increase in membership later, we almost never have a problem with uniforms. The youth leadership expect full uniforms, and do a great job of explaining the purpose of uniforms when a boy "forgets" his. Now, the only boys out of uniform we ever have are coming from ball games and such. We had to ask the youth leadership to take it easy on them, because we think that it's more valuable that they come to part of the meeting without a uniform that miss it completely.


And I know I told the story about the value our guys found in being in full uniform while touring New York City. The few who wore their uniform begrudgingly were converts after that trip. They were paid extra attention everywhere they went, and it seems foreign girls all wanted to talk to the boys in uniform.



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