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Owl62

Uniforms - Neat? & Clean?

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Besides the general BSA requirement that our uniforms be neat and clean, it would seem to me that most in Scouting would at least try to keep their uniforms neat and clean.

 

But in some units I have been with and in others that I have seen, it seams that many, especially Scouts, often wear uniforms are are not neat and not clean or both. We had one Scout who wore the same uniform for a long time, complete with dirt and food stains from about a year's worth of camping. You could almost tell where he had been and what he had been doing, and eating and drinking by just looking at his uniform (and I don't mean due to the insignia). Finally he cleaned it up himself. Another issue is uniform insginia attached either improperly or incorrectly (upside down, in the wrong position, stitching coming loose, attached ith safety pins, etc.)

 

My current unit has about "cleaned" up this problem. Seems line everyone now trys to be the sharpest in uniform.

 

We advise Scouts to hang their uniforms when not in use, both at home and in camp. We suggest that they bring one or more light plastic hangers to camp. Also for longer term camp, we bring laundry detergent (the kind pressed in big "pills" so that uniforms can be washed in camp. Seems to work. Some of them saw me hanging my uniforms at camp and soon took up the practice. I for one always wear a clean, pressed uniform (I have been known to take a travel iron to camp!)It is not unusual at all for me to do laundry at least one time, possibly more in camp.

 

I prefer patches that are sewn on with a machine and my wife does that for me. I don't might hand sewn patches, IF, they look neat. But I have seen some that look like they are sewn on with a carpet thread.

 

We prefer that Scouts not wear their uniforms when doing work, gathering firewood, cooking, etc. We advise them to try to keep their uniforms clean.

 

It is good to see a unit in sharp looking uniforms.

 

Course, as some will say, uniforming is a method, not a requirement.

 

What are your experiences and recommendations with keeping uniforms neat and clean?

 

 

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When I was young, the goal of most people was to look neat and tidy. Now it seems that the goal of most people is to look as slovenly as possible.

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It doesn't help with the current craze of rock'n'roll band members as role models wearing pseudo BSA uniforms with random patches here and there. Seems like the only requirement for them is to have some red and white troop numbers on one sleeve or the other!

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One of the problems with keeping uniforms clean in the backcountry is, is that the majority of scouts have little knowledge on how to do laundry by hand....seems to be something that could, and should be taught on campouts...

My method is to use a dry bag...add clothes, a few fist sized rocks, a bit of water and the sudsy stuff and simply shake for about five or so minutes....

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I follow the same advice that was given by OWL62, During summer camp I hang my uniform up until it is required and at dinner and then wear it for the evening event. I also found a few of the female staff members were doing wash for some of the male staff members and arranged for them to run my uniform through the wash on the day of parents night so I would look clean and fresh when the moms and dads showed up( a few boxes of thin mints that have been stored in the freezer at home can work miracles)

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In my Troop when I was the SPL, I always told my scouts that they represented an organization. And we found a way to make it cool to wear the uniform correctly and to look sharp. Some of us older guys at the time would also tell stories of how some of the girls around town liked a "guy in uniform" Needless to say all of a sudden shirts were tucked in and hats were worn correctly!

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In my troop we hold uniform inspections once a month and when a scout passes with 90 points or above they get a discount on a month's camping trip or they can use two of the to get a free camping trip for a month.

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Neat and clean is good. A complete uniform is also good. The correct patches sewn on neatly and in the correct places are good. The uniform is one method leading to the aims of Scouting. Our Troop used points for correct and complete uniforming which lead to earning a bead for the Scout's totem.

 

If the Scout did not have the complete uniform but was saving money for each piece with a time-line, then he got the same points.

 

It was pointed out to one Scout that wearing the uniform shirt and pants in the shower at camp could prove to be a unique way to clean the uniform first by using bar soap. The body could be cleaned secondly after taking off the above two items. The uniform could then be hung up to dry for use the next day.

 

Note: Point out to the Scouts using the above method to take all items out of the pockets and do not wear the belt, neckerchief or tabs into the shower. I should also mention to not wear shoes or boots into the shower. I would caution that underwear can be washed but it needs to be turned inside out for a more careful cleaning.

 

Now, what is the use of all of this uniforming stuff? This can lead to a good discussion. My two cents consist of one main idea. Uniforming means that we have decided together that Scouting is something that we all agree is fun and is something that changes our lives for the better. We want to show others that Scouting is where we put our time and effort for good results.

 

I worked with a leader a few years ago that wore his uniform but brought along a trench coat to wear for the ride to and from the events. My thoughts about his action made me think that the program is weak and has little value for him. I am not sure what his real intentions were but that was the only conclusion I could come up with and still believe, although I could have wrongly judged him and I hope I have.

 

Proper patches on a correct uniform that is neat and clean can tell a story. It is a story that has changed me and has allowed me to travel to places and have experiences that have made me a better person. I have had fun. The uniform speaks it.

 

FB

 

 

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