Jump to content

Requiring Troop to wear uniforms

Recommended Posts

cajuncody wrote

"but I just couldn't sit by and let someone say that EVERYONE should be in uniform regardless of money."


I gotta tell ya, I can't find it. I have re-read every post and if it's there I missed it. Who said that besides cajuncody and where is it said?



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 73
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Not getting into details about my knowledge of poverty. I want to offer cajun a suggestion she can do rather easily . . .


I believe you're trying to help the troop get uniformed. I applaud that.


For the price of a P.O. Box and posting on boards such as these, publish the address and ask for people to send used uniform parts your way. Most people who are inclined to help aren't looking for someone to pay postage. There are a lot of parents of grown children who were in Scouts who won't throw uniforms away, but don't want to keep them either. You might even try posting on message boards in metro areas.


Remember, if it was ever official, it still is.


Good luck. If I see the P.O. box, I'll send what I can find.



Link to post
Share on other sites

I can do that! I have a PO Box set up just for that reason.

Please help the boys of my pack by sending any uniform parts or pieces to

Kristi Cantor

PO BOX 1111

Kodak TN 37764


I was going to add my pack number and all but figured that may not be safe online. That might be too specific info. All items are needed and will be put to good use.


We are a cub pack so we need the blues and the tan/olive for the Webelos. Thanks ahead of time for making a difference in a childs life.


I also have a meeting today with the manager at the local McDonalds. I am talking with them regarding sponsering some activity tee shirts for us. Whish reminds me of another good line of thought...

Link to post
Share on other sites



My troop had the same problem. We had previously adopted rules regarding participation and uniforming.When I became Scoutmaster i had to stress the rules. Our new scouts have one year from joining to purchase the full uniform. (for the first year hat,shirt, neckerchief and slide are the required uniform).

Scouts who are not in compliance are not able to pass the scoutmaster conference, thus the scout cannot advance in rank.


Explain to the parents and scouts that they have joined a uniformed organization. With other activities they would not be able to participate in sports or school band without a uniform.


Good Luck and expect the best.




1109 Blackstone, Ma

Link to post
Share on other sites


While the CO has the authority to require the uniform for membership if they choose to, no one other than the national executive committee can determine advancement requirements. By making a complete uniform graounds for passing the SM conference you have violated the advancement policies of the Boy Scouts of America. You do not have the authority to set such a rule. Any scout appealing your action to the council advancement comitte would be advanced.


Since you see your role as one of enforcing the rules. But let's enforce the right ones. You cannot add to or subtract from the advancement requirements set by the BSA and found in the Scout Handbook.


Link to post
Share on other sites

irover33, WELCOME!!


Listen to BW, while I don't always think he's right, I've never actually seen him be wrong! :)


Curious, though, who passed the rule and why you HAD to stress the rules??


Not passing the Scoutmaster Conference?? OUCH! That's a bit harsh! Even if it weren't ABSOLUTELY AGAINST THE RULES, what did you hope to achieve?? Your "uniformity" was more important than boys achieving rank and being recognized for their efforts?? Hmmmmm . . . I'm kinda wishin' ol'Bob there hadn't let ya off the hook so easily. . .


Seriously, though, why?





Link to post
Share on other sites

We have the same issue in the Troop we are affiliated with. My husband recently took over as SM and up until now the boys have only been "required" to wear Troop T-Shirts along with scout shorts, socks, belt, and a Troop hat (though mostly optional).


My husband believes as SM that he is doing a disservice to the boys by not enforcing the uniform regs. (Let me add this Troop is made up of military sons and parents, mostly officers and upper enlisted and we can ALL afford the uniforms).


What I am confused on is if all that you people have said is true... about the uniform not being "required" then why in the Boy Scout Handbook, pages 12-13 does it say, "Wear full uniform for all ceremonial and indoor activities, such as TROOP MEETINGS, courts of honor, and most other INDOOR functions." "For OUTDOOR activities, Scouts may wear troop or camp t-shirts with the Scout pants or shorts."


The Scoutmaster's Handbook page 9 talks about the Scouting uniform in a less regulatory fashion- as a method of Scouting - in more of a motivating and be proud way.


Doesn't the Boy Scout Handbook scream of "REQUIREMENT" of a uniform or is it just my interpretation? By no means would anyone ever be excluded or denied Scouting due to lack of uniform. Our committee has already approved purchasing uniforms for boys that can't afford it (which is never the case in this troop, believe me). Somehow, the former Scoutmaster believed the wearing of a uniform was a PLC decision. How so? Reading the Scout Handbook, it's very clearly not a PLC decision.



Link to post
Share on other sites

The Handbook does NOT say The uniform is required to be a Boy Scout, The uniform must be worn, or Wearing the uniform is a requirement for rank advancement. Therefore, the uniform is not required.


The Handbook does NOT say The uniform is optional, Wear whatever uniform parts you like, or The PLC or Scoutmaster or Committee shall decide what constitutes a uniform.


The Handbook correctly describes what the uniform is, and when it is appropriate to wear it.


The Scoutmaster handbook has it right, as you said. The uniform is a method, and used properly, boys will be motivated and proud to wear it.


Everything else being equal, I think its fair to say that troops that blow off the uniform cannot be as successful as those that fully utilize this Scouting method.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Scout Spirit." In our troop we keep a roster each week of who comes prepared with their book, wearing a uniform, is present, etc. If a Scout does not come prepared, this shows a lack of Scout spirit. And for rank advancement, our troop does expect a Scout to come looking like he is wanting to be a Scout! To sign off a Scout to advance when he hasn't been coming dressed properly, or hasn't been coming regularly, that would be just running an Eagle Mill. We have one of those in our town. And we don't run one at our troop!

Link to post
Share on other sites

"The Handbook does NOT say The uniform is optional, Wear whatever uniform parts you like, or The PLC or Scoutmaster or Committee shall decide what constitutes a uniform.


The Handbook correctly describes what the uniform is, and when it is appropriate to wear it."


Hi FScouter,


Take a look at Page 13 of the Boy's Handbook. I don't have it with me today to cite it word for word, but read the part starting with "Wear the Field Uniform"... past the part obout the Activity Uniform... and through the remaining thought that it presents.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Silver-Shark - I'm not sure what you're trying to say. The uniform discussion in the Handbook describes the uniform and when to where it.


Joni4TA asked "What I am confused on is if all that you people have said is true... about the uniform not being 'required'...". It has been said many times on this forum that the uniform is not required. Some interpret that because the book doesn't specifically say in bold print "must, mandatory, and required", that the uniform is optional. My personal view is that the uniform is required just the same as an outdoor program is required, adult association is required, advancement is required, and all of the eight methods of Boy Scouting are required.


Boy Scouting is not Boy Scouting without the 8 methods, and uniform is one of those methods.


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's funny... going through this with the BSA and the dreaded uniform issue...


Kids join sports teams of all kinds and are told they WILL wear their uniform to practice or games or they won't get to play - THEY DO wear their uniforms no questions asked.


But the Boy Scouts of America suggest a uniform and everyone is up in arms about it. Make sense of that...


Personally I feel the boys should wear the uniform to every meeting. I think it should stay "by the book" in that manner. Older scouts usually feel the same way if their hearts are really in Scouting and they've grasped the ideals of it. Of course the younger ranks are going to him and haw and prefer a T-shirt. Who wouldn't?


My thing is... if we allow them to him and haw about a uniform for Scouting, we might as well allow them to him and haw about wearing decent clothes to a future job interview while we're at it.






Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...


I am new to this forum and really appreciate the candid discussions about so many issues and our Troop can definately relate to this one since we have opposing views within the boys and leaders on this issue.


Our chartering organization does not require a uniform. The PLC decided (years ago) that the uniform would be worn to the troop meeting for inspection once a month and the activity shirt would be worn at other troop meetings. The boys have supported this idea, although there are always a few who wear the uniform to every meeting.


Enter a new SM. (An Eagle scout and life-long, active member of the scouting program.) He has clearly stated that the uniform was required at every meeting. He has told the boys that if they do not wear the uniform to every meeting, they do not belong in scouts. He has put boys on probation (delaying their advancement) citing that their failure to wear the uniform at every meeting indicates they do not have the appropriate scout spirit to be recommended for advancement. Our advancement coordinator (his girlfriend) told one boy why had earned the rank of Star, that he "she would allow him to advance, but he will never make Eagle if he doesn't shape up." His crime was a wearing a wrinkled shirt.


The SM is actually creating a very negative attitude among the boys about the wear of the uniform.


Does he have the authority to dictate uniform policy? Does the advancement chair have the authority to deny or threaten to deny advancement?


(Our small troop of 18 boys a year ago, has shrunk down to 7 active participants since he has been SM and they rarely all come at the same time but that is a separate issue.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just thought I would post an update on how my Troop is handling this issue since I posted a month or so ago. First, we took the advise that many posted here to try and encourage the boys to wear the uniform vs demanding it. I started a weekly lottery where each boy that was in full uniform (to include socks, belt etc) received an entry into a monthly drawing for a prize. The first week we had 4 boys in full uniform (mostly the members of the PLC). The next week we had 8, the following week 13 and then 18. At our last meeting (Our Court of Honor) I had the SPL do the drawing for a Head Lamp. We also decided that the boys entered into the drawing would stay and at the end of the Scout Year we will have a drawing for a new tent. To this point I would say about 50% of the boys are in full uniform to include belt, socks etc. Another 40-45% are in partial uniform, usually at least the Scout shirt but missing socks, belts, pants, neckerchiefs etc.

I did some research over the past week and found that a full Scout uniform can be found on Ebay for around $20.00 including shipping. I made that announcement to all the parents at the COH and received a very favorable response.

The Troop is also in the process of setting up a uniform exchange so that all the boys will have access to some parts of uniforms that our older boys may have outgrown.

Overall, I am thrilled with the response of the boys and parents to this issue. I think if the Troop Leadership had tried to ramrod this issue thru it would have received very poor results to include an erosion of troop unity and spirit. However, by implementing many of the strategies put forth in this forum we were able to accomplish just the opposite-a stronger sense of team and unity and increased spirit among the boys.

Thanks to all that have made comments and suggestions in this thread. The question should not be should the Uniform be required but rather how can we get our Boys to wear their full uniform with pride.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...