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If You Could Design a New/Ideal Scout Uniform:


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The reasons boys do not wear the uniforms on activities outside of meeting is two fold in my mind. 1 - It is costly, Shirt get up to 30 or more one the pacthc and sudh are added.. 2 Some of it's basic componets provide little field value.

 

Think about it. How many leaders could do a campout wearing only the basic issue of gear (standard shirt, standard pants, standard ball cap, and red jacket). I know we can wear the felt hats but think of the boys. In the north west you be cold and wet most of the year with these standard items.

 

If we are trying to designe a new uniform consider the original uniform. It was based on the pre WWI army uniform of the British empire. While we need a uniform that is sharp - espirt de corps. Looking for maximun vesitility should also be a requitment.

 

Hats - Replace the current mesh base ball hats with one simualar to the military patrol hat with the flip up ear flaps. BSA Green for Boy Scout - Cub Scout Blue for the younger boys. Have the apporiate devise embroidered on them. Reasons - 1) Current hats are unserviceable in the field (Campouts, Hikes etc) except in warm weather. The stiff mesh and foam fronts look great for parades and indoor meetings but can get permant wrinkle if is stuffed in to a backpack or locker. I dislike oversea caps becase they provide no protection from the Sun or Rain and very little warmth. Beret have been tried before and never look right.

 

Pants - The current style of pants should be looked at in light of servicability and fit. Current fabric is not very abresion resistant. A heaver fabric choice might be apporiate (denim). Pehaps a rugged wool. Again we are an organization with an outdoor focus.

 

Shirt - This is tricker. Since this is the one item that all boy will have. Easy care is needed for the family. The permant press shirts provide little warmth but futill the requirement and can look sharp.

 

Sweater - Add an option pullover sweater simular to a "commando" sweater with elbow and sholder patched in either kayki, BSA Green or red. This could be worn with or with out the red jacket. It should have the same rules as the read jacket. It could be packable. This would help in the outdoor unitfor by allow the scout to wear a planner shirt under them for field use.

 

Please note I did not list either Gortex or Fleece. Reson - The high tech fabrics have one issue they melt when exposed to sparks (camp fires)and require more care on the part of the weare then denim or wool. These are boy and they do out do things

 

Ponchos - This is a little outside of the topic, but the current poncho is missing a big oportunity. Use of plastic snaps prevents its uses as a true piece of suvival gear. It could be a real contributor in the 10 estentials if it copied more from the military. If you ever get a chance to use a military poncho pay attention to the snaps and grommets. Because of the designe and strenght of the snaps and grometsyou can use a military ponch for an emergeyncy coat, rain gear,litter, leanto, tent, sleeping bag cover or even a sleeping bag. With two you can make an emergency two man tent. A BSA poncho is not desiged to work with a second poncho. Given a coice of what I need for the 10 essential I always pack a US army poncho becasue of its versility. The BSA poncho is ok for some things but I would not depend on it in the woods.

 

 

 

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I wore the overseas cap while in college. I know of no other piece of clothing that as many colorful names as does the overseas cap". None are flattering. Some of you must be familiar with a few of those names. Most of the names have an origin in anatomy (gender explicit) or body fluids. I think that this would be one reason for us to continue to stay away from these hats.

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Lets see if I have this right, if a certain uniform item has an unsavory nickname, then we should avoid it? None of the Scouts in the troop I serve in that wear the older overseas caps refer to them by any of the "gender or bodily fluid" nicknames attached to them by the military, in fact all the Scouts have called them is "hat" or "cap". One post says that they have a limited value for wear in the field, ok, I'll go along with that as the cap provides no shade to the eyes, neck or ears. Also it isnt very warm, so any Scout or Scouter who is on the ball would'nt pack one for an outdoor event. Seems like its got a few things going for it, first it can be folded over ones uniform belt when not being worn and in this respect is easier to hang on to. Second, some Scouts and Scouters just like its style, I personally feel this style of cap looks a lot more Scout-like when worn with the current uniform than the present issue ball-cap. I like the patrol cap idea with the integral ear flaps, but this cap would be rather warm in the summer months would'nt it? Still I would have one for the cold weather wear. The idea of a BSA "wooly-pully" would be very welcome with this Scouter(I already am using a UK made dark green,not OD wooly-pully),perhaps if this sweater were to be BSA sanctioned, we could have them made with velcro patch attachment areas to allow Scouts and Scouters to wear their CSP's rank and position patches? Using a sweater along with a Jac-shirt would be a step forward as layering has long been a recognzed and recomended way to protect oneself in the cold months. I think a color other than red for the jac-shirt would be a welcome change, perhaps a dark green. I still feel a parka style outer wear similar to what Columbia and other such outdoor wear makers have currently would be a step into the 21st century, especially if this type of coat/parka could be offered as an all year round protection system. I am not up to speed on the types of fabrics that such a coat system would utilize, but if it will "breath" and not trap perspiration and still present a uniform appearance, but be utilitarian first!

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577d5

 

Ditto on the "natural fibers". I try to only wear wool and/or cotton in the field exactly for the fire resistant reason. Well made wool wears like iron, although I do smell like a wet dog when wet (actually, my wife says thats my natural smell).

 

I am all for updating the activity uniform, adding the bonnie cap (although you know the idiots at National SUpply will make it red with a yellow front or some other God awful color), pull over sweaters, ect.

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Fabreze pads built into the underarms would be nice. Zip off pants are now all the rage. Its been 20 years since the last design change - I think its time for a little updating. Those that say the uniform is perfect as is and should not be updated probably said the same thing in 1981 when the last change was made. Besides then I might consider tossing out my white disco suit, flower print nylon shirts, 4" belts and bozo-sized ties.

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Why not have a design your own uniform contest run through Boys Life. Give the youth 3 months to submit sketches and descriptions. Then another 4-6 months to have industry experts and fashion designers pick out the top 5 and then publish the sketches in Boys Life and let the youth "vote" on the uniform they would most like to wear

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OK, Ill play what if

What if BSA National decided to let Carhartt produce the Official Scout Uniform for the 21st Century. Use the Carhartt Shirts, T-shirts, Pants, Shorts, Hats and Jackets (with perfect matching colors). Let them sell it with a BOY SCOUT DISCOUNT and you would cut the cost for a new complete uniform in HALF! Instead of the Carhartt logo on that leather tag, it would have the Official Boy Scouts of America Seal branded on. The model could be that Scout in the beginning of Indiana Jones. However, I would have a personal request to do something with the collars, so that the neckerchief lies properly (on top). In addition, make that Glorious Neckerchief bigger and with a heavy weight fabric. Long ago, it was said; that a neckerchief could hold a pull of 290 lbs with eight twists. I wonder if it still can. I think I will test one of mine this weekend. Well that was fun:)

 

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ne-iv-165,

 

dittos on the neckerchef. Scouts are supposed to wear one as a piece of equipment, not costume. Ever try to do some of the "traditonal" uses of a neckerchef with a modern one??

 

Funny thing happened the other day (well not really funny but I like the expression). I was going through my new scoutmaster handbook and looking at the pictures (I havn't mastered the reading part yet). I remember saying to myself how good the leaders looked in their uniforms. Now, as some of you know, 90% of the time I wear 1960's and 70's uniforms because I like the cut and color. But the current tan and greens looked really good. Then it dawned on me. The uniforms were clean and not overpatched. I even think that most of the subjects had the patches in the right postions!! (now watch, lets see who can find a mistake). Check out the scoutleader towards the back of the book. He is wearing an offical OD necktie, and looks darn good too!!

 

Moral of the story...I forgot.

 

 

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My newly designed uniform would be blue jeans (no baggies) and a white tee shirt. A vest for patches would be added for Class A wear. Troop decides on choice of hats and belts.

 

The vest could not be purchased. The instructions for making it would be posted on the internet.

 

Class B uniform would be a Troop designed emblem on any color of Tee-shirt with the remainder of the Class A wear, excluding the vest.

 

Shoes and socks would be the individual's choice.

 

The Scout Handbook and all literature could be downloaded for free.

 

Money would then be available to purchase camping equipment, the real desire of most Scouts.

 

 

FB

 

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White Tees and Blue Jeans? I guess there would only be two patrols in the troop, The Sharks and The Jets. The PLC would have to rumble to decide if the hair dressing would be Brylcream or Wildroot. Actually a personal first aid kit could be rolled up the t shirt sleeve instead of cigs, and I guess a pair of engineer boots would work on the trail.

 

 

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