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Is it time for BSA National to revamp the uniform..

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What the bloody 'ell does "Kwell" mean?




To be quite honest, we can not please everyone.


If we try to appease the price group, we will end up with an even cheeper uniform than we have now... and it will be made by sweat shop labor in some third world country, probably be kids that would be better served by being in Scouting than making BSA uniforms.


If we appease the dress looks group, we will end up with something that will look very sharp but will be too dressy to even engage in simple games at troop meetings. It will also be even more expensive.


If we want to have a quality, versatile out doors uniform, we can probably do that for a similar price to what we have now. Unfortunately, it will either be a general uniform that is about is comfortable as BDUs, or a multi-part specialised interchangeable system that contains 30 different pieces each specialised for some particular use. This uniform will be great for hiking, packing, camping, etc, but even it won't be suitable to the full range of activities, and it will probably look somewhat less than dignified for formal settings. Just imagine the Eagle COH... "no, don't pin that on, it will ruin the breathable, quick dry, water proof membrane of his expedition jacket" or what have you.


This isn't to say we can't do better, but we all sometimes get carried away and think we have some miracle answer, when in truth we just have a solution to fix our pet peeves while making the rest of the problems worse.



I will suggest one idea that could be of use. When a new Scout is recruited, they should be able to buy their first complete uniform at a discount. This should only apply once per program, and only to youth. It should also only apply if the complete uniform is purchased. This would make it easier to buy the entire thing, and it would encourage people to actually have the complete uniform, not just a shirt to wear with their faded baggy blue jeans.(This message has been edited by Proud Eagle)

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NWScouter said:


"The picture shows her wearing an complete vintage Second Class uniform..."


I take exception to the use of the word "complete". If you look closely at the pictures on the website he suggested, the singer is simply wearing a vintage Boy Scout shirt. No overseas (flat) cap, no neckerchief or slide, no web belt and brass buckle (or optional Philmont belt and buckle), and no uniform pants or shorts (or socks for that matter).


Then again, when I see the boys in our Cub Pack and some Scout troops, perhaps the definition of "complete uniform" has changed, since many wear blue jeans like the singer and go without most of the other pieces as well! I wore a similar uniform with pride in the 1970's. Although I only attained the rank of Star (Required Merit Badges were a problem for me for some reason), I did serve as as a Den Chief, Patrol Leader on several occasions, ASPL, and lead the Leadership Corps, as well as taking on a special assignment from the Scoutmaster to Lead a patrol of "special" kids (chronic behavioral problems).


I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are several options within the current uniform pieces, although it may be just because some contracts have not expired. Please note that the pants and shirts may be obtained in a dressy wool/poly material or in more comfortable 100% cotton, as well as the more functional (but perhaps cheesier looking) poly-cotton material. The poly-cotton pants are in fact styled differently, being more like the older OD green military fatigue pants, with BSA brass snaps instead of OD Green plastic buttons. Even the small utility pockets are a nice distinctive touch, although they could have been made larger to be more functional. Lower, mid-thigh cargo pockets could have been even more functional.


Although I dislike the epaulettes, they do serve a good purpose for distiguishing the leaders and scouts in different divisions who wear the same shirt though the use of the colored loops.


My main peeves about the current uniform are the recent dropping of distinctive headgear for Cub Leaders and dropping the Green Leader tie (perhaps Blue for Cub leaders would work). Many of us just do not like bolo ties, and as a larger man, the youth size cub leader neckerchief looks kind of silly. So I obtained a pre-owned Green tie to wear to Blue and Gold and other occasions with my buttoned collar long-sleeve shirt (which requires neckwear for leaders), and will wear my open-collar short sleeve shirt on other occasions.


I think that I will be getting an Expedition hat. I saw several on both Cub and Boy Scout leaders at the recent District Roundtable, although I saw NO Campaign hats! Most of the leaders were either hatless or wore the red/green BS cap.

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