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Stop the Insanity!

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Just received my 2005 Scout Catalog in the mail yesterday. Some observations:


In order to be "properly uniformed", a Cub scout parent will have to buy 4 neckerchiefs, 3 slides, 4 caps, 3 belt buckles, 3 socks, at least two different uniforms (blue and khaki), by the time a tiger cub bridges over to a scout troop.


The red wool jac-shirt is now $152-$157 ... well out of reach of most scouts and scouters.


Adult BSA shorts are $40-$45. Venturing shorts are $48. Venturing trousers are $66.


If you think the uniform is "uncool", you can buy an "Aloha" shirt. It must be official, 'cause it's in the catalog, right?


Now for you who like "Class B" uniforms, you can choose between an "Activity shirt" or a "Boy Scout Action Shirt".


All of our dutch ovens are now obsolete. We need to throw them out and buy "official BSA" dutch ovens with the FDL cast into the lid (at about twice the price, it appears).


My point to this rant is this...the BSA suppply division should concentrate on providing high quality uniforms and specialized progam items at an affordable price. All other stuff we can get from WalMart or the retailer of our choice.



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I agree!


Now they even have a cub scout catalog they send to the cub scouts.


I agree with the prices. But even the Girls Scouts are Bad. Check out there prices.


I have a cub scout and a brownie. I spend a little over 250.00 on uniforms and dues. It is VERY HARD.







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I got mine last week as well.


I found some good things and some bad things:



-Scout Carabiner Mug

-BSA Canvas Parachute Bag

-The "On my Honor-Timeless Values" stuff

-Be Prepared Pewter Frame

-Boy Scout posters

-Jamboree License Plate

Boy Scout Messenger Bag

-BSA Hooded Sweatshirt

-Boy Scout Action Shirt (except that it is not official uniform so I wont buy it b/c I'll take OD BDU's instead)

-Laptop Carrying Case (last year)

-Scout Law Tie (not new)

-Boy Scout Handbook- Coil bound

-Fieldbook- coil bound (last year)


Some dislikes:

-Cub Scout 75th camping gear (the need being???)

-They offer a Camelbak with the BSA emblem on it, but the bladder only holds 70 ounces (two hours activity) and is expensive

-They have the colors backwards on the Camelbaks- blue for Boy Scouts, red for Cub Scouts

-Price of Jac-shirt



It was discussed in an earlier thread about BSA not offering online-ordering.

While it would be more convenient, it would just raise the prices of the stuff we need. On another message board I frequent which is run by a retail store, the owner was talking about how he shelled out 45k on an online system to track orders, etc and the system didnt even work right so he had just purchased another one that was probably worth 100+ thousand. BSA has more important things to purchase.

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Hey Hops, I agree about the BSA sweatshirt--very nice indeed. The guy at the scout shop knew I'd looked at it before, so he was surprised when I actually did buy one. It is pricey, but it is my favorite sweatshirt. I like to buy them a little big so they are roomy, and yesterday my husband wanted to borrow my sweatshirt (and he likes them snug fitting so this worked). I told him if he insisted on continuing to borrow it, he'd have to buy another one at $42. He promptly removed it ;)


As for the 75th anniversary camping gear, I wondered the same thing. What on earth for?!


Overall, we have little money to spend on this stuff, so it is very disappointing to try to have what we need and see such high prices. We refuse to buy BSA camping gear because all the items offered are found at far better prices elsewhere.


And scoutldr, you didn't mention that the aloha shirt comes in various shades. Now this one I don't get--why did BSA make this shirt? They can be purchased just about anywhere cheaply, and really, who is going to check the tag?!

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I would add the "official" clothing rarely fits well. The trousers and shorts are so uncomfortable most of use wear dark green from REI, Galyans, or elsewhere.


I have been told a scout must wear "official" uniform clothing to a Board of Review or they will not be allowed to complete the BOR. I think this is absurd considering the cost and the outright discomfort involved in the official clothes.

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I dont know who hold you that abou BORs, but they're wrong!


I did however get a pair of official pants for Christmas. Personally, I think the pants fit pretty well, but not something I'm going to be wearing on many campouts.


I'll take my OD BDUs instead.

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Here in the Mid East we have many good Indian tailors who make excellent copies. Rather than pay the high prices plus shipping we get copies made, shirt and shorts total 20 bucks. Another money saver is scanned MB books. We have scanned 40 books onto a CD, give it to the scouts, they print what they need, evryone has an at-home MB library. Living in the 3rd world aint all bad.

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I totally agree. I perused my catalog this weekend and nearly choked when I looked and saw that an Adult Long Sleeve Shirt and long pants would cost $100. I can go to about any department store and buy good clothes that will last for a whole lot less and fit better as well. It's no wonder that we are having trouble getting kids in uniform these days! A parent shells out a small fortune for a uniform and then as the kid grows keeps spending more every year. There is way too much stuff in the catalog now and it just lends to the confusiton about Class A, Class B, etc. uniforms.

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After going through the catalog, it was apparent that BSA National feels that it's membership body has plenty of money to spend, and no budget to worry over...for me, I'm boycotting for lower prices to make scouting more affordable. Anyone else???


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One small change I made a few years ago was to stop buying the Advancement Book every year. It used to be good for 2+ years then they started putting it out every year and I refused to get into the game. I rely on the Internet and even tell my scouts to use it to look up current requirements. National doesn't change things that often to require a new book every year. Money doesn't grow on trees around my scout families.

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I got my catalog last week too. I admit to being a catalog junkie. I guess it goes back to thumbing thru the old Sears Wish Book they put out every Christmas with page after page of toys. Yep, the BSA sure has a whole lot of stuff available with the BSA logo on it. It all looks so shiny and pretty. Let's keep in mind folks, you don't have to buy ANY of it. Technically, not even the uniform. Other than the expensive and poorly made uniform and the handbook, the rest of it is optional. I have a camelbak I found on E-bay at half the cost in the stores. I have a Buck knife that is exactly what I want. I have a Surefire high output flashlight that will blind you a mile away. I have a heavy duty nylon backpacking poncho and a set of packable rain gear. I wouldn't go on an outing without any of it. None of it has the BSA logo on it and most of it is superior quality to what is in the BSA catalog. Some of it cost less and some of it cost more than what is in the catalog. I buy gear for it's functionality and by my personal preference. None of it comes from BSA, but I sure like looking at their catalog. Ohhhhh, shiny!!! ;)

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I just received another BSA catalog today; the scout shop had given me one awhile back with all the new stuff. I like looking at it too (again), making up my wish list, and 9 of 10 items will remain just that--wishes :) You're right; we don't have to buy any of it. When we can though, isn't it fun?!

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