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madkins007

What if we DID drop uniforms?

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Uniforms always generate some interesting discussions, and this one was sparked by the post on units choosing no uniforms.

 

Uniforming as a program element was added by humans, and is not on the same level as commandments handed down from God, or laws passed by the Senate, or anything- it is a human attempt to do a good thing.

 

But... what if it is NOT a good thing? It has been said over and over here that uniforms do not automatically make a great program or better Scouts, so... why keep them?

 

What BAD things would happen to the BSA if it totally dropped unforms? (Other than the decrease in revenue!)

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What other youth program today requires the wearing of a 1930's military outfit? None. The uniform is costly and kids don't like wearing them. The idea and the arguments will be made that the iniform will somehow MOLD the child into the super citizen that we are after.

 

If we droped the uniform, scouting enrollment would go up. If we dropped the uniform the program would continue with no loss in effect.

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Probably nothing except the Uniform Method would have to be removed from all the literature.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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But then WHERE would we put all of our square knots????? This simply won't do.

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On your hat!

 

And since new books will need to be printed the sale of these would offset the lost income from the uniform sales!

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What if we kept the dress uniform for "events" (see drockstur's thread), and developed an Official "work/activity uniform"?

 

Most adults have a suit/tie, even if they don't have to wear it every day. Don't most kids have clothes for work/play/school and something nicer for church, family events, etc.? And for those that don't, I don't think the issue is too much of the latter.

 

Doesn't it seem odd that we want to push the outdoors, but don't seem to have an offical outdoors outfit.

 

Aren't there times when the neckerchief is not a "uncool nuisance", but a real danger?

 

Could we go all the way to a T-shirt based uniform with all badges/regalia put on the sash?

 

Interesting questions - interesting thread.

 

IMHO, I don't think it's the uniform that brings or bars attendance -- rather it's the activity. If kids show up on "non-uniform days" isn't it likely it's really because you're doing domething different, interesting and fun?

 

I wonder if lessening the formality of the uniform would help families see that Cub Scouting is about more than what the boy does when he's going off to meetings in his uniform. Sometimes, I'm afraid, many parents only think about Cubs when they see the Navy blue shirt a couple times a month.

 

hmmmmm . . .

 

jd

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My mom refused to give my sister permission to join Girl Scouts when we were younger because, in her opinion, the wearing of the uniform was a status thing and she didn't buy into that philosophy. This was at a parochial school and apparently the girl scouts were allowed to wear their uniforms on meeting days rather than the regular school uniform. I personally was never into joining of any sort when I was a kid (too much of a loner) so it wasn't an issue for me.

 

My older brothers were in Sea Scouts for a while but I only have hazy memories of that.

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How could the neckerchief be considered a danger? It has been a life-saving tool from the time that it was adopted. And far from being an "uncool nuisance", it is the most distinctive and useful part of the Scout uniform. Legions of Scouts have worn thier neckerchiefs proudly and I am proud to be among them.

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As a crew advisor my teens look for an exciting program with opportunities to pursue a wide variety of activities. They also love to organize their program. Funny thing, even though a uniform is not required in Venturing my crew wanted something to identify them as a group, so they chose a hooded sweatshirt and a tshirt with the Venturing logo and crew ID. At council and district events they always get compliments on their sweatshirts, and on outings people are always asking them what Venturing is. So I guess if you don't require a uniform the youth will develop one of their own design. Would this work with boy scouts? I think National is already testing the waters with the introduction of more activity type of polo shirts, etc. I agree with JD's ideas on cubs and scouts does the uniform make the scout or does the program.

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I think some people have missed the original reasoning for uniforms.It had little to do with forming super citizen or the military.

The concept was to dissolve barriers, a rich upper class boy would be indistinquishable from the poorer working class boy.

I don't know if it's that relevent for most units today and I doubt that there are a lot of people who now see it that way.

I'm not a fanatic about uniforming but I do think it's usefull in giving some sense of belonging to the scouting family.

 

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ScoutwithNecker,

 

WELCOME!

 

How could the neckerchief be considered a danger? It has been a life-saving tool from the time that it was adopted. And far from being an "uncool nuisance", it is the most distinctive and useful part of the Scout uniform. Legions of Scouts have worn thier neckerchiefs proudly and I am proud to be among them.

 

I think you've misunderstood me. I know the value of the neckerchief. I've worn them for many years and used them on occasion for something other than neck wear.

 

However, I'm presently a Cub Scout Leader. Believe me, the neckerchief doesn't even reach the level of "triangle bandage" let alone "life saving tool" for most Scouts (Cub or Boy or Adult) who wear the neckerchief. Few boys see it as useful. Distinctive? Yes, but the distinction is that the only other people who wear such scarves are their moms. Sorry if I sound confrontational, but the neckerchief's place won't be secured by it's practical value.

 

Again, I don't think we would actually disagree about the neckerchief's place within a formal uniform setting.

 

And, yes, the neckerchief is a danger just about any time a Scout picks up a tool or engages in physical activity beyond hiking or attending a meeting. Certainly power tools are out when wearing a neckerchief. Cooking and fire duties should be done sans neckerchief. Physical play - football, etc, again is a choking hazard.

 

Of course, someone might argue that the uniform shouldn't be worn for such activities, but we don't really have "activity uniforms" so we try to have our Cubs wear their uniforms for just about everything we do. And we're not Scouts, we're just learning, so we're at risk enough as it is when we learn about outdoor cooking and building with hand tools, etc.

 

IMHO, if you take an honest practical look at the neckerchief, it's value is in dress occasions and nostalgia. And, very likely, those are enough to secure the neckerchief's place in the uniform's future, but I don't think you can take your present argument terribly far. Especially in this thread.

 

jd

 

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When neckerchiefs were bigger (the "full square"), they were actually useful. Now they are seen as hot and an unnecessary adornment...like a necktie.

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What would happen if fish din't have gills? Who can be sure since all fish we see have gills. And having gills is one of the elements that make them a fish.

 

Uniformoing is an element of scouting, to best de;iver a BSA scouting program units use the uniform method. Why would you purposely try not to deliver the best program you could? Wearing a uniform is one the elements that makes them scouts.

 

 

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Bob White, that's the best argument you have for wearing uniforms, "because fish have gills?" Think of it from the boy's perspective. I think parents and adults like to see the kids in uniform but I am convinced that most kids would rather not be seen in uniform. Outside of their official duties a cop or paramedic does not wear the uniform. It would call too much attention and even for an adult this attention is uncomfortable.

 

Even fish don't wear uniforms. Each species looks different from the other.

 

 

 

 

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