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MacLaren Kilts ok?

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Hey Guys,

I'm new to the forum and just wanted to say hi.

Our troop has become interested in kilts as a uniform preference. Since we're associated with a Presbyterian Church...it kind of comes easy.

Our summer camp theme this year was the highland games. We got kilts on our mind and....come to find out most every one liked the idea. I found a comfortable and fairly cheap kilt on the net in the MacLaren Ancient pattern. It's really comfortable and I wore it every day. I made some for my sons and the SPL. They loved them. The tartan that is associated with B.P. is the MacLaren Modern pattern. oops. The manufacturer said if we ordered 100 he could justify ordering the modern pattern. At the most I think we want about twenty....quandry...we either live with the ancient or we subistute the Ferguson as an imitation????? Let me know if you guys could want one or ten and I'll run with it....

What's everybodys opinion on this subject? I know this is a loaded question but bring it on, I can take it...

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We had a camporee similar to that many years ago, and the adult patrol (which I believe in itself is against the rules) made these kilts for their patrol to wear, renamed themselves 'the highlander patrol' and came up with the cheer of "We're getting old and our knees are cold". No one from District/Council apprehended them for it, so I'd venture to say that it would be okay.


Maybe, you'd just not be in full uniform without the official scout pants. Whats the difference between wearing a kilt or wearing jeans at an event where you don't have to be in 100% full uniform?

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Authorized? No. Okay? It's your unit. We had for years a brother unit in Scotland. We visited them and they visited us. They wore kilts and several of our adults did as well (in Scotland and the U.S.) on some occasions. We also had a Highland Ceremonial Team that did flag ceremonies. They wore the MacLaren modern kilt (we got some made out of dress fabric with velcro fasteners so they could be adjusted to fit different size boys). They wore the white gaiters that Scottish ceremonial units wear, white belts, white gloves and the red berets with the universal Scout emblem. They looked very sharp indeed. They appeared at a number of ceremonies, including ones where Bill Hillcourt was present. Bill had no problem with it, and neither did the district bigwigs.


I know people will tell you the sky will fall if you wear them, but it won't. Go for it!

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Company line: The Official BSA uniform is clearly defined and does not include either kilts or jeans. This is the policy you signed on to uphold.



My thoughts: Sounds like fun and if the youth are excited by it, and it helps you deliver a strong program... go for it.


I admit that I am not sure I can really see a bunch of Scouts wearing kilts other than for specific functions, however.


I CAN see you guys creating a special 'squad' of Scouts who demonstrate traditional Scottish skills, etc. That might be a lot of fun!

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What you are describing is fodder for a Venture crew...they can design their own kilt-bedecked uniforms and pretend they are Scots all they want. Boy Scouts, however, are Boy Scouts, and their uniforms and program are proscribed.

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First off, there is no such thing as "Venture Crews". Its "Venturing Crews". (Yes, there is a difference).


Secondly, are scouts/scouters authorized to wear the MacLaren tartan? Scottish tradition says that only members of a clan may wear a clan's tartan. As I understand, there do exists 'organizational' tartans. I believe there may be a separate 'scout' tartan out there, as wearing a tartan is an option in Ireland and the UK, and this way all the scouts would wear the same tartan. Now, Wood Badgers who join the MacLaren clan (I've done so) might be allowed to wear the MacLaren tartan, but I'm not certain.



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That tradition is more myth than fact. The clan tartans were banned by the English after the Battle of Colloden and remained so until the early 1800's, along with the bagpipe. The fact is, nobody knows for sure what, if any clan tartans were prior to that. Some suggest that people wore whatever they could make or get.


The Scottish Scouts who wear kilts as part of their uniform keep a kilt closet to provide them. The boys and girls wear whatever happens to be handy, unless they own their own clan tartan. Also, of course, not every Scot is a member of a clan and thus not entitled technically to wear any tartan. It is generally considered fair game to wear Black Watch tartan (uniform of the 42d Regiment, the only ones allowed to wear tartans after Colloden).


I've never known a Scot to take offense at Scouts wearing their clan tartan. It just isn't that big a deal with them. BTW, I am a former member of Clan MacLaren, U.S.A, as my grandmother was a MacLaurin. They don't have a problem as far as I know with Scouts wearing their plaid.(This message has been edited by Kahuna)

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like throwing fuel on a fire...you guys are great..


Seamus at SportKilts says he would order the MacLaren Modern if he had orders for 100 kilts...plus group discounts....We ain't talkin' a $400 monster kilt here just a $100 poly blend suitable for hiking, rugby, etc..

little kilts are around $60...I'm NOT selling, it's just a suggestion....like I want to make 20 kilts, talk about blisters. The modern really is better looking with the navy instead of royal blue. No offense to the MacLarens out there..

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  • 3 weeks later...

Are kilts ok?


Well, scoutldr is right, the uniform policy is pretty straight forward. What is and what is not acceptable is clearly defined, and can be found in the uniform and insignia control guide.


Now, in reality, we all know that units do what they will do. The uniform headgear for the Boy Scout phase is clearly defined, Campaign Hat, Ball Cap, or the Expedition hat. But we still see units with their own unique headgear, ranging from military 'boonie' caps to berets to the old school garrison caps. I've seen unit unique epaulet loops, units that all wear the same shorts, but nothing close to the BSA issue shorts.


And, in five different councils in 24 years, as a Scout, volunteer and professional, I've never seen nor heard of a local council do anything about any standard mis-use/alteration of a unit's unform.


The closest was when I was a professional, and my District Comissioner asked our Scout Executive if his unit could make up old style OD garrison caps with red piping, and the old type BSA har patch with his unit numbers instead of BSA. The SE basically said that he could not authorize that, but that it really wasn't a huge issue, and if he did it, no one would care. Not his exact words, but the basic gist of what he had said.


Now, kilts are a HUGE leap from hats. Just remember, the average BSA Executive is fairly conservative, and *MAY* get the wrong impression, or just be downright ignorant. I know, I was one. And I cannot imagine any of the SE's or even most of the DE's I worked with to be 'understanding' had I chosen to wear a kilt as a volunteer (and, of course, as a professional, wearing anything but the official uniform, when such is the chosen attire, is frowned upon).


And I am sure you would hate to be the first unit to have this be an issue for them.


Now, as a regular kilt wearer myself, nothing is more comfortable than a good kilt. I actually have an Olive kilt that is a perfect match for the standard BSA pant/short color (which I really want to spring on my new council, maybe for St. Patricks Day).


But, if you are asking if it is strictly 'by the book' OK, the answer clearly is no.


If you are asking if anyone thinks it's wrong or a bad idea, personally, on campouts, at special functions, whatever, if your Chartered Org is OK with it, go ahead, enjoy.


When I was a Camp Director (and even a regular staffer) back in the NER, I wore one at camp during regular program hours, and it was independant of the camps weekly theme (which may have been cops and robbers or western). It really looks sharp with the Explorer/Venture green shirt.


And, committeeman, check out www.usakilts.com as well (if you haven't already). Their garments are quite nice, tho I didn't see MacLaren listed, they may be able to help you out too.


Good luck. And, remember, the Kilt is a man's garment. If anyone decides to call that into question, politely re-educate them.


Actually, committeeman, I may be interested in one, possibly two of them, depending ont he timeframe of when you order them. My father is a Bison (AKA Buffalo), and he was kind of dissapointed that I didn't choose the MacLaren plaid for my wedding kilts (I went with all black, it was nice).(This message has been edited by Stoutwalker)

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Are MacLaren Kilts ok ?


Not as a part of the Boy Scout uniform


Would I prefer to see a Boy Scout Troop all in Maclaren Kilts and the khacki shirt rather than a troop with multi color/lenght/style pants and the khacki shirts?




I guess it depends on what the definition of "OK" is



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Dare I ask what ya'll wear under them?

When I was in High School, our drill instructor was a member od a Drum & Bugle Corps that wore kilts.

His response was "Scotch Tape."

Hmm-our SM is Scottish...

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