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ScoutDad2001

Proper disposal of ruined uniforms

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My son ruined one of his uniform shirts at the National Jamboree, by accidentally leaving the candle (from the memorial service) in his left pocket. The shirt was left the next day in his tent, and the intense heat melted the candle into soup, which resulted in an immense wax "stain" covering much of the upper left side of the shirt. Needless to say, the shirt could not be cleaned and can no longer be worn. I have removed all of his "personal" patches (ie, jambo patch, rank, AOL, patrol, counsel & troop numeral).

My problem is that I am uncomfortable with simply tossing a Scout shirt (regardless of its ruined condition) into the trash. Are there any BSA guidelines regarding "acceptable procedure" for disposal of unwearable uniform parts?

I was thinking that perhaps by removing the US flag patch, the "Boy Scouts of America" strip, the buttons and the collar label, I would end up with a "civilian" shirt which I could throw away and keep my concience clear.

Comments?

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Remember its just a shirt so don't make into some Holy item that can't be discarded with out large amounts of wailing an gnashing of teeth. ;) Just throw it away or make it a work shirt for your boy.

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I don't know of any particular policy that addresses uniform disposal. As mentioned in the publications, uniforms should be kept clean, uncluttered, and in serviceable condition. Perhaps you could retire the shirt as part of a flag retirement. Talk about what the uniform represents, and some of the good experiences that shirt had during it's life. Then ceremoniously lay it across the fire.

 

Don't worry about the flag patch. It is a not a flag, it is only a patch, a representation of a flag. Similar to a picture of a flag in a magazine. A picture of a flag is not a flag. The patch doesn't require any particular retirement.

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Uniforms which are no longer wearable? Toss 'em out or recycle 'em as rags. They're just clothes, not flags. Unlike a flag, you don't need to show a uniform any special respect. It's just a piece of cloth

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If you are really uncomfortable just tossing the shirt give it to a group that makes quilts. They are always needing sturdy fabric for piecing.

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How about using the shirt to make an Award Frame.

 

https://scoutnet.scouting.org/BSASupply/default.aspx?ctgy=PRODUCTS&C2=GIFTS&C3=FRAMES&C4=&LV=3

 

Basically the one sold in the scout store is a shadow box frame with a backing made of shirt material with a scout shirt pocket attached in the center for $86.

 

Purchase a shadow box frame at the craft store for about $35. Remove the back of the shirt from the rest of the shirt. Remove a pocket from the front of the shirt. Sew pocket on to the center of the cloth you harvested from the back of the shirt. Purchase a can of spray adhesive for $5. Remove the back of the shadow box frame. Spray adhesive on frame back. Lay the shirt back with attached pocket on the frame back centering the pocket. Trim the edges of the cloth to the frame back. Use a hot glue gun to attach patches, rank, awards, etc to the back. Assemble the frame and display in your son's room.

 

I did this with my old Explorer uniform from the 70's. Our Explorer Post uniform was a medium blue military style shirt. I still had my old uniform and patches. I got a shadowbox frame and used the back of the shirt and pocket to make a custom award display. I purchased the Boy Scout Award Frame from my local scout store and displayed my old badges in a manner similar to the example in the link above. Both frames hang in my home and I can enjoy and relive my days as a scout. My son periodically asks me about what some of the old style badges mean.

 

My son just became a Webelos I and I will be taking his old blue cub scout uniform and making a shadowbox display for him.

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resqman, that's a great idea! The perfect way to recycle old uniforms!

 

However, my suggestion is NEVER use glue to affix patches. It's the fast way, but glue immediately ruins any collector value (you may think the patches are nothing special - and you may be right - but sometimes old scout patches are more valuable than you know). I'd suggest lightly attaching them with a few loops of thread.

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I would try to save all the patches then toss it in the garbage can.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I just discovered this product called "Goof Off" that removes the gummy stuff from patch glue and Patch Magic. It also claims to remove candle wax and oils. I have tried it and it is amazing so before you throw the uniform away you might want to try it. I got it at Walmart in the paint isle for $3.95.

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Back when I was an Alter Boy we used a warm iron and a brown paper bag to remove candle wax.

Not that we ever would play with the candles. "Who ME!!"

Eamonn

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After all attempts to clean back in to respectability...have failed...Put in the closet as a yard/car/bike work shirt. Then, after it is truly reprehensible, wash it clean, cut it into pieces and use as a dust cloth, cleaning cloth, (cotton? gun barrel swabs)etc...a scout is thrifty!

Its a shirt...

anarchist

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William Hillcourt said that all real Scouting takes place in the great outdoors.

 

It is interesting that nobody has suggested wearing old uniform shirts on campouts! It just shows how divorced the so-called "Uniform Method" is from real Scouting.

 

Kudu

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"It is interesting that nobody has suggested wearing old uniform shirts on campouts!"

 

I don't know--even assuming the shirt was practical for camping use, I'm not sure I would like to see a Scout appearing in public, even on a campout, in an obviously "ruined" uniform shirt.

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My point exactly. This thread reflects the fact that the current BSA uniform is the mirror image of what a Scouting uniform should be: it is a symbol of values rather than an icon of outdoor adventure.

 

As long as the shirt is washed (a Scout is clean), candle wax from the memorial service of a National Jamboree on a shirt worn to a campout should be a mark of experience: a badge of honor and distinction.

 

Kudu

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I agree with Kudu, use it for a campout shirt, then remove any patches you might want to save and throw it out.

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