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JM_Ecuador

Uniform Disputes...

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First of all, I am not a member of the BSA. I am an Assistant Troopmaster with the Scouts del Ecuador.

I thought I'd comment on the Uniform issue.

In Ecuador the Oficial Uniform consists of a Shirt. Blue for trained leaders, grey for youth and untrained leaders. The official pants are blue jeans, except for formal occasions, when it is blue pants.

Every group has it's own bandana, and may have other uniform pieces such as a vest, jacket, cap, etc.

But the only standardized required piece is the shirt.

Now I have read enough on this forum to know that the uniform is a controversial subject.

I believe that the Uniform should be used, because it instills a certain pride after a time, and it is a record of what one has done as a Scout.

What if the BSA were to do like the ASE (and other countries) and only have one or two basic uniform pieces, and let the others be generic. In other words, have the shirt be standardized, but only specify which color pants should be.

As to the design, don't cops, medical workers, pilots, UPS guys, and others wear shirts that are almost identical to the Scout Shirt?

If it comes down to it, keep the basic design the same, but have every group be responsible for choosing where they get it. What would diferentiate it from other uniforms would be the patches and a bandana.

If I am correct, doesn;t Wal Mart carry shirts that are very similar in design?

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Your suggestion makes a good deal of sense. Despite that, some will wail and gnash their teeth over the loss of the 'uniformity' of the uniform. This despite the fact that the current uniform is not really uniform either.

 

Thank you for your perspective.

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Keep in mind that all parts of the uniform, except the patches, can be gotten from other sources. You can get similar shirts, pants, etc. And it would be in keeping with B-P's original intent that the uniform be affordable and utilitarian.

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Most would go along with your idea IF it was the offical uniform. The problem between the purist and free spirits is that some feel it is OK to make this change at a unit or personal level.

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Hi JM,

Good thoughts. I have always thought that the real "content" of the U.S. uniform is in the shirt. That's where everything of substance really is. The pants are, well, just pants.

 

Problem is, the rules are the rules, and it's true that if you aren't wearing the whole uniform according to BSA definition, you're not in uniform at all. As it stands right now, this would require a policy change by BSA and I'm not aware of any indication that they would consider a change.

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"Keep in mind that all parts of the uniform, except the patches, can be gotten from other sources. You can get similar shirts, pants, etc. And it would be in keeping with B-P's original intent that the uniform be affordable and utilitarian. "

 

Actually, not so.

 

The BSA uniform parts are unique. its not just the colors they use, but how the clothing items are designed.

 

While there are clothing items similiar, they are NOT a total match, and would be quite obvious as not being official.

 

I have never seen any clothing items, in Wal-Mart or else where, that would be a perfect match.

 

Also, other organizations mandate specifics for their uniforms in terms of colors, style, etc. Its NOT just a matter of getting 'blue pants'.

 

 

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" Also, other organizations mandate specifics for their uniforms in terms of colors, style, etc. Its NOT just a matter of getting 'blue pants'. "

 

Well, the Scouts del Ecuador says that their official pants are blue jeans.

 

"Pantalon Official- Pantalon jean azul"

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I think as only official uniform should be instituted. So many have instituted already. I would rathe see no uniform thatn the sloppy dress that is called uniforms that all here have seen.

 

At least it would put the debate to rest - for a few minutes.

 

(No your troop cannot require that the jeans be Wrangler Boot-cut only - Prewashed shouldn't be allowed. Are button fly Levis OK?(do they even still make those))

 

ronvo

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Well, that's the rule in Ecuador, and we don't have any problem with it. Maybe the shade varies some, but not enough to make anyone complain.

By regulation Scouts must wear blue jeans, the uniform shirt, some other scout shirt, or a white shirt.

 

YIS

JMM(This message has been edited by JM_Ecuador)

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Suffering Catfish!!

Sounds almost like our Venturing Program uniform policy!!

I admit to being an old stick in the mud. But I don't really care what the uniform is (OK I draw the line at feathers!!) But I think as long as we have whatever it is we should wear it.

I'd be happy with just a shirt -If that was what the uniform is. -But it isn't.

I also worry about how much our membership fee might go up if the BSA lost the money they get from uniform sales. I think we have discussed the amount before and opinions varied, but someone is making something and if it went away they would still need that cash.

Eamonn.

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"But I think as long as we have whatever it is we should wear it. "

I agree, the uniform should be used, but the National office should make it easier.

Expensive uniforms means poorer people can't have the full uniform, and therefor can't be properly dressed.

 

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"Expensive uniforms means poorer people can't have the full uniform, and therefor can't be properly dressed"

At the risk of being disagreeable -I disagree.

For about 12 years I was Scout Leader to a inner-city Troop in London.

At that time the UK Scout Uniform was nice to look at but about as useful as pockets in your underwear and very expensive.

Still we had the entire troop in full uniform. Not because of any hard and fast rule or rules but it was a matter of Troop and Patrol pride.

While I'm sure that there are cases of genuine financial hardship ( All of which I believe can be overcome. - In the District I serve we have said that we will help any Scout and every Scout who needs a uniform or can't afford to go to summer camp.)

It seems to me that Scouts don't want to wear the uniform. Or they don't want to be seen wearing the uniform.

If the idea of being seen in a Boy Scout Uniform is going to be seen as not being cool, it really doesn't matter what the uniform is -It still isn't going to be cool or hip or whatever the word today is?

After a lot of searching I have found a supplier who can supply our Sea Scout Ship with working uniforms (They are calling them ill-regulars??) Pants and shirt for $15.00 (One Ship's Mate thought that this was such a good deal he ordered five pair of pants for work wear.) Every Scout has ordered a set. So ownership isn't going to be a problem. I'll wait and get back to you on wear-ership!!

Eamonn.

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Of course, even if it's possible to obtain full, expensive uniforms for poor scouts, it begs the question of whether that is the best way to use available energy and money.

I have to wonder whether we might not see more uniformity, rather than less, if blue jeans were the required pants.

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" Still we had the entire troop in full uniform. Not because of any hard and fast rule or rules but it was a matter of Troop and Patrol pride. "

 

Just because something can be done doesn't mean that it's the best thing. It would have been easier on those families had the uniform been cheaper.

 

As to it beeing 'cool,' that is the reason I mentioned all the other organizations which used a similar uniform. That basic style is not a thing of the past, and cops don't look dorky, do they?

 

Thank you Hunt, you're thinking along the same lines as me.

I have seen this work in Ecuador. The official pants are jeans, but most groups have standards such as: must be clean, nea, not ragged, etc. This is necesarry, especially today when, for some odd reason, dirty pants are 'cool'.

 

As for the uniform not being cool, I think it is not the uniform, rather Scouting that isn't cool. To fight that, try to show the adventurous side of scouting. It isn't a coincidence that the uniform is also remarkably like that of 19th century explorers.

Show the kids that Scouting is about adventure.

Organize a campout, run by Scouters, but don't advertise it as a scout event, rather as a campout organized by people who have experience as Scoutmasters. At that event participants should see adults in the Scout uniform who give tham an adventure. At the end there should be a sign up sheet for anyone who wants to join the Scouts.

This campout might also serve to raise funds for a troop, district, etc.

 

YIS

JMM

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Having to have 3 complete sets of uniforms for both my son and I for Jamboree, I can attest to the fact that the uniform is expensive. That being said, lets remember that a scout is thrifty, he pays his own way. Why do we expect mom and dad to shell out the cash for a uniform. A scout earning the money and purchasing a uniform is a valuable lesson and teaching opportunity. He should be earning part of the money needed for outings, summer camp and high adventure trips. He should also be helping to bring money in for the troop's expenses and equipment needs. Is cost REALLY a factor if we are doing the program correctly? So what if the boy has to buy an item at a time. Eventually he will have a complete uniform. The fact he worked for it and bought it himself will give him 10 times the incentive to wear it than all of the pushing an SM might do.

 

Hunt,

 

Uniformity in blue jeans? Last time I looked, there were about 1000 styles and a multitude of shades. Your skater kids are going to show up in pants 6 inches too long with legs so large that shoes can't even be seen. Your goth kids are going to wear nothing but black jeans. Blue jeans has too much variety to ever be "uniform". That is like saying we are all going to drive cars instead of trucks and SUV's to be uniform. The problem is that one of us shows up in a mini-Cooper and the other in a Caddy.

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