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Uniforms for Committee Members

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In another thread, someone expressed dismay that registered committee members don't wear uniforms. I confess that I am of two minds about this. In my son's troop, there are a couple of kinds of committee members: those who are very active with the troop, and those who are essentially parents helping out in the background. It seems natural for the former to wear uniforms to troop meetings and events, and most of them do (at least part of the time), but those in the latter group don't have uniforms, and would probably react with puzzlement at the suggestion that they should be wearing uniforms. Note: nobody wears uniforms to committee meetings--is that the norm?

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Even the Fast Start video, the last time I looked at it, doesn't show the Committee, at Committee meeting, in uniform.

 

Committee folks attending Program events (troop meetings, camps, etc) should be in appropriate attire for the event (a 20 mile bicycle ride calls for some form of Class B uniform; a COH calls for Class A).

 

A business meeting, by and large away from the youth (possible exception being the SPL), I suspect most will be fortunate to have changed from work clothes.

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In our unit, all ASMs and the SM wear uniforms. Our CC and about half of the committee wear uniforms to troop meetings.

 

None wear it to committee meetings.

 

We'd never get the beer stains and cigar smoke out of them. ;-)

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I'm the CC in my Troop. I wear as complete of a Uniform as I own. I believe that so far as is possible Adult leaders should lead by example. My son went through his AoL ceremony on a Friday and the following Tuesday hae had his first Troop meeting. Both of our uniforms had new unit number patches sewn on for that first meeting and my son's had his AoL patch. In the oter Troops that I've been a part of in the past, distant past, the only adults present for Troop meetings were SM and ASM (s). So it was not even an issue. Although I do remember that as a youth my Troops committee attended one spring camporee, camped away from the boys and were in full uniform. None of these committee members at the time had any boys in the Troop at the time.

 

IMHO if Troop committee members attend Troop meetings, camp, or other functions where the Troop is in uniform then they should also. Look at your youngest Scouts, the ones so willing and proud to wear the uniform. Part of our job as Adult leaders is to keep that spark alive. When these boys see that adults take wearing the uniform serious then they are more inclinded to share this view.

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I've been on our committee for a year and a half now. Committee meetings are held in someone's kitchen and no one is in uniform. I don't have an official role at pack or den meetings. Most of my job as advancement chair is done by email.

 

I got a uniform as a Christmas present for two reasons...I was scheduled to attend Univ. of Scouting in February (uniform required) and in June, I was slated to become Tiger DL. It came with interchangeable position patches on velcro. The only time I wore the uniform as a "committee member" was at a couple of trainings, the district banquet and when I went to a recruiting event for incoming Tigers, before actually becoming a DL.

 

DLs, ADLs, CM, ACM and CC all wear uniforms at pack meetings. I think the rest would be confusing. Most of committee are paper pushers... the outings chair who makes reservations and keeps track of medical forms. The treasurer who collects receipts and writes checks (usually from the comfort of home w/o actually attending meetings), the advancement chair who makes sure the patches have been bought and the advancement reports turned in...etc. These people don't need to be visible to the boys or the parents. The only time they need to be visible is if for some reason they are representing the pack at outside functions.

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none of us wear uniforms to committee meeting.... I'm a uniform freak, and I find if there are no boys present, we keep it informal. Do I think all committee members should wear a uniforms? No. I do believe if you portray yourself as a leader in the pack, you should wear your uniform. Does the Secretary/Threasurer/ and Committee members that are pretty much behind the curtain, then no.

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Yah, I can't say that I've ever seen a well-uniformed committee meeting, and all the BSA literature seems to show committee activities conducted in civilian wear. So yep, I'd say that's da norm.

 

Key committee members holdin' public positions of responsibility should wear uniforms when exercisin' that position in a formal way. So a CC servin' on an EBOR perhaps, or an Advancement Chair doing a function at a Court of Honor. But that's not the norm either, eh?

 

Mostly, I'd say it isn't worth gettin' too bothered about. Be happy the adults are givin' their time, and thank 'em for that.

 

And it might be a worthy lesson for the boys that in our great nation, da highest level of folks wear civilian clothing, not uniforms.

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Pack committees and Troop Committees serve different functions. There is a Troop Committee position patch. It is to be worn on the uniform. When working with the boys (at a troop meeting, during all boards of review, etc.) I feel the uniform should be worn. Why would we request from the boys that which we are unwilling to do ourselves?

 

Beavah - if a boy in your troop showed up for a BOR in gym shorts and a Harley-Davidson t-shirt would you just be happy that the scout is just giving his time and be happy at that?

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Yah, acco, uniformin' is a method, not an aim, eh ;).

 

Each troop gets to decide how it uses each method. Da troops I've been involved with on the leadership side were all pretty well uniformed for events, and wore appropriate outing clothes on outings. Uniforms were pretty much "full" or small substitutions like an alternative olive pant that still looked uniform. Dat's my personal preference, and what I advocate to those who ask.

 

But I respect volunteers and units who do different, eh? And I'd encourage you to do that, too. Plenty of units who run very respectable Scouting programs who are less "full" in their uniformin'. That can be because of demographics, or finances, or philosophy. Not mine to quibble. More often than not, those units do a darn sight better at other Methods than well uniformed troops.

 

Keep da aims in focus, use the methods in smart ways to get there. And most important, don't tick off good adult volunteers by treatin' 'em like kids and yapping at them about uniforming. Those adults are important in the life of some boys, and deserve our respect.

 

Beavah

 

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I ask MC's to either to always wear it when ever scouts are involved or never wear it. Makes it hard on the SM (and ASMs) if MC's show up and pick and choose when to wear it.

As for myself (CC) I wear mine whenever I am at a uniformed event.

 

(including driving to and from camp)

 

As for committee meetings, only if we are holding a BOR.

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Beavah, first of all I don't yap and second of all I don't treat the adults as children. Third, I'm very aware of the methods we should use to to achieve the aims of the program. What many don't understand is that as adult leaders who signed up to deliver the program we should not feel the eight methods are a smorgasbord we can pick and choose from. Let's see, I think I'll use use the uniform, outdoors, personal growth, adult association and leadership development. I don't want to use advancement because that places to much undo stress on the boys nor do I want to use patrols because it is so much easier to do everything as a troop. See how ridiculous that sounds? To me, saying one is not going to use the uniform as a method is just as ridiculous. Also, why do you interpret having the expectation that the boys wear their field and activity uniform during the proper circumstances as okay but having the same expectation for adults as "yapping" or "treating them like children." If that kind of attitude is pervasive in a troop, no wonder the boys would view wearing the uniform as childish.

 

I'm always dismayed by those who feel they can pick and choose which parts of the program they wish to implement. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a uniform Nazi nor a member of the uniform police. As we were getting ready to depart from summer camp last week I reminded the boys of our expectation that we depart from outings as a troop in our field uniforms and not to use the excuse that "I already packed it." Well, as most teenage boys will do, one 13 year old asked me how come Mr. So-and-so (a MC)doesn't have to wear his uniform? All I could respond with was that I asked the MC and my expectation was that he too would wear his uniform.

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Yah, acco, I appreciate your viewpoint, eh? And I should probably be more careful with my colloquialisms like "yappin" ;).

 

I think most troops are happy to have adults as they happen to come. I'd welcome an adult who came in his/her work attire with open arms and respect. Kids too. I remember doin' an EBOR for a lad who came completely un-uniformed, straight from a homeless shelter soup kitchen where he'd been da lead guy in dealing with some problem or another. Never had time to get home and get changed. We welcomed him with open arms and respect, and recognized him as an Eagle Scout.

 

Fact is, Scoutin' isn't what you think it is. It is a smorgasbord. Nationally, it's a licensed program where those who run da program can and do interpret and decide how they use different program pieces. BSA will happily grant a charter to a unit that doesn't do a lick of advancement, or that runs everything as a whole troop (and remember, in da BSA program literature, MC's wear civilian attire more often than not!). Internationally, Scoutin' is a movement that has some common themes and character, but every scouting organization implements it in different ways - recognizable ones, but different.

 

More than all that, the reality is that Scoutin' is enacted by volunteers. So we have a choice. We can recognize and embrace other volunteers as brothers and sisters, or we can complain that they don't do everything the same way we would.

 

Which is Courteous?

 

As a suggestion, though, I think yeh got da backtalk you did from your scout because you were imposing Uniforming as an adult-run element. So it's natural for a kid to say "Hey, but not all da adults are doin' it!". You might try workin' on the Youth Leadership method. If the PL's and SPL are the ones who are really leading the boys, then I bet they wouldn't get that kind of response. ;)

 

Beavah

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Scouting is a "game"...BP himself called it that.

 

"BSA will happily grant a charter to a unit that doesn't do a lick of advancement, or that runs everything as a whole troop (and remember, in da BSA program literature, MC's wear civilian attire more often than not!). Internationally, Scoutin' is a movement that has some common themes and character, but every scouting organization implements it in different ways - recognizable ones, but different."

 

In general, I agree with this philosophy. However, when my relatively small troop fails to submit an advancement report for more than a month, we are "flagged" as a unit in trouble by the District Advancement chair, and the "Rescue Squad" (Commissioner) is notified (as if they can do anything about it). No one checks if we're in uniform or not, nor do they care if we go camping. All they care about is membership, advancement FOS, and popcorn...not necessarily in that order.

 

 

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The troop my son is in has a long tradition of being very strong on the uniform method. All the scouts and SM/ASMs have and wear the uniform right down to the socks. The troop travels in uniform too. Committee members have some flexibility though, because not all are directly involved with youth. Those who are, own and wear the uniform. Those who aren't do not generally wear the uniform (unless they want to).

 

However, when a committee member goes to summer camp with the troop or travels elsewhere with the troop, they are expected to follow the same uniforming rules as the youth.

 

So that's the breakdown for us - if you are participating in an activity or trip you follow the same rules as everyone else - and I think it makes sense, at least most of the time.

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Sorry for posting twice in a row but I wanted to add one thing.

 

If you have committee members who balk at wearing the uniform and this is something that is important in your troop, you may just need a better explanation of why they SHOULD wear it. Browbeating them won't work well and may cause some people to dig in their heels even further (ahem, that would be me...). On the other hand, how about explaining that the SPL and PLC set the policy for all participants in troop activities, and that it undermines the SPL when scouts see that he can't get some of the (active) adults to follow the policies set by the SPL and PLC.

 

I think some adults who want to be supportive of the program but just don't care for uniforming and/or don't like being told what to do would be more sympathetic to such an explanation.

 

 

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