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Neckerchief Rant

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In Cub Scouts the necker is not optional. Also, each level (Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos) has it's own necker. That is why, at a Pack meeting, when 1st thru 5th graders are all together, they do not all look like one another. They are not supposed to.


It seems to me that your biggest complaint is that when the necker is worn under the collar, the collar is not put neatly over the necker. This is a "learning how to dress yourself" issue, not a BSA issue. Also, both moms AND dads can reach over and straighten their son's collar before he walks out the door so this is not just mom's fault.


I don't know about your sons, but with mine, and just about every boy in our Pack (ESPECIALLY Tigers!), they come into a meeting (den or Pack) at full tilt. They are so full of energy they could power a small city. If you want to see them in a neat, tidy uniform, with their neckers properly in place (it does not matter if they are over or under the collar), then you better take a picture of them in the first 2 seconds of the meeting!


Remember, Cub Scouts (regardless of how some units are run) are NOT the military. Scouting is FUN with a purpose, and for those high energy little guys it is REAL hard to have FUN while staying neat and tidy.


As the saying goes, don't sweat the small stuff. As long as the Pack/den is delivering a good program, the boys are having fun, and they are coming back for more, I really don't care if one collar tip is out and one is in! I will save that for the 1 or 2 uniform inspections we have each year.

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The scouts I was referring to were not just the cubs, It was cubs through webelos and the webelos looked the worst out of all of them. Actually our tigers were the better-looking ones. This was a pack meeting not a den meeting. And I am just on here gaining perspective. And yes when I was in scouts, boys got sloppy, but not at the level I saw at this meeting. I know its not the military. But learning to have pride in your uniform is something that I felt was a valuable lesson I learned in scouts. And that pride gives you confidence to do other things in life.


My wife owned a daycare and is now an elementary and special ed teacher and I was a DeMolay Advisor for many years and now I am the assistant den leader, and we have four kids, so we are quite familiar with kids behavior. And one thing we know is that kids like having standards. It gives them a sense of order and predictability. So to drop standards and say they are just kids (even in 1st grade) is not fair to the kids, and you have done them a disservice in my opinion. I dont know where everyone on here is from, but where I am we have so many kids who already dont have a male role model and get very little discipline because the mom is exhausted from doing everything herself. So when they come to scouts that may be the only structure they will see. And they enjoy it. Why would we take that away from them? Its not because they are kids, its because we as adults forgot or never understood the value in standards.


I appreciate everyones input to my situation, It has been helpful. I think that when the timing is appropriate and I am a trusted leader I will suggest a uniform class at a meeting.



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The necker under the collar does look horrible but I think the greater problem is just a matter of the lowered expectations when it comes to dress in our society.


I went to a funeral the other day. I wear a suit about twice a year so I dusted off my suit, buffed up my shoes and dressed for the occasion. A college age young man showed up, dressed neatly in a sweater and dress pants and wearing a ball cap. That cap never came off his head. Not during the service nor during the meal following the service. He came with a young lady who was wearing low cut pants that were too tight with a top that left her navel exposed. Whatever happened to the concept of appropriate attire? Yep, it's the parents fault because too many refuse to set standards saying, "I have to pick my battles" Why? If you tell your daughter to dress appropriately are you afraid that she'll get pregnant or start doing drugs?



During my last decade of umpiring, I had frequent "conversations" with parents, usually not the coaches, about shirts being tucked in. I'd hear, "he likes it untucked" and "you can't tell him to tuck it in." My responses were "So?" and "yes I can." Of course, I'd also have converstations with parents about why their son's constitutional right to free speech did not apply on my field.


Back to the original rant. When I was a youngster, we knew how to tuck our shirts in after playing. For some reason, that skill has evaded many of today's youth. Maybe it would help if kids wore clothes that actually fit which helps shirts to stay in and pants to stay up.


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Bobwhite, "Everything in perspective" must mean "Don't sweat the small stuff" - in which case every point of disagreement becomes classified as small stuff by those who want to avoid the actual matter at hand - which by the way has been brought out very well despite some of the hand-wringing by those afraid of a standard.


Things I am hearing that are great !

-Technical side of how to wear uniform is important.. -but not as important of scout's pride and positive attitude about appearance..


-How looking good (e.g. presenting self and wearing uniform well etc) is in fact related to being good.


- Others here also seem to have this "in perspective" by relating a method or facet of Scouting to one thing or another we all see in society that is not "quite right" (putting it lightly)..like the funeral example.. I say. Is this not like what BP did? I mean - him seeing the sad overall situation for young boys and men in the British Empire and wanting to provide chances to turn it around. Developed a game with methods and practices to build up the boy into a man and good citizen.


So , to keep it in perspective, it's not just a piece of cloth around the neck folks...


"Sloppy Joes"??? I'll be by the campsite for chow -- Jalepenos please!




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Greetings all. This is my first post on this forum, so it only follows that I have a strong opinion about the topic.


My son is in his second year of Cub Scouting (Wolf). I am a career Army Officer that never was a scout. I've been very careful to avoid imposing military standards or expectations on my son in general and as it pertains to scouting in particular.


But man does it chap my... butt... to see the boys in our pack with a thousand different uniform variations. And the Neckerchief is a great source of my consternation.


To address the original post, I agree that under the collar just looks wrong. I never knew about the turned under collar, and I doubt I will teach my son to do that. I'll try it out, but I'm guessing it will cause chaffing as he runs around crazy that way it's been described in other posts.


There have been pack meetings where he's slowed down just long enough to find me, neckerchief in hand, and asked me to hold it. Rather than take a hard stand and insist that he wear the uniform properly, I've chosen to put it in my pocket until the end of the meeting. But I make sure he puts it back on (and makes whatever other uniform adjustments needed) for the closing ceremony. That's my version of choosing my battles.


Thanks everyone for a great discussion. I've learned that I should search eBay for uniform items, that I'm not the only one who goes crazy over how grade-school kids wear a neckerchief (!) and that I've found a pretty good resource to support the journey I've embarked upon with my son.




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This is completely off subject, but I have a uniform proposition.


I propose that we add to the Associate Lodge Advisor a uniform requirement that states they must wear measuring tape suspenders...


...meaning absolutely no disrespect, but every ALA that I have met...



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I have a few things to say about this issue.


As many of you may know from my previous posts, I am a military man. I have served in Iraq and been in for quiet a few years.


I think that the over under issue is over-rated. Does it really matter which way the boys wear it. As long as they ALL wear it the same way then I think that should be sufficient. My Tiger Cubs wear their Uniform with the Neckerchief under the collar. The neckerchief is rolled and a slide is there to hold it in place.


There was one thing that bothered me a little but I politely let the parent know. we are pack 162. She forgot the numbers and sewed it on as 129. Not to mention the numbers were spaced out. But we gave her the right numbers and let her know that the numbers were supposed to be together. No big deal. We will see how things are at the B&G next week.


I think that there are other pressing issues that are at hand. Not all of my cubs can afford the pants. They are not cheap. So I ask that they wear dark jeans or slacks if they must. Try to look uniform. I think if we take the time to make a little effort, then we can still look great. They are young. Give them a break. Most of the families are young too and trying to make ends meet. At least they are getting uniform shirts. I cannot complain too much. Not too mention, we do not have the money as a pack to go out and buy the uniforms for the boys. I have discussed with some of the parents that after the cubs outgrow their uniforms if they would be interested in donating the old uniform to the pack for a uniform bank.


I think we need to look at things of uniformity of the pack/troop/event, before we start griping about the regulations.


These are my opinions. Not that of the BSA, my council, district or Pack.

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Hi SctDad.. Thanks for taking you time to chime in and thanks for service in Iraq.. If you want to get a feel for the over/under issue , study the pics of scouts from the past and not-so distant past.. Then think about the practical aspects of the neckerchief that we wish to maintain as a part of a uniform.. - The uniform that is practical, conveys our heritage and looks the role. What I am saying is that the current set-up (and under the collar) are all about "parlour-scouting" and are very feminine to boot. About looking the same - that's good but it's still not "uniform". The cub blue and green convertible scout pants have come down in price significantly for what they offer and the whole cost thing is mostly a matter of priorities anyway - other threads adress this $$ topic adequately.


Teach the use the neckechief as a tool and the boys will latch onto it..

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