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Eamonn

The neckerchief

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Maybe I'm wrong?

But the neckerchief seems to be accepted world wide as the international uniform part.

I had to smile to myself when in the other thread we had Gold Winger stating:

"Allow the necker to be worn with the activity uniform. BP included the necker because it is a practical piece of outdoors attire. It also would help identify a group of casually dressed boys as Scouts."

Clearly looking for a neckerchief that would serve as both a part of the uniform and be practical.

Then we see evmori saying:

"Neckers are nice for formal occasions. Other than that, they get in the way."

It would seem neckerchiefs are just a part of the uniform.

 

To be honest I don't know too many Scouts who wear their uniforms for practical purposes or when they are participating in outdoor activities. (OK some might wear the socks, shorts, belt and a T-shirt at camp).

 

Back home in the UK, neckerchiefs were seen as being something special. Each Scout Group had it's own colors and the neckerchief was like a flag. It, more than anything identified you as belonging to that Group (Pack, Troop or Venture Unit.)

Rarely if ever did a Groups neckerchief ever change, the colors remained the same as long as the group was in existence.

English neckerchiefs do seem to be bigger than the ones normally worn here in the USA.

I dislike the American Gilwell neckerchief, it just isn't long enough. I normally buy mine from Gilwell Park.

I have a few of the polyester blends, which I like and a few of the wool ones that tend to bit a little to warm.

(Wood Badge items can be purchased from Scout Shops on line at:

http://www.scouting.outdoors.ltd.uk/cgi-bin/sh000009.pl?REFPAGE=http%3a%2f%2fwww%2escoutshops%2ecom%2f&WD=woodbadge&PN=Awards%2ehtml%23a1022508#a1022508 )

 

While of course I have a very strong bias!!

I thought the neckerchief of my old Scout Group was the best looking Necker!!

It was black, with a quarter-inch white boarder. It looked great when it was rolled. Near the point we had our Pioneer Badge, two crossed axes encased in a twisted rope tied with what was supposed be be a Reef knot only at some stage someone messed up and it was a Thief knot (The working ends are on opposite sides.)This was also white on black. The reason for the patch was that we were the 17th Fulham (Pioneers.)

New Scouts were presented with their Troop neckerchief when they were invested as a Scout. Looking back, it really was something that everyone was very proud of.

We of course said that neckerchiefs were useful as bandages and hats, but other than in the meeting hall when we were practicing First Aid, they were never used as anything but a part of the uniform.

Sea Scouter's don't wear neckerchiefs and even when I wear the field uniform, other than for WB ceremonies, I rarely if ever wear a neckerchief.

A few years back I seen a Troop up at camp who wore red neckers and they had all dyed their tennis shoes red too match. I had a chat with the SM,he said that it was the boy's idea. Every boy was in full uniform and with the red shoes!! I thought they looked sharp.

We have one adult leader in the Council who every-time I see him is wearing a tie!! With his uniform.

Someone should buy that man a necker!

Ea.

A tie!! Yuck!!

 

 

 

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My current troop does not wear a neckerchief, but I agree that a sharp looking neckerchief does help. I designed a neckerchief for my BSA troop in Germany and everyone wore it. A cocoa brown that complimented the shirt nicely with an image of the local Ulm Mnster cathedral that the town was famous for. I just can't get anyone excited about a neckerchief.

 

Ed

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I wore one when I was a scout, but today they are seen by the boys as stupid. The reason: There is no one else wearing them. The army does not use them. No other civilian group uses them. In BP's time they were common.

 

In 2005 I took our troop to Philmont where I got an appreciation for the neckerchief. I went to the Philmont store and bought a bandana, which I wore around my neck for the trek. It kept my neck from getting sunburned during the day and acted as a scarf in the wee hours (Cold hours, as I remember) of the morning. I used it to wipe the sweat off my forhead and to wrap the stuff in my pockets a night. I still have it.

 

We are at the point in the BSA of having a formal dress uniform and a practial BDU (sorry for references to the military, but when it comes to uniforms, what can you do?) or activity uniform. As a kid, our uniform was made of heavy material that could be worn on camping trips. The shirt was the same kind made for the soldiers. We had flat garrison hats which no one wore, and the web belts that were just like the army belts of the time. The hats are gone, and the belts will disappear when the switchback pants become the only pants we use. The neckerchief and the campaign hat are throughbacks to the calvary soldiers of pre WWI. The thing to do with neckerchiefs is to make them part of the activity uniform and emphasize the way they protect the skin. Some kids will wear it on their head, and that is ok when camping.

 

 

 

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If NOBODY wears neckerchiefs anymore, then scouts are no different than anybody else. If only scouts still wear neckerchiefs then they are unique.

 

I was in Canada a couple of years back and while in a gift-shop I noticed a number of young people (men and women) all wearing yellow neckerchiefs with no logo on them. I asked them if they were scouts and they said yes. Just the neckerchief, both men and women, even with no uniform and no scout logo or identification at all, it still indicated scouts.

 

It may be the last indicator that makes Scouting visibly unique.

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I remember my brothers BSA supply neckerchief. It felt at least as heavy of material as a bandanna.

 

I remember my Troop did its own necker, and to economize, sized them a bit smaller than the "then normal" BSA necker. It didn't go on weekend campouts.

 

I've seen what BSA uses now. Cheap and thin. It's a dressy bauble, best left at home.

 

I like what allangr said. If BSA is going to have us in a necker (and as E says, it's one of the uniform components most of the world recognizes), let's have quality, fit, and finish which justify it as a working garment.

 

Those of you who are WBers... think about your taupe necker, and your tartan necker. Think about the physical differences. That's the point I'm driving at.

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My son's troop chose a baseball cap over a neckerchief for their class A. I asked how can a baseball cap be used to make an arm sling or cravat or signal flag or hankerchief (what's that?)...well you get the idea. Baseball caps are cool and cool wins over all.

 

Now, my old BSA neckerchief dates back to when usefulness was more important. Usefulness was cool then. It is a large square (approx 30" x 30", it was probably larger when new), single color with BSA logo. You folded along diagonal and rolled then draped OVER the collar to protect your neck from sunburn, etc. This was worn or carried on all scout activities except COH when the dress neckerchief was worn.

 

I wore my old neckerchief for awhile and showed its usefulness to new scouts, but it wasn't a baseball cap. Maybe just as well, the current, so-called BSA neckerchiefs are just expensive, dandy fashion accessories in my opinion.

 

No neckerchief, no need to whittle a slide (woggle), and no interest in Woodcarving mb. Baseball caps. Maybe if the Red Sox were and wore Red Neckerchiefs?

 

 

 

 

 

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I know that the BSA sometimes has to be flexible and change with the times and uniforms need to be functional, and that term is open to interpretation. In my never to be humble opinon, 2 items should never be removed from the "Authorized List", The neckerchief and the Scoutmasters campaign hat. Long live them both as they both are world wide symbols of scouting.

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The BSA neckerchief is now fully on par with the necktie: once functional, both are purely symbolic neckwear.

 

When in the field, I wear a bandana (sometimes two) and a broad brim hat; that Texas summer sun can be brutal. It's too bad the BSA Scout uniform is no longer practical field wear.

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I'm cool. I'm stylin'. I wear neckerchiefs. And I confess, I have a problem-over 30 in my collection, and I want more.

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The boys in our Pack wear the neckerchief but our Cubmaster and Den Leaders dont with one exception, one of our Webelos Den Leaders wears her Wood Badge neckerchief. Im the Assistant Cubmaster and I wear a neckerchief. Its a nice tradition and I feel we, the leaders, should set the example if we expect the boys to wear one. I started out with the current standard Cub Scout Leader blue neckerchief but I picked up an old (1930 40s) CUBS BSA blue and gold neckerchief and now wear that one exclusively. The old one is much bigger but not that heavy. I wear mine on top of the collar.

 

The leaders in our big brother Scout Troop (were chartered by the same organization) generally wear bolo ties. If my memory serves me correct the scouts dont wear neckerchiefs.

 

I wear a campaign hat, much to my wifes chagrin. In my humble opinion it's another worthy tradition.

 

YIS

Mike

 

 

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The neckerchief is the universal - and universally recognized - symbol of Scouting. Scouts from all over the world proudly wore, displayed, and traded neckers at the 100th Anniversary of Scouting - some of them sporting as many as three or four neckers simultaneously.

It was a mistake to make the neckerchief optional. A mistake to make it too small. A mistake to wear it under the collar where it bunches up, looks too small, and serves no useful purpose but to make Scouts resemble Young Pioneers of the Soviet era.

I wear the neckerchief proudly, explain its place in Scouting tradition to young scouts, encourage everyone to wear the neckerchief correctly.

I wish we could bring back the old full-squares.

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Of course the neckerchief isn't cool anymore - too many adults are wearing it. There was a time in the not too distant past that proper uniforming for adult males included a tie, either standard or bolo - not a neckerchief. Out in public, that's how people found the adult leaders for a group of Scouts - they were the ones not wearing the neckerchief. Adult leaders just didn't wear neckerchiefs, except for Woodbadge neckerchiefs - and then only for Woodbadge or Training occasions. Now, adults want to recapture their youth and wear the same neckerchiefs as the lads. And we wonder why the Scouts look upon them as uncool? What used to be special, for the boys only, has become common, for everyone. I also find it interesting (and I don't mean for this to come out as sexist or anti-female Scouter) that the trend towards no neckerchiefs started about the same time that our valued female Scouters began wearing neckerchiefs - they became neck "scarves" - and boys don't wear scarves (other countries an exception, but of course other countries have co-ed Scouting programs). Male adult leaders followed the lead of the women and started wearing the neckerchiefs too.

 

Sometimes, though, I start to feel a little curmudgeonly and in that spirit, I offer a modest suggestion to encourage more units to adopt neckerchiefs (if you don't like what's commerciall available, make your own - there are fabric stores where you can get some good material for neckerchiefs). At your camporees, first aid meets, klondikes - any district wide even with patrol competitions, have a station or stations where the use of the neckerchief is key to completion. For instance, at a first aid meet or camporee, have a station/event where the patrol must use their neckerchiefs to create a sling, create a bandage, tie up an ankle, etc. The key is the patrol must supply their own - no having any on hand at the station! If they don't have neckerchiefs, they don't get the points. Unfair you say? I counter with Be Prepared!

 

CalicoPenn

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I know my son wears his troop neckerchief to 95% of his meetings the other 5% he'll wear a bolo & I believe that the majority of the boys in his troop do too! I'm not at the meetings, just the COH & a parent meeting. Today my son did wear a bolo from summer camp but that was mainly because he couldn't find his neckerchief slide! We must find the slide before Friday as he has an Eagle COH to go to for 1 of the boys in his troop!

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Im sure many of you have seen the recent news story about the Boy Scout who foiled an assassination attempt of the President of the Maldives. Kudos to that brave scout. Its nice to see some good scouting news.

 

What got me though was the description of the scout who was wearing his blue Maldives scout uniform with a blue kerchief. Kerchief? While I did note that the definition of kerchief includes neckwear, nonetheless I could not shake the image of the Boy Scout Babushka!

 

YIS

Mike

 

 

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