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Which Insignia Do You Respect?

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Eamonn, I loved the story. I can picture the whole thing, including the frustration building over the whole thing. Great ending.


You are right, that it's not the insignia that we respect, it's the people that earn them. And as others have indicated, it's not the award, it's the work and the boys that really indicate success. I'm sure I could have phrased my question more precisely.


If you didn't know anything about a Scouting volunteer except for seeing him in his uniform, what insignia would give you an indication that you would be likely to respect the person and the work he has done with Scouts and/or for Scouting?


GW - Tut, tut. Please don't criticize other people's choices on this thread. Feel free to spin off a thread on the topic.


On topic...I've never seen a Sea Badge knot on a uniform that I can remember, but I'd respect the effort that went into taking that course.

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I realize there are a lot of AOL/Eagle mills out there but then they jam a lot of people through WB, OA and just about any other aspect of scouting. A FOS chairman that get's Silver Beaver may cheapen the award too. I still look up to the leaders that sacrifice a lot to make sure their boys have an opportunity for AOL and Eagle, mill or not. There are leaders out there that still work at having the boys earn the award.



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Yah, I can't say I've ever been impressed by either a shirt or a suit.


Da Scouters I respect at first blush are the ones who have a kid come up to them, and there is respect and admiration in the kid's eyes.


At the support levels, the volunteers and professionals I respect are ones who never talk for more than ten minutes without bringin' the conversation back around to "How do we best serve kids?" Or the ones who have a front-line, volunteer scouter who does great work with kids come up to them, and there is respect and collegial admiration in the scouter's eyes.


But if I've got to pick a uniform, I reckon my favorites are the ones with a bare uniform, eh? Not jaded, wide eyed, willin', and ready to start the adventure. No awards yet and not even aware of awards. Just willin' to put on green and tan (or grey and green, or white...) because they care about kids.




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The uniform with the iron on patches where the shirt went thru some rough times outdoors, teaching the boys the right and wrong ways of doing things. Also the one the boys gather around to listen to.

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The uniforms that would get respect would depend on the situation. If we were in the woods, one that shows a lot of days in the woods, but still looks good.


If we were at an awards ceremony, a nice, clean, pressed uniform that shows a scouters accomplishments.


There is one things that I have not heard anyone mention yet.


Service Stars. I think that if there is someone who has a few years on those stars, then that could show some committment (SP)


And one other thingthat is a show of dedication for me. Patches that sewn on. Not just using patch attach. The stuff souds great, but I am still a fan of sewing them on as my mother told me when I was younger, 'If you are gonna keep earning these, you are gonna learn to sew'


But most of all everything must be earned. In the military we called the fakes PX rangers. Any one can buy a patch and sew it on. But how many can earn one the right way.

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The Philmont arrowhead patch. The wearer has earned it by completing a trek at Philmont, which is no easy task. Most scouts and scouters who wear this insignia spent a lot of time and effort preparing for their trek(s), so this award takes quite a bit of perseverance to attain. For any who would oe will point out that this insignia can be obtained from other sources (such as e-Bay), you are correct, however...anyone who would wear this patch without earning it are below contempt and dont deserve the PRIVELEDGE of donning the uniform of the BSA.

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This may show my strangeness, but the uniform that I respect (and in many cases try to follow) is the one that could have lots of square knots but doesn't wear any. This used to be the custom for Wood Badge and Wood Badge staffs. The idea was that, as BP had originally suggested, the uniform is an equalizer. One is judged on one's merits; not on one's insignia.


I have a colleague who could wear just about every adult award there is -- Silver Buffalo, Silver Antelope, Silver Beaver, District Award of Merit, Vigil Honor, etc. His most common uniform has no square knots.


In my own case, I could wear 11 square knots if I wanted to. I have them on a removable device and most commonly wear none. I only wear them if I am to be the senior person at some kind of ceremony and want to give credibility and stature to the honorees or if I think that the group has a couple of insignia happy people and I want to make sure that my status is established in their eyes.


Having said that, do have mixed feelings about this. I believe in the adult awards program and encourage leaders to earn and wear their insignia. And sometimes I wear square knots for that reason; so that newer leaders don't think there is something wrong with the adult leader recognition programs.


But I do know of leaders who have felt out of place and like second class citizens because their uniform is bare. It's a tough line to walk to decide how much is right and how much is too much.

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I do not automatically respect anyone in a scouting uniform. Since my return I have met alot of scouting folks some with many knots and do dads, and others with none, and others with none who I suspect probably have a bunch.


IMHO scouting has more people as members who may warrant immediate respect, but it should not be automatic based on something as trivial as colored square knots.


I met an elder member this weekend who had absolutely nothing on his uniform other than council patch troop number. He earned my respect thru his knowledge, confidence and respect he showed the members of our training group. By far the best person I have met in scouting since my return.

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I believe one should respect the person and not the knots one wears, I know many great scout leaders that have rows of knots and a few with the same rows that are not so great. In my opinion being a scout leader has nothing to do with adult awards but fostering our youth so intern they can foster their youth some day. I only wear on knot and it is red, white, and blue. And was earned when I was a youth. I know adult awards mean a lot to some leaders and they should be proud of them but I respect any adult leader who is willing to wear our uniform, live our values and selflessly volunteers their time to make a difference in our boy lives. No matter what awards he wears.

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I agree that the simple act of wearing the uniform, particularly the FULL uniform is the single most respect inspiring thing.


When I see a shirt with several knots, I think, "This is a person who has longevity in the program. I should see what I can glean from them." Often this is true, sometimes I am seriously disappointed. Of course, there is something to be gleaned from everyone.


Awards which require nomination are all noteworthy, but the Advisor's Award of Merit is one which requires the youth that the leader works with week in and week out, to nominate. To me, that says something extra.


Awards which can be earned are also all good, but the WD Boyce New Unit Organizer Knot, is someone who is clearly helping the program to grow.


Awards earned as a youth, Eagle, Silver, Quartermaster, AoL & Religious Award (extra points for a religious award with multiple devices in it) tell me that they have a unique insight on the program, which can be very valuable.


Now you mix those knots with Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, or Advisor patches, with a trained strip and signs of wear, now we're talking respect.


All that said, when I see spoof knots on a uniform, someone who needs to pump up their left pocket resume, I am immediately skeptical about every other patch on the uniform.



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Of course seeing a little Fellow with his Bobcat is really great!!

If we are doing our job right we can at times imagine the fun, adventure and learning experiences he has in store.


Boy Oh Boy!! Wouldn't it be grand to start all over again!!


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