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The Norman Rockwell Uniform

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I would guess for the same reason they are changing it again - it probably looked outdated. Boys are more likely to wear the uniform if it is more in line with their current concept of fashion.


For example, they don't like shorts if they are cut above the knees. One boy actually told me if they are too short, it is considered "gay".

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LOL My son has always complained that the shorts are too short. He still wears them though. He has finally quit caring so much about what other people think and has actually began wearing knee socks with his scout shorts.


Our troop is around 45 years old and we have pictures of past Philmont Crews going back into the 70's. Some of those guys were wearing what looked like hot pants!!!

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I can appreciate that what the boys think DOES count for a lot.


But it's curious that the uniform looked okay to boys in 1920, 1940, 1960, etc., with no real change. What happened in 1979?


Did the national organization ever explain the change?

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Actually your history is not real accurate. There were changes in the patches, the socks, the hats, the neckerchiefs, the fabric of the **** s and pants. Even the pockest changed.


So to say that there were no noticeable changes in 60 years is not correct.



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Bob White,

I think Mr. boyce was referring to the basic "look" of the old version uniform. Green shirt / green pants and neckerchief. Sure, the fabric changed, town and stte strips vs coucnil patch, green bars vs round position patches, etc.


I like the older 1970's era uniform. Permanant pressed green shirt, green pants, though I prefer the red and black patrol patches and the oval, multi color rank patches. We had red and white town and state strps, followed by a red and white CSP, then a multi colored CSP. Either would be OK with me.

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So, how many Scouters does it take to change a light bulb?






One changes the light bulb and the other four talk about how good the old one was, how the new one will never live up to the performance of the old one and that, in fact, even the one being replaced was no match to its predecessor


The only thing constant is change




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Oh, I'm not moaning, really.


I think the image that comes to mind for the average member of the general public, when you say "Boy Scout" is probably the Norman Rockwell look.


Sure, modest changes along all those 60 years or so. But I wonder if "brand identity" is hurt when the package changes substantially.



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Mr. Boyce asks a great question. I often ponder why the cub uniform has remained mostly unchanged and the older program has changed the appearance of the uniform many times.


I looked but was unable to find a phot journal of the changes over the years. Is there one online that any are aware of?

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This is a hoot. BSA has been around for what, close to 100 years. Let's see the current uniform has been around for what, close to 30 years or 30% of the time the BSA has been. I imagine that there has been way more scouts and scouters in the current uniform than any other. This is great entertainment.




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Might I humbly suggest that there were a combination of things involved: A) A famous designer (Oscar de la Renta) offered to donate his services to the BSA to redesign the uniform, B) People's attitude towards a uniform that looked quasi-military in appearence was souring during the aftermath of the Vietnam War, C) The color of the uniform in the 70's was just awful - a pea soup green, D) Green as a color choice was now both over done (remember Avacado Green applianes and carpeting) and dated, and E) older boys (11 and up) just aren't into the "garanimal" look of wearing shirts and pants that match colors - the Forest Green shirt with the Pea Soup Green pants was a sharp combination - any two tone uniform combination just looks more exciting and vibrant. The all Pea Soup Green look was staid and boring.



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I was a Scout in the 1960s and I liked the "classic" Scout uniform of that era. When I see Norman Rockwell pictures at my local council office, I always smile to myself about being a Scout in 1960s.


From my perspective, some of the evolution over the past 40 years has been good, some has been bad and some has been ugly. Here is my personal opinion about the Scout uniform evolution:



- The tan shirt with OD pants

- The introduction of switchbacks pants

- The introduction of breathable fabrics

- The use of tan shirts into the Weblos program

- The introduction of subdued insignia for the new uniform

- The intoduction of the world scouting emblem

- The introduction of Expedition Hat



- The green and red-top socks, especially knee socks

- The elimination of the neckerchief as a uniform element

- The retention of brass buckles for uniform pants

- The "cargo"-style pants with useless pockets

- The pocket on the sleeve of the new uniform shirt



- The red and green "baseball" type hats

- The pea green shade of the uniform pants prior to the switchbacks

- The wide ("elvis") collar of the current uniform shirt

- The shift of uniform manufacturing to China


I am sure that these opinions will provoke some interesting comments from my fellow Scouters.


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I agree with most except the tan shirt for Webelos. I think having Webelos in tan shirts makes the cross over less dramatic and just a change of shoulder loops and neckerchief is basically all that happens.


Also, I don't care for the tan shirt - PERIOD! The color is just OK, I prefer the green, but if the fit and cut were the older style, the tan would be OK.


The red topped socks are OK, but I think old timers (way older than me) who wear the red top socks with garters and tassles just look ridiculous.


I'd also like to see the red and white numerals stay!



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Elvis collar? I have been and will continue to be confused by this comment. Elvis' famous collars stood up almost too his ears. The Scout collar is supposed to like flat, just like that on the khaki Marine Corps shirt (go ahead, tell the Marines that they look like Elvis). I thought maybe it is the length of the collar so I went a measured one of my Hathaway dress shirts: 2.75 inches from point to notch. Measured my Scout shirt: 3.0 inches from point to notch.


I then went down into my basement and measured my old green Scout shirts. The one with the band around the collar so you could wear a tie: 2.6 inches. The one from the 70s with no collar band: 3.0 inches.


Not a big difference there. What on earth do you want? A T-shirt. It is an open collared shirt. Get over it.


As for the socks, I like the red strip, makes it look like you're not just wearing an old pair of regular socks.

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