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IM_Kathy

Tucked In

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not sure what to do with this one...

 

we have a boy the just crossed over into our troop. first time at meeting as a scout he wore his uniform, but didn't have his shirt tucked in... after being told by more than 1 leader that he needed to tuck in his shirt he walked away to another room of the building. after he returned one of our adults sat down and talked with him - I was nearby and heard some of the things he said and I have to say he did a very good job. But since that meeting the boy has been coming to meetings not wearing a uniform (there by not having to tuck in his shirt) This boy was a cub scout at least 1 year because he crossed over with the rest of his den, so I'm not sure why this wasn't taken care of back then. Parent seems to just brush it all off as "no big deal" but we can't allow one boy to do 1 thing and expect the rest to follow the rules. Of course this is "no big deal" until the boy goes for a SMC or BOR where he must be in uniform.

 

but, I'm just wondering how you would suggest dealing with this

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IMHO: The first problem is that the adults are the ones enforcing these rules. Our troop is by no means the model for uniform standards but the scouts enforce tucked in shirts. I'd love to see them tucked into scout pants instead of an odd assortment of jeans, sweats and running shorts but it has to be scout driven.

 

We are working on our PLC to schedule uniform inspections so that the boys can take ownership of the uniform standards. Ultimately, I would be happier with a boy led troop in multi colored tutus than an adult led troop that looks like it just walked out of the Boys Life. (Fortunately there is no threat of the scouts wanting to dress in tutus).

 

Get the boy's PL to talk with the boy. Odds are he will listen to a 13 year old more than he will listen to the adults or his parents. Peer pressure is not always a bad thing.

 

Good luck.

 

Hal

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My old troop conducted weekly uniform inspections. It wasn't tucked, you got points taken off for neatness. usually the shirts cam off all together during game time, but once the game was over, SPL enforced the tucked in rule. let the scouts enforce the rules

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yes, ideally this would be done by the PL, but this is a NP and they just now got a PL. There have been several boys, from the SPL to Eagle scouts that told the boy that day to tuck it in and since then have asked him where his shirt was. The adult stepped in that first day when he refused to listen to any of the boys and then walked away. None of the adults have talked with him since then, trying to leave it to the boys, but that's not working at all.

 

we have never done inspections, but even with that what's the punishment of not being in uniform?

 

Our troop is as mentioned by someone in here - we don't require scout pants. We often see boys come in the ball pants, football pants, or swim trunks during the summer. During the summer we allow the boys to wear class B's. But otherwise they were the uniform shirt, and only time you see a boy without his shirt is when he has suddenly out grown it.

 

Our requirements for uniform (class A and neckerchief) is they are worn to and from trips, worm if in flag ceremony, and for SCM & BOR

 

so, since he isn't listening to the youth leaders, what would you do?

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No punishment for being out of uniform just fewer points for scout and his patrol. I know a leader who held a year long uniform competition. The SM was a lawyer and had a client who ran a limo service. The client wanted to do something to support his lawyers troop so.... the winning patrol went on a camp out in a limo loaned by the client. A bit over the top for sure but the scouts got into the competition and they were a well uniformed troop, at least for that year.

 

We expect scouts in full uniform for for SMCs and BORs, CoHs, our annual banquet, and at camp for flags and evening meal at summer camp. Staff of other units set a good example there. Most generally comply. Meetings are another story with scouts often coming from other activities. We expect scout shirts for going to and from camp outs. By longstanding tradition repeatedly confirmed by the PLC, our scouts do not wear neckerchiefs. We do not punish scouts for not being in uniform other than postponing BORs if the scout is not in uniform. The switch back pants have made it easier to get scouts to wear full uniform. Scouts really hated the Oscar de la Renta pants (long pants more reviled than short).

 

We (the adults) want to encourage the PLC to make uniforms a bit more of a priority in the next months to set a good example for the new scouts.

 

I know that some troops will send scouts home for being out of uniform and that might be an approach your leaders could try... but they need to be consistent with all scouts in the unit. Asking the parents to take their son home and come back in uniform might get their attention. Without their support it will be hard to get their son to do anything he doesn't want to.

 

I once asked my son why he would often go to scouts in less than a full uniform but wouldn't think of going to his kung fu class without the full outfit. His answer, "the scoutmaster doesn't make me do push ups for being out of uniform".

 

 

 

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Hal didn't you say the exact same thing about attendance for your son's kung fu class? :D

 

Anyway, uniform inspections will only work if there's an incentive, my troop does uniform inspections but nothing happens if you fail it or not, so there's no worry about it. Maybe try a punishment, X amount of times without a uniform puts you on clean up duty for your patrols next campout 1 more time than it normally would be.

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The proper wearing of uniforms is a thread that appears over and over again. Funny how among the eight methods, the uniform method gets the most attention.

 

Wearing the uniform properly starts from the top down. Scoutmasters and assistants should wear the uniform correctly. When I say uniform, I mean the FULL uniform. Others will likely chime in here about the uniform not being required to be a Boy Scout - and they would be correct. I see nothing wrong, however, with a Troop setting an expectation for uniform wear. In our Troop, for instance, boys are expected to wear the uniform for SM Conferences, BORs, Courts of Honor, flag ceremonies, Scout Sunday, and other occasions that come up. For traveling the guys wear the activity uniform - Scout pants/shorts and Troop T-shirt. Troop T-shirt and any old pants for weekly meetings.

 

This uniform 'policy' was developed by the boys and me several years ago. Before that, the uniform requirement in our Troop was shirt only - any old pants would do. Even with only the shirt required, boys showed up without it. Poor uniforming was a symptom of much larger problems in our Troop at that time.

 

We wanted to build pride among the boys in the Troop and a sense of commitment. Among other changes, we changed the expectation of uniforming. What it came down to was a discussion with the boys about the methods of Scouting. Basically asking them, if you guys don't think the uniform method is important, what other method(s) should we ignore. Advancement? Outdoors?

 

That was four years ago and since then only occasionally do our junior leaders have to remind a guy that he is out of uniform. We meet in a basement and can hear someone coming down the stairs. The guys are all down there starting their meeting. A Scout shows up late and they hear him coming down the stairs. When he comes around the corner and is not wearing his Troop Tshirt a chorus of voices shout - so and so is out of uniform!

 

I've found that if a guy continuously ignores our uniform standard, there is a bigger problem to deal with. At least in my experience, it is a symptom of something other than just not wanting to wear the uniform.

 

There is no 'punishment' in our Troop for not wearing the uniform properly. I disagree with Troops that have a waist up policy. To me it sends a message that the uniform isn't really important. And, if the message is that the uniform itself isn't important, then why should it be important to tuck in the shirt? If you're going to wear the uniform, wear it properly or not at all. I strongly disagree with troops that set some kind of policy on that - sending guys home, postponing a SM Conference, etc. I just don't agree with motivation by punishment.

 

IM_Kathy - It will probably take some time for your Scout and his parents to understand wearing the uniform. Generally Cub Scout Packs/Dens only ask the Scouts to wear the shirt. During my many years of Cub Scouting, I saw a lot of untucked Scout shirts, too. After perhaps five years of that, it takes time for a boy and his parents to take uniforming seriously.

 

 

 

 

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Yep we had a year round patrol competition,and uniform inspection was part of it. Thing about the competition was this: one patrol had to be the winner or no award. leadership Corps was excluded as they were the ones conducting the inspection and they were EXPECTED to set the example. As i scout I remember looking up to those guys and hero worshiping them as they were the epitome of a Scout IMHO.

 

 

If the scout has been talked to by the scouts and the adults, it's time to 1) talk to the parents and explain to them why it's important, and 2)have the SPL or PL start documenting every time the scout doesn't following directions, hence "OBEDIENT" in the Scout law. That way you have written evidence that he is not ready for the Scout Spirit portion of the advancement, Still have the SM Conference so that you can tell him how to work on it, but don't let anyone sign off on Scout Spirit. In my old troop that was the PL, ASPL or SPL who could sign off on that before Star.

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When I started the boys and I agreed on only three rules that must be followed.

 

1) Safety first

 

2) Look and act like a Scout

 

3) Have fun

 

Since then the emphasis has been as a full-uniformed troop and the boys themselves enforce it. The above rules are the only time an adult can step into the programming of the boys. We as adults only really enforce #1. #2 is just in case there may be some sort of major behavioral problem. #3 is for the kid that is having tough go of it (homesick, picked on, etc.) where an adult can step in and work with him.

 

The boys have picked up on #2 and have promoted full-uniform. As far as uniforms are concerned, each patrol has a "quick inspection" before falling into rank for flag for example. Otherwise they stand in the back with the adults and others who are not in full-uniform. This places the decision on the boy as to where he wishes to be. If he is in uniform, he's with the patrol, if not, he's with the civilians. That quick little inspection is normally where the shirt tails get tucked in, neckers adjusted, and buttons buttoned. This little inspection is also applied before the scout gets into a vehicle for a trip, and any other time the PL decides the uniform must look "nice". I have found that the boy who leaves himself out of the patrol activities will quickly figure out how to get in with their "good graces". The boy is not punished but constantly encouraged to get with the program and quit missing out on things.

 

As mentioned by others peer pressure always is more effective than adult rules.

 

Stosh

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I really would hope that we never use the word punishment.

As I see it, we are about trying to help young people do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do.

Not because they fear being punished.

 

This shirt thing is only a big deal because someone made it into one.

I can't help thinking that if I were this young Lad (Don't I wish!!) I'd be doing just what he is doing.

That is sending a message.

I kinda think that if I were him and people got onto me about not wearing the uniform, my next line of thinking would be "Hey if they don't want me as I am? I'm out of here!"

The leaders in some Troops might think that they can do without a kid like this?

I'd argue that any good stuff we might ever be able to help him do leaves when he leaves.

Eamonn

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Something that I have started doing when my cubs show up in their uniform shirts is to give them a piece of chocolate. Nothing major, just a small piece, like stocking stuffer or candy dish type. But they must be wearing their blue shirts. Class B Shirts do not count.

 

As for the boy who refuses to wear his uniform because he don't want to tuck it in. Well then have him stand to the side during openings and closings. If he asks why tell him that the formation is for those in uniform, and when he decides to wear it the right way, he can return. It is totally up to him.

 

As for tucking in the shirt, ask my son, I am forever telling him that I expect his shirt to be tucked in. And I get on his case if it is not. I understand that things come untucked during activities, but when you are done, you need to fix yourself.

 

Personally I think that if you have a uniform shirt is out it looks extremely sloppy.

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The pride of appearance needs be infused early on. Also, the uniform thing can often be seen as a "power struggle" ("you can't make me").

 

I once had a Cub Scout in my Pack that participated in most things, but wore his uniform shirt unbuttoned. Entirely unbuttoned. His mom had properly sewn on all the insignia, he wore a necker, but his mom announced to me, the CM, that "buttons made Timmy uncomfortable", therefore he had no other shirts that buttoned. Us other parents thought this was a litttle bizarre, but okay, everyone's different. At one meeting, I knelt down in front of Timmy and said to him, in front of his mom,"gee Timmy, I think you look sharp in your uniform. But I see in your hurry to get to the meeting, you forgot to button up your shirt. I usta have trouble with that, never could get the buttons even, here let me help" and I proceeded to button up his shirt. He stood there and did not protest. Mom said nothing. Timmy came to all meetings after that buttoned and tucked.

 

Now, I don't suggest doing that with a thirteen year old Star Scout. But ya never know.

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For some reason, if I, Mom, tell my son to put on a jacket, he looks at me like I'm crazy. If the ASM standing next to me says, "Hey, T, put your jacket on!" He does it. How does that work?

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Every month or two our CC will show up with a couple boxes of ice cream bars, or a case of drinks. Everyone in full uniform gets one. Everyone else watches.

 

 

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