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In days of yore, when I was a cub scout, we wore 1 uniform from Bobcats until Webelos. One cap, one belt, one "necker", one slide, one shirt, we really wore the pants (I NEVER see them now) and only got new ones when they were so silly looking (high waters) that even frugal depression-era mothers were embarrased!


I sort of did not like the fact that the boys ALWAYS wear a cap bearing a badge they have not yet earned. Also the bobcat patch takes a space needed years later for the webelos patch - this is poor planning / design, IMO. The bobcat pin was cool.


Why, and who, and when, was it resolved to make the cub scout uniform so complicated and expensive. Every yer you need some new items. We bought all this stuff, after cub scouts what are you supposed to do with it all. It wasn't super costly, but quite a waste.


It was not broken why did they FIX it?


More curious than complaining.





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I'ld say money for changing the hats every year. I liked it when you only had to deal with 2 caps: a yellow-blue Wolf/Bear hat and an all blue Webelos.


As for neckers, it was for ID purposes, at least that was what I was told. It does make sense working council day camp the first day, or at a major council event when you have to divide the cubs into their age groups.


As for the slides, when I worked supply I'ld recommend buying two as the CS always seemed to be losing the first one. So I can understand why they created a new slide for each year. Still wish there were only 2: one for CS who are TC to Bear, and one for CS who are Webelos.


Now as for the Webelos uniform option that started in 1984: Webelos having the option of wearing the blue CS uniform OR wearing the tan and green BS uniform with CS insignia, the purpose was to SAVE money. Lots of parents complained about having to buy a new shirt, pants, or both afor only 1 year as their cub scout outgrew the blue uniform. The option allowed parents to get the BS uniform if they needed to, or keep them in the CS uniform until crossover. that was the intention. being in that first group able to wear the BS uniform as a CS, I WANTED that BS uniform!(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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Daddy O, my experience mirrors yours. I had one shirt from Bobcat to Arrow of Light. The only changes for Webelos were a new neckerchief and slide and the sleeve colors (and perhaps a hat?), circa 1973 - 74 (Webelos program was 1 year at the time).


Hate to say it, but I think it boils down to profits for BSA. The more doodads needed, the more to sell.


The problem with all the extras: the more complicated the uniform, the less likely folks will comply with the standards. Especially if they can't afford it.


Far better to have a simpler, less cluttered uniform...folks will be more eager to get on board...and the unit will be more "uniform."






(This message has been edited by desertrat77)

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If you remember at the time, there was no Tiger necker. So it was just a question of splitting the Wolves and Bears. When the Tigers went to the blue uniforms a couple years ago, it made sense to give them their own neckers and hats since they had their own program identity before.


I don't mind it. We're talking something this side of $25, right? My old pack always made a deal of presenting the Cubs with their new neckers at the last pack meeting of the year. That was a nice tradition. I think the boys appreciate the recognition of moving up another year. As an adult, 48 or 49 isn't a big deal, but when you're 8, being 9 is definitely a big deal.

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It's been a few years since I was a cubmaster but back then there was the blue uniform for Cubs and Webelos but the Webelos could switch to the tan uniform if they wanted. The Tigers only had a T-shirt. We changed neckerchiefs as the boys advanced (yellow, blue and plaid) but these were owned by the pack and we had a passing down ceremony at advancement time. We required the pants and had good participation. We also had a donation closet where used uniform parts could be had for a small donation. The hats weren't required and some boys wore 'em and some didn't. That was a parent/boy decision.

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Some of you guys agree with me. I really liked the old system. The profit explanation makes sense. So does the 'color-coded' sorting explanation. Lost in this decision was what the kids/parents would like and what everyone could afford.


Your "uniform closet" idea is a good one. Our pack, as far as I know, has no such thing. Where do you store the stuff? I would think it might make a boy receiving a used garment to feel a little ashamed (for being singled out as a poor kid)?


Correct - this is not big money, all in all maybe $100. But it's the principle of the thing. We are sitting on 4 lightly worn caps that will never be worn again. Also slides and "neckers"!


No one has commented on my 2nd pet peeve: The cap has a badge not yet earned. (For example) When my kid was still 7 months from earning his Tiger badge he already wore it on the cap. That diminishes the mystique of the badge for sure. The same thing is repeated all the way to Webelos 1. For W2 they all habe the correct badge on shirt and cap.


This is like a star scout wearing a life badge on his cap - Or worse, a lowly life scout wearing an eagle badge on his cap!


I'm enjoying this subject. I never mentioned it while I was a cub parent so as to not be a complainer! Thanks for listening.

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Thanks for remembering me! He doesn't play any of the expensive sports. No swimming, LaCrosse, Football or Hockey. Travel Fall baseball is expensive. Basketball is cheap. Maybe, 2 sports for 5 teams / seasons, tournaments and leagues ~$1000-1200 for everything. Uniform cost is burried in there somewhere.


But OGE, I'm not commenting / complaining about the cash, just the principle. And I suppose I'm a little bit of a reactionary, missing the old days.



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Don't confuse Cub Scout rank badges with Boy Scout rank Badges. Cub Scouts is an age based system. The emblem on the hat of a cub scout is not the rank the scout has earned, but rather a representation of the program level they are assigned due to his age (or grade in school).


A Wolf becomes a Bear when 2nd grade is over (or June 1st according to ScoutNet), not when they have earned their Bear badge.


A Star Scout becomes a Life Scout after all of the requirements have been completed. Even if it takes 5 years.


As for the reason for multiple hats? National i$ the only one with that an$wer, but I am $ure it ha$ to do with $omething fairly obviou$.


My son wore his Tiger hat about 5 times the year he was a Tiger. His Wolf hat about the same number of times. I don't think he even owned a Bear hat. If he did, I don't remember seeing it very often. As a Webelos Scout, he wore the Webelos hat all the time - partially because I made him wear it. Now he is a Boy Scout and his troop does not require hats, though he does wear the new Boy Scout hat because he likes the way it looks.



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The Cub Scout caps do NOT have rank badges on them. Rank Award badges are just that - badges. They are worn on the uniform shirt, not the hat.


What is on the Cub caps is an IMAGE representing their Cub LEVEL. It in no way diminishes the actual badge worn on their uniform shirt because it is simply a picture, not an earned award. I have never heard of anyone confusing the picture on the hat with the earned award.


While BSA could have gone with the generic Cub Scout emblem, I have no problem with the Cub level emblems on the caps.


As for the need to purchase a new hat, slide, and necker each year - there is no need.


I leave the decision of weather or not to purchase the Cub Caps up to the individual families. Personally, I do not recommend it. The boys seldom wear them, and lose them easily. However some boys just like caps. I know some boys who have started a cap collection with different BSA caps.


Neckers are great for spotting which boys are in which level. You can easily see them from a distance. The boys also like having something that shows everyone what level they are in. Some save, and display them, with their caps. Our Pack purchases the neckers for the boys each year, so the cost is not incurred by the families. We have a cool graduation ceremony each May where the boys get their new neckers and handbooks. However, if your Pack leaves the purchase of a necker up to the family, and you don't want, or can't afford, it, then simply do not buy any neckers. A neckerless boy will not be kicked out of Cub Scouts!


If you don't use the necker, then you don't need to purchase a necker slide. I don't recommend new Scouts in our Pack purchase a slide at all. We give them handmade slides when they join, and at graduation every year. Slides are also made in den and Pack meetings. Hand made slides are FUN, and boys love to make and collect them.


If you were able to wear only one belt and one shirt during your entire tenure as a Cub Scout then you were the rather small, thin, exception. Or, your parents bought 3 sizes to big! My son grew out of his belt by 3rd grade, and he barely made it to February of 4th grade in his blue shirt without popping the buttons or ripping a seam. He was VERY ready to put on his brand new Boy Scout shirt. It signified to him that he was one of the "big guys" in the Pack, and on his way to Boy Scouts.


You stated - " Lost in this decision was what the kids/parents would like and what everyone could afford."


Actually BSA did ask what the kids/parents would like. There have been numerous surveys done on ScoutStuff and the National website over the years.


After Cub Scouts is over, many families take the old Cub uniform parts, and make memory boxes. After you get your son his Eagle, you can put out all of his Cub Scout things at his Eagle Court of Honor. It makes quite a nice display.


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You state, "it is simply a picture, not an earned award. I have never heard of anyone confusing the picture on the hat with the earned award" It may be a picture, but it IS an identical image.

Thanks for the tip on the ECOH, after I get him his eagle we just may do that! :)

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