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Does the uniform drive kids away?

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Are harsh replies really necessary?


If you don't like what someone else says, just say so, politely, and move on.


This place is the virtual equivalent of inviting a hundred people over for a cup of coffee or piece of pie. Let's be as respectful online as we would in person.

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I do know this, I hear a lot more adults talking about proper uniforms than I do youths. To be honest, I have never heard a youth complain about another boy not being in full uniform. Now I have heard some comments over shirts and scarfs, but never a pair of shoes. Can you argue with that?


The point I was making is there are a lot more important things to worry about in our program.

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which reply was harsh? mine or? the equiv of forget about what your question, statement or concern was, nobody cares----which was it?


Brown stated, "I was his court not yours" actually the Troop and the family work very hard to put this together. Our Troop gives $125 to each family to help them throw this "party" for the Eagle.


Finally, I said it bothered me. I did not say anything to the Scout nor did I send him home.

Had it been my son's COH he would have been asked to go change.



Now we agree I do hear adults talk about uniforming more than kids.


However comma


The Eagle COH is for parents, grandma's, aunts and uncles and the boy. It carries with it some ounce of "something worth getting dressed up for". When the Town Supervisor come to read the town proclaimation she wears a dress, when to town judge comes he wears a jacket and tie. The School principal wears a tie. We just must be out of step with the rest of the world.


The words in some selected ceremonies talk about the long trail to Eagle, how much work it was, etc. It ain't running to the corner store for milk.


I do agree there are other things that need attention besides uniforms---but this is the UNIFORM area of the website. The subject was uniforms. In fact 33% of your posts have said don't worry about uniforms on the unform area.

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"I do agree there are other things that need attention besides uniforms---but this is the UNIFORM area of the website. The subject was uniforms. In fact 33% of your posts have said don't worry about uniforms on the unform area."


So everyone who posts in the uniforms forum has to be of one mind? No dissenting opinions allowed?


I was speaking of your extreme sarcasm in your reply. There's no need to resort to those kinds of verbal jujitsu.

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That makes me laugh that you counted my post about uniforms. Honestly I just started reading this blog and found that hitting the active topics link gives me the most recent posts so maybe that is why you have seen this. Also I sure the math was pretty easy since I only have a few posts.


I was a scout as a youth and am back now as an adult and I just get a kick out of the uniform talk. I didn't like wearing all the required pieces back then and I understand what a boy is feeling today. I personally will now put on my olive shorts/pants with my scout issued socks but I will not look down on a boy who doesn't. I expect a shirt and scarf and that is about it. I am just happy that he is coming and learning a valuable message.


But reading your post about my percentages makes me think that my voice means very little and I am wasting my time. I will try to watch myself regarding uniform posts and comment on only the other important issues.


Keep up the good work and I hope you find that troop with 100% of the boys in complete uniforms. I am also hopeful at that same time you find the perfect troop because we all know that the perfect troop is perfectly uniformed.


Good luck and have a nice day.

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hello and welcome, mbrown! I guess you might have noticed that uniforming is sort of a hot button issue with a lot of people.


I hope you'll stick around the forum though. Most of the time this is a pretty helpful place to be, even if it is just to realize that the way things are in one person's neck of the woods is not necessarily they way things are everywhere. I know I've learned a lot from many people here.


Your in Scouting,




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As I look back on the original post I spoke about a lack of conformity for uniforming and over conforming in clothing styles.



I always look at people's past posts. It gives you some insight into where the person comes from and what may have formed their thoughts.And you are correct it is quite easy to count to 9 and put 3 over the top and get.33333.


But don't belittle a concern about uniforming that somebody else may have.


I would argue that you can surely have a great Troop with shirts and neckers and blue jeans all day long. I'm sure you do. Heck we went camping twice this year, I hope you went more. I hope every Troop in America went more.

Frankly our troop has been much more healthy just a short time ago. I'm not looking for robots, I'm trying to decipher what kids want and why getting a piece of surgical steel jabbed into the side of one's nose is so much more fun that taking a little pride in how you look and maybe raising the bar a bit when it comes to appearance.


The last thing I want to do is fight with somebody I'm never going to meet that lives 1500 miles away, but I also don't want that person to blow off a legit concern that I may have. I came to hear what works for you and many others:


it wasn't your COH



Nobody is asking you to leave the uniform topic alone.


As far as a perfect Troop I'll settle for one where they focus on having a good time 99% of the time and 1% they can get it together to look like they have a little pride in their organization

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"I expect a shirt and scarf and that is about it. I am just happy that he is coming and learning a valuable message."


If there is anything I have learned about boys in my 6 years as a Scouter, it is that they will raise or lower themselves to the bar put before them. As a group, they will meet the expectations given to them.


Uniforming is not about what the boys want to wear; it is about the expectations of the Troop, which should come from the Scoutmaster's vision of the Troop.

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Very few youth can stand the thought of being good, whether the term is "being square" "being a goody goody two shoes", or even the ever popular "What are you, a Boy Scout?" has never been exactly a compliment.


Yah, backin' up here a bit.


I was struck by OGE's comment above.


What do the rest of you think?


I think OGE might be showin' his age. What he describes might have sort of been true back in the day, though I'm not sure if even that isn't lookin' backward through thick bifocals and a few too many movies. ;)


I think boys are perfectly happy to be perceived as good, if good is Mel Gibson in the Patriot or Harry Potter or Master Chief in Halo. Heck, these days boys and girls are even proud to be geeks, if bein' a geek means being like da Mythbusters or those guys who program cool video games. Like boys everywhere, they want to be good at things... they'll spend hours tryin' to master a skateboard move, and take a lot of bruises in the process. They also tend to be proud of their positive accomplishments, and pretty decent to folks. Takin' care of their friends, standing up to bullies, all that is pretty cool. Give 'em a sense of honor and an evil to fight against, whether real-world or online, and they'll rise to the occasion every time.


What boys don't want is to be weak. To go runnin' off to adults to solve your problems, or to be a kiss-a** or brown-noser to arbitrary authority. It's not bein' good that's a problem, it's being a wimp.


Problem is, scouting and the scout uniform projects "weak" to their friends. Hangin' out with fat old men and wearin' a silly shirt and scarf because an adult made you. I reckon BSA uniformin' is also strongly associated with little-kid cub scouting in their minds, and no teen wants to be perceived to be a little kid.


I reckon if our uniform and our program projected a bit more Mel Gibson and a bit less 2nd grade space derby and momma's boy we'd do better with it. Should be somethin' yeh put on to do battle and tackle obstacles, not somethin' yeh put on to get patted on the head by grandpa.


I agree with Brent that within a troop run well, scouts will meet expectations that are set, eh? I don't think uniforms drive boys away.


I do worry a bit, though, about the lads who choose not to even consider scoutin'. I think da uniform may keep many from givin' us a try in the first place.



(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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I agree. Most of us judge a book by its cover -- who has time for anything else? It's not the Scout uniform in and of itself that is the problem (well, sorta), it's that the uniform symbolizes a loser program in some instances. Many volunteers are persuaded/coerced into leadership roles they're really not prepared for. Leadership training helps a little, but many just want to get through the troop meeting and go home. Result is boring Scouting. Having the kids run things is great, but many of them do not know the art of the possible. Couple this with a Soccer Mom mentality, and a fear of lawsuits, and you end with a nothing program. My own troop has lawyers on staff to mitigate all this. Seek some out for yours.

We should probably use the phrase 'apple polisher'

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There is a huge difference between being the good guy (hero) and being a goody two-shoes. I don't know if being a Boy Scout will ever be equal to Mel Gibson in Patriot or Master Chief, and that is not because of the uniform. The self-appointed deciders of coolness won't ever consider a group with an Oath and Law like ours as "cool." Much of coolness is about materialism which is generally in conflict with a Scout is thrifty.


How is JROTC perceived in your local schools? Is it cool, or does it get the same rating as Boy Scouts? Last time I checked, they were wearing the same uniforms as the real soldiers, sailors, etc. That didn't seem to help at all with their coolness factor. It ain't the uniforms.

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JROTC round these parts is treated with respect, when it's offered. Isn't present in that many schools.


Sea Scoutin' uniforms seem to get more buy-in, but they're also required.


Camo and BDU's kids tend to wear on their own in these parts, leastways once you get out of the bigger cities.


I think we're misjudgin' kids if we think it's about the Oath and Law. My experience is that kids who aren't in scouts don't know a thing about the oath & law, so it's not their perception of those things that keeps 'em away. Their perception of scouting is the uniform, cub scout arts and crafts, little kid campfire skits and followin' goofy adults.


In terms of promises, I think most boys outside of scouting would tell you that they think highly of keepin' promises and commitments to their friends.



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I agree MBrown, there are much bigger priorities, and it is the adults who are concerned about full uniforms, the kids never raise the issue. I think Beavah has some good points to root issues with his response.

In my experience, the uniform can drive some kids away and has in some instance I have seen the past 3 years.

I have 2 boys in my troop that left another area troop for the stated cause of too strict adult expectations. They were not having much fun and these scouts and their parents very quickly got sick of the must and you shall expectations of that troop (They have a 72 page troop bylaws that is over the top). One of the reasons the scouts and parents who came to my troop cited for leaving the other troop was insistance and pestering about thou shalt have the entire uniform. The other troop only camps about 5 times a year (Including sleep overs at the Charter Org Church !) . Both are happy in out troop, active, good behavior and advancing along even thought hey only wear a class A shirt and a necker. I had another boy who was leaving this other troop for the same reasons but before he joined ours he got more into sports and dropped scouts all together. I have 3 other boys in the trrop that crossed to our troop from Webelos instead of the oher troop in question stating the same obeservation of the other troop's strict expectations on uniforming. My oldest just earned Eagle recently and several of the guys on the high school wrestling team he is part of congratulated him, two of these guys (Co captians of the team) said they were Webelos and earned Arrow of light and kinda wished they stuck around for Boy Scouts, the camping they though sounded fun BUT, the first thing they mentioned was that the Geeky uniforms turned them off. They realized now that they are older, Boy Scouts was not a glorified Cub Scouts but the Geeky uniform portayed the image of space derbies and the like.

Of course old guys who get completely hung up in demanding everyone in their troop stays with strict uniforming is another turn off for teenagers, but some are so bent on following every rule to the letter and trying to demand everyone else be just as anal about following every rule, that they fail to see they squeeze the fun out of things and turn people off ot scouting.

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