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cardinal50

Adults wearing uniforms to boost ego?

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Gern,

To anwer your question - how about tradition, esprit de corps, maybe because that is what they are designed for. If they weren't to be worn on uniforms, then just give out a certificate.

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All this comparison of knots and military ribbons got me thinking. My dad was a veteran of WW2 and Korea. He had a couple of significant decorations Legion of Merit with Oak leaf cluster from Korea, Bronze Star from WW2 and a couple of foreign decorations as well. He told me that he had turned down two Purple Hearts because the wounds were mere scratches. The bulk of his ribbons on the other hand were "been there, done that" medals. Of those a couple denoted being in a combat zone but some were pretty meaningless. One if I recall was the National Defense Service medal for being in the Army in the United States during WW2. This way even if a guy spent the whole war passing out socks at Ft. Dix, he got a medal. The point is that some of the ribbons meant a lot but some where just bling. All were worn because they were part of his uniform.

 

Scouters' knots on the other hand are generally for things that were earned or presented in honor of service. They are not for being someplace at a given time. Scouting does not hand out the Eagle or the Silver Beaver for just showing up. It may be ego to wear them but each was earned and the wearer has a right to be proud.

 

Hal

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Brent,

I might tend to read it that way but don't know that a Troop meeting would qualify unless it was under the larger umbrella of supporting a Councils T4T effort supporting the Marine Corps Reserves T4T campaign.

 

Thanks for the effort!

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Woe is me! I must be plagued with a double dose of ego. I wear my Eagle knot and have a specialized North Carolina license plate with an Eagle medal on it. And all along I had thought the plate was advertisement for the B.S.A. and incentive for me to keep my driving habits under control!

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A conversation I'm having with our old friend Bob White on another site reminded me of something.

 

BP in a speech entitled "Another Message to Scouts" found here

 

http://www.thescoutingpages.org.uk/speeches.html

 

basically states that while we do wear uniforms and badges, which he calls swank, we shuld not be "swanky" or show offy, rather we need to let our actions speak for us.

 

While it is geared to scouts, I bet leaders could get something out of it.

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When I was committee chair for our troop, I asked some SCOUTS if they wanted me to wear a uniform at the troop meetings or not. Overwhelmingly, I was told YES that they preferred me to wear my uniform so I did.

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oddly enough I have cited the same site

 

http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=245318#id_245544

 

what B-P says is a scout is not swanky, but he may be proud

 

So, if the knots are worn because one is proud, then B-P says thats ok? I may be more in favor of the monochromatic tunic and pants so these things are not a distraction as I first was

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I've been reading through here and thinking about it. I think some of you guys are way off base. I wear the tiger knot knot. They don't just give those things away you know. I wear it because I'm proud to have spent the year with my boys, have all 10 in my den earn their Tiger badge and 90% of them come back for another year. They're just as proud of me for earning it with them. I've probably earned my cub scouter award for their wolf year and I'll wear it just as proudly. After all, I want them to go home and sew on their patches don't I? I want them to wear their belt loops don't I? Shouldn't I set an example? I'm in my first year as CM. "IF" I were to satisfy the requirements of having two years of summertime activities, earning the quality unit awards, etc... You can be sure that I'd earn it. Over the course of 4 years I'd have a whopping three knots. I wouldn't consider that bling.

 

I did see a guy at a function one day who had TONS (must have been 12 or 15 of them.) I thought, "Wow he's been around." Not that I've been around a little more I know it would take him like 15+ years to earn those. AND, it turns out he is really a great scouter and helps all of us along.

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Interesting topic...and it should be with 6 pages of posts.

 

I am working on my 24th year in the military, and have my share (and more) and patches, pins, and ribbons. I served in Iraq twice, AFG twice, and am on my way back to Iraq this winter. Despite all this, there is nothing that I have been awarded for my time as a scouter that I feel means any less to me than the decorations awarded to me for my military service.

 

What we do as scouters DIRECTLY affects the quality of our nation both now and in the future. We should not downplay the significance of this program, nor those who run it. A knot or two is a small token for an immense effort. That being said.....

 

What I think we are looking at is broader than that. What I believe we are discussing is the existence of an adult scout program. When we talk about earning distinctive uniform items as an adult which may not directly correlate to "service to youth" we shift into another realm. We ask ourselves if scouters do certain things for their own recognition, or simply as volunteers to youth.

 

I believe that the vast majority of scouters do both, but in varying degrees. One example for me is when a female leader becomes a member of OA, and never serves as a Lodge Advisor. Is this for the good of the lodge, or the good of the scouter, and is it being good for the scouter wrong in any way.

 

My personal opinion is that the mission of scouting applies beyond the age of 18 (or 20). Scouting goals are lifelong goals that create better citizens and people. Do we have scouters out there that are "buffs?" Yes. Do they seek knots, and recognition, yes. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so...but it should be recognized for what it is. Does it make them any less selfless? I don't believe so...and if the opinion is that it does, then maybe we should explore why we have scouter recognition in the first place.

 

just my opinion, flame suit on

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Yah, funny thing to come back from some weeks of vacation and visitin' camps and such to another knot thread :).

 

I reckon it's worth rememberin' that we're a civilian service organization, eh? I respect and admire our men and women in military service, but that's not Scoutin', and da comparisons to military uniforms just don't fit.

 

So I expect it's best if we think about what's common in da civilian world, and how civilians look at us, leastways if we're not doin' our scouting on a military base. Generally speakin', most civilian folks don't wear their awards or recognitions on their sleeves. In that context, it's certainly possible for others to perceive us poorly as adults for wearin' lots of bling as adults in a kids' program. One need only look at da occasional TV satire to see the joke made out of fat adults with an over-blinged scout shirt.

 

Thinkin' about it some more, in many uniformed services (includin' the military), yeh don't wear ribbons on a daily basis. Your daily-wear BDU or police, fire, EMS uniform is practical and simple. Only rarely do yeh pull out the dress blues, for award ceremonies and funerals and such. Someone who wore their bling on their duty uniform would be out of place and very much an egoist. That may be a good example for us, eh? In our daily Scouting, at meetings and outings, our uniforms should be practical, simple, and un-blinged.

 

Some CO's and religious traditions might factor in, eh? One Catholic IH who is a religious sister told me once that she wore the simple uniform of her order because it is a sign of humility. No awards, no adornments, no jewels, like a priest's plain black working uniform. If a scouter, scout, or troop is part of a tradition that places value on humility in its leadership in that way, I would expect they would follow suit. Other traditions don't place as much emphasis on humility, and might do differently.

 

No one right answer. Personally, in my experience over many years with adult scouters, I think on average the knot thing is mostly about adult ego and doesn't add much to the program. Yah, sure, it gives a few adults who are motivated by such things a reason to pursue training, but I'm never really sure that they get what they should out of training because they're not completely focused on how to improve their program, just on gettin' da doodad. Yah, sure, there's some level of settin' an example for the lads, but that's easily done by wearin' a simple, clean uniform, which has the added bonus of not distracting the attention away from the boy leaders. Yah, sure, there's some measure of helpin' new folks recognize those with experience, but in my experience it's offset by the tendency to be off-putting and silly lookin' to other new folks, especially those who don't have a scouting background. And yah, sure, there's an element of thankin' those who nominated us for da few knots that require nomination, but I've always found myself that I'm amply thanked by the smiles and handshakes and looks on surprised faces of those whom I've nominated, and don't really give a whit whether they wear their knot at the next committee meeting.

 

So each person has to decide, eh? It's worth bein' aware that some folks think less highly of those with less bling. And it's worth bein' aware that some folks think less highly of those who wear a lot of bling. If you're a practical sort, yeh might adjust to da circumstances. I like velcro ;).

 

I personally only put on da full range of knots and whatnot when I think I'm dealin' with a twit who gets impressed by that sorta thing. Mostly I keep it simple and limited to da program/position in which I'm servin'. No cub knots if I'm in a Boy Scouting position; no unit knots if I'm in a district position, that sort of thing. Those are just excess insignia.

 

Beavah

 

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Intresting thread and thought I would comment

 

When attending a committee meeting or some other planning meeting I usually wear a scout polo or tshirt shirt I get from FoS. With at least one of these a week, usually on my way home from work its the simplest. The other folks going to the meeting, including the council employees dress the same.

 

When doing middle school recruiting, camping out or going to a troop meeting I wear a uniform shirt that has very little on it. PoR, Council Strip, woodbadge patrol emblem and my beads.

 

When going to a CoH or similar activity I wear the shirt that has everything on it. This shirt stays real clean because its only worn 4 times a year.

 

My beleif on knots and awards is that you wear them all or none.

 

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ChaiAdventure, that is the best explanation I have seen, including my own. Coming from a military/scouting family I thank you for your service to our country, both in the military and scouting. Well put!

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Considering that the Insignia Guide limits chest medals to 5*, I think the BSA should limit knots to six and reinstate some sort of precedence to them as well as removing a knot once the next higher is earned. Wearing what you earn is fine but at some point it becomes overkill and you start looking like a third world dictator.

 

 

*In reality the only way to squeeze 5 on is if an adult was wearing the Scouter's Key, Scouter's Training Award, Den Leader's Training Award, Den Leader Coach's Training Award, and the Skipper's Key other wise your looking at a max of three medals.

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You left off Eagle Scout medal. That counts towards the 5. And it's the only medal I ever wear (when I do wear it) on my uniform.

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