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Stosh

Uniform Inspection Sheet and Presentations

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We had a presentation on uniforms at last night's Roundtable.

 

The gentleman doing the presentation did a fairly nice job. However, he was young and the more veteran scouters added so much mythology to the Q & A time it was unbelievable. Everything from -- a scout was in uniform if all he had was the shirt to any favored temp patch could be worn in the Jambo area of the shirt. The Inspection Sheet makes no mention of the red epaulets, but the BS handbook shows patch placement using the older uniform, i.e. button on pocket and no sleeve pocket, trained patch on bottom, etc.

 

It's no wonder there is no such thing as a true BS uniform... :)

 

Stosh

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Sitting at Roundtable last night and was appalled when a staffer got up to do her thing in capri jeans. If you have silver loops and a red & gold patch then you should at least make an attempt to be properly uniformed.

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Having had this discussion at a camporee where the uniform inspection was part of the patrol's score for the competition, this is what I did.

 

1) Had copies of the inspection sheet If it wasn't listed on the inspection sheet then i went with

 

2) had my copy of the most recent Insignia Guide when disputes occurred, and one did. Seemed the JLT folks said the JLT pacthc goes in Jambo location, and every single JLT participant and staffer wore it there. Alsohad folks wearing trained patches without a POR patch To help correct problems I also bourght

 

 

3) a sewing kit to help the scouts fix their uniforms prior to inspection.

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E92,

 

May I have your real address please? You have earned your Badge as a Senior Inspector of the Uniform Police.

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John,

My district camporee since way before I got here has had a uniform inspection as part of the competition. When I was a DE, I was told that the uniform inspection has been the deciding factor in the past, and that since A) I use to work for Supply, and B) had no biases and favorites among the units, everyone asked me to be the uniform judge. I was told to be strict, by the inspection sheet. So I was.

 

BUT I also knew that there is a lot of misinformation out their in reference to uniforms, i.e. JLT and Philmont Duty to God patches in Jambo spot, Once going through TLT you can keep your trained patch on regardless if you are in a POR, etc. Hence the Insignia Guide to answer questions that the inspection sheet didn't cover. Kinda hard to argue that the JLT patch goes in the jambo spot, when the IG says it is temp insignia and goes on the pocket.

 

That's why I offered the kit so that the scouts could get it fixed if they wanted to. Most did, but some didn't.

 

 

Also one bit of trivia in reference to temp insignia in the jambo spot. Per the sheet found here

 

http://scoutstuff.org/BSASupply/images/pdfs/34048.pdf

 

Temporary insignia, including one current world Scout jamboree

patch, centered on pocket. Only one temporary insignia

may be worn at a time, and they are not required for correct

uniforming. Cub Scout leaders and female leaders (emphasis in original)

wearing the official uniform shirt or blouse may wear one temporary

insignia centered above the Boy Scouts of America strip.

 

 

That World Jambo patch being temp insignia intrigued me so i looked that up in the IG

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Media/InsigniaGuide/10I.aspx

 

A jamboree emblem is worn above right pocket by a Boy Scout/Venturer or Scouter who is registered to attend or attended the jamboree as a registered participant or staff member. Both a world and a national jamboree patch may be worn--one current national jamboree patch above the right pocket and one current world jamboree patch on the right pocket.

 

 

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E92,

 

I have actually made up some temporary sewing kits for stuff like this. Essentially, some thin cardboard cut into strips. Enough tan thread wrapped around it to get any patch done twice over (you never know how they will do, lol) and a needle and two pins stuck into it. I have probably 50 of these made up for uniform inspections at stuff like that, works great.

 

I try not to be the uniform police too often, but when people want a uniform inspection done, I don't mind lending my services. I'm a bit OCD when it comes to stuff like that. Now, I don't go around with a ruler or anything, but I will at least mention patch placement.

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Vig,

If Scouting myscouting.com ever puts back the groups, look in the Uniform Police thread and read '...You Might Be a Uniform Policeman."

 

And I admit I didn't use a ruler sewing on one patch, I used two compasses instead ;)

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E92,

 

I've been a Boy Scout. Usually our uniform inspection was in January each year, ahead of the February COH and potluck dinner. The SM invited in someone from the community. In 1970 or so, a man who'd been born in 1920 and fought WWII was just entering his 50s. He could look at a uniform inspection sheet quickly and "get the point." Of course, the object was for the Patrol to win the inspection: Mrs SM made wonderful fried chicken, and the winning Patrol got a chicken dinner!

 

When I was a CC, the SM and I conspired to invite the UC in for a uniform inspection once a year. We had a similar prize for our winner.

 

The part I object to is the "field correction" you described. To me, that sounds coercive and adult run in nature. In fact, we're moving away from competition at camporees. Our District has done conservation service projects recently, and also we've done fun things (shotgunning, black powder, archery) in greater number.

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I might be one of those dreaded uniform police people that everyone talks about... Well, "might" could be too weak of a word. I AM one of those dreaded uniform police people that everyone talks about.... :)

 

However, I try very hard not to make it a negative experience. Because of this my boys take great pride in knowing they are the only uniformed troop in the council. I don't think at this point it is a haughty pride, but just the fact that they know enough to help others with their questions about the uniform and adhere to the idea that as leaders they set the standard.

 

I have a mini-inspection at every meeting of the troop. The PL's are responsible for getting their boys ready for the flag ceremony and they are themselves also doing a mini-inspection. The number of boys coming into line with shirt-tails out or buttons not fastened, etc. decreases all the time.

 

I do have one boy that likes to "personalize" his attire and has on occasion needed some instruction in courtesy because of it. Russian military uniform buttons, even though they are really cool, don't belong on the BSA uniform. :)

Also the SM feather worn by scouters in non-BSA settings is probably not a good idea on a scout hat even if it is the campaign hat. If a foreign scout were to see it, would he think that you were making fun of their scouting insignia? The other week he showed up with no socks, pants rolled up and wearing thong/shower sandals. At flags I quietly asked him if this adornment to the uniform was 1) a personal expression of being "cool" or 2) an inability to follow directions? I suggested that if he wants to express a wee bit of rebellion, he might want to get a historic uniform from the '60's which are available on E-Bay. He now wears the full green uniform and does so with socks. :)

 

Too often we uniform police make the mistake of letting everyone know what is wrong with their uniform and seldom what is right. "Who sews your patches on, it's cool, they are exactly where they need to be?"

 

Sometimes some humor helps: "If you sew the pocket shut on your left sleeve when you put your POR on, where do you keep your cell phone you're not supposed to have?"

 

Even if they do it right, it might need a bit of a tweak: "Those pants look a little tight, if you give me your new size, I'll start looking for some new ones on E-Bay."

 

A little peer pressure?: "Can't find your necker? Want your buddy's to go over to your house and help look for it?"

 

A little sarcasm: "Lost your necker slide? I can teach you how to tie your necker so it looks like a really cool bow-tie, or maybe you can get another slide by next week?"

 

Most of the time a little humor goes a long way, but deep down inside, all my boys adhere to the rule #2 of the troop: "Look and act like a Scout." Even if they don't always do it right, they still adhere to the BSA uniform as best they can. At least they try.

 

Stosh

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John,

I need some clarification, do you think I come out with a ruler, or compasses in my case, for inspections? The answer is no I do not. The two compasses was when I was sewing on a patch on the CU and it just didn't look right when pinned. When I do inspections I try to be as friendly and as helpful as possible, hence the opportunity to fix things prior to the inspection, if they want to. Again i try not to put any pressure on them whatsoever, and I also try show them the information and sources when they asked. And sometimes even when they don't, just so that they know I am not making things up.

 

If you think that offering them the chance to fix uniform errors prior to inspection is the problem, then I am sorry. My intent is to show them the correct information, and provide the opportunity and resources to correct it prior to the inspection, if they want to fix it as I do not force or pressure anyone to fix things., so that they can not only wear the uniform correctly, but also get the points for their competition.

 

I did have a lot of youth correct things. But I also had several who didn't want to, and that was fine. If there was any pressure to make changes, it was usually the other members of the patrol who wanted to get as many points as possible, and the inspection is considered the easiest event to get points on, and as mentioned is has been the deciding factor in the competition.

 

As for adults complaining about the inspection, I had two. One was that I was slower than in years past, and that was b/c I let folks correct things if they wanted to. I also had a SM upset b/c he heard the myth about a trained strip being worn all the time without a POR. When I showed him what the IG said, he then had no problems.

 

 

As others have said, youneed to be friendly, helpful, and polite when doing inspections. I like Stosh's approach, depending upon how well you and your scouts know each other.

 

But what I've found is that having your PLs and SPL doing uniform inspections on a regualr basis does help alot in uniforming.

 

 

Now in ref to inspections and camporee, I personally would rather the deciding factor be on scout skills and time than uniform.

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I like the idea of letting the Scouts correct their uniform ahead of the inspection. That way they don't get penalized for having heard and followed some uniform myth. With some effort, they can make things better. Sounds like a winner to me.

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Remember, the Uniform you wear cries aloud, I am a Scout. see that it is the Official Uniform, that it is correctly worn, and that the insignia are correctly placed, for in the Uniform, you stand for the Boy Scouts of America.

- Chief Scout Executive James E. West, circa 1918

 

"So the Uniform, helping the boy to look the part of the Scout, makes it easy for him to act the Scout. It sets up the Scout inside and out. It stirs within him respect for the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. And, respecting the Scout Law, he has swung far along toward the foundation of all good citizenship, namely Respect for the Law"

- Edward F. Reimer, "Matching Mountains with the Boy Scout Uniform", 1929

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