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Eagle92

So When Did CS Neckerchiefs Become Optional ?

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I am looking in the latest BSA gift catalog and notice that none of the Cubs are wearing neckerchiefs. The Webelos on page 10 isn't wearing one, the I assume it's a Wolf since he has a bit of yellow on the cap on page 17 isn't wearing one, and the Webelos on pages 24 and 25 isn't wearing one.

 

So when did neckers become optional for Cubs? This could save my pack a bundle of money come May as we give out the neckers and slides to all those who move up in May as we won't have to buy them anymore.

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I don't put any stock in National's stock photos. Recently saw a promotional ad with a Wolf who'd earned his Arrow of Light and was wearing it on the pocket, led by a den leader wearing Boy Scout green shoulder loops and a patrol medallion.

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Does anyone know if national still has their in-house studio? I remember when they would use folks out of national for their pics and videos, and they at least knew a little about the uniforms. Now it's a complete SNAFU.

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Eagle92

 

It has been a while since I helped out in Cubs but I have noticed more and more packs in my area are going without neckers, just the hat and shirt for most of them lately. With the direction National seems to be heading towards uniforms I forsee them becoming less and less formal over the next few years in all programs, I know thats what Mazzuca would love to see.

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BP

 

And watch what happens if they do away with uniforms. I predict the following

 

1) Revenues will be down from folks not buying uniforms, and possibly advancement. After all if a uniform is not needed, why buy insignia and rank? EDITED: all you need to do is buy the pocket certificate, or create your own.

 

2) Visibility will be reduced greatly. See some of the GSUSA comments I've posted elsewhere.

 

3) Membership will drop sicne we are not as visible.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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Eagle92

 

Oh I don't think BSA will completely do away with uniforms just switch them over to less formal ones t-shirts,polo shirts, shorts, and scout jeans that will probably cost as much as the uniform does now. He tried this idea out when he was the SE at a council where I was a DE at the time, one year at summer camp and cub day camp no official uniforms were to be worn just the camp t-shirt and shorts, same thing for the staff for the entire summer. Believe it or not most of the scouts loved it as did the parents, the only complaints came from some of the scout leaders. It looks like cubs is already heading in this direction, can boy scouts be that far behind? We will see if your predictions come to pass.

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If I was going to choose between paying for a cap, or a neckerchief, it would definitely be a necker. A cap is twice the cost of a necker, most boys will not wear a cap all of the time, and they are first thing to get lost.

 

Neckers make it very easy to see what level a Cub is in, and when paired with a Cub-made slide, looks great!

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Camp T-shirts have been the required Cub Scout day, and summer, camp uniform, for youth, adults, and staff, at my council for the past 15 years. It is a matter of youth protection, not a change to a casual uniform.

 

Anyone can get a uniform. Only those registered, or working, at the camp get the t-shirts. It makes it instantly obvious who belongs on-site, and who does not.

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Oh, c'mon ... for Pete's sake ... A camp t-shirt is not a step toward doing away with uniforms. It's just one form of what's known as the activity uniform or "Class B" - called "Special-Purpose Uniforms" on the National website. It's perfectly fine, and it's not some sneak trick by the CSE.

 

"While the official uniform should be worn to all den and pack meetings and formal events, the den or pack may designate a special-purpose uniform, such as the Cub Scout Activity Shirt (shown here) to be worn in place of the official uniform shirt for certain activities, such as sporting events or day camp."

 

- from http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/CubScouts/Uniform/special.aspx

 

This has been practice at camps for years and years. Wearing one full "Class A" uniform day-in, day-out for a whole week (let alone a whole summer for staff) for everything from handicrafts to hiking, boating to BB guns, would quickly turn it into sweaty, grubby tatters.

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Boy, I didn't notice this in the catalog...but NONE of the boys in Class A have neckers on except for the Boy Scout in the back with the Scout Sunday one.

 

So couple that with the "unofficial not for uniform wear jeans..."

 

I suspect this is intentional. I work in marketing and I have to believe that someone at BSA has given this catalog their blessing from a design standpoint even if they give it to an agency to completely produce.

 

Now on the other hand you have the official uniform inspection sheet that covers the scout from head to toe.

 

But...who out there has a CS pack that requires ALL the gear? Even the pants?

 

So this is all not surprising. Either you have a standard that's enforced, or you don't, and then people will do what they want, which becomes the defacto standard.

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So this is all not surprising. Either you have a standard that's enforced, or you don't, and then people will do what they want, which becomes the defacto standard.

 

IMHO, this is what happened in Sea Scouting during the Sea Exploring period. Ships created their own "piratical outfits" as some have called the distinct identity uniforms of Exploring that Ships created and there was no standard uniform. You look a multiship photos from that period, and it's a hodgepog of uniforms.

 

Then when the national Sea Scout committee establishes specific uniforms, everyone gets ticked off. Some ships comply, some ships keep doing their own uniforms, and some ships that have kept the recommended uniform that dates to the 1920s ignore those changes to the new standard uniform guidelines. Can see some of that in Jambo photos.

 

Back on Topic with Cub Scouts. I know that the BSA is trying to create and maintain a "brand." Isn't the uniform one of the most recognizable "brand" images around? Folks instantly recognize BSA uniforms, and we have our "image." I know when we sold popcorn, folks recognized us instantly.

 

 

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Back on Topic with Cub Scouts. I know that the BSA is trying to create and maintain a "brand." Isn't the uniform one of the most recognizable "brand" images around? Folks instantly recognize BSA uniforms, and we have our "image."

 

Yes, and this is why I don't understand why the BSA would diminish that image by taking pieces of the uniform away, but that's mere speculation on my part.

 

I'm one of the people who has bemoaned the lack of a girl scout uniform leading to difficulty indentifying a group when they're out and the impossibility of identifying who a leader is unless she's standing at the front of the room. The uniform is a strength of the BSA program.

 

We'll see I guess!(This message has been edited by 83eagle)

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The one part of the uniform that is immediately recognizable to people around the world as "Scout" is the neckerchief. Scouts in other countries wear their neckerchiefs proudly as the one uniform part that they would never forego. There was a time when boys in the USA couldn't wait to wear the Cub Scout uniform in its entirely. And many of them would not part with their neckerchiefs, even when it was time to take off the rest of the uniform.

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