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What would your reaction be if somebody took a nice, high-quality tan shirt and used it as a Boy Scout uniform, applying patches, etc. to it?


Also, what do you think other people's general reaction would be, if they noticed it?


Would that opinion change at all if they went to the bother of salvaging the buttons and "Boy Scouts of America" patch from an old worn-out uniform shirt?

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If someone is going to go to all that trouble, why not just get an official uniform?


If cost is a factor, check places like eBay, or even your local Thrift/Goodwill (you'd be surprised at what you find). There are some good deals there.


In my old troop, we had a "Class B" uniform that was allowed at any troop meeting other than a Court of Honor. It was just a t-shirt with the troop's logo.


Would I notice? Yes. Would I care? Honestly, yes I would; but I might not say anything about it.

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"If someone is going to go to all that trouble, why not just get an official uniform?"


There could be many reasons, but the one that I was think of was that they just want to use a better quality shirt for their uniform.

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What would your reaction be if somebody took a nice, high-quality tan shirt and used it as a Boy Scout uniform, applying patches, etc. to it?

If it was a scout in my unit, I would discretely find out if he had difficulty acquiring a real one, and if so, the troop would help him.

If it was anyone else, I would think to myself, "hmm, interesting," and that would be the end of it.

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IMHO this would work very well with shorts or pants, as you can get almost identical color material in a number of options. If a troop simply adopted a less costly, but rugged option for the scouts it would likely barely be noticed, if at all.


For the shirt, as pointed out, there are a number of options for authentic uniforms. Cubs entering webloes 2 would likely be better off to buy a too large shirt then so it can be easily carried over to boy scouts. Then, when the time comes, again get one that needs a bit of growing in. It is far better they be a bit blousey or long, than they grow out of it in too short a time. Of course, hopefully you can also encourage parents to donate older shirts when they replace their own son's shirt, so you have lenders when needed. Our real problem with our closet is we have almost nothing for the older scouts, as those shirts do not get donated normally.

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Well, I think this begs the question, what counts as uniform? In general, it seems that to be official, uniforms must be sold by BSA. Yet I've seen suggestions to have uniform pieces custom-made, which would not be sold by BSA. I don't see how custom uniform pieces are different than similar non-BSA pieces sold at retail. And I've seen suggestions to buy off the rack and alter the uniform as desired, changing pockets and sleeves and such. When does a uniform piece stop being official? As long as the tag is in place, or so it seems.

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If I couldn't tell the difference, then I wouldn't notice and wouldn't care. If I could tell it wasn't a BSA shirt - and I think that's far and away the more likely scenario - then every time I looked at them I'd be struck by how different the shirt was. I'd probably just think to myself how odd the person was.

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I'd think they were being resourceful and thrifty.


Thing is, what is the honor attached to an offical uniform, or the shame that is attached to a "fake" uniform?


What is it about the officail uniform that makes it better or represents anything other than more cash into BSA's pocket?




Thing is, it's so easy for anybody to say "Oh, just buy the reral thing and get it over with." But to the person whoi is doing it, maybe they are at the end of their budget...and yes, 1 single shirt can make a huge difference.


I wore a pair of olive green fishing pants that I bought from Sam's Club for $ 8.00 They looked identical to BSA's offical pants . Zippers the same. beltloops the same, pockets the same...just missing that made in another country tag and the offical logo.


I didn't get my offical BSA pants until tax time allowed me the extra $$$$$ to spend.


And you know what? It didn't change me, the program my cubs experienced or how well the pack functioned.


The only thing that changed was the scout shop made another $52.78 sale that day.


Reminds me of people who used to snub those of us who bought our Levi's jeans at Wal-Mart for $15.00 because they bought their exact same Levi's jeans at Belks for $50.00.


Yeah, let the fools laugh - they paid more than 3 times as much as me for the exact same thing. Yeah, the joke is on me all right! :)


But you could also see somebody being smart by maybe using a shirt they already had in theior closet. Maybe they never wore the shirt. But for absolutely no cost, they could transfer the patches, buttons, etc.. and have a uniform shirt who's only difference is that the scout shop didn't make a bunch of bucks off of!

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Uniform = One Form. Not whatever works for you form.


I have the shirt I bought 8 years ago. 4 years of weekly den meeting and monthly pack meetings. 4 years of weekly troop meetings, 4 summer camps, one Norther Tier trek, and 3 dozen weekend campouts. I wear my BSA uniform from Friday afternoon when we leave the parking lot until the troop returns on Sunday afternoon. On every campout, every hike, rock climbing, COPE, all that stuff. My goal is for the scouts to never see me in anything but a BSA uniform. The only damage is a 1/2 inch tear that I got while retrieving something from my car trunk about 6 years ago.


Yes there are better made shirts. Yes there are shirts that fit better or are made from "high performance" materials. But they are not uniform shirts. Take pride in wearing the offical uniform.


Modifing a shirt to be similar to the official uniform is no different from wearing any other piece of clothing that is similar but not the uniform. It is not the uniform. Just another variation on the never ending stream of endless excuses not to wear the uniform. Fake is Fake.

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I really do prefer my stuff made in america, but lets be honest. Are you only wearing shoes or boots made in america with your uniform? How about your tent...


I look at it this way:

1. Scouting was founded in England

2. BSA is part of WOSM


So, because we are a GLOBAL brotherhood, I have no problem WHERE it is made assuming

1. It is not made by the sweat of children or the exploit of any fellow human

2. It is made in a manner that impacts the environment as little as possible

3. it is of good quality for the price I pay



Now, someone said "There could be many reasons, but the one that I was think of was that they just want to use a better quality shirt for their uniform."


The BSA does offer a fairly high quality shirt and slacks if you want to look your best, not really appropriate for the field but i am guessing your not trying to be the prettiest guy in the woods so it is probably a good choice.


I 100% echo the sentiment many here have shared, why join an organization to instill honor and loyalty and trust into our sons and then break the rules, to make a shirt just to look good. That makes no sense to me. If the uniform disgusts you so much youwant to design a new one, then step up, many of us agree the uniform has shortcomings, change form within is a good lesson to the scouts, doing whatever the heck you want, not so good a lesson.

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Perhaps it is my age that plays tricks on this old mind but I wonder, can we really judge a Scout by the way one wears the uniform?


Does my centennial uniform hold more weight that the one I wore with Red applets. If I chose to wear the forest green with and red beret of the Leadership Corps will I be a social outcast?


What if I wore the uniform worn by an American Scout of 1910? Would that be acceptable considering there wasnt an official uniform until 1913? (There was a uniform available in the 1911 first Supply Department catalog but there was no mention of the official status by the Committee on Badges, Awards, and Equipment until 1913.)


Is it the offical uniform that makes the troop or the experience, learning and fun a youth takes away with them in adulthood?


But perhaps my thinking is too dated and that too the words and thoughts of Baden Powell have no place in the future of Scouting.


"I don't care a fig whether a Scout wears uniform or not so long as

his heart is in his work and he carries out the Scout Law."


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