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How to promote full uniforms

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I always used the uniform as a teaching aid for the boys as they developed leadership. I would use the inspection sheet and very carefully evaluate every boy finding every little slip from the accepted norm. The more precise I could make it the better. While this may seem on the surface to be uniform police nit picking it pointed out to the boys that every little deviation was a lapse in precision. While a lapse in precision in the uniform is not the end of the world, a lapse in precision in food prep can be, or in first aid, or in handling of tools. A good leader is aware of all the little details necessary to insure safety and the welfare of those he is responsible for. The uniform is the outward expression of detail awareness.


Over-kill? Maybe, but the discipline of the military is a teaching tool for leadership development. Why do academy cadets have to memorize the menu meals? Why do they have to memorize all the details of every simple operation and have to repeat them back, over and over again? Because at some point in the near future they will need to make decisions, quick decisions quite often and will need to rely on being able to assimilate a lot of detailed information and make the correct decision, often times relying on rote routines rather than trying to figure it out as one goes along the way is preferred. Handling first aid is of no value if one has forgotten what to do for a blister, or an insect bite, or how to make a sling and, and, and, etc. If one is the patrol leader and Joe just got stung by a bee and the PL's first question is "Where is Joe now?" instead of "Where is Joe's epi stick?" a whole different result can occur.


Have I got all my bases covered? Am I ready for leadership? Is something along the way going to pop up to challenge me and my abilities? Can I handle it? Can I handle it if someone else needs me?


Be prepared. When one shows up for flags unprepared, and no one cares enough to say anything about it, then it must not be all that important to know. Settling for second and third best is not really a viable option for a good leader.



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There is no compelling reason for a scout, or a unit, to be fully uniformed, if that's the course they choose.


Yes, we can quote inspection sheets and "rules and regulations" all we want. But a crucial part of any successful policy are concrete consequences for non-compliance. BSA uniforming guidelines aren't enforceable, in any significant way that I can see.


This is a volunteer organization and there isn't anything significant we can do if someone shows up wearing a scout shirt and blue jeans. This is where I see what OGE is saying: don't beat your head against the wall.


On the other hand, folks will wear a uniform they are proud of, or see the value of wearing. The average new scout or scouter, or parent, takes a look at the over-priced, over-engineered, low quality circus tent of a uniform National puts out and says "what the....?"


Oak Tree is right on in his observations.


Scout pants should be utilitarian, and reasonably priced. The shirt too, for that matter.


The day the uniform board at National embraces this is the day scouts will start wearing a full uniform every where, perhaps even to school.(This message has been edited by desertrat77)

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Agreed with Barry & OGE. Pick your battles.


I wouldnt let the shirt slide and would never hesitate to bust chops on the shirt (and yes, I was one that would nail a kid for stapling on his rank at a BoR), but I always felt there were bigger fish to fry than getting excited about Scout pants, much less socks or hats.


We had a troop necker that only the young guys really wore, but had a special necker for following through all five years on our summer camp honors. The boys going to their Eagle BOR may not have had their merit badge sash on or up to snuff, but they all made sure to sport the summer camp necker and their OA sash. Thats what was important to them.


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I know there is a difference from one troop to the next, and one council to the next and a huge difference between BOY Scouts and CUB Scouts..but there is another factor:




I have Cub SCoutys who want a full uniform soooo bad they can't hardly stand themselves. But when they go to mom or dad, they get the "Sorry baby, we can't do that right now, maybe next week.


If it ain't important to mom and dad, then everything you do may be for naught.


And mom and dad may not see things the way you do.

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At our troop we wear Class A during the school year and Class B during the summer months (June - August)


One thing is everyone wears the uniform-- Adults to kids.


It's not the kids. I bet it's the parents who either don't have the funds or don't see the point. I think a meeting or conference call with the parents can remedy this situation and also help them to understand what scouting is about.


Also help families to find used uniform pieces at reduced prices. The boys grow so quickly it's ridiculous to spend $40 on clothes they can't wear in 6 months.


*** Side comment: I don't know what has gotten into BSA with the uniforms lately. I'm of the mind to let it settle down a bit before I buy new stuff for our sons. I mean new uniform colors and fabric types are coming out like it's fashion week!!


I was about to order some shorts from the online site and read the fabric care instructions which said -- DRY CLEAN ONLY!! Are they kidding? I'm not spending $45 bucks for dry clean only shorts and let them be worn. I'll then have to purchase a museum quality case to show them in.



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ScoutMomma --


The uniform you are referring to is one designed specifically for professional Scouters and those who "live in high places" - like Council / Area / Region volunteers.


Definitely not designed for scouts!


However, the uniform shorts - http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsa/uniforms-insignia/youth/shorts/centennial-uniform-shorts.html - are designed for and really liked by kids -- and they are affordable.

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"...BSA uniforming guidelines aren't enforceable, in any significant way that I can see."

Agree.  The uniform is not required to be member in the BSA.  That said, I have yet to see any Scout that was active in a Troop that did not own at least a uniform shirt. 


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ScoutMomma wrote, "I bet it's the parents who either don't have the funds or don't see the point."


I think it's more of the latter. I hear some of these families complain about spending money on a scout uniform yet we know they think nothing of plunking down $ 50 - 100 bucks PER SEASON for football or baseball uniforms and gear. Not to mention what we hear is spent on the kid's cell phone, XBox with tons of $50 games for it, ipod, etc. It's all relative. I think that was the part gnawing at the back of my mind when I created this thread: How do you get the parents "on board" and make scouting more of a priority (including the uniform)?


BP said Scouting is "A game with a purpose". Just like a boy gets a football, baseball, basketball uniform (etc) to participate in those team games, he should have a scout uniform to play the scouting game.



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