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One of the challenges I've found as I've gotten more and more involved in scouting is that I've " been there, done that, got the patch, and am now one of the trouble makers" ;)


Seriously though while the uniform is suppose to look "uncluttered," even if uniform regs are followed to the letter, and you ARE a member of the uniform police ( gotta read this thread http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=266651 to fully understand), the uniform will slowly turn into that of a Central American generalissimo.


I came from a troop with weekly uniform inspections as part of an interpatrol award. if you earned it, you wore it, and that has been with me for a long time. But one day I noticed my CSDL uniform with all the "swank" as BP would call it. it's starting to be too much IMHO. And I haven't put some stuff on it yet like my last two knots.


Maybe Sea Scouts with their limit of 6 knots max , and plain jane uniforms is the way to go? But I still think they need unit numbers and First Class Anchors, aka "bugs" on their covers.



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I was thinking of this the other day-- how to un-clutter the uniform. Some ideas off the cuff:


-Get rid of "trained" patch. When one is trained up for a position, one is awarded the POR patch to wear, not before.

-Jambo patches go in the temporary location (right pocket). Never more than one temp badge, ever.

-For those councils (like mine) that use district patches, stop it.

-Get rid of the bellows pockets on all the shirts (and pants)-- they look sloppy. 5.11 tactical pants have central pleats which expand as needed. I aim for a "high speed, low drag" approach to clothing & gear; bellows pockets violate that approach.

-No more of the rings in the future (like the centennial ring) to go around the World Scouter patch

-Get rid of the Unit Award patches. Find an alternative if needed, such as (dare I say it) a knot.

-Get rid of the epaulettes-- are they essential?

-Lose the collar (in my dreams!)

-No more pins, like the Emergency Preparedness pin.


-Scott(This message has been edited by kd7kip)

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That's similar to what I'd really like to see.


In my world, the only insignia on the uniform would be:



Unit Numerals

POR Patch



American Flag


World Crest

Rank Patch

Knots, but limit it to 1, MAYBE 2 rows

OA Flap

1 temporary patch on right pocket


Get rid of the epaulets. But if we must keep them, go back to simple solid colors (red for Boy Scouts, blue for Cubs, orange for Varsity, silver/gold for the highers ups). What I'd rather see is that color scheme applied to the unit numeral patches to indicate program level, rather than epaulets.


Get all of the POR patches to a consistent program-based color scheme. (eg, youth patches have a tan background, adult Boy Scouter patches are green, adult Cubs are blue, Venturers red, district/council/national are grey, etc.)


Get rid of most pins and medals - save it for the really important stuff (Eagle Scout, heroism awards). Get rid of most of the patches not listed above (arrows, rings, trained, recruiter, interpreter, etc.)


You get to wear one thing around your neck. Preferably a neckerchief. But no more wearing a neckerchief, a couple bolos, and your beads - just pick one.


Find some other way to display merit badges. It seems like a lot of kids like to fold the sash around their belt, rather than wear it across their chest. I'd say just make a "sash" that can be hooked to the belt, worn only at formal occasions.


I wonder if the uniform method would be an easier sell if it wasn't so easy for the uniform to contain and year's salary worth of patches...

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I agree with your suggestions. A couple more (as a Tiger leader):


-Get rid of the Immediate Recognition things for the Cubs. They're big, cheap, awkward and ridiculous looking. I mentioned to my Tigers, when I handed them out last Fall, that they were optional-- after a den meeting or two I haven't seen them.


-Get rid of the metal belt loops and pins. If they want, incorporate those activities into rank advancements or electives for arrow points, not more gew-gaws to clutter the uniform


I wonder if we streamlined the uniform, if Scouts would be more likely to wear them on hikes or other outings? Personally, I try to keep my shirt ready to toss in the washer as soon as I get home (though I do have a magnetic name tag on order for when I go to camp this Summer).


When I read my old scout manuals from the 50s and 60s, I see a far less cluttered uniform for Scouts and Scouters alike, yet there was recognition for what mattered: rank, POR, special achievements (knots and medals).


-Scott(This message has been edited by kd7kip)

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I agree with alot that has already been said.


But POR colors are already color coded, for the most part they are:


Cubs: Blue


Boy Scouts/Varsity Scouts and Scouters: Tan


Venturing: White-Youth Bright Red: Adults


District/Council/Chapter/Lodge: Light Blue


Commissioner/Professional: Red with Wreath


Area/Section: Black


Region: Maroon


National: Purple



Being from a large council, there are a lot of folks locally who sit on Area/Region/Natoinal committees, and it's kind of funny when they come to RT as a CM/SM or what ever, wear their "gold tab" uniforms.

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The belt loops for CS are not going anywhere as they are very popular, they are indeed used for some advancement, esp the Webelos, adn the stole the idea from the Boy Scout Skill Awards.


As for color coding the unit numbers, they already are. Green on tan for Boy Scouts and their leaders, White on Red for all Cub Scouts, including Webelos in the BS uniform, Venturers, and all their leaders, and either white on navy or navy on white for Sea Scouts, although according to the 2002 Sea Scout uniform changes, no numbers are suppose to be worn.

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Agree with much of the above...except keep the knots. If you earned them, wear them. They represent hundreds, if not thousands of hours of volunteer service and should be recognized. As to POR, I would prefer the POR patches of the 60's. Go back to the "green bars", without the FDL and lettering, and reduce the size. Eliminate the oversized QU patches. As I understand it, that program is meaningless now anyway.

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There is nothing in the regs that would you from wearing the fewer awards, to "uncluttered" your uniform.


I think knots are important for another reason: they show your Chartering Organization that you care enough to go above the minimum to deliver the program. Knots are that acknowledgement.


Wear them with pride.

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Oh, I don't know... I think adults are just as prone to patch envy (or not) as the boys.

Cub Belt loops: adults have special Belts and buckles: Jamboree, Philmont, Woody Badge, Centennial, Camp ladela, Seabase, Webelos, other ranks represented,...


Neckerchiefs and woggles: (see above)


Various hats ( traded some spare hats for some preemo patches once)and pins to put thereon...


I thought it was a good thing when tempo patches were first allowed on the BACK of the MB sash.


At the CSDC, I once gave a talk about how the Uniform is kinda like a diploma and Scout resume (explain that to a Cub Scout). The adults in attendance (mostly new to Scouting, I guess) found it interestng, I had a couple come up and thank me.

Talked about how each part can show where the Scout has been, what he has accomplished, what he (should) know(s), where he belongs.


Used to be the red shirtjac served the adult purpose of the Scout MB sash. More room for proof of "been there done that".

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Naw, what shows the CO that we care enough to go above the minimum is lots of youth filling their building, posters of their exploits each year, the food pantry full when times are tough in the community.

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While I do not agree with scouts looking like 3rd world generals with every patch ever earned on their shirt at one time....


Saying that a Tiger shouldn't have beads or beltloops just shows that we are looking at things with the wrong mindset.


Sure..from our adult minset, we know what the bigger puyrpose of the program is. But a Tiger Cub does not see it that way. He doesn't think that way.


You and I can think long, long term ahead. A tiger may think long term is a whole week.


You want to keep him interested and having fun , right?


You want him to want to come back meeting after meeting , right?


Youi want him to not only earn his Bobcat, but to stick around for the rest of the year and earn his Tiger rank as well as a few gold arrow points and even some silver ones too?


Well, the best way to do this is NOT to have him wait and wait and wait before you hand him the rank.


Immediate recognition is there for a reason. To keep them excited, to kep them motivated and to keep them interested and to keep them working on getting rank.


Do not think like an adult when trying to understand how a very young child sees things. Do not use a 30, 40, or even a 50 year old mentality when trying to understand how a 6 year old sees things.


Would I wear...or even want beltloops and immediate recognition beads on my uniform?


NOPE! Sure don't! But I am not a Tiger Cub either! I also do not like to sit on te floor Indian style and watch Spongebob or Ben10, The Mickey Mouse Club or whatever other cartoons are popular these days.


I would not - given the choice - choose cake or ice cream over a a big roast beef sandwhich on wheat with provalone cheese.......but I bet a Tiger Cub would.


Are there exceptions?


I have no doubt. I know that some Tigers may actually be planning out not only what they will be doing their Webelos year, but thinking about an eagle project and what college they plan on attending.



On a side note: Does anybody know another part of BSA where beads are given out as your progress or complete steps - but to adults - not to youth ?


A couple of hints:


1) prerequisit training for your position


2) ticket items


3) bobwhite, fox, beaver, etc.....




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It is interesting to post a topic, come back a few days later, and find 25 responses.


I never said anything about Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts (youth), or any of the youth programs in regards to limiting ..."Knots" which apparently was ... translated as...patches.


What was the point of my post......?


....That I agree with the BSA National Awards and Insignia Committee.


I never said anything about revamping uniforms, belt loops, hats, belts, neckerchiefs, and Beads.


Humor with a ...."Adult Knot Sash"? Yes

Jab at all patches and uniforms? No


With that said, have at it. Don't forget about medals, socks, shoes, and OA regalia. I think those have been missed. Let's give them a once over too!



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I think the knots are a good way to recognize adult leaders for the time they put into training and to promote training discussions among newcomers. Being an adult leader is hard work and training takes time away from family time. So a little recognition for their dedication to the program is great.

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