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hops_scout

Military Type Equipment

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Bob,

 

Why is it called a "field" uniform if it's intent is for "dress"? Many of the troop websites I've looked at says that the activity uniform (summer) is a troop t-shirt, scout belt, scout pants/shorts and scout socks. That means these troops expect the scouts to wear their scout pants/shorts for outdoor activity. These pants are not as sturdy or servicable as many other outdoor activity gear on the market. They need a more relaxed fit for outdoor activity. They are cut to snug for anyone that does not have sixpack abs. I've seen far too many scouts and scouters who almost look obscene in their shorts who are wearing their "regular" size. My son is slim and we had a heck of a time buying his scout pants. His size fit him like a second skin and the next size up literally fell off of him. BSA needs to address the pants issue. It seems that posts run 90% against and 10% for. They don't have to be BDU's, but an adjustable tab waist, roomier cut, bigger cargo pockets and zip off legs would be a move in the right direction.

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Bob;

 

I don't know that there's any national policy that would work for all situations, in all units...but again, that wasn't my point. My point was that the debate over camo (and other non-official items) will continue, and we may as well get accustomed to it, until or unless BSA mandates the wear of the official uniform, like sports teams, JROTC, band, and other uniformed organizations do. The enforcement of such a mandate is a separate, although parallel issue. I was making an observation, not a recommendation.

 

That said, let me answer your question specifically (although I thought I did already). Exclusion from meetings and activities, with a national compulsory uniform wear policy, seems to me to be the best and maybe the only way to enforce it, if you choose to. You could do other things, too, such as making full uniform a joining requirement, or advancement requirement. But, that gets them a uniform...exclusion gets it out of the closet and on their bodies. When I coached youth sports, exclusion from practice and games was universally used for boys who were not properly uniformed/equipped. If you did such a thing, there would be two possible results, I think. One, the boy will quit. Two, he'll comply with the policy. If BSA ever instituted compulsory uniforming, they'd have to be okay with either result...

 

Now, the enforcement at the unit level would come down to green bars and volunteers who may or may not "buy in" to the policy...what have you gained? National Supply Center's sold more pants, that's all.

 

For what it's worth, I've taken a straw poll of my Scouts who I know have full uniforms, but usually go "waist-up". They've told me, to a person, that the official pants are uncomfortable, and because of the cost, they "save" them for ceremonies and boards.

 

Again, I'm not necessarily promoting this; my observation in that post was a muse, not a call to action.

 

KS

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"Exclusion from meetings and activities, with a national compulsory uniform wear policy, seems to me to be the best and maybe the only way to enforce it, if you choose to. You could do other things, too, such as making full uniform a joining requirement, or advancement requirement."

 

As I see it, the character growth does not come from wearing the uniform because you have to, but from wearing the uniform because you choose to.

 

BE

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kwc57,

Another way to look at the problem is rather than have pants in more styles and cuts what we need to do is grow scouts that are all standard sizes. :)

 

The problem is we deal with millions of kids in a wide variety of lengths and widths. For years we had problems buying pants for my son. Regular cut was too wide, slims were too slim, and thats in civilian clothes. The scout uniform with the elastic waist was one of the few things that actual fit.

 

Yes there are some boys who shapes do not conform to the uniform cut but kids outside the program have the same problem. the diference is the kids outside scouting have thousands of styles and manufactureres to select from and Boy scouts do not. but it is not practical to have thousands of vendors of scouting materials. in addition the majority of what you buy at the clothing stores are imported, the BSA uniform is all American made, which limits our selection even more.

 

I understand the frustrations that some have over some features of the uniform. I wish the patch pockets were pleated and more functional, but they are not, and no matter how many times I wish they were different they don't change. (Wish in one hand, spit in the other and see which fills up first)

 

I know that if the pockets ever changed, no matter what was changed about them, there would be a percentage of members who did not like the change. This is a battle the BSA will never win.

There are just too many members with too many differing opinions. The uniform is what it is, it has changed in the past and it will change in the future and at no point will everyone be even close to satisfied.

 

Here is the challenge for anyone to take up.

design a scouting uniform or uniforms that....

>is American made

>fits every body shape and size

>will be flexible to every indoor and outdoor activity in every weather condition

>that doesn't imitate the military

>that will last a scout or adult about 3 years

> is durable but formal but casual enough

> washes well and dries quickly

> that has pockets that can hold anything and everything anybody wants to put in their pockets

>that can be worn by any sex of any age

> that can be purchased by anyone regardless of budget (free would be preferred)

> and you must guarantee that everyone will like it.

 

The line forms on the right.

 

Bob White

 

 

 

 

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Bob;

 

No argument here. As I said before, I think we're in violent agreement. You asked me for suggestions on how to enforce a compulsory uniform policy -- I answered you. I'm not proposing a compulsory uniform policy.

 

My personal policy matches BSA's: They say we're a uniformed movement -- so do I. They encourage full uniforming -- so do I. They do not require full uniforming -- neither do I. They do not punish Scouts or Scouter who aren't wearing full uniforms -- neither do I. The SMs in my SM handbook illustrations wear a full uniform -- so do I. I think that's all any of us can do...

 

KS

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Except for possibly the last item in BW's list, "Nudist" Scouts would fit the bill! (and maybe the pocket and formal requirements)

 

(Yes everyone, that was said in jest.)

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Good one acco40:)

 

KS,

It would not surprise me if we were in agreement, we usually are. I am confused though (OK everybody stop laughing).

 

You said you felt one of the problems we have is that uniform are not mandatory. That we leaveme to think that you think they should be.

 

I'm not sure that is the problem. I think the root of the evil is that many leaders due to personal bias over what they view as shortcomings in the uniform do not support the method.

 

We don't need more rules or stricter rules, we need leaders who deliver the entire program.

 

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Bob;

 

If that's the message you got from my post, it must be due to a failure as a communicator on my part. I meant to refer to compulsory uniforming only as a way to put the non-official clothing debate to bed once and for all. I obviously failed at my mission!

 

In the end, it really doesn't matter to me for two reasons. One, I'm already fully uniformed, so it would be akin to telling me I can't beat my dog. Two, I can't get worked up over something that BSA obviously isn't worked up over.

 

On your pants challenge, you don't by chance write contract RFPs (requests for proposal) for a living, do you? Your criteria looks like an RFP designed so that no bidders will qualify, except the one you want to get the contract. That said, it only took me a minute to find pants that meet all but one of your critera (they're imported). Look at the Columbia Tierra pants...roomy, zip-off, quick-drying, multiple cargo pockets, under $40 at a retailer near you, or online...

 

I agree that the program isn't a cafeteria, where you take the items you want and leave the rest. But, as one of the religious debates go, if someone agrees with you, there's no need to try to convince them you're right. If they don't agree with you, there's no way you'll convince them you're right...

 

KS

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Thanks, Mike Walton's web page was an eye-opener! If this was enforced strongly in my area about 30% of the adults, slightly less for boys, would be in violation. I have always appreciated the uniform for most of the reasons mentioned but I agree with KS that the pants are not appropriate for some outdoor activities. Don't get me wrong, I like them, their fit and feel, but not for hiking or rock-climbing. Just not up to it.

 

My troop has a compulsory uniform rule that the boys decided on. We enforce it by issuing demerits for non-compliance (they can get demerits for other things as well). The consequence is KP or latrine duty on camping trips or extra hours of service to 'earn' their way out of the demerits. The boys decided this as well. Are we in violation of hazing regs?

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I think what you might be is confused about the purpose and methods of the program. The fact that the boys decided on it does not make it right. What if the boys decided that kids with lisps couldn't join. Would you accept that since it was the boys vote.

 

I would wager the boys felt they needed to develop a negative outcome plan either by adult influence of from experience in other avenues of their life such as home or sports.

 

Nowhere in the methods of scouting is punishment taught, suggested or exemplified, unless it involves the direct participation of the parents and committee in specific behavorial situations explained in the Youth Protection program and the Guide to Safe Scouting.

 

This program has always employed positive tools to achieve the behaviour and skills expected from a scout. I don't know if it is hazing, but if a parent wanted to test it in a court of law and the BSA was asked to testify if the methods you describe are a part or method of the scouting program the answer would be a resounding NO.

 

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Thanks BW, I appreciate your thoughts. Our troop is over 50 years old and the practice was in place when I arrived. I suspect it is decades old, considering the list of names from the old days. We'll dump this practice immediately and institute a more constructive alternative. Do you or anyone else have some suggestions? Thanks again.

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Pack,

 

How about doing the opposite. Give merits for being in full uniform instead of demerits for not being in uniform. The reward would have to be something worth desiring in order to get the guys to want to stay in compliance. I wouldn't make it where they were rewarded each time, make it cumulative. 5 points each time they are in full uniform and when they get to 100 points, they are rewarded in some way.

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First, I would like to know how this has to do with Military type eqipment but whatever. Our troop gives out scout bucks for being in uniform. Then, with each election, we have a scout buck auction where an adult will go to a sporting goods store of Wally World and buy camping gear.

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hops_scout, It probably doesn't have much to do with military gear except that the topic evolved (as these threads tend to do). But I'll accept help anywhere I find it. Always looking to help the boys.

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If national is trying to avoid looking military, then why did national commission a French designer to create the current uniforms, which are patterned after French Foreign Legion?

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