Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Roy, it seems to me that your troop's request (I like that it is phrased in terms of an "ask" and would not be surprised if you get more compliance that way than a troop that "tells") is mainly for safety reasons. And perhaps secondarily to avoid having valuables lost or damaged during physical activities. Is that correct?


If so, I don't see how anyone could object to it. It is fair, evenhanded and has a worthwhile purpose(s). ("Evenhanded" because it does not single out only those types of jewelry that have come into vogue in the past 15 years, but applies to all.) It does not imply any moral judgment about those who wear earrings when not at Scout activities. As for the ban on items that advertise smoking and alcohol, nobody could object to that either, as use of the things being advertised is expressly discouraged by the BSA and prohibited at BSA activities. (By the way there also are items of clothing out there that promote use of illegal drugs, you might want to make sure the policy also includes promotion of illegal activities. You might think that goes without saying, unfortunately there is always someone who thinks they are smarter than everybody else; outsmarting such people probably accounts for two-thirds of the statutes, ordinances, rules and regulations that exist in the world.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 168
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

NJ, I gave the boys the reason for this particular rule. It IS dangerous during certain activities, and plus that does eliminate the risk of their items being lost or stolen. You are correct; it applies to everyone, and does not single out anyone. I think that if you give your boys a good reason on the rules, they are more willing to follow them. I have found that works better than "because I said so!"

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

I realize that rules are rules, but they can sometimes go over the top.


Also I can appreciate that sometimes it's appropriate for jewellery to be removed for sports, etc.


But I do wonder: do all girls of a similar age remove even the tiniest fo earrings for all athletic activity? If they don't, then what about similarly tiny earrings worn by boys?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...

Maybe I could illustrate what I mean?


The other day I was out walking and happened to pass a group of boys playing football. I happened to notice that all of them were wearing earrings, all of them in both ears. Now there's a sense in which it's hardly remarkable or worth reporting, but that's precisely my point.


I know there have got to be dress codes and uniforms for scouts I'm in favor of them but I do wonder whether the administering or even reviewing of the rules can be done in a way which to some extent reflects what so many boys today wear to a very widespread extent.


The boys I saw playing football: they weren't harming themselves or anyone else with their earrings. (If, however, there is a real health and safety issue which applied to girls' earrings as well, then, sure I can understand it.) But boys with earrings today are just part of the normal way boys look.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

How can we as adult leaders criticize the way boys look in their uniforms if we don't exhibit proper uniforms? It is a real shame to attend adult scouting functions to see the number of leaders who put a scout leader's shirt with a pair of blue jeans or anything else they feel like wearing. Either you wear the uniform (all of it) or you don't wear the uniform.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

One comment about the jewelry issue from a scout who has experienced it in a unique way. There are certain pieces of jewelry that are respectable, and many that are not. I wear a chain into my right pocket. About a foot long, but thinner than you would see on a normal teenager. Very often when I am in uniform and at a scout event where the leaders do not know me well, I reach into my pocket and at the jingle of the chain they will all turn and look like, should you be wearing that? Thats not part of uniform.

The complexion of the situation changes greatly when I get to the end of the chain and check the time on my pocketwatch. My watch is a statement of individuality, just like any of the other forms of jewelry mentioned here, you dont see too many 16 year olds with pocketwatches. The difference is, the watch and chain is perceived as respectable, while the earring or the wallet chain is not.

So Im really not sure weather to stick up for my brother scouts who just want to be themselves. Or stick with the leaders, who want to keep the uniform respectable. I agree with both parties to a certain degree.

Just an interesting real life anecdote to prove that things are not always as you perceive.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not have any problem with what people wear or don't wear. One thing I do think, is that our children are given to us to raise and nuture. Until they are old enough to make decisions that will impact their lives forever, we have to make their decisions for them. My son, an Eagle Scout is 20 years old and at 18, started making decisons for himself, ie: how to wear his hair, cloths, etc. All I tell him about his decisions is that he is now an adult, and while I may not condone his decisions, I will not condem them. I feel the same way about my Scouts, Adult Leaders and any other person I come in contact with. I made decisons that afected my life when I became 18, and my father told me the same thing. We are the caretakers of our worlds children, and until they are old enough to make their own decisions, someone should make them for them.

Just my opinion


Link to post
Share on other sites



Your point about watch chains and earrings is very interesting. Of course, medical people often wear watches on a chain. I don't know of anyone who suggests that such a chain on a medical person's uniform is contrary to dress codes.


Personally, if a guy chooses to have a little unobtrusive ring forced through his earlobe, it shouldn't bother other people.



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

"But I do wonder: do all girls of a similar age remove even the tiniest fo earrings for all athletic activity? If they don't, then what about similarly tiny earrings worn by boys? "


The rules for all high school sports require that all jewlery be removed with the exception of Medic alert tags which are supposed to have the chains taped to the body. If a religious medal "must" be worn, a letter from the state office authorizing the wearing of said medal must be present at the game.


Most non-scholastic youth leagues, especially basketball, use high school rules or have adopted the high school safety rules.


I referee basketball at all levels including youth recreation and high school varsity. Every year as a recreation game I get some mom coming down from the stands to argue with me about her daughter's earrings. This never happens at a high school game although I do have to remind a few kids to take them out.


If a kid gets hit in the ear by a kicked soccer ball, the earring can be driven through the lobe in embedded in the head. If a hoop earring is snagged by a stray finger, it can rip out of the ear causing damage and a good deal of blood on the floor. The reports that are written up in the various journals for sports officials are amazing.




Link to post
Share on other sites

We allow earrings as long as theyre not obstructing and causing a potential risk like those that hang down. Personally, I dont like boys in earrings but thats the fad. Showing up to a weekly meeting with an earring doesnt cause a health risk, it maybe a little hard to get use to but thats the fashion.


As far as wearing all the uniform or nothing at all then give me a uniform that cost less. The uniform should be half of what it cost and maintaining a full uniform is financially tough on many including adults.


Just my 2 cents


Link to post
Share on other sites

"As far as wearing all the uniform or nothing at all then give me a uniform that cost less. The uniform should be half of what it cost and maintaining a full uniform is financially tough on many including adults."


Everyone is different but I live in one of the most affluent counties in the country and I can't believe the whining that I hear about the uniforms. People whine about a $25 shirt then drive home in their Lexus to their $500,000 house to plan this years cruise. Later mom takes junior out to buy $120 sneakers and this week's Starter jacket.


Oddly, if you go to the poorer sections of the city, the scouts are all uniformed properly. Go figure.


My daughter wanted to join "junior cheerleading," I didn't like the suggestive dancing that they have eight year olds doing so I said no. Boy am I glad that I did. It would have been at least $200 for a uniform and "required" gear.


I know a teenager that was invited to join a prestigeous soccer club. His dad had to pony up about $250 for uniforms. He drew the line at $75 for a "team bag." Dad said that the kid had a perfectly good gear bag. Coach (he sells the bags) said, "it builds team unity" Dad said, "you asked him to join, take it or leave it."


Unless a kid gains a ton of weight, a new scout should be able to get three years out of a uniform even if you don't buy him an XL when he needs a small right now. The trousers are extra long so you can have a really deep hem and just keep letting the bottoms out.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Yaworski is right on target about girls can't wear earrings and about the people complaining about the costs of uniforms after spending $120 on tennis shoes.


My sister was a cheerleader in the 1970's. At the time, earrings with big feathers attached were popular. The cheerleaders were not allowed to wear ANY dangling earrings. And these girls were not doing any of the fancy cheerleading you see today.


I do not wear my rings or earrings when I'm doing outside stuff or camping. I do not want the hassle of it. Even necklaces inside a shirt are dangerous. Small stud earrings can become dangerous in active sports.


I have no problems with boys wearing earrings but they do need to understand what is tasteful and what is safe.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, Im happy with the notion that neither boys nor girls need wear earrings for activities where safety might be an issue.


But otherwise I don't think folks should have a problem with a tiny little ring that, let's face it, so many boys today are accustomed to piercing through an ear.


So I would say (and I guess lots of people would agree):


a) If boys want to pierce an ear, go for it!


b) If, in activities, safety is an issue, take it out for the duration, then they can just put it back in again.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasnt comparing the cost of the uniform to other expenditures, nor was I making a reference to spending money on other items. Yes, some do just that, but many of my youths are not driving Lexus, nor wearing $120 sneakers. Everything cost money and so does the uniform. In my unit it takes $25.00 to join. We spend more than that on each scout as we provide troop numbers, books, class-b shirt, and registration, etc. Roughly its $30 average as the registration is prorated throughout the year (so the troop looses $5 on each kid that joins roughly).


If I insisted on a full uniform youd have at least $100.00 (more if you wanted additional items) for pants, shirt, socks, shorts, and some sort of tie or handkerchief. With the $25.00 fee were now at $125.00 minimum plus you have to purchase gear. At least a flashlight, a good sleeping bag, and rain gear (Thats another $75-100), often it is considered too much money to spend on little Johnny because he may not like it or quits after one or two outings. This is especially compounded if they went through Cub Scouts purchasing complete uniforms. How about a progressive uniform policy? For example, 1st Class and above require more of the uniform while Life Scouts and especially Eagle Scouts should have a complete uniform.


We require just the shirt within 60 days of joining, this is a struggle at times, but we enforce it. Do I like the blue jeans instead of pants, no, kids fully dressed look better.


Ill share with you that when we go to summer camp that troops that have the full uniform look sharp and often I feel somewhat out-of-place with shirts only and a mismatch of pants and shorts. But, I also hear the leaders complaining at little Johnny wheres your hat, or wheres this or that. But with that said, Im very proud of my unit and I have the best scouts in camp. You might not know it to look at us, but Im very proud of every one of my guys and I feel very lucky to have each and every one of them. Scouting isnt about wearing a uniform (no quotes for the manual please I know what it says), its much more, its a way of life, a tradition, and it means something. Hey, I think thats called Scout Spirit. If I can have kids participate in scouting, I can make them a better citizen, better adult, and more and I dont need the uniform for that here comes the emails on how the uniform helps in achieving this.


My kids are good scouts, and I wouldnt trade one of them for a uniform. In my years of scouting, my most memorable times are when I run into a scout now years after hes out of scouting. Yes, I see that little redhead kid with freckles now all grownup with his family and he stops me and says Hey Mr. ____ I would like you to meet my wife. Im introduced as his scoutmaster and then he refers to scouting as the most enjoyable years of his childhood. Its not the rank nor the uniform he remembers but what scouting has taught him and how that has somehow helped him in his life. Often they say, in a few more years little Junior will be joining the pack. I wish you all luck in your all your programs.


My 2 cents


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...