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Can we get rid of the tie and slide?

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The uniform is not that bad, but while I understand the concept of the tie I would suggest that few troops have the boys wear it. I think the boy find that part out of touch with current style. How about a larger handkerchief for the pocket with useful first aid information printed on it.


Of course if we elimitate the slide there would go a huge portion of the council's revenue as we have purchased at least 3 of each level over the years.


And there goes 90% of the Cub scout craft projects.........leather slide, woven slide, carved slide, pvc pipe slide, first aid slide, fun foam slide, wire slide, clay slide, metalwork slide, hose slide..............

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Funny you should ask! I was mulling over the uniform today because of other threads here. One of the things I thought of that probably is off-setting to boys about the uniform is the necherchief. Other than the US Cavalry in t he late 1800's, where else can you find an example of anyone using them? Other than scouts, who else wears a neckerchief these days? I'm sure the boys wouldn't want to wear starched collars like people did in the early 1900's either.

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Once again you draw me in...


I love the neckerchief. Its one of the things that most easily distinguishes units in out didstrict / council. I believe that over half the troops have custom ones that are present at crossover or scout rank. And I've mentioned before that I've a couple "blank" ones that I throw a patch onto to create some chat when something special is coming up.


I'm a teacher (parish sponsored k-8 school) & while I've never worn just my neckerchief to school with a regular dress shirt I have worn I have worn my scout bolo ties. The kids all know that its a western look from scouting.


Someone mentioned in the uniform thread that there are so many options there really is no reason to complain or not find what is right for your unit.


Be positive!

(No, not I'm positive that the uniform...)

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I have found myself thinking the same thought, is the neckerchief a necessity or a mere fashion statement? I mean would a scout be any less distinguished in his uniform without it. I feel as though we need to update it or eliminate it. If asked what changes should be made to the uniform, the removal of the neckerchief would be at the top of my list.

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I sure hope you all are talking about Cub Scouts!

The neckerchief is optional in Boy Scouts. This should be up to the PLC.

But when I go to other troops Eagle COH, the scouts in neckerchief do look sharper than the ones that are not. But it is a pain to put on and to wear!


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I was under the impression that the neckerchief was a handy bit of cloth for first aid, for use as a head covering, to carry things in, a washcloth, etc. I see its function but it would be better in the pocket. IMHO

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The neckerchief was meant to be used, not mere vestigal adornment.


From 27 Years With Baden-Powell by E K Wade (http://www.pinetreeweb.com/wade12.htm):


"The Scout scarf, worn with a triangular piece at the back, was designed for its practical use, and not for any artistic merit that it might possess. To protect the back of the neck against hot sun; the nose and mouth against dust; as an emergency handkerchief; or pad: as a triangular bandage; as ties or straps for a stretcher: there were few uses to which a scarf could not be put. In games it served as a distinguishing mark or "flash"; or in sudden cold weather it could be re-tied to protect the chest.


"An extra knot in front was to remind a Scout to do his good turn for the day: when this was done he untied it.


"The original Scout scarf was green, like that of the S.A. Constabulary; but as troops sprang up everywhere, distinctive colours were adopted, giving a pleasing variety of rainbow-hue in any large assembly. The "Gilwell scarf", with its patch of Maclaren tartan, is one variety now known in many lands, and was one which the Founder was proud to wear."


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  • 4 weeks later...

some one said about not knowing of any other groups wearing neck wear. One group is the US Navy, The enlistmen wear a itam around there neck( i dont know why but they do). Sticking with the military, some one said about it nothaving a funcution in this age, well does the marine sword, worn with there dress uniform have a funcution, not really but i dare you to take it away from them. The neck wear, is a pain i will agree but i wear mine with pride. its a sign of honor, pride and it does look sharp

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Well said Hop Scout, Scottsunny and Rob K. I said this on the uniform forum, and I'll reiterate here: The neckerchief is one of the most distinguishing parts of the Scout uniform, and sets us apart from other youth groups. People always gripe about their uniform, but there are some parts that need to remain, because when the tradition goes, so to does the future of the organization.

Having just retired from 24 years as a Marine Corps officer, I can appreciate outdated, yet still worn items that are steeped in tradition and identify an organization for what it is. Someone mentioned that no one wants to wear a starched collar in this day and age, well, we still do wear them in the Marine Corps, and I can assure you, not one Marine I ever met wants to change the way our dress blues look. Look at a picture of a Marine in Dress Blues from the early part of the last century, and you will find that they are vertually unchanged.

For Hops Scout, I can answer some of your questions about the Marine uniform, and yes, every part has a meaning. Starting with the trousers: Marine officers and Non-Commissioned Officers (Corporal through Sergeant Major) wear a red stripe on our blue trousers, affectionately called a "blood stripe". This stripe represents the loss of officers and Non-Commissioned Officers at the battle for Chapaltepec in the War with Mexico in 1848.

(From the Halls of Montezuma...)

The high collar on our dress blues (with a white starched high collar on the inside worn by officers) is representative of the leather collar worn by Marines during the age of sail, to protect them from sword blows. This is where the term "Leatherneck" comes from.

Incidentally, the buttons worn on all Marine dress uniforms, are unchanged since the 1860's. They contain the original Marine Corps insignia from 1775.

The sword carried by Marine Officers is a curved Marmaluke Sword, like the one presented to young Lt. Presley O'Brien when he led a unit of Marines and Sailors to capture the Pasha of Tripoli. Lt O'Brien brought back the Pasha's head, and was presented the sword as an honor by the Pasha's brother, who had requested the assistance. (To the Shores of Tripoli...)

Marine officers have carried this sword ever since, except for during the War Between the States, when they carried Naval Officer's Swords. Following the War Between the States, the officers went back to the Marmaluke, and turned the Naval Officer sword over to Staff Non-Commissioned Officers, and no other service has ever given a token of leadership to their enlisted that means as much as this does.

By the way, new 2nd Lieutenants are still required to purchase and drill with the exact same sword today. Practical? Not. Traditional and steeped with meaning? You bet. Does it instill pride in the organization? Have you ever heard of a Marine who wasn't proud?

The cover (or hat) worn by Marine Officers contains a braided Quatrafoil. The origins of the Quatrafoil again goes back to the day of sail, when Marines manned the rigging in fighting ships during battle. The idea of the Quatrafoil was so that the Marines in the rigging could identify their officers in the smoke of battle and not fire on their own.

This will end the history lesson and the US Marine Corps for today, but I just want to return to the original thought of this thread: the neckerchief may seem outdated, but it is a ready symbol of Scouting, and should continue to be worn with pride.

Happy Memorial Day everyone, Semper fi,


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The Neckerchief a Heritage from Scouts of Old

The smart and necessary neckerchief is the only spot, apart from the badges and insignia, in which the practical, earth-hued uniform of the Scout flowers into color. Like the painted sails of the boats of Venice, the age-old fez of Cairo's bazaars, and the paint box sweaters of a college campus, the Neckerchief, "a heritage from the Scouts of old, the pioneer and the plainsman," gives life to the sober dress of the Boy Scout. And that touch of color is the one thing needed to catch the eye and to stir the enthusiasm of the spectators when the parade swings down the avenue and horn and drum and cymbal stir the soul.


The Neckerchief is a passport for the Scout. Scouting says that at Santa Barbara following the earthquake, and in Illinois and Indiana during the tornado disaster, the Scouts' Neckerchief was a passport for any Scout through the police and hospital lines.


The Scout Troop which is uniformly and colorfully neckerchiefed stands out as a beautiful unit in a crowded hall, on parade, and in the summer audience in shady woods. The adoption of a Troop Neckerchief makes it easy for a Scout to find his own crowd, for the Neckerchief both identifies and promotes Scouting.


When help is needed in a hurry, the Scout with his colored Neckerchief is quickly recognized, and his Good Turn is done with grateful swiftness.


The Neckerchief is the thing by which Scouting is most quickly recognized the world over.


Emergencies call loudest to the Scout for the Neckerchief, for life itself may depend upon it. In a moment it is a bandage, a smoke mask, or a lifeline.



So much depends upon the Neckerchief that it is subjected regularly to careful tests and inspections before it can qualify as the Official Scout Neckerchief.



The Tested Neckerchief

The complete Scout Uniform requires it, and requires it worn correctly: not under the collar; not rolled and worn half way down on the chest; but flat, according to Scout regulations, over the collar of the shirt and held in place with the quickly available and necessary slide or "woggle."


Out of his rich and pictured experience Daniel Carter Beard, the National Scout Commissioner, speaks with his usual aptness when he declares that "the Neckerchief is first and last a necessity."



The following standard for folding the Neckerchief has been adopted upon advice from plainsmen, cowboys, out of doors men, and experienced Scouts throughout the country.



Folding the Neckerchief

First, fold the Neckerchief once to get the triangle. According to the size of the boy, turn the long edge over about three inches smoothly, once or twice, or even three times, to insure the Neckerchief's lying smoothly at the back and hanging correctly in front. Place around the neck over the collar of the shirt, insert the slide, or woggle, up over the ends to the point where the knot would be if tied as a four in hand necktie. Then tic the two loose ends in an overhand knot, as if it were one piece of material. This lower knot is a constant reminder to do your Daily Good Turn.




The Woggle

Always wear the slide, or woggle, with the Scout Neckerchief. The advantages of the slide are that in hot weather and on the hike the Neckerchief can be loosened around the throat, while in a cold wind or snowstorm it can be drawn up closer to serve as a muffler. When necessary to use the Neckerchief in emergencies, the slide can be drawn down instantly, permitting the Neckerchief to be whipped off over the head. When the slide is not used, a knot must be tied, and as it is seldom tied twice alike or at the same position at the throat, a very untidy appearance results. The slide is an immense convenience and adds distinctly to the appearance of the Neckerchief.


The Neckerchief Slides are made in this pleasing variety of colors: white, khaki, gold, royal blue, brown, black, gray, green, orange, purple, yellow, red, and a combination of red, white and blue. Each Troop should adopt a color to be worn by all its members with the Neckerchief of harmonizing color which has been adopted for the Troop, District or Council.




Neckerchiefs Growing Like Flowers

in an Old Fashioned Garden

The Scout Neckerchief grows like the flowers in the old-fashioned garden, "Out at Old Aunt Mary's. "


The single color Neckerchiefs grow in these shades: plum; red; maroon; orange; lemon; tea green; moss green; dark green; navy blue; royal blue; violet; khaki; dark brown; gray; black; sky blue; gold.


The double color Neckerchiefs grow in these shades: red, gold border; gold, navy border; green, red border; gray, green border; sky blue, maroon border; navy blue, gold border; red, black border; gold, red border; orange, black border; purple, orange border; royal blue, sky blue border; black, red border , lemon, navy blue border and maroon, gray border.



"Be Prepared" tells the Scout never to be without his Neckerchief and therefore to be ready for any emergency. There are fifty six practical uses among many others for the Necessary Neckerchief.



Some Uses of the Neckerchief



Rope for tying animals

Mosquito covering for head

Sweat-band for games

Identification for teams in games

Tie for three-legged races

Swatters for running the gauntlet

Red kerchief on projecting poles in transit

Padding for carrying load on head

Repairing harness

Substitute for hat or cap.


Signal flag by attaching to stick (Morse)

Signal flag (no sticks) (Semaphore)

Life line (Troop)

Rope ladder (Troop)

Bag (hobo style)

Lashing for canvas or bundles

Caulking for boat

Sail for boat

Covering for food

Belt emergency

Knot tying practice

Substitute for clothing

Trunks for bathing

Apron for kitchen police

Troop or District identification

Good Turn reminder

Guard rope (Troop)

Emergency sock

Distress signal

Smoke signals


Torn strips, trail marker

Bathing cap to denote classes of swimmers; red, beginners; blue, fair swimmers; white, life savers.


Pressure on armpit artery

Arm sling

Collar bone fracture

Ankle sprain dressing

Fractured hip

Kerchief stretcher

Padding for splints (several)

Chest carry

Tump line carry (pack strap)

Hand bandages

Head bandages

Foot bandages

Support for sprained wrist

Tourniquet uses

Trench bandages


Smoke mask for fires or gas

Fireman's drag-- free wrists

Tied hands carry

Tied hands across over turned canoe

Tying good ankle as splint to broken one

Guide rope to find way out of smoky room (Troop)

Sun shelter for injured people (one for each person)


This is not mine...but Rick Seymore says it best reguarding the Scout Neckerchief. Don't put it aside use it...it is part of Scouting no matter what.

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