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I came up with this not long ago. I had noticed a few time scout wading up the uniform shirt and stuffing it into a bag at campouts, or coming to meetings with it in the same shape.


I have the troop circled up, and I pull out of a bag a piece of cloth, I used a pillow case. I tell them to pretend that it is a American flag. I ask them if this would be ok to wad it up. No, the say, and I ask why not, its just a piece of cloth. One of the tell me it does not show respect. I then pull out a flag folded correctly, and say that this is the correct way. I then pull out a uniform shirt all wadded up. I ask if this is ok. I point out that by not having it folded neatly, or hanging on a hanger, it does not show respect. It is not just a piece of cloth. It has there troop number, there council patch, and a US flag.

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Nice, I like the visuals - it works well with boys of Scouting age.


However, be careful about the "flag" comment It has has their troop number, their council patch, and a US flag. We really don't have a miniature flag on our uniform - that would be against the flag code. We have a patch or flag emblem. I know to many that is a subtle difference but it is important to remember.

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Ask them who they want serving their food, someone clean and groomed or disheveld and unkempt... They will understand what people see when they see a wrinkled, untucked, jeans wearing scout.


Respect needs to start with themselves and with their fellow scouts and it will only grow from there! Towards other people, towards their belongings...

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One point of clarification to acco40's comment... the U.S. Flag Code, while written and presented as a set of rules, is not something that you can break or violate. In the words of a 2008 report to Congress, "the Code functions simply as a guide to be voluntarily followed by civilians and civilian groups." There are no penalties or enforcement provisions involved.


That said, the Code does refer to a "flag patch" authorized for use by military personnel, police, firefighters, and members of patriotic organizations. I guess we fall into the latter.


briantshore - I like the idea. I might also bring in the point of respect to oneself - a uniform shirt with your troop number, patrol emblem, rank, etc., is also a representation of who you are. Think of how your uniform is a personalization of you - you couldn't just swap it with a friend's or a leader's. It presents you to the world. Do you want yourself known for being a wrinkled, musty shirt? Or for looking sharp?

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I have used this once before in TJLT before I talk about the TJLT agenda.


Scouts who have or want a position are present, I am in front with a chalkboard behind me.


I start off a simple ice breaker then go into this as if it's another ice breaker.


I ask - "Can you tell me how many articles there are in a Football uniform?"


(they guess easy stuff like jersey, helmet, cleats, football pants, and a few include mouth guard, pads, and such).


I might even ask things like, "if a player comes to a game without ____ do you think he'll play or knows the rules of the game?"


I do the same with a couple more (depending on the group I may add fireman, life guard or cable-guy), then ask if they can play or do the job with less than the basic uniform.. and most say, "No" (as they see it coming now - expected).


Then I ask, "what game are you guys playing right now?"


Depending on how that goes, I bring up some variations on how our Troop uses Troop T-shirts and the full uniform on outings and how we relax at camp.


Surprisingly, they usually carry most of the discussion.



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