Jump to content

Youth OA Leaders and the Use of Silver Epaulettes

Recommended Posts

The shoulder loops are much easier to recognize than position patches. But yes, some folks get on power trips. But again, some folks have a built in dislike for those wearing the silver or gold loops. When I was a unit commissioner, I would wear my silver loops and the proper position patch but most really had no idea what that insignia really meant.


A favorite of the boys was the shoulder loops I took back from DIBC (Dorchester International Brotherhood Camporee) in Canada. Scouts Canada wears Beaver (yellow), Wolf (green), etc. loops that are not only a color but have a embroidered Beaver or Wolf on them. Well, my oldest son just had to wear the Beaver loops on his uniform - told the younger scouts that was what an SPL wears! Well, not to rain on his parade, I let it go for troop meetings and outings - you have to pick your battles.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"The shoulder loops are much easier to recognize than position patches..."


That's true.


My lack of preference for the colored loops is the para-military look it gives the uniform. The BSA is not a military organization. Patriotic, Yes; Military, No. I do realize that some folks like the look. Change is hard and we have been used to the loops for the past 30 years. The first 70 years, loops did not exist.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"The shoulder loops are much easier to recognize than position patches" ??

The loops don't really give much information when it comes to what position.

I wore these silly silver loops when serving as a District Commissioner, District Chairman, Membership Chair and Council Training Chair.

I wore the yellow (Gold) Loops while serving on the Area Committee, but I might just have been a National Scout Shop Salesperson or the Chief Scout Executive.


These silver and yellow loops serve very little purpose.

I was always me!

No matter what silly loops I was wearing.


I'm now racking my brain trying to remember if I ever was a " A silly, grumpy old man."

As luck might have it, I wasn't at the 2010 Jambo.

So at least that time it wasn't me!!




Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Eamonn, the loops are a waste.


From what I've seen, the only people in the BSA that get a thrill from the pecking order are the ones wearing gold and silver.


Which is rather ironic, given that the unit-level loops carry the most honor.


That's where real scouting happens--pack, troop, crew, ship. Anything that happens at silver and gold level is overhead/bureaucracy/meetings/banquets.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Boys moving up to cubs are quite proud of switching from blue to red epaulets. (Or is it khaki now? I've lost track.) The Jambo epaulets were seriously cool. If all venturers had to do was keep the same shirt and switch epaulets, they'd be proud of that too.


And, our area and council youth on the venturing side do work to provide opportunities for multiple units to gather at area meetings and such. They coordinate training opportunities, unique outdoor skills instruction, and some seriously cool parties in some awe inspiring locations.


Now, I'm not saying that stuff would disappear if you got rid of the epaulets. But council and area positions are in no way figureheads.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Qwazse, good points all.


I think the good things you mentioned can/do happen independently of the existence of shoulder loops.


I have no issue with the scouts being proud of the transition from one level to another. We used to signify this with different neckerchiefs and uniform items.


Council/area positions: effectiveness and support for units vary greatly. The tread seems to be increasing overhead rather than support for units.

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...