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floridaeagle

I'm ashamed....well not really

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Actually, I am appalled at the attitude of adult leaders when it comes to the value of the uniform. Just go out there and read the excerpts from Scouting and our founder Lord Baden-Powell regarding the purpose the uniform serves to the program and the community. While returning from our Scout Camp, we happened upon and accident. When we stepped in to help I heard someone say thank God some Scouts are here. The uniform symbolizes a purpose and expectation which brings peace of mind, comfort and fellowship to the community. Like the purpose of the neckerchief. I have witnessed or been part of two occasions where the neckerchief was used in emergency service. Not only an excellent decoration to complete the look of the uniform, it is a tool when needed. We were pleased to have been prepared on those occasions. There is an excellent quote from Lord Baden-Powell, “Show me a poorly uniformed troop and I will show you a poorly uniformed Scout Masterâ€Â. Adults suck it up, we lead by example and yes everyone is watching.

Okay, Basement, here's how it works.

 

I buy the pants on Ebay, I have a debit card. Various sizes and maintain a personal inventory for first time buyers. They pick up a pair from me at what I paid on Ebay. Now they have a pair to trade up in the Troop's closet. This also helps with providing replacement pants for the boys that quit and keep their pants and or those worn out.

 

It has nothing to do with credit cards, Ebay access or any other excuses. It's a service I provide for the young boys. Of course if some of the older boys age out or quit, they have the option of donating pants/shirts to the closet for the younger boys which they have had a tendency to do.

 

And yes, I have had boys mow my lawn and shovel my walk to pay for their first pair of pants. They also have the option of using their credits from troop funds to purchase uniform parts.

 

It's all part of the character development that goes along with the uniform method.

 

And when all else fails and the boy just can't come up with the $15 the pants, the troop "pays" for them out of my personal funds. The boy submits a request to the troop committee and then goes to the committee to present it in person, they deliberate the merits of the situation and if they feel the boy has done his best in trying to raise funds but falls short, he is awarded uniform parts, which is basically taken from my personal inventory which I am glad to provide. I haven't had to do this very often, but it does provide an opportunity for every boy in the troop to have a full uniform.

 

Heck, I spend more money on gasoline driving to Troop meetings and activities than what it costs me to maintain full uniforms for the boys. And I also probably spend more money on ice cream and candy bars than I do for the program, but that's another story.

 

Like I said, money is an excuse, not a consideration.

 

Stosh

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Keep in mind that the BSA has a dress uniform for adults (blue blazer and trousers over a white dress shirt.) Of course, wearing that means you leave all of the insignia and knots behind.
my thoughts, exactly!

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Actually, I am appalled at the attitude of adult leaders when it comes to the value of the uniform. Just go out there and read the excerpts from Scouting and our founder Lord Baden-Powell regarding the purpose the uniform serves to the program and the community. While returning from our Scout Camp, we happened upon and accident. When we stepped in to help I heard someone say thank God some Scouts are here. The uniform symbolizes a purpose and expectation which brings peace of mind, comfort and fellowship to the community. Like the purpose of the neckerchief. I have witnessed or been part of two occasions where the neckerchief was used in emergency service. Not only an excellent decoration to complete the look of the uniform, it is a tool when needed. We were pleased to have been prepared on those occasions. There is an excellent quote from Lord Baden-Powell, “Show me a poorly uniformed troop and I will show you a poorly uniformed Scout Masterâ€Â. Adults suck it up, we lead by example and yes everyone is watching.

Blake that is all well and good.

 

But I sat down and looked at what I spent on the troop and was more than a bit surprised. I could fly my family to disney and stay at a premium resort with meal plan for what spent last year. I swear year after year to quit spending money on the troop. PL books, SPL books, NYLT scholarships, Summer Camp help, shirts from the thrift store, propane zipper repair, on and on an on.

 

Guess I am burnt out. Hopefully a break around christmas will help

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Actually, I am appalled at the attitude of adult leaders when it comes to the value of the uniform. Just go out there and read the excerpts from Scouting and our founder Lord Baden-Powell regarding the purpose the uniform serves to the program and the community. While returning from our Scout Camp, we happened upon and accident. When we stepped in to help I heard someone say thank God some Scouts are here. The uniform symbolizes a purpose and expectation which brings peace of mind, comfort and fellowship to the community. Like the purpose of the neckerchief. I have witnessed or been part of two occasions where the neckerchief was used in emergency service. Not only an excellent decoration to complete the look of the uniform, it is a tool when needed. We were pleased to have been prepared on those occasions. There is an excellent quote from Lord Baden-Powell, “Show me a poorly uniformed troop and I will show you a poorly uniformed Scout Masterâ€Â. Adults suck it up, we lead by example and yes everyone is watching.

There is no way my comments were focused on anyone not going above and beyond to help the troops they serve. My new troop has no bank account and boys are just getting up and going, that means for at least the first five boys, it's $20 for necker and book, (out of my pocket). That's $100. :) And then they come around and arm twist me for FOS. Yeah, right.

 

Over the years I have had to prioritize my efforts to keep it from becoming a burden. I have invested $X in uniform parts inventory and only go out and buy on Ebay when there's a size I don't have. It is only for the new boys. Older boys can trade for larger sizes but the closet doesn't provide a second uniform for anyone.

 

I guess the only rationalization I can give you is that we all do what we have to to make it happen for the boys. Over the past 30 years of scouting, the money I have "donated" would have easily covered a few nice trips for the Mrs. and I. Fortunately for me, a nice trip for the Mrs. is kayaking the BWCA for a week. Had I picked a high maintenance Mrs. it might have been a different story. :)

 

I always stay in constant communication with the CC on this issue so that they know what's going on. Also I expect the boys to be Thrifty and work on the expenses as well. If one is elected PL they know that the patch and handbook aren't free and need to make arrangements for that. Is the Librarian keeping track of these books? A lot of those conversations are important for the boys to know as well what is going on. Too often, they are expected to hand over $15 for an outing and don't see the big picture of what that all involves. A boy-led program needs to know these details. I see too many adults not exposing this to their boys. A functional Scribe will know all the details of everything financial in the troop. Otherwise, they are wearing a patch and coasting through their POR requirement.

 

And if one is leading by example, why aren't the boys informed of the money the adults contribute to make their program a success? If the boys know I am "sponsoring" the uniform parts closet, when they donate back at the end of their scouting career to that closet, are they not following the example I have set?

 

A boy-led program requires a lot more transparency than what is often the case in a lot of troops.

 

Stosh

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We use the green pants you can get at Army Stand-downs. They're nearly the same color, better looking, and far more durable than scout pants. They also work great for hunting too. No need to feel guilty for finding something that is better quality and cheaper.

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