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Who Among Us Wears a Smokey Bear/Campaign hat?

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I'm under 55 and wear one. In my old council, only folks you saw with Smokeys were WBers, and BA22 and JLTC graduates. Wore one until I got my Expedition hat when I worked for supply. Since then it's a toss up.

 

Problem I have with the Smokey is that when I wear it, people assume I'm in charge.

 

I just can't do the campaign hat. Makes me feel 70 years old (not that there's anything wrong with 70 year olds). I wear my ball caps (all BSA) or I wear my troop boonie. In my area the guys who wear the "funny hats" as my scouts call them are usually the guys you pointed out; and in my area those guys tend to be the know-it-all types that constantly look down their nose at you for one reason or another.

 

At least that's what it's like in my area. I have met other guys that wear those hats in other areas of the country that are very nice, pleasant folks...but they are usually over 60. ;) Give me 15 years and I will wear one. For now, I am sticking with what makes me feel younger. ;)

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I'd wear a campaign hat, but I'm too thrifty (read, cheap) to purchase one. 

 

I hear ya. I lucked out with mine First one I earned upon completing Brownsea 22, as that was the recognition as well as a patch.  The council issued US GI surplus hats to those that graduated. That one went through 1 hurricane, numerous camp outs, being shot at by German Scouts, etc.  I did buy a BSA chinstrap, but use a British Scout Association's hatband that is branded with the camps I worked at over there, and a plume I got at BP House.

 

Second one issued to the "youth" staff who worked JLTC.  It was number of years after my BA22 course that the council did JLTC.  At 20, I was a "youth" and SPL. I was also the only person to have done BA22 or JLTC on staff. Council reintroduced the Smokeys upon completing JLTC, and since none of the youth staff had Smokeys already, and mine was "experienced" They issued us ones to wear. Again US GI surplus hat with Scout Association branded hatband and BSA chin strap. However, I gave my BP House plume away, and now wear a 2007 Century Anniversary plume.

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I'd love too wear one if I could find a semi-crushable one like the original hats. The original boy scout (and military) campaign hat had a softer brim then the modern versions made today. I understand the brim was almost as soft as the one on the modern BSA "Indiana Jones" hat. I feel that any item of uniform that can be damaged by the rain or needs a hat press doesn't belong as part of the uniform. I'm a scouter, not a Paris Island drill instructor.

 

Plus a softer brim is more practical. If the hat brim gets bumped (such as by a backpack), a soft brim will simply bend while a stiff one will push the hat.

 

But the campaign hat says "scout" to me in a way that none of the others do. Probably because of all the Norman Rockwell paintings, old movies and photos of BP wearing his.

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A follow up question might be: How many scouters under 55 wear the campaign hat. ;)

 

I'm 33 and have one but seldom wear it.  I got one back in 2012 when I was newly-appointed commissioner to a local troop and the SM and sole ASM would wear them to courts of honor while wearing the BSA expedition hat for "undress" occasions.  I decided to get one too and kept it as I was absorbed into the troop as ASM (before retiring for a bit and then coming back as committee).  Unfortunately, the SM and lead ASM have stepped down and I'm the only one left with a campaign hat.

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I'd love too wear one if I could find a semi-crushable one like the original hats. The original boy scout (and military) campaign hat had a softer brim then the modern versions made today. I understand the brim was almost as soft as the one on the modern BSA "Indiana Jones" hat. I feel that any item of uniform that can be damaged by the rain or needs a hat press doesn't belong as part of the uniform. I'm a scouter, not a Paris Island drill instructor.

 

Plus a softer brim is more practical. If the hat brim gets bumped (such as by a backpack), a soft brim will simply bend while a stiff one will push the hat.

 

But the campaign hat says "scout" to me in a way that none of the others do. Probably because of all the Norman Rockwell paintings, old movies and photos of BP wearing his.

I agree they are timeless and great for brand recognition. Try eBay. I found a great old hat very cheap because it looked very worn. It's as crushable as the expedition hat.

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 Two of my boys in my former troop wore the campaign hats and another wore the garrison cap.  The honor patrol of the troop before that wore the expedition hats as a patrol.  

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I got an army surplus campaign hat when I became a tiger cub leader. The kids love it. The adults think I'm a bit of a kook but none of them volunteered to be a scout leader. I just crossed over my WII and next year I'm back with the tigers.

Edited by Thxcuz

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I couldn't wear a scout campaign hat.  It would get destroyed too quick.   Kids.  Dogs.  Camping.  

 

My current one is an eight year old Indiana Jones style hat, but it's semi-rigid with good airflow at the top.  I can roll it up or flatten it and it pops back up.  Love that hat.  Multiple times it's been crushed in a backpack or dropped onto the bottom of a canoe.  Last time I just dipped it in the river and squeezed it out.  Great hat.  ... Probably needs to be washed soon ... with soap.  Seriously.  

Edited by fred johnson

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Gee, I thought my expedition hat ("Indiana Jones" hat) was in bad condition.  I'm thinking a little soap may wash out it's character.  I have the Philmont brands burned into the brim along with the Centennial Jamboree brand along side.  Well I was in Philmont in 2000 so I know it to be at least 16 years old... except one of the reason I figured it was okay to brand at Philmont was because it was already old at that time.  I'm thinking that hat to be 20+ years old and I'm still wearing it regularly to meetings.  Those hats are fantastic!  Whereas I don't like baseball style hats, it could very well be the hat I bought with my original uniform back in 1992.  :)

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I wear the campaign hat and I'm under 55 by 6 years - ;)

 

The scouts in the troop love seeing it, I love wearing it. My old SM wore one, I'll never forget him, the guy was 101 ways of awesome. "The HAT" just kind of belongs. 

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My son will be getting a campaign hat soon, he's staffing an NYLT and that was what they decided to wear as staffers.  An unexpected expense to say the least, but I was thinking of getting one for myself, I guess I'll just skip that for now. 

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I am saving my nickles because I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to get myself the traditional campaign hat. It's such a wonderful article .... but also a pricey one. $99 on Scoutstuff! So I am just saving up slowly but surely. Hopefully someday I can have enough saved so that I can get what I feel is the most iconic piece of uniform wear money can buy :)

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They appear on eBay.  You must decide whether to ignore military campaign hats incorrectly ID'd as BSA.  It helps to know how many inches around your head is becasue they size tag is often missing and the sellers list inches. Or they may give no info as to size. (You can ask them to measure.)  Often, Scout model hats will be incorrectly ID'd as "Scoutmaster" hats, which came with a leather band..  Some come with a wood or Masonite hat press.

 

Example from today

Vintage "Official" Boy Scout Brown Felt Wool Hat Size Small 6 /78
  • $59.99
  • or Best Offer
  • Free shipping [adult model w/ leather band]

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A follow up question might be: How many scouters under 55 wear the campaign hat. ;)

 

There was a troop near us that wore the campaign hat as their official headgear. Every scout in the troop wore one.

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