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Thank you for adding to my vocabulary.


I have a word or two for your consideration: "kind";  "courteous."

Courteous? Have you been reading these threads much, particularly Issues and Politics? That point of the law seems to have dropped off the list somehow. Courteous, in these forums, is a thin veneer that presents a polite face but which covers much that is most definitely not courteous in reality.


As for kind, believe me, I am being kind.

It's one thing for someone to refer to a concept they know nothing about. Everyone does that, it's only human and that doesn't bother me.

It's another thing entirely for them to think they know something after doing a Google search and then to pretend to teach it by pontificating at length. Bloviate.

Edited by cyclops
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Matt, I think the key thought here is that you were in training.  It's an artificial environment, heavy on procedure, protocol, instilling the right principles, etc.   Which is alright, it's by design

First of all, Welcome to the forum.   I get these "non-authorized" tokens over the years and have just adopted the policy of putting them on my red jack-shirt.  Then no one can complain.  A few of t

As I understand it they go above the left pocket, not on the flap. If someone corrects me about this, read on...... The larger question is one you intimated in a couple of statements like this one, "

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TAHAWK, I understand your point. The 'golden rule' is a two-edged sword that sometimes cuts twice as much but only in one direction. I have been reading the old threads in these forums and your advice would be very well applied to many others - do I need to name them for you? I'm a newbie and the reality of the so-called 'standards' for these forums can be found by reading the old threads. It isn't pretty. But I have learned by example (or role-model, as many like to refer to it)


I can read the results of members who do their best to be scoutlike, thus granting through courtesy a modicum of lenience to their antagonists, and then basically get 'run over' by scouters who seem to take pleasure in doing so and with especial ease because of that lenience. The lesson in those examples is something different if you don't want to get bullied by someone in these threads. Or haven't you noticed? A scout is also brave and will stand up to such persons and tell the truth if that is what is needed.


But all this, including this particular conversation, is about someone wanting to wear a pin on a uniform. Can you believe it?

To apply the same twisted logic that Stosh thinks is a version of 'fuzzy logic', you can take a person who is in perfect full uniform and add a grain of sand and it will still be a uniform. You can add a whole handful into the shirt pocket and it will still be full perfect uniform. You can add a leaf from a tree. It will still be a uniform. You can add a pin. The full uniform will still be there. Add two pins, the uniform is still there. And this, to me, is inconsequential.

What is just astounding is that by adding that one pin, people think we are on the road to perdition. (which I think was a really nice touch that ya lazima vumbi...whoever....added to show how ridiculous this entire argument is).

And I hope YLV will continue to wear that vacation pin from his cub as long as he wants to.

"Over hill, over dale, we will hit the dusty trail and those those doughnuts keep rolling along".

Edited by cyclops
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Five rows of knots on the uniform, red, white, blue epaulets, mentor pins, parent pins, fake eagle feather in their hats, NYLT "beads",  hat cords, non-official hats at flag ceremonies, are but a few of the baubles worn by ADULTS thinking they are cool additions to the plain old official uniform.  Over the past 35+ years, that's but a sample of the more gaudy things they have done.  Even they don't tuck in the shirt, don't wear complete uniforms, etc.  Obviously their political point of self-indulgence is not appreciated by scouters universally who do take care to try and follow the methods of scouting.


Shall we now continue with what adults allow when it comes to uniforming the boys?  


Either one takes a stand to do it right and ignore all the ones that don't take it seriously  or they remain silent and become complicit with the improper actions of others.


I'm beginning to think the reason the boys are under the impression the uniform is a joke is because it has become that because of the attitudes of those what wear it.


When one sees the US Marine dress blues, it evokes an image of courage, dedication, honor and a whole lot of other words that the wearer is proud to symbolize.  Why is it that today's youth look at the various Banana Republic Generals posing as scout leaders and conclude that the BSA official Field Uniform and conclude that it is dorky?


By the way the person who dinged me for suggesting the boys honor the civilian veteran  hand salute by rendering the BSA scout salute only while in full uniform and the civilian hand over the heart when not,  would have had the courage to defend their position.  I would love to know the rationale why the Boy Scouts of America when not in uniform are afforded the same privilege as US military veterans who have served our country and earned that right.

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Just by way of definition, having perused a few military catalogs who actually use "A" and "B" designations ...


Class A's rough parallel is the BSA Dress Unifom available to adult leaders.

Class B's rough parallel is the BSA Field Uniform available to youth and adults.

Class C's rough parallel is the activity shirt, with apparel suitable for the task at hand, and now with the "Official" BSA neckerchief. It probably also includes "brag vests" and other materials.


FWIW the placement of pins apply to any of these three recognized methods of BSA uniforming in that:

  • There is no official document prohibiting their use, but
  • There is no official statement describing their intended use.

Therefore, if you are willing to criticize someone putting their mentor pin on their field uniform, you must necessarily be willing to criticize someone doing so on a dress uniform, and someone in an activity uniform.

In essence you must say such pins have no place in BSA uniforming with no guidance as to where their place belongs.


Absence of endorsement is not prohibition. It's merely lack of endorsement. For some, that is sufficient to keep their pins on some non-BSA apparel, for others it's the loophole they want to jump through.


Now I am not one to ask for an endorsement for things to which I am not prohibited. It violates my rule #1. (I.e.: Never ask for a rule.) As far as I'm concerned, National can stay mum on this forever. Scouters may read here about the little tempest in the teapot their innovations may inspire ... and decide for themselves how to best handle it in their units/districts/etc ... Life is more fun that way. :cool:

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I will offer this piece of friendly advice to Cyclops, actually to anyone who would like to be Scouters rather than some kind of gladiatorial spectacle: Do not go to or even read Issues and Politics forum. It is a cesspool of everything that is bad and it taints the rest of the forums by its mere existence.

Cyclops, try this experiment: go through the OTHER forums without considering Issues and Politics. I know you've already been affected by the vile effluent contained in that forum but try to put that out of your mind. See if, by ignoring that forum entirely, you still have the same feelings that you just expressed. And if you notice even a small difference, just imagine how much better all this would have been if that forum didn't exist at all and the biggest issue we discussed was whether or not someone could wear a pin on their uniform or, dare I say it, the occasional rolling doughnut.

By the way, that was a great adaptation of the song, wish I'd thought of that too!

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:)  I wonder how long an Eagle Mentor pin would last on mom's police uniform?  Would it be longer than on dad's firefighter's uniform?  or Uncle Joe's Naval Reserve uniform? or maybe older brother's Peter's US Marine dress blues.


Don't wear your green WB necker at the first session or better yet show up for WB with no uniform and see how long that lasts.


Uniform standards in the BSA are non-existent.  People wear what they want to wear and their sense of BSA pride in that uniform simply does not exist.  




Someone should have told this scout that full field uniform is not proper to be doing heavy park clean up in.




A scout that shows how much pride he has in his uniform while doing his eagle project can be seen in this example.


In case anyone wishes to know, the first picture is of a scout doing his Eagle project while I was SM, the second picture is one of the boys after I left.


Attitude of the adults does have an affect on the boys.

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This has already been done: http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/13095-eagle-mentor-pin-on-scout-uniform/page-2


The rule on Eagle Mentor pins, whatever one thinks of it, is clearly stated in the Insignia Guide at p. 30:


"Eagle Mentor pin, gold tone, No. 14123; sterling silver, No. 14127. For non-parent who was instrumental in the Scout earning his Eagle; nonuniform wear."


There is no "Field Uniform" or "dress uniform" for Scouts.  There is "the uniform" or the "Boy Scout Uniform" for Scouts, in all its variations.  Not that our "professionals" get it right; they repeatedly refer to a "Field Uniform" when that terminology officially went away several years ago.


There is a "dress uniform" for what B.S.A. calls "leaders," by which B.S.A. unfortunately means persons more accurately called "Scouters."  The dress uniform for Scouters is "like the uniform worn by professional Scouters":


  • Blazer—A dark-blue, two-button blazer is available in worsted wool, lamb's wool, or cashmere. Official BSA blazers have gold-plated buttons bearing the universal emblem.
  • Emblem—An embroidered Boy Scout emblem is to be worn on the pocket of the men's or women's blazer.
  • Slacks—Heather gray worsted wool trousers are available for men. Slacks or a skirt are available for women.
  • Belt—The official black leather belt with gold buckle is to be worn with trousers or slacks.
  • Neckwear—Silk neckties with red, gold, and navy stripes are available for men and women.
  • Shoes—Black dress shoes are to be worn with the dress uniform.

Note that no BSA insignia, other than the blazer emblem, are worn with the dress uniform.



I respectfully suggest that the human experience is that rules rarely followed create disrespect for rules in general.

Edited by TAHAWK
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Just discovered this thread and can I recpectfully suggest that folks on both sides take a moment to cool down?


It strikes me that there is a uniform as laid down in BSA rules and if members follow it to the letter then so be it, they are simply being methodical and using at as there way of being respectful. Equally though this isn't the police or the marines, it's a kids oganisation. If there are those who are a bit more relaxed about their standards so be it, it's not going to be a disaster.


Same goes over here in the UK. Some troops are emaculate. Others positively revel in their grungy image. Most are somewhere inbetween.


All sides could try not looking down on each other.

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Thanks @@TAHAWK, I did not find that reference earlier. Must have searched the wrong section of the guide. Section 3 has "other pins for non uniform wear ..." So I thought the mentor pin would be listed before or after that.


@@Cambridgeskip, we're a nation full of iconoclasts, but we really do love one another. :)

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Our unit has found that the link between uniformity of dress (e.g., Class A, Class B, etc,...and yes I know the terms don't exist in any handbook) and unit spirit, and esprit de corps is high. We used to be one of those troops that wore the shirt but pants and socks were anything goes. MB sashes were worn in the belt when wearing OA sashes, hats were anything goes too. Summer camp was like YMCA camp, not Boy Scouts. Changed our uniform guidelines to adhere to BSA standards and it was amazing how things changed literally overnight.


I wonder how many folks who are at ease with less stringent patch/pin placement will be upset if an OA sash were worn incorrectly or MB sash worn over the belt, etc. ;)

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Stosh, for all we know, the SPL wearing the non-Scout shorts could be the greatest Scout in history, the most dedicated, conscientious, Scoutlike, etc. etc. Or not. We don't know, and we can't tell just from the fact that he's not in full uniform. I would prefer that he was, but the fact that he's not doesn't necessarily mean anything. (Leaving aside the fact that I'm not sure whether his Eagle project would fly in our district, unless there's something more to it than spray-painting through a stencil onto some storm sewers, but that's another issue.)

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