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MattHiggins

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TAHAWK, are you saying that the references in official BSA literature to an "activity uniform" (known to some as "Class B") no longer exist? When did that change occur?

As recently as last month, both "field" and "activity" were referred to http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/08/21/scout-neckerchiefs-now-approved-wear-nonuniform-clothing/.

 

However, even in that post, there is little distinction between "Activity" and "Non-" uniform. The rising popularity of "field" is a hopeful strategy, IMHO, to get scouts to be prepared.

 

Regarding Stosh's photos of some no-doubt awesome scouts, I suspect the more casual one was a scout who was compelled to toss on his shirt for a photo-op ... out of sense that it really wouldn't look like a scout service project without it.  This annoying trend of contentment with a 50% uniform long preceded scouters' application of pins to their collars, and will continue long after all scouters save the pins for ribbons, vests, or suit lapels.

 

 

... 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. ;)

You mean sash racks? Depends ... if they are doing some great deed for their nation while conveniently hanging their sashes over their belt, I'll take it easy. On the other hand, if they are wearing them properly while robbing liquor stores to buy drugs ... I might have issues. :D

Edited by qwazse
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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.)

 

You can be assured that your suspicions are correct and it is a very sad example of what an Eagle project should be.  The SM of this boy is an Eagle scout with 2 palms..... The boy's two older brothers are Eagle scouts, .... and his dad is the SM.  It was his older brother that I had work an extra 6 months proving to me he was Eagle material before I would sign off on a recommendation for him.  I sometimes wonder which the the adults was the one that felt I expected too much leadership and was removed....only to be replaced by this boy's dad.... Welcome to BSA politics  and Paper Eagles :)

 

And by the way, the boy in the full-uniform picture is the Eagle scout that wears my WB beads.... :)

Edited by Stosh

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Regarding Stosh's photos of some no-doubt awesome scouts, I suspect the more casual one was a scout who was compelled to toss on his shirt for a photo-op ... out of sense that it really wouldn't look like a scout service project without it.

It does look posed. The Scout (presumably) in the middle is probably holding up the stencil for the camera - although if he's not careful the stencil may literally go down the drain. Meanwhile, the project leader points, pointlessly. If one wants to nitpick the photo a little more, one could ask why, if traffic safety vests were considered necessary, only one of the three young men is wearing one. (And, amusingly enough, it happens to be the one that is NOT currently standing in the street! And yes, I do see the traffic cone but that's not the point.)

 

(And maybe I am wrong that it was a stencil. There is no way all of that is going to fit on the top part of that drain. Or were they putting the paint on the street in front of the drain? Or were they putting up these things as signs, and if so, how were they attaching them to the drain?)

Edited by NJCubScouter

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I have seen "activity uniform" defined as a Scouting-related t-shirt and Scout pants. I probably have also seen it defined as a Scouting-related t-shirt and any pants. Which, if either, is or was "official", I don't know. Our troop uses the term "Class B", defined as our troop t-shirt (which as far as I know, every youth and adult has at least one of) and Scout pants. I believe that if a troop t-short is for some reason unavailable, some other Scouting-related t-shirt also counts. Some events are designated for the "Class B uniform", as is one meeting per month. (I know a troop that reverses that, and wears "Class B" at every meeting EXCEPT one per month, which is "Class A.")

 

I think it is also safe to say that BSA National does not care if someone uses the term "Class B", even if they don't use it themselves. As someone pointed out earlier, there is a licensed BSA retailer named ClassB.com (I believe) and they will sell you customized troop t-shirts to use as part of your activity uniform. I am sure the BSA happily accepts whatever the licensing fee is, not to mention the revenues they get every month from ClassB's standing ad in Scouting Magazine. I am sure that if the term "Class B" was somehow deemed contrary to the Scouting program, National would not take this money and sacrifice their principles. (And yes, I am smirking as I type that.)

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BSA explicitly says no blue jeans with the Cub Scout uniform, yet the majority of boys are taught by the adults to wear the blue jeans with the uniform shirt.  

 

And before anyone jumps on the "The adults never teach the boys to wear blue jeans with their uniforms" bandwagon, a boy shows up with uniform shirt and blue jeans.... SM/DL says nothing...Lesson learned, end of discussion.  It's as simple as that, the adults don't care, so the boys don't either.  Those adults who do make a stink are treated in their units the same way they are treated on this forum.

Edited by Stosh

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Actually in the Cub pack of which my son was once a member, and I believe most of the Cub packs in my area, the adults DO "teach" the Cub Scouts to wear jeans (or other non-official pants) with the Cub Scout shirts, neckerchiefs, belts and hats. The adults do that by wearing jeans (or "business casual", work pants or whatever else they feel like wearing) to the meetings themselves. When I was Assistant Cubmaster, the Cubmaster and I decided we were going to try to break that trend. We bought uniform pants for ourselves and our sons. We put in the pack's "parents' handbook" that uniform pants were "strongly encouraged." We did not feel that we could instantly require them without causing a revolt, but we thought that maybe if we "set the example", other people would start following along, and more and more people would buy them and when we had most of the pack wearing them, it would be much easier to start requiring it for the rest. I suspect nobody will be surprised to learn that it didn't work. I don't think anybody else bought the pants. I crossed over with my son about a year later so I don't know for certain whether it ever changed, but based on a few subsequent visits to the pack, I don't think it did. The Cubmaster left a year after I did, and as far as I know, he was the last one to wear the uniform pants in the pack, and that was more than 10 years ago.

 

(I will add that my comments about other packs in my area are based on attending Roundtables and also being a YP training facilitator, and has one group of exceptions: Those Cub Scouters who were also active on the district or council did wear the uniform pants. Others did not, and I guess I am just assuming that if the leaders were wearing just any old pants, so were the Cubs.)

Edited by NJCubScouter

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This has now become two different subjects.  One is based upon affordability and mixing of uniform and non-uniform wearing apparel.  The other subject has to do with knowingly (or often just ignorance of the guidelines) wearing pins (and patches and sashes) in the wrong place.  Two entirely different things with different reasons.    

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I believe in uniform by example, and I wear an appropriate uniform when leading the pack, often remaining in the field uniform even when the scouts are invited to wear the activity uniform.

 

I am also a realist, and Scout pants are expensive, and the cubs grow out of them much faster than they do with the uniform shirt.  Thus our pack makes the scout pants optional if blue pants or shorts (jeans, trousers, etc.) are at least worn.  As a result, we have maybe 10% that have the official pants.

 

Yes, in the grand scheme of things, it's not that expensive compared to other activities, but for some of my families, it really can make a difference and be a barrier to joining.  The Program says that we will not deny a scout the experience over a lack of uniform (or lack of a complete uniform).  In fact, in Scouting literature in Boys-life and other sources in trying to encourage the boys to "pay their own way" (I can't realistically think of a cub capable of this, but ok), is to acquire the complete uniform over time, adding each part as they can afford to.

 

While extending that to discouraging the uniform pants might be too far, our unit has decided that that is enough of an invitation to leave our uniforming policy as it is.

Edited by gumbymaster

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And so in conclusion, I will sum it all up by saying that the boys are 100% correct, scouts and scouters who wear mix and match, whatever they want, however they want uniforms,  look DORKY!....  and so don't blame me for dumping my uniform before leaving the building and going out in public.  Whatever the uniform du jour happens to be put a few patches of anything you like on a tan shirt, get a bandanna and knot it around your neck and you'll make a great looking scout for Halloween this year and won't infringe on any BSA legal sanctioned logos ever made.

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This has now become two different subjects.  One is based upon affordability and mixing of uniform and non-uniform wearing apparel.  The other subject has to do with knowingly (or often just ignorance of the guidelines) wearing pins (and patches and sashes) in the wrong place.  Two entirely different things with different reasons.    

 

Fuzzy Logic: at what point does being in uniform moving along the continuum does it become not being in uniform?  A pin?  2 pins?

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Reading this thread, I can't help thinking of "A PLEDGE PIN??? On your UNIFORM???"

 

I will confess to the greivous sin of wearing my "Eagle Scout Dad" pin (aside to Eagle94, my son's kit came with a pin, not a tie tac) on my lapel to every Scouting function or activity, whether I am in uniform or not. (As a Troop Committee member, I sometimes am and sometimes not.) I wear it because I am proud of my son and it is an unobtrusive way to show it. If anyone doesn't like it, well, that's life. Nobody in "real life" has ever said anything to me about it. I suppose that if my troop's SM or CC, or a particular ASM who used to be SM, ever asked me to stop wearing it, I would stop. But I don't see any chance of that ever happening. They are all "Eagle parents" and may wear the pins themselves, I have never bothered to look.

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Not trying to be all holier than though (no matter what it's going to come off that way), but it's too bad a photo of some Scouts got shared and picked to pieces down to the merits of an Eagle Scout project. Publically judging a project postmortem seems to set a worse example than wearing jeans with a uniform shirt. I don't think anyone here is a bad guy, but just sayin'.

 

And as for the jeans issue: I would love it if the Cub Scouts in our pack wore the official pants or shorts. I can't see it happening--ever. As Cubmaster, I wear the full uniform and make an effort to get it right--right down to patch placement and specific positioning and no extra patches on my red jacket. I started this thread because I wanted to make sure I had something right. My son wears the official shorts or pants with his uniform. I'm fairly confident he's the only one. He loves it. I choose to lead by example and answer questions as they come up. I don't make a big deal out of the uniform and I certainly don't say boo when a kid shows up in jeans.

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What's fuzzy logic got to do with money vs. placement?

 

Nothing, it relates to whether or not one is in scout uniform or not.

 

If I put a mentor pin on my uniform does that mean I'm no longer in uniform and can drink alcohol?

 

If I wear a neckerchief instead of a tie on civilian clothing can I drink alcohol?

 

How about a "class-B" camp t-shirt?  can I drink alcohol?

 

If there is nothing out there that provides what is and what isn't a uniform and what can and what can't go on it, it would make a lot of sense in knowing whether to scout hand salute the flag or use the hand over the heart salute, and whether one can have a beer at the campfire, too.

 

Lets see.  State Park plop camping.  The boys are in one camp site and the adults in another.  None are wearing their scout shirts, but one is wearing scout pants and another has a camp t-shirt with blue jeans.  Who gets beer and who doesn't?

 

Fuzzy Logic.... everyone has a different level of what it means when there are no distinct guidelines and official uniform to operate from.   

 

Oh, we do have an official uniform?  Really?  It's really hard to tell nowadays.

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Not trying to be all holier than though (no matter what it's going to come off that way), but it's too bad a photo of some Scouts got shared and picked to pieces down to the merits of an Eagle Scout project. Publically judging a project postmortem seems to set a worse example than wearing jeans with a uniform shirt. I don't think anyone here is a bad guy, but just sayin'.

 

And as for the jeans issue: I would love it if the Cub Scouts in our pack wore the official pants or shorts. I can't see it happening--ever. As Cubmaster, I wear the full uniform and make an effort to get it right--right down to patch placement and specific positioning and no extra patches on my red jacket. I started this thread because I wanted to make sure I had something right. My son wears the official shorts or pants with his uniform. I'm fairly confident he's the only one. He loves it. I choose to lead by example and answer questions as they come up. I don't make a big deal out of the uniform and I certainly don't say boo when a kid shows up in jeans.

So welcome to the world where whatever you do is "right" according to someone.

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