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Hedgehog

Pirate Bandanas as Troop Headgear for Camp

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So the camp theme this year is pirates.  My son, as camp SPL, wants to know if the troop can vote to have the official headgear be a pirate bandana.  I remember reading somewhere that the troop designates headwear - allowing troop hats and even berets.  The idea would be to designate this as official troop gear so the boys can wear it to the camp flag ceremonies.

 

Is anyone aware of where I can find the rule on this?

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I believe that only the Venturing Crews can designate "uniforms".  The headgear for Boy Scouts, like neckers, is an issue of Yes or No, not whatever.  Otherwise, up here in Wisconsin half the units would be wearing the triangular cheese hats and we wouldn't what that to happen. 

 

Whereas bandanas might fit the category of head gear it is not within the realm of being a hat.  I don't think a babushka qualifies either, nor does a head scarf, which would be close to the bandana issue.  Sweatbands?  Probably not either.

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I believe that only the Venturing Crews can designate "uniforms".  The headgear for Boy Scouts, like neckers, is an issue of Yes or No, not whatever.  Otherwise, up here in Wisconsin half the units would be wearing the triangular cheese hats and we wouldn't what that to happen. 

 

Whereas bandanas might fit the category of head gear it is not within the realm of being a hat.  I don't think a babushka qualifies either, nor does a head scarf, which would be close to the bandana issue.  Sweatbands?  Probably not either.

 

 

Agree on Venturing for Uniform.  I think what I had looked at was the Uniform Inspection Sheet which says "All troop members must wear the headgear chosen by vote of the troop/team."  http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34283.pdf

 

Maybe headbands would work, especially if the camp has a Richard Simmons retro exercise theme.   :blink:

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I think you might be getting a lot of sideways looks wearing a pirate bandana during a flag ceremony. I hope they don't salute with an "aaarrgh" :)

 

Anyway, to answer your question, I googled about and troops can define their own neckerchiefs and headgear. The only official word seems to be on the uniform inspection sheet and that says the troop has to vote on the head gear. It doesn't say anything else. Shirt, belt, socks, pants all need to be official. So, looks like as long as it's scout appropriate, then it works. But what's appropriate? A beer ad would certainly not be appropriate. Stosh's cheese head hats would be seen as a sarcastic slap in the face to all uniforms, so I wouldn't call it appropriate. There's a certain decorum that goes with the uniform.

 

Sounds like a fuzzy line. To me, temporarily changing the uniform to have some fun just doesn't sound right. Maybe there's another way to have that fun? Pirate neckerchief slides made of painted pvc with a skull and cross bones? It could be a good discussion to have with the scouts.

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Yah, that's creative, eh?

 

Are yeh really lookin' for a "rule" on this, @@Hedgehog?  Good heavens, why?

 

Scoutin' is a kids game, and this is a classic youth leader choice.  I bet da use of pirate headscarfs in your troop will be more "uniform" than da use of the uniform.  ;)   It will bring a sense of identity and teamwork that's exactly what we want to encourage, particularly at camp.  It will be fun.  It will make your troop stand out for its spirit.  Your kids will talk about it for years.

 

I'd let it be.  It will be good fun for awhile, and good scouting.  I reckon I'd actually join in and figure out what to bring to help the lads lash up some piratical camp gadgets.

 

Or, if for some reason yeh really don't think it's a good idea or fits da image the Scoutmaster/Committee/CO wants, then just say "no".   You don't need a "rule" to act like an adult.  Yeh just do it.  The boys will respect yeh a lot more if you stand on your own two feet and don't try to hide behind some remote BSA regulation.

 

In that case though, given da camp theme, I reckon yeh need to put on your "fun" hat and be ready with an alternative.  Maybe old school USN caps from da era of the Barbary Pirate Wars.   Your troop could be da anti-piracy navy at the Pirate Camp, with a mission to win every contest/battle against all da other "pirate" troops!

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah
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I'm with Beavah.  Y'all are wearing a neckerchief, right?  Do the rules tell you specifically how (or where) you have to wear it?

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I see a plank and gibbet camp gadgets in your future! ;)

 

I think if his is a camp theme related theme, it could at least be activity wear, if not for flags. Give the camp director a call before you go all in. One time our VOA had such a theme, and bandanas came with the price of admission.

 

Be prepared with some good history to use in SM minutes or at campfires.

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I think you might be getting a lot of sideways looks wearing a pirate bandana during a flag ceremony. I hope they don't salute with an "aaarrgh" :)

 

 

I suspect the idea was to get the sideways looks.  I also suspect there will be some orchestrated aaarrghs.

 

Sounds like a fuzzy line. To me, temporarily changing the uniform to have some fun just doesn't sound right. Maybe there's another way to have that fun? Pirate neckerchief slides made of painted pvc with a skull and cross bones? It could be a good discussion to have with the scouts.

 

I like the neckerchief slide idea -- a nice keepsake.  Will mention to my son.

 

Are yeh really lookin' for a "rule" on this, @@Hedgehog?  Good heavens, why?

 

My sense was I didn't want them to go down this path only to be shot down when they got to camp.

 

 

Scoutin' is a kids game, and this is a classic youth leader choice.  I bet da use of pirate headscarfs in your troop will be more "uniform" than da use of the uniform.  ;)   It will bring a sense of identity and teamwork that's exactly what we want to encourage, particularly at camp.  It will be fun.  It will make your troop stand out for its spirit.  Your kids will talk about it for years.

 

I'd let it be.  It will be good fun for awhile, and good scouting.  I reckon I'd actually join in and figure out what to bring to help the lads lash up some piratical camp gadgets.

 

 

That is exactly why I"m behind it.  I'll gladly wear one -- it will help keep the bald head from getting sunburned.

 

I see a plank and gibbet camp gadgets in your future! ;)

 

I think if his is a camp theme related theme, it could at least be activity wear, if not for flags. Give the camp director a call before you go all in. One time our VOA had such a theme, and bandanas came with the price of admission.

 

Be prepared with some good history to use in SM minutes or at campfires.

 

Ultimately, that is the answer -- I have to e-mail the director on some other issues and can get his sense of if this is permissible.  Also, a good idea for activities -- there are a lot of opportunities for that!

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I guess if Mel Brookes can find humor in the Inquisition and Nazis, we can find fun in Captain Kidd ,Anne Bonny and  Blackbeard.,..

 

Eye patches?   Lobster on the shoulder?   Robert Louis Stevenson adaptation....

 

Cutlass Totin, Chip....

 

(inflation)  "AWWK! Pieces of nine, pieces of nine!  AWWWK! "

 

Offishul  Internashunal  Tawwwwwlk like a Pirate Day   http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html  

 

 

What is a pirate's favorite type of music?            Arrrrrrrrchestral..

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I'd like to add a contrary voice - just to give you (and your SPL) something to consider, and how appropriate that you ask the day before Independence Day, arguably the United State's most sacred day and definitely the most patriotic day.

 

One of the goals of the BSA is to instill patriotic citizenship in the Scouts.  What's that phrase I've heard bandied about during some of our membership controversies?  We want our Scouts to be the best kind of citizens they can be???

 

Do you have any veterans in your unit?  Any of the parents veterans?  How about in the sponsoring organization?  Do you think you might encounter some Scouters at camp that are veterans?  Do you think they will think the wearing of pirate bandanas at flag ceremonies is fun and shows respect to the US Flag or is it possible that it's going to be seen as disrespectful to the flag and to the veterans in attendance?

 

The Pirate Bandanas sounds fun - wear them as head gear as part of the activity uniform, but for the flag ceremony, consider wearing them as neckerchiefs, not as headgear.

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I am led to believe the "optional" parts of the uniform mean that the troop has the option to wear the BSA cap, the BSA campaign hat, the historical BSA beret or the BSA garrison cap, or no headgear at all.  I do believe that when it comes to the neckerchief, the same line of thought applies.  A BSA style necker with appropriate BSA indications on it.

 

If one really wishes to delve into this particular issue. "From the halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli" indicate that the US Marines fought in the Mexican War (Montezuma) and against the Barbary Coast pirates (Tripoli).  Wearing the Jolly Roger flag/bandana is even less patriotic than the CSA Army of Northern Virginia flag/bandana.  In any case, either might not be appropriate for a Scout to be wearing even if not in uniform.  Put a US Flag bandana on and see how well that idea gets accepted regardless of how much "fun" it might be. 

 

Just remember that privateers, i.e. pirates, buccaneers, plied their "trade" on international waters plundering, pillaging and murdering people for personal gain, while indicating no allegiance or loyalty to any government or code of law.  Is this an appropriate way to show American citizenship as a Scout?  Oh, but it's FUN!  Some people think burning crosses is fun too.  One need be heedful of the message they convey by the actions they take.

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I concur with @@Beavah.  Why look for a rule?   Rules are no substitute for common sense.  Trust your good judgment but allow the scouts to develop their own camaraderie. 

 

Nothing worse that stifling initiative with red tape, real or imagined.

 

@@CalicoPenn, your point is well taken.  But, as an old vet (30 years active duty), I'll throw this out.   If offense is taken at the pirate garb, it probably won't come from the vets themselves.   Most would chuckle and make a few wise cracks.   Slightly eccentric behavior is an art form.   And the scouts aren't under military regulations.

 

That said, if you have reservations, just say "full scout uniform at flag ceremonies."   After dismissal, they can take the pirate bandanas out of their cargo pockets and reconfigure them on the way to chow. 

Edited by desertrat77

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Hmmm..... Isn't a full uniform a full uniform that one only has to meet inspection for the flag ceremony?  I have boys that show up in whatever clothing, put their scout shirt on, do the flags and meeting and take off the shirt at the end.  They met the requirements in their own mind, but truth be told, I would rather have them forego the shirt and quit pretending to look like a scout.

 

If a uniform is not required, just forget the expense and just go with whatever one has and Jolly Roger and/or CSA battle flag bandanas for everyone.  It's meant to be fun after all and coughing up big bucks for a full uniform is not on 99.9% of the parents' radar anyway.  Quit making a sham of it.  Just do the civilian salute and be done with it.  If Venturer's don't need uniforms and generally don't have one anyway, why should the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts?  A new necker for every year of Cubs?  That's kind of a give away that the only reason the uniform is a valid part of the program is the funds it generates for the program.

 

It's a battle worth giving up on.  Not worth it, and you'll never win.

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I concur with @@Beavah.  Why look for a rule?   Rules are no substitute for common sense.  Trust your good judgment but allow the scouts to develop their own camaraderie. 

 

Nothing worse that stifling initiative with red tape, real or imagined.

 

@@CalicoPenn, your point is well taken.  But, as an old vet (30 years active duty), I'll throw this out.   If offense is taken at the pirate garb, it probably won't come from the vets themselves.   Most would chuckle and make a few wise cracks.   Slightly eccentric behavior is an art form.   And the scouts aren't under military regulations.

 

That said, if you have reservations, just say "full scout uniform at flag ceremonies."   After dismissal, they can take the pirate bandanas out of their cargo pockets and reconfigure them on the way to chow. 

 

 

Another vet here and I concur -- I wouldn't take offense. Plus, from what I've read, the scout uniform is specifically not meant to emulate the military uniform. So the rules military members must observe during flag ceremonies should not be used as a guide. Taking off your hat when the flag passes by is a courtesy that is considered appropriate for everyone (in or out of uniform). So my only concern is that once the bandanna is removed (when the flag is being brought out) it is not quickly or easily put back on.

 

So if it's going to come off anyway and you are concerned it won't be considered respectful at the ceremony, then just take it off 5 minutes earlier. Otherwise, I don't see any problems with them wearing them during activities. At our last Camporee they did a knight theme and gave extra points if the boys donned a piece of armor during events. Kids all were wearing plastic breastplates, helmets, or carrying shields. How is this any different?

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You let the scouts decide, but with a bit of advice and supervision.  As far as flags go, it is simple enough; just do not salute, but rather stand properly at attention when required and put hands over their hearts.  

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