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SebCachia

Camoflage

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Two hot button issues in the USA are the military and hunting. The BSA goes to great lengths to keep at arms length from both.

 

Scouts & Scouters may join the military and many are ex-military. Same with hunting. However, hunting is not a Scout activity (tracking was BIG time in the past and less so now). Especially with many BSA units overseas, associations with the military are not encouraged. A friend of mine was a Boy Scout in the 60s in Korea. On most of his outings a Sergeant accompanied the boys, complete with his M-16. I don't believe that would occur now.

 

Now, I'm not ex-military or a hunter. Both of my parents were in the USN during WWII and my father was an avid deer-pheasant-quail hunter. I'm not against either activity, I just am not an active participant.

 

Now, last year I wanted to buy a good pair of lightweight insulated boots for use in Michigan winters for Scouts. The pair I settled on had a camouflage pattern and came with a scent blocker (can't have those deer sniffing that tell-tale human foot odor!). Neither feature was needed for Scouts nor would I use them for any other activities but all of the high end boots had these features. I couldn't find that brand (Red Head) without them.

 

As for those that have camouflage jackets, pants, etc. For practical reasons, I would not to wear that type of gear during any type of hunting season out in the wild. I prefer to be seen! Our council's summer camp is surronded by state lands and is closed during deer season (rifle) because of safety issues.

 

The BSA has a uniform. Get it and wear it.

 

 

 

 

 

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"For example, it is now prohibited for Scouts to participate in close order drill (marching)"

 

I think this is a myth, otherwise how could Mackinac Island Scout Service Camp get away with it. The MISSC office at the state park sets the regulations for troops serving at the camp, and one is that any group of scouts in uniform on official business has to march. We even march to the swimming pool at the Grand Hotel. We hold usually about two weekend long trainings before the camp and one thing we cover is marching. We march to flags, we march from flags, we march down town, we march to the grand buffet, we march to the swimming pool, we march to the boat docks when we leave. basically we march a lot. I hope the above rule is another myth, I see MISSC as the absolute most scoutly thing I have ever done.

 

 

As for cmaouflage, well it serves other purposes than to "hide from your enemies" After all, ins't low impact camping sort of practical camouflage? Did you know that the scout uniform is designed to belnd into the wilderness to lighten the visual impact on the landscape. How does a blaze orange tent fit into low impact camping? How about a brightly colored pack? How about disturbing the wildlife in an area? Comouflage isn't just for paramilitary whackos, it has some practical applications too and it is often enither low quality or expensive. Those terms can be aplied to many things but they aren't often used as a basis for banning somehting.

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Hi All

 

While I have not seen it yet, I understand there is a new Hunting MB. I don't know if that is restricted to Venture.

 

Barry

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Sorry Bob, I was being a bit of a smart alec. As I have stated many times I dont get the no camo rule at all. I thinks its absurd to ban camo on the basis it associsates us with paramilitary groups. We also teach back packing, survival skills, pioneering and a whole lot of other things that paramilitary organizations actually do. I would think acting like them is a lot worse that looking like them and no, I dont think the program should be changed just because we use the same skills as a paramilitary organization.

 

Maybe kids like to wear camo becasue they like it and if a uniform is not required why not let them wear what they want.

 

 

 

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I agree OGE. My son likes to wear his UK Wildcat gear. Is he recruiting for UK? No. Is he a student of UK? No. Does he even know why he's a fan of UK? No, he's just been brainwashed by his momma and me. But, if that's what he wants to wear, that's fine. Is it offensive? No (except to the Louisville fans).

 

So, can a boy wear camo if that's what he thinks looks cool? I say yes, as long as it's not taking the place of the uniform.

 

On that note, I do know of some troops that have made camo pants their "official troop uniform". I don't agree with this. I believe we should follow the uniform standards set out by the BSA. When it is appropriate to wear the uniform, we should wear it properly.

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OGE, I'm surprised. This doesn't reflect the thoughtfulness I have come to expect from you.

 

We also teach back packing, survival skills, pioneering and a whole lot of other things that paramilitary organizations actually do.

 

There are a huge number of people outside the military who backpack, and do so without anyone thinking they are military. None one is going to equate a hiker with the military just because they both walk in the woods.

 

It's a question of reasonable association. When you see a person in a scout uniform, most people think of scouting, when you see a person in camoflage they think of a hunter or soldier. Since Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are not allowed to hunt and are not para-military then why give the impression that we are. Are people wrong to think that? Not if that is the impression we are giving them. How we represent ourselves is our responsibility.

 

Maybe kids like to wear camo becasue they like it and if a uniform is not required why not let them wear what they want.

 

Because what they want, may not be in their best interest, or in the best interest of the program as a whole. As program leaders we have a responsibility to do what is best for both.

 

Dress for the activity, if you are hunting dress as a hunter. If you are scouting look like scouts. If not in the Field Uniform then in the activity uniform or apparel that appropriately represents your scout unit and charter organization. Let's not give the public the idea that we are something we aren't.(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Responding mainly to willysjeep. While I understand that visual impact is to be considered, the primary aim of low impact camping is for as little impact as possible to remain once we have left the area. Priority items are soil and vegetational disturbance, habitat destruction, contamination of air or water, and discarded litter and trash. While we are in the wilderness, the visual impact is usually subordinated to one of these other concerns. Once we leave, most of the visual impact leaves with us while the other impacts tend to record our presence for the long term.

 

Contrary to what many persons think (or fail to), most mammals are not endowed with color vision. This leaves the immediate color impact for: 1) the exceptional mammal, usually man; 2) birds whose excellent vision makes us obvious regardless of color; 3) other vertebrates or invertebrates (lizards, snails, insects, etc).

 

For 1) I'm not sure what the big deal is but I actually think it is good for tents to be highly visible, especially during hunting season in our region. For 2) well, most of the time we are going to be noticed by avifauna regardless of our efforts to the contrary. As for 3), well, let's face it, most of us don't worry much about their feelings. Yeah, I know it's ugly, but it had to be said.

 

Edited part: You know, I thought about the number of times people have complained about something regarding this troop. I have never received a single complaint about the bright color of a tent or backpack. But I have received quite a few about, ahem, the noise, noise, noise. But wildlife seem to be fairly tolerant even of the noise, at least some species.

As an example, our military bases are often the sites of major habitats for endangered species. This remains an important concern for base maintenance and use. But it may surprise many to learn that it is common for nesting trees to be situated directly beside tank and heavy artillery firing ranges. The birds seem to be accustomed to it. Or else they know they are well-guarded. Either way their populations tend to thrive on base.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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Hi All

I thought I'd check where I heard the Hunting MB rumor. It turns out they are testing it. Here is a bit of a quote to what it's all about.

 

"""There is no shooting of animals involved in earning this MB. Its primary purpose is history and background of hunting, and the benefits of hunting. The scout must earn the shooting MB and conservation MB. He must pass a hunter safety course. The MB teaches why there are hunting seasons, why some animals become extinct, and why others are exploding in population."""

 

Doesn't resolve the camo thing, but answers other questions. On OGE's responces, I thought Venture Scouts could still work on MBs. Maybe you meant they don't work MBs as a crew?

 

Have a great Scouting day.

 

Barry

 

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Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't there a provision in the charter from congress in the early 1900's that stated we could not use military or imitate military uniforms?

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As I understand it, Venture Scouts may pursue MBs provided: 1) they are less than 18 years old and 2) they are registered Boy Scouts as well (which means less than 18 years old also).

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I wasnt very clear, male Venture mambers may work on merit badges, but they work on the Boy Scout merit badges, there are no Venture only merit badges. SOrry for the confusion

 

Bob, we will have to just diaagree on this one

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First, there ain't no such thing as a "Venture Scout."

 

Second, I finally tracked down my son's current handbook and boy, has the song about the uniform changed. No longer is it the ideal uniform for EVERYTHING. Basically, they say wear it indoors and outdoors for special functions. Interesting.

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