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krypton_son

The big question

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I remember when I was a Scout, everyone always told you that you'd be asked at your Eagle board of review whether or not you would wear your Uniform to school.  The rumor was that they would base whether or not you got your Eagle Scout based on your answer.  Most kids assumed that you should always say yes so that they are impressed by your pride in Scouting.  Sure enough when I got to my Eagle boar of review they asked me the big question.  I was honest with them and told them no.  I said that I am very proud of Scouting, but unfortunately with the ridicule that you would get from classmates, I would probably not wear it.  Surprisingly they all accepted my answer and said that they were proud of my honesty. 

 

I hadn't heard this in a long time, but recently a boy from my troop brought it up and asked if it were true.  Is this a thing everywhere?  Has anyone else heard fearful rumors about the big question from their boys?

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50 years ago when I was in scouts, the uniform was always worn at school on the day of the meeting.  No one thought anything about it.   Now it's a chore to get them to wear it during a meeting.

Edited by Stosh
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In the 70s and 80s, I always wore my uniform to school on Feb 8th. Never got ridiculed by anyone while wearing it. Enjoyed the company of female classmates who came up and asked me about one patch or another (thanks De La Renta).

 

Got plenty of ridicule when I wasn't wearing it. I guess my Arab American showed through more without the uniform. :blink:

 

Scouts younger than me felt intimidated to wear the uniform at school.

 

The question never came up on a BoR. Our MC's never wore uniforms. Our ASMs hardly ever did. I don't think it was out of shame or anything. Maybe cost was a factor. But, I think they believed it was out of respect for the SM who was doing the "real" heavy lifting. In any case, they weren't all that focused on uniforming. That was the SPL's responsibility.

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EBOR's here, questions about uniform are rare. Back in the day, the question would be meaningless as scouts wore their uniform to school.

 

Questions about reverence or continuing in scouting (giving back) worry our scouts.  

 

YMMV.

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We have a school chartered troop, and we meet at school, so we do see scouts wearing BSA uniforms in school.

 

Of course, our Catholic school uniforms are even dorkier than the scout uniforms, so that might have something to do with it.

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It's important to distinguish the difference between the reaction a second grade Cub Scout receives from wearing a uniform to school and the reaction a junior in high-school receives. Like Stosh, I wore mine to school for meeting days. But, also like Stosh (correct me if i'm misremembering Stosh) I was a Cub, not a Boy Scout while doing so. At that age it's more along the lines of "Ooh look what he's wearing!' vs "Why are you wearing that?"

My son's troop meets on Sunday evening, so it's irrelevant for them.

To answer the question tho @@krypton_son, no, it is not a 'thing' everywhere. Not in my son's troop, nor in the one I was in.

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Yes for Cubs and yes for Boys too.  We met right after school and either you wore the uniform to school or you dragged another set of clothes to deal with.  It was easier to wear the uniform.

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I have never heard of this. There are 10 Eagles in my extended family, and I don't think any of us were ever asked this question. I know I wasn't. Also, we produce 10-15 Eagles per year, and I have never heard of this question being asked in a BOR. But maybe I am ignorant. I will ask and see what they say.

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I can see asking the question: Will you continue to wear the uniform? meaning do you intend to stay with the unit until aging out and/or continue with scouting as an adult.  To me that would be a valid question, but to ask whether they will wear it at school?  Well, they don't do that now, why would they start?

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When son had his EBoR he was asked how he'd give back to Scouts - stay in troop till aging out and if he had a son would he come back at that time to help out. Reviewers went out of their way to tell him they weren't expecting him to balance college and scouting, but thought involvement in later life would be good. They also asked him lots of questions about the PoRs he held and how they demonstrated leadership in the troop. Nothing about uniform wear in public.

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I have never heard of this question being asked.  I hope nobody was ever really "failed" for the answer they gave to this question.  It's not necessarily an unfair question in the abstract, but using it is the basis of a "fail" seems unreasonable.  In fact I cannot think of a question that could be asked that should, all on its own, be the basis of a "fail" unless the answer somehow reveals that the Scout has not actually passed all the requirements.  Or some other huge "character" question like the Scout starts telling you about the bodies of his victims that are buried in his backyard.  (That's just a hypothetical.)

 

As far as "back in my day", I know I wore my Cub Scout uniform to school on den meeting days but I have no recollection of having worn my Boy Scout uniform to school.  Doesn't mean it didn't happen, just that I don't remember one way or the other.

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 I hope nobody was ever really "failed" for the answer they gave to this question.  It's not necessarily an unfair question in the abstract, but using it is the basis of a "fail" seems unreasonable.

 

I don't think they used it as a pass or fail question.  More just to make the scout think.  Or to judge his response.  If he said yes, it showed that he was proud of being a Scout and was not afraid to show it.  If he said no, he showed that he was honest and would admit that he wouldn't do it.

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I was never asked this at my EBoR 50+ years ago. In Cubs, it was common to see the blue uniform at school and I joined in on those days designated by my council.

 

Today boys are probably more comfortable wearing the uniform in public when they are participating in a unit activity as a group. Together, this provides a positive example of the uniform and involvement of Scouting in the community.

 

12PointLife

Edited by 12PointLife

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There was no "big question" in my area as a scout. And there isn't one now. Must be a regional myth. The one myth I recall was the secret requirement in Wilderness Survival that you had to eat a deer turd to get the merit badge.

Edited by DuctTape

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I was asked several tough questions at my board, but that wasn't one of them ('77).

 

It sounds like a "gotcha" question with no real pay off for the board or the scout.

 

"Yes indeed, I'd proudly wear my uniform to school" is the textbook answer.   The scout says that convincingly.   But is it the truth?

 

"No I would not" may be the truth but it casts a slight bit of gloom on the proceedings.   The scout is honest and he may have legit reasons why he doesn't wear his uniform to school.  Perhaps he articulates said reasons.   But there it is, and the board members may or may not appreciate the scout's frank answer. 

 

Is the question about the uniform or the scout's integrity?

 

I'm all for a tough board of review, but some questions are of little/no value, and this is one of them.    I sat on a Eagle board not  long ago, and a couple questions in a similar vein were presented.

Edited by desertrat77
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