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EmberMike

Ditch the Neckerchief

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Nope, did a google image search and only those associated with scouting had triangle to the back and the ties/bands to the front.  Most were so short they could hardly tie.  The military seaman's tie is just that, it is more in the shape of a men's tie than a square or triangular necker.

 

Call it what you want, by some peoples' definition a dress tie is a necker.  Yet when one looks at someone wearing one, it in no way invokes the idea of scouting.  Take a triangular scarf toss it over the shoulders like a shawl (aka necker) and fasten with a rubber band.  It could leave the impression of a scout.

 

The Canadian Scouts I met in Alberta were wearing shorts, sandals, t-shirts and triangular scarves with the point to the back and a turks-head woggle.  No two neckers were the same color, not had any markings on them, just a single color, mostly pastels, both guys and gals.  Sure looked like Scouts to me and having asked, yep, they were Scouts.

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But to poke at Mike and 'BPack a little more ... the thread's title is basically a call on the rest of us to abandon a practice because "my boys don't like it / they think its dumb / they feel itchy with it on" and any other number of whiny excuses. In other words "Because I can't have fun with it, you shouldn't either."

 

I don't see the thread like that at all. 

 

I see one group of people saying that the existence of the necker should not define 1) if one looks a scout, 2) if one is a scout, 3) if one is a good scout, 4) if one is a proper scout, etc.

 

I see another group (adults) saying that the necker is the thing that identifies one as a scout and that units shouldn't give it up...even if the boys (who, after all, should be the ones making the decision in a boy led, patrol method unit) decide to toss them and wear ball camps instead.

 

Call it what you want, by some peoples' definition a dress tie is a necker.  Yet when one looks at someone wearing one, it in no way invokes the idea of scouting.  Take a triangular scarf toss it over the shoulders like a shawl (aka necker) and fasten with a rubber band.  It could leave the impression of a scout.

 

Odd...because the rest of the world seems to wear it like a bandana. Just check out the various pics of scouts around the world wearing it. Few, if any, wear it like we (USA) do. So are they wearing bandanas? Neckers? Ascots? 

Edited by Col. Flagg

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CF, maybe I'm wrongly taking @@EmberMike at his word. Let's see ...

 

... When I was a kid, the neckerchief was often the most despised part of the uniform, and some of us opted for bolos instead, although in hindsight I'm not sure it was any better of a look.

Here, we have an adult. One whose past association with neck-wear was negatively jaded.

 

I've never been involved in a unit that voted to not wear neckerchiefs,

Unlike you, said adult is now surrounded by boys who don't seemed to be bothered by their necker policy. At least, not enough to vote it down.

 

although I've heard of some that do vote to go without them. Historically they served a practical purpose, but they were also larger back in the early days and their usefulness in things like first aid was far greater. Today, in their current size and shape, there isn't much use for them beyond uniform wear and unit identification, which is redundant.

Said adult has rumors of other boys opting out of this erstwhile national standard, and seems to be projecting his angst on boys who have not exercised that option.

 

Has the time come for the BSA to consider a more formal reduction of the neckerchief in uniform wear?

Said adult wonders, if the boys aren't opting out themselves, maybe the adults should do it for them.

 

If one were to follow the example of National, you'd think neckerchiefs were already long gone. Few (if any) folks from National are ever seen wearing one. Many adult leaders leave them off, even in units where the policy is to wear them.

Said adult refers to the actions of other adults for justification. And in case we were unsure of his opinion ...

 

Just wanted to hear some thoughts on this. If your unit wears neckerchiefs, why? And if not, also, why? 
 
In my opinion, this seems like one of the easiest changes we would potentially make to reduce some of the "uncool" factor of being in uniform, especially when there is no practical reason to wear them anyway. How many kids quit because of pressure from non-scout friends, or the perception that it's lame or dorky or whatever to be a scout? I don't expect that removing the neckerchief will completely change the school-age perception of the program, but if it helps at all in making the kids feel more comfortable in uniform, I say ditch the neckerchief.

... he let's us know that we should be concerned about looking excessively gay, as if that's a bad thing.

 

You might think this is about deconstructing our notion of what visually distinguishes scouts from members of other noble groups, but no, it's about squelching the fun that many are having for the sake of the few who are embarrassed by said jamboree.

 

:confused:

Edited by qwazse
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... he let's us know that we should be concerned about looking excessively gay, as if that's a bad thing.

 

You might think this is about deconstructing our notion of what visually distinguishes scouts from members of other noble groups, but no, it's about squelching the fun that many are having for the sake of the few who are embarrassed by said jamboree.

 

I would venture to say that given the lack of neckers in my district that the dweeb or nerd factor for neckers is high. Maybe it's regional. Though I would ask, how much of this letting the boys decide versus adults tacitly helping them decide?

 

On the gayness factor, all I have to say is...

 

Edited by Col. Flagg

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But to poke at Mike and 'BPack a little more ... the thread's title is basically a call on the rest of us to abandon a practice because "my boys don't like it / they think its dumb / they feel itchy with it on" and any other number of whiny excuses. In other words "Because I can't have fun with it, you shouldn't either."

 

 

That's not at all what I said and I kindly ask that you re-read my original post. 

 

I mentioned the change in necker shape and size, hence the lost utility of it. The apparent lack of necker use at National, except for a few exceptions, which makes me wonder if the gears are already in motion to reduce the necker uniform policy further. 

 

I never said others shouldn't wear them if they want to, and in fact I'd fully expect that many people would continue to wear them even if National did officially cut them from the uniform. 

 

My "excuses" were logical and I posed the question of what others thought. Hardly "whiny", I thought. 

Edited by EmberMike

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... he let's us know that we should be concerned about looking excessively gay, as if that's a bad thing.

 

I never said that. Please don't misquote me. 

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Okay lets stay scout-like.

 

Regarding the "dweeb or nerd factor", and lets use those words, should the BSA also ditch

  - the left hand shake (The BSA adopted the necker and left handshake from the world scoutimg movement in the 1920's)

  - knee socks

  - adults wearing the uniform

  - badges and other insignia (Unit numbers have subdued, earthen colors, why not drop altogether)

  - camo ban

  - other?

 

to make Scouts more "cool"?

Edited by RememberSchiff
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I never said that. Please don't misquote me. 

I quoted you exactly and then paraphrased ... my apologies if my word choice touched nerves. But if your boys were to speak freely, which word would they choose?

 

You wanted to know what people thought of a national BSA rule of abandoning neckerchiefs. It's a big country.

 

I agree that the smaller sizes undermined their universal use. But given the full size, the "non-utilitarian" argument falls flatter than our epaulets.

 

I would venture to say that given the lack of neckers in my district that the dweeb or nerd factor for neckers is high. Maybe it's regional. Though I would ask, how much of this letting the boys decide versus adults tacitly helping them decide?

I'm sure boys and adults share responsibility for their culture. And in this current troop, I leave the SM and the PLC to interact on these issues on their own. But ...

 

Before patrol break-outs tonight, ASPL was presenting on backpacking, and one of the first years asked about wearing his uniform on a trip. ASPL suggested to bring his activity shirt and neckerchief. None of the adults gainsay-ed him one way or the other. Looking around the room of two dozen boys, about 6 older scouts did not have their neckerchiefs on. The ASPL had his on, as did the SM and I. The ASM did not.

 

Then at the crew meeting, they were going over first aid, and I demonstrated making a sling on a victim using my wood badge necker. I made it clear if they weren't going to wear them, they should keep 3'x3' clean cloths in their kits.

 

So, I'd say if your boys are sticking with the neckerchief, do make sure they practice getting some utility out of the thing. And, cut the older boys some slack if they don't bring theirs.

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My guys tried using the neckerchiefs bsa is providing these days for Triangle bandages. Too small. Way too small.

 

The ones you get at Cabelas are much bigger. But they're worn as bandanas not neckerchiefs.

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My guys tried using the neckerchiefs bsa is providing these days for Triangle bandages. Too small. Way too small.

 

The ones you get at Cabelas are much bigger. But they're worn as bandanas not neckerchiefs.

This is why we make our own.  36" square, no problem as a first aid supplement.

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My guys tried using the neckerchiefs bsa is providing these days for Triangle bandages. Too small. Way too small.

 

The ones you get at Cabelas are much bigger. But they're worn as bandanas not neckerchiefs.

Troop 22 uses paisley red/black "bandanas" as the troop neckerchief.  The only problem is finding them lager than "normal."

 

Troop 83 used 33" x 33" Wallace plaid.

 

In both cases, the PLC selected the troop neckerchief.

Edited by TAHAWK

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As an optional piece of uniforming that is allowed, the necker can be anything the unit wants as a necker.  Square, triangular, bandana of any size, any color, any patterns, can have but not needed the BSA logo, It can be as plain or ornate as the unit wants.

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As an optional piece of uniforming that is allowed, the necker can be anything the unit wants as a necker.  Square, triangular, bandana of any size, any color, any patterns, can have but not needed the BSA logo, It can be as plain or ornate as the unit wants.

Maybe this is where BSA went wrong: selling pre-printed cloth instead of design kits.  Imagine a scout-shop with rolls of fabric, silk screens, dyes, and inks ... maybe even with craft tables in the back for patrols to schedule so they can purchase materials on site.

 

Put down a deposit, get it back if you leave the room as clean as when you came.

 

If not at scout-shops, then at major craft suppliers.

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