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John-in-KC

Bryan On Scouting and Uniforms

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Yes, this is an older article that already generated a few threads on the very topic (long before I joined these forums). I personally feel that if they are going to receive help uniforming their Scouts, it would be far better spent on pants/shorts than on campaign hats, even if they're just plain olive pants or shorts from a generic brand. You can get almost the entire uniform for the price of just one of those hats, while you can often find nice olive-green shorts for youth at Walmart for under $10! As a whole they would look better as a unit, too. Don't get me wrong, I am glad they don't make it hard on the boys if they can't afford everything, but to choose campaign hats over pants and socks and belts ... that just seems strange to me. And mind you, I LOVE my ol' smokey. 

 

I think this kind of maneuver is just meant to keep people from feeling bad if they can't afford the full uniform (which is good), but they do it by splurging on a flashy, but unnecessary, item which garners attention but doesn't meet the need (which is bad). It becomes a smoke and mirrors act - "look! they might be poorly uniformed, but they have hats! FANCY HATS!" Even if they did get a good deal on their campaign hats, it still can't be less expensive than getting them other, more essential parts of the uniform that would make them look far more, well, uniformed. Giving them their iconic hats doesn't distract from the fact that they are, for all intents and purposes, in their street clothes. 

 

In my own opinion, of course.  ;)

Edited by The Latin Scot

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10' rule 

 

A knock-off campaign hat costs less than a BSA uniform shirt.... plain.

 

Knockoff green cargo pants are not that hard to find and not that expensive.

 

An Expedition BSA hat is pricier than the knockoff.  My boys decked them out brass troop numbers and hat cords to distinguish patrols.  Kinda nice.  My present troop goes with trim on the neckers to distinguish patrols.  Lot's cheaper than hats.

 

One has lots of options to go on besides bluejeans......100 yards away they look wrong.

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I was one of those Scouts who initially could not afford a full uniform. There were green trousers and shorts nearly identical to the BSA pants and shorts. In fact, the shorts had the 6" rule, you had to be 6 inches away and looking at the snaps to tell the difference. I wore those for a few years. Over time, I was able to obtain  official pants and shorts from a thrift store. In fact, I went into "business" going to the thrift store near my high school, buying uniform items, and reselling them to Scouts in the troop. I got the patches, they got the uniform items. WIN-WIN :)

 

And I agree with The Latin Scout, money that could be used for more important items is being wasted on the campaign covers. I also agree with Stosh, the knock off hats are more expensive than the shirts. Both of my campaign hats that were issued by my council growing up were knock offs. OK USGI surplus. When I added the hatband and shin strap, you cannot tell they are knock offs.

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A campaign hat by itself at any distance doesn't say uniform or Boy scouts. Start with a shirt and unit numbers. Then go from there.

 

By the way, I don't know any council that doesn't have access to funding or retired uniforms to help poor families. There are plenty of local scouters willing to help. I have even offered to help units on this forum. So I agree this article appears a bit disingenuous.

 

Barry

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I'd rather see a troop meeting full of kids in jeans, football and baseball gear, and a tan shirt than not see them at all. 

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Well if BSA is going to swell the ranks with all the under-served communities they either need to drop the price of BSA gear altogether, OR allow units to pick their uniforms.

 

How many other youth activities allow kids to show up out of uniform or unprepared? Only Boy Scouts.

  • Upvote 2

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I'd rather see a troop meeting full of kids in jeans, football and baseball gear, and a tan shirt than not see them at all. 

 

This is a straw man argument.  Every boy that joins, joins up without a uniform.  Once they're there, they're there.  Run a good program and they'll stay.... but while they're there, there's a plethora of options to uniform your Troop.  Used and donated uniforms, odd jobs around the neighborhood to earn cash for the uniform, allowance and birthday money used for the uniform. 

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This is a straw man argument.  Every boy that joins, joins up without a uniform.  Once they're there, they're there.  Run a good program and they'll stay.... but while they're there, there's a plethora of options to uniform your Troop.  Used and donated uniforms, odd jobs around the neighborhood to earn cash for the uniform, allowance and birthday money used for the uniform. 

Those who say such things don't understand the power of unity or belonging. Did the football players or baseball players dressed in a scouting uniform during their game? Even the brief moments of belonging on a sand lot team that was just divided into shirts and skins provides some sense unity and brotherhood. The uniform is very important to the patrol method. Who doesn't feel a bit of pride and unit when a group of scouts sits near them at a restaurant? If it weren't for the uniform, how would we know they were brothers?

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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Try showing up to football practice in your street clothes. No player would even think of it.

 

Why should Scouting set the bar lower than any other activity?

  • Upvote 3

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Yes, this is an older article that already generated a few threads on the very topic (long before I joined these forums). I personally feel that if they are going to receive help uniforming their Scouts, it would be far better spent on pants/shorts than on campaign hats, even if they're just plain olive pants or shorts from a generic brand. You can get almost the entire uniform for the price of just one of those hats, while you can often find nice olive-green shorts for youth at Walmart for under $10! As a whole they would look better as a unit, too. Don't get me wrong, I am glad they don't make it hard on the boys if they can't afford everything, but to choose campaign hats over pants and socks and belts ... that just seems strange to me. And mind you, I LOVE my ol' smokey. 

 

I think this kind of maneuver is just meant to keep people from feeling bad if they can't afford the full uniform (which is good), but they do it by splurging on a flashy, but unnecessary, item which garners attention but doesn't meet the need (which is bad). It becomes a smoke and mirrors act - "look! they might be poorly uniformed, but they have hats! FANCY HATS!" Even if they did get a good deal on their campaign hats, it still can't be less expensive than getting them other, more essential parts of the uniform that would make them look far more, well, uniformed. Giving them their iconic hats doesn't distract from the fact that they are, for all intents and purposes, in their street clothes. 

 

In my own opinion, of course.  ;)

IMHO, getting knockoff green zip pants ($20-$25 at Academy sports) is the best solution. It looks uniform, but at prices that aren't much different from jeans. Levi 501 Jeans (mentioned in the article) are almost as expensive as Scout pants (street price for 501s is $40, Scout pants run $49).  

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The problem I have with it is that the troop actually made it a policy to disregard BSA uniforming regulations and go with jeans instead of scout pants.

 

All the rest of this jaw jaw is neither here nor there to me. It's really not that hard to change into your uniform in the car or the bathroom before you go to the scout meeting. And if you can't afford scout pants, well OK that's understandable. I mean, accommodations can be made to meet a scout's individual circumstance.

 

But this is a whole different thing to me. (1) They are intentionally disregarding BSA uniforming regulations for the entire troop as a matter of troop policy, and (2) now they are getting implicit approval from national.

 

Perhaps I should just start making of list of all national's regulations I choose to disregard...I have some ideas. Believe me, I have some ideas. And national won't like them.

  • Upvote 1

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If this troop were in San Francisco (or Reno), with strong support from the Levi Strauss & Co, and the uniform jeans were indeed "uniform", then fine.  Just having the the troop number "501" doesn't cut it.

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Non-uniform pants don't bother me. Levi Strauss does. My understanding, Levi Strauss has not supported Scouting for over 25 years.

 

May, 1992

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/05/31/style/signals-why-levi-s-don-t-fit-scouts.html

 

WHEN Levi Strauss & Company decided this month to end its financial support of the Boy Scouts of America, which refuses to admit gay Scoutmasters and gay Scouts to the ranks of the thrifty, brave and clean, the jeans maker sent a strong message.

 

The amount of money involved -- $40,000 to $80,000 a year -- was not really significant. But the basis for the decision was.

 

After much soul-searching, Levi Strauss executives concluded that the Boy Scouts' exclusion of homosexuals was at odds with the company's "core values," said Mary Gross, a corporate spokeswoman. In making grants, she said, "we cannot fund any organization that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation and religious belief."

 

 

June, 2016

http://www.levistrauss.com/unzipped-blog/2016/06/sharing-the-blueprint-perspectives-from-levi-strauss-foundations-daniel-lee/

 

These stands have made us no stranger to tension, but we believe this tension has made us stronger. In 1992, the company decided to withhold matching gifts by employees to the Boy Scouts of America based on its discriminatory policies around sexual orientation and religious belief, triggering a boycott campaign by a conservative organization as well as bags of protest letters. But company leaders stood their ground, taking what the New York Times coined “a hard line on the new diversity of society.â€

Edited by RememberSchiff
removed redundant text.
  • Upvote 1

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