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Hawkwin

Neckers back in the "news"

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https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2018/05/04/do-you-wear-your-neckerchief-over-or-under-the-collar/

 

This board has helped my change my thinking on the necker (was previously opposed to it due to the added cost and the fact that scouts always seemed to lose their slides).

I also never would have imagined that there are so many variations in how it could be worn.

Hawkwin

Necker convert

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I have carried a neckerchief (a real, 4-sided one) in my glove compartment and in my suitcase when traveling. Maybe I should carry one in my back pocket as well. :)

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When I was in scouts the Neckercheif and belt were part of your first aid kit. I never did understand why they would go away.

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It's nice to know that 28 years or so after the introduction of the tan & green Oscar de la Renta uniforms we're still clear as mud about what to do with a collar and a neckerchief. (Prior to that the uniforms had NO collar, which certainly encouraged neckerchief wear as they looked ridiculous with them. And prior to THAT, if I remember correctly, the uniform collars were small and easily covered by the neckerchief.)

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I am not sure what the confusion is ... Troops can vote on and then go with one of three options: no neckers, neckers over the collar, or neckers under the collar. That's incredibly simple. 

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1 hour ago, The Latin Scot said:

I am not sure what the confusion is ... Troops can vote on and then go with one of three options: no neckers, neckers over the collar, or neckers under the collar. That's incredibly simple. 

Well, we Scouters have a quaint habit of making complex the simple....and to our credit, can do the reverse.  There is a certain class of folks that have been aptly named over the course of time, "Uniform Police."  I suggest trying to avoid that lot!  😆

Edited by WAKWIB
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Well, I never point out people's errors unless they ask me for specific help, which I always offer in a mild, it's-no-big-deal kind of way. But I will admit, all of my boys know that my favorite game to play at large Scouting events is "Spot the Error!" It's amazing the breadth and variety of mistakes (or flagrant violations) made on the uniforms of some people. In fact at my OA Brotherhood induction ceremony last night, there was a gentleman with what seemed like a half-dozen OA event patches sewn all over his shirt - both pockets, over the shoulders, one on the back, pins on every epaulet, and four neckerchiefs. It was a mess, lol.

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The necker is a much maligned item. It started out as not only a Uniform item, to identify one as a "Scout", but as an all purpose "be prepared" item.  It was expected the Scout would wear his uni to all Scout activities (hence the term "Field Uniform") and even to ordinary places. As a Scout, he would be expected to be available to help and "be prepared", "why , for any old thing".

The old Scout book I have lists no fewer than 52 uses for a neckerchief (remember, these were four sided, 36" neckers.). Signal flag, bandage (many types), arm sling, horse bridle, dust mask, sunhat, sweat band, ID for wide games, stave tie-up, lashing, three legged race tie,  game item (steal the bacon?),  it was expected to be a tough item, made useful by necessity.  My old Troop necker is still bright red, but with many bruises and snares from first aid practice.

It has become a nuisance, a fashion statement (YSL ?), an item for profit (a new one for each rank?  C'mon, Cub Scouts !) .  Look to the World Jamboree, you will see comraderie  created with necker trading.  In many countries, if you cannot afford a full uni, the Scout WILL have a necker ! That is his/her symbol.   Why do American Scouts/Scouters have so much trouble accepting the tradition, the history inherent in that scrap of cloth ?

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2 hours ago, SSScout said:

The necker is a much maligned item. It started out as not only a Uniform item, to identify one as a "Scout", but as an all purpose "be prepared" item.  It was expected the Scout would wear his uni to all Scout activities (hence the term "Field Uniform") and even to ordinary places. As a Scout, he would be expected to be available to help and "be prepared", "why , for any old thing".

The old Scout book I have lists no fewer than 52 uses for a neckerchief (remember, these were four sided, 36" neckers.). Signal flag, bandage (many types), arm sling, horse bridle, dust mask, sunhat, sweat band, ID for wide games, stave tie-up, lashing, three legged race tie,  game item (steal the bacon?),  it was expected to be a tough item, made useful by necessity.  My old Troop necker is still bright red, but with many bruises and snares from first aid practice.

It has become a nuisance, a fashion statement (YSL ?), an item for profit (a new one for each rank?  C'mon, Cub Scouts !) .  Look to the World Jamboree, you will see comraderie  created with necker trading.  In many countries, if you cannot afford a full uni, the Scout WILL have a necker ! That is his/her symbol.   Why do American Scouts/Scouters have so much trouble accepting the tradition, the history inherent in that scrap of cloth ?

I wish I knew. I have always found the necker one of the most useful scout items available. I actually carry a few extra ones, from previous units, in my ten-essentials bag. I have used them many times as bandages, slings, signal flag, hot mit, sweat band, towel, cold compress, rag, blindfold, sun protection for my neck and ears, dust mask, etc.

It is my go-to item for first aid. I try to teach all my scouts how useful the necker is, but many adults and youth seem to have an aversion to it. My NYLT program actually bans them. 

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The necker may be my favorite part of the uniform after my trusy campaign hat. They really are SO useful, and being a smaller guy, even the modern versions are plenty large enough to suit my needs. And I am somebody who LOVES color, so having a host of neckerchief options in a variety of colors keeps the artist in me perpetually happy. I even have one with a black-and-white checkerboard pattern on it that I wear for Cub Scout derbies! 

We were instructed not to wear our neckers during my Brotherhood ordeal last weekend, and I will be totally honest - I felt half-naked without it! When I attend a Scouting event, of any kind, I wear my neckerchief. And I have seen those old lists with dozens of (often ridiculous but always amusing!) uses for them, and shared them with the Scouts I work with. Now you're hard-pressed to find a Scout in our units who doesn't wear his necker - these days, when they come to meetings late from sporting events, they may not have time to change into their uniforms, but they ALWAYS take the time to throw on their neckers. And I find that unendingly satisfying!

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I love neckers and routinely wear them. Over the years I have garnered quiet a collection.

After a while a few of my Scouts began to wear them because they liked how they look. Eventually, they voted to wear them as a unit and created a custom necker for the troop.

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Our troop does not wear a neckerchief, and I cannot remember seeing any leaders in our pack wear one.

I still have my original neckerchief from 1964, along with a collection of others, ranging from camp neckerchiefs to my Eagle one.  The only one I currently wear, and then only at formal district or council events, is my 46 year old Woodbadge tartan.

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On 6/8/2018 at 6:37 PM, SSScout said:

Why do American Scouts/Scouters have so much trouble accepting the tradition, the history inherent in that scrap of cloth ?

It's not all Americans, I know the BPSA-US wears large square neckers.

I think the BSA screwed up the image of the necker. Just a theory, but I suspect that in the constant evolution of the BSA uniform to look more and more militaristic (the short-sleeve open-collar beige shirt with dark pants look), the necker didn't fit in with that image. So it was shrunk, to the point where it started to look ridiculous and Scouts started to reject it.

I'm actually hopeful that we're seeing a resurgence of the larger necker in the BSA. Larger sizes are starting to show up, and some recent videos and materials out of the BSA show necker-without-uniform wear, in the UK style of a friendship knot tied at the bottom. 

I don't wear one, but I'd like to. I'm a big guy and the standard (small) BSA adult necker size looks kind of silly on me. I prefer to just go without. But I also just recently picked up a Cub Leader neckerchief, in the "new larger size: 49 1/2 x 35 x 35", and it actually fits me decently. If larger is the trend, I think there's hope for us to catch up with the rest of the world on modern necker style and usage. 

I think we also need to do something about the plain flat design of American neckers. So many of them don't have the edge border that UK (and similar) neckers all have, which I think adds a lot of style to the look. I have that CS Leader necker, which is just blue with a very think yellow edge. Another guy in my pack has a Jambo necker with that cool thick border on it, and it's no question his looks so much better than mine. I'm sure those are more expensive to produce, but it also makes the necker more iconic and interesting, which I think would encourage more usage and wear. 

Edited by FireStone

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