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What color is your Class B ?

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As I read the current discussion about red jac-shirts, it occurred to me that wearing bright red colors like that jac-shirt doesn't really fit with the more natural, earth-tone colors adopted my most outdoor-focused organizations.  Come to think of it, the colors used by many BSA units for their Class-B shirts clash violently with that same earth tone focus.

Why should we even care about things like colors?

Well, most outdoor-focused organizations adopt those earth tones for a reason, and that reason has nothing whatsoever to do with fashion sense, or personal preferences. The reason most organizations go for earth tones is usually:

  • Harmony with nature (dirt is brown, trees are green). Dress in those colors, and you blend in.
  • Camouflage. When you blend in, you can better observe wildlife without spooking them with unnatural hues. Fellow Audubon members tell me this is why they like earth tones, but I sometimes question that given the number of brilliantly plumaged bird species...but even then, I see their point because dirt is still brown and trees are still green.
  • Courtesy.  Being courteous to other outdoorsmen is one of the 7 principles of Leave No Trace, and there are a lot of people who enjoy being outdoors for the natural experience.  Day-glo green jackets, fire engine red backpacks and lemon yellow tents sure don't belong in a "natural" environment, so the more serious outdoorsmen avoid such garish fashion statements except for when golfing and yachting, where looking like a clown is acceptable behavior.

These things are discussed during the long 50-hour LNT Master Educator class, but most outdoorsmen pick up on it anyway by osmosis and experience. It's also discussed on various outdoor enthusiast sites.

One enthusiast site that enjoy perusing and pondering is "LNT Dude":  http://www.leavenotracedude.com/considerate-of-others.shtml

On this site, he says, in part...

Colors - Neutral colors help minimize the visual impact you have on others. Instead of bright yellow tents, use grey, green, or blue. Use a tan backpack cover and save the hunter orange one for hunting season. Consider the colors of your clothing and plan to wear earth-tones. This will help your group seem smaller and less noticable, especially in open areas where there is little forest cover.

 

So what are your thoughts?

Do colors matter in scouting?

Can we tell how serious a unit is about their outdoor skill level from the color of their Class B????

Inquiring minds want to inquire...

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We rotate colors year to year.  Sometimes more "earth-tone" other times more "loud".  Each has its place.  The "earth-tone" fits in well with LNT principles, but I like the loud bright "Hunter Orange" if we're in the woods during hunting  season.

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We don't have class B. (We don't even have troop/patrol-specific activity shirts :p)

At camp around here (Western PA) scouts mostly wear neutral colors.

I've found that wildlife don't care what color you're wearing until someone starts shooting at them. There is a tremendous amount of color around here ... flowers, fungi, fruit, sunlight reflected off of brooks and pools, male birds and mammals, rainbows ...

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1 hour ago, Chisos said:

We rotate colors year to year.  Sometimes more "earth-tone" other times more "loud".  Each has its place.  The "earth-tone" fits in well with LNT principles, but I like the loud bright "Hunter Orange" if we're in the woods during hunting  season.

Not a bad idea.

I also like the loud colors when we're at an event like Scout Fair or Scout Night at the Ballpark where there might be hundreds of scouts and I want to be able spot those I'm supposed to be watching out for.

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27 minutes ago, qwazse said:

I've found that wildlife don't care what color you're wearing until someone starts shooting at them.  

Many animals are color blind anyway, and those who aren't don't pay a lot of attention to fashion trends, do they?

 

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1 minute ago, PinkPajamas said:

We're at the cub level and we have the brightest neon orange known to man. I love it for tracking kids. 

What we need are RFID tags attached to scouts...

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We used to have gray t-shirts.  A few years ago the PLC switched designs and also chose safety orange.

I understand the LNT idea, but we don't have any real wilderness around here where that would really be a consideration.

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As an aside, I ran into our troop SPL last week wearing the same troop t-shirt we designed in 1994. It was nice to see some things never change.

The design is on a gray shirt, by the way.

Barry

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Our Troop has a number of activity shirts:

Our old Troop t-shirt was red with white lettering/logos. Still worn by many and is often passed down to new Scouts through our exchange closet.
The current t-shirts we offer come in blue with white lettering or olive with gold lettering.

We also offer a hoodie in red with white lettering/logos.

We also offer embroidered polos in blue, red or green, with white lettering/logos.

Individuals can get their name on the backs of the t-shirts and hoodies, and on the left chest of the embroidered polo.

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We have burgundy shirts with a white design + text. We get compliments all the time about our color and design since you rarely see anyone with that color. 

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Over the years and via different organizations I have dozens of shirts that range from pastel blues, to fire engine red to forest green, black, blue on and on an on. 

Personally if we are in council camps, state parks, around the city etc. I don't care what color they wear. 

But when we go into the back country I prefer the youth in bright colors. On the outside chance that they get lost I want every possible advantage to find them. 

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our troop sports 3 shirts in different colors: red, grey, and blue.  Grey being near white, but not quiet there... for that patriotic affect.  Also recently branched into hoodies.  I feel it is a bit overkill. 

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