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patrol patches

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I notice some of the adults in my daughter's scout troop wear patrol patches from previous scouts units they've been involved in. I am an asst. scoutmaster in my daughter's unit and they're about to get their patrol patch for the 1st time--they're a new troop. am I supposed to wear the patrol patch as well?

Flying_Pig_Patrol_Patch-b4614__17781.1542740821.500.659.png

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Official Guide to Uniform says adults do not wear patrol patches.

 

If you attend Woodbadge, you would have your critter patrol patch to wear, which many leave on their shirts afterwords.

 

I've also seen adults create their own unofficial patrol and wear patches, like "Old Goats", "Coffee Patrol", etc.  But I would not wear a matching patrol patch to a youth Scout, you are not in their patrol.

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Scouters do not (should not) wear patrol patches, just as they do not (should not) wear rank patches.  Those items are reserved for use by youth members.

My guess is that some of the Scouters you have seen with patrol patches are still wearing patrol patches from Wood Badge.  Technically those should come off after the course has ended, many Wood Badgers wear them all of the time.   It is pretty easy to tell if that is what the patch is from, as it will be one of the standard WB 'critter' patches. 

That is different than the folks who wear 'spoof' patches, which IMHO should never be worn on the uniform.  I am sometimes dismayed by the number of Scouters I see whose uniform has multiple patches that are either unauthorized, or in the wrong place on the uniform.  While at summer camp a few weeks ago, I saw many with things in the wrong place, including several whose Scoutmaster patch was on the wrong sleeve, under the flag rather that under the unit number.  (Even our SE had things in the wrong place) 

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BSA has contradictory information on this.

While the Guide to Awards and Insignia states: 

Patrol emblem (sic), cloth, many different emblems including one blank to make your own design; Scout, (emphasis added) right sleeve, position. Patrol emblems are 2-inch round emblems with tan border and background. They may not have numbers or letters and can have up to three thread colors. See specific emblem for correct number. Optional for Webelos Scouts if Webelos dens are named.

(p. 31  https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33066/33066_Scouts_BSA_Insignia_WEB.pdf )

Another official BSA publication, Bryan on Scouting says it is perfectly acceptable for adults to wear them. Here are two links, the first having a response from Peter Self, the then Team Lead of Program Development. He states

 

"...you will not find mention of adult patrols in our literature and why we do not form our adult leaders into patrols in the course of our normal program operations.

Having said all of this, there is no specific statement in our literature which prohibits adults from wearing a patrol emblem, but if you compare closely the pictures of the Boy Scout uniform to the adult leader uniforms on the last two pages of the Guide to Awards and Insignia, you’ll notice only a few differences. One of these is the absence of a patrol emblem on the adult uniform.":

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/03/03/the-geezers-aka-the-adult-patrol/

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2017/02/23/why-adults-in-this-troop-call-themselves-the-time-lords-patrol/

 

Personally I do not wear them. They are for the Scouts.

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I’m pretty agnostic on adults wearing a patrol patch. I can see the reasons both for and against. The guide to awards and insignia makes it clear that it’s really for the youth, but wearing an old goat or a rocking chair patch seems to me to honor the idea that the adults, even if they implement a version of the patrol method, are really there for a different purpose. 

That said absolutely the adults should be in a different group than the youth. 

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I'm really don't care either way.  There are bigger fish to fry and of all the uniforming issues, this is a fairly small one.

But it does reflect an issue one of my sons recently said.  My son said was asked by the EBOR what could be done to improve scouting.  He said later to me privately that he though the thing that damaged scouts the most was the adults obsessing about it compulsively.  My interpretation is that he thought the adults should gear down their energy so that the scouts can enjoy / drive their own program.  

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7 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

My son said was asked by the EBOR what could be done to improve scouting.  He said later to me privately that he though the thing that damaged scouts the most was the adults obsessing about it compulsively.  My interpretation is that he thought the adults should gear down their energy so that the scouts can enjoy / drive their own program.  

Is worrying about adults wearing patrol patches or not a good example of adults being a bit to ocd? Kinda seems like it to me.

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2 hours ago, malraux said:

Is worrying about adults wearing patrol patches or not a good example of adults being a bit to ocd? Kinda seems like it to me.

Maybe.  Maybe not.  We all want to do the program so well because our kids and other youth are involved.  It happens in volunteer programs over and over again.  At some point, our passion for the program starts damaging the program.  

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Very, very well said @The Latin Scot.

I learned in my life that attention to detail is a very important character trait.  It takes little effort to properly uniform.  That you invested the time to do so says a lot.  That's an important life lesson.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/25/2019 at 6:39 PM, The Latin Scot said:

I find such patronizing unfortunate, and disappointing. 

@The Latin Scot  Your comments are well said.  I and most everyone I know appreciate a well uniformed scout.  Clean and cut looks sharp.  Good uniforming helps in many ways.    

Sadly, my uniforming views are jaded.  

  • Burned by the poor poor quality centennial uniform and the hundreds I spent to properly uniform my family (two for me, plus multiple for my jamboree son, plus other kids ...)
  • Tried to follow BSA insignia guide, but my scouts were criticized for putting temporary patches on back of sash ... which is per the insignia guide ... by adults who's own uniforms violated the insignia guide in other ways.   Then attending BSA summer camps where camp patch and patch segments are displayed on the shirt as growing uniform wart.  And it's suggested and applauded.  Or adult leaders who hang each and every possible decoration on their uniform and start looking like a Christmas tree.  
  • Too many people trying to one-up each other on uniforming correctness or uniforming bling.
  • Breaking straw was when I finally realized the uniform is more about ceremony and decoration than function.  It's the extremely rare scout leader you will  see summitting mount baldy in a full uniform.  Or spending every day at Sea Base canoeing or deep sea fishing in full scout uniform.  Or canoeing in the BWCA in full uniform. 

Too often the uniform is more about showing bling, bragging or humor than about function or organization. 

I view the uniform more like a flag ceremony now.  There is no bad flag ceremony.  We should celebrate and respect each ... even as we look at things we might improve ... while keeping our mouths shut.  

 

Edited by fred8033

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

@The Latin Scot  Your comments are well said.  I and most everyone I know appreciate a well uniformed scout.  Clean and cut looks sharp.  Good uniforming helps in many ways.    

Sadly, my uniforming views are jaded.  

I've said before that the two most challenging methods for the adults (and scouts for the opposite reasons) are Uniforms and Advancement. Both are challenging to the adults because each adult has a personal opinion or interpretation for how the scouts should apply the methods. 

However, I have said many times I don't agree with mixing girls into the troop program because Boys are different than Girls and mixing them together will diminish some growth opportunities from the boys. Learning to pay attention to "Details" is one of those opportunities. 

On 6/25/2019 at 6:39 PM, The Latin Scot said:

But that is because the purpose of getting the uniform right isn't about looks or image - it's about integrity, personal accountability, and a willingness to strengthen our identity as a group rather than insisting on the stubborn jealousy over the privileges of the individual. ................

So, yeah, I will teach my boys to notice the small details, because our very lives are built on small choices. A big fancy camp-out is only as successful as the care and planning that goes into it. These little lessons build great character, and as a leader who loves the youth I serve with, I cannot believe that accepting mediocrity is morally acceptable. Others may disagree, but years of observing the fruits of this mindset have taught me far more than any stray thoughts on an internet idea forum could ever disprove to me.

It seems a small thing, but then, as Gandalf put it, "I have found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love." Getting a patch right here or wearing the hat properly there seems so small - but they teach these youth to look, to pay attention, to notice the little things around them - and this gift, this skill of being able to examine their world and their lives carefully and intentionally, will carry them further than any casual, cavalier attitude could possibly accomplish. How are we looking at the idea of uniforming? What do you see when you look at a youth in uniform?

The natural instinctive nature of a boy is thinking in the big picture. They detest details and would be willing to work 10 times harder to reach the same goal without dealing with the details that is so natural for girls. As Latin Scot points out, Patrol method is all about details. So practicing the details of planning, assigning tasks, and follow-up actions are skills  the scouts practice in their patrols to develop habits for the rest of their lives. Uniforming is just one more simple action that is a practice for turning details into a habit.

I like how Latin Scot shows how the practice of many little details leads to servant motivation of actions. That is what is being missed so badly in men today. And our mediocrity culture promotes it.

Where I find the valuable skill of uniform (details)  a challenge is, as you are pointing out, with the adults. Your apathy toward the uniform isn't with how the scouts use he method, it's with the many different adult opinions of how the scouts should apply it. The scouts have a simple guideline for uniform in their Scout Handbook, the adults just need to let them follow it. 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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