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mds3d

"There is no Class A" isn't a helpful statement most of the time, and people should stop posting it.

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2 hours ago, Pale Horse said:

If we're looking for military terms, we shouldn't forget there's a whole military occupation called Cav. Scouts.  We should find a new name.  We should also get rid of patrols, since that's a military term too.  

Troop, Quartermaster, the Venturing salute, boatswain, Second Class, First Class, Bugler, ...

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3 hours ago, RichardB said:

Which uniform do I have to wear while traveling for insurance?   

State Farm khakis.

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I served in the USMC. I always chuckle at "Class A." For us, the tan shirt and green pants were Class C's, or what we lovingly referred to as "Charlies." It wouldn't be a Class A unless we had the green jacket and tan tie. Class B would be a shirt with the tan tie.

 

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3 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

I do find it rather frustrating when people become sticklers for ... well, let's say a lackadaisical attitude towards the uniform. I could simply repost a comment I made earlier in another thread concerning uniforms, but as far as this topic goes, I have only one line of thought:

changing our personal language to refer to field and activity uniforms (as opposed to "class A and B") requires almost no effort beyond a conscious choice, and those who find such a tiny alteration of their speech challenging are hindered not by the difficulty of the task, but rather by their own attitudes and prejudices. The BSA asks us, repeatedly, not to use the terms 'class A or B.' You can obey and thus model forthright obedience to your Scouts, or you can flippantly (or even belligerently) ignore it, and so model all the accompanying values and behaviors of that choice to your Scouts in turn. 

I, for one, find it an important and helpful distinction, and regardless of what perceptions may be promulgated in this thread, I will continue to post my feelings on it so long as the BSA teaches the difference. How others choose to respond is entirely up to them, but I must do my part in standing for what I believe to be an important point of our uniforming pedagogy.

I think that the use of the terms do not necessarily indicate a "lackadaisical attitude towards the uniform"

If you showed up at any of our local district meetings (committee, commissioner, roundtable) you could easily be convinced that "Class A" and "Class B" were official synonyms for Field and Activity.  I also here "Full Dress" around here a lot to mean the fully decked out version of the uniform (sashes, medals, etc). A scouter coming from my district online here for the first time would not understand any negative reaction to these terms. I didn't say that the use of just "uniform" (as their is really only one) isn't correct, just that random corrections in threads not specifically about uniforming aren't helpful and the correction is often not delivered courteously.  This is a thing all around the internet where we read others words without the inflection and body language that usually accompanies the same interaction in real life.  

Secondly - Officially, there isn't even an activity uniform in any program except Venturing (I can only find the terms "field" and "activity" here: https://www.scouting.org/programs/venturing/about-venturing/uniform-guide/)  Although, it seems like there is an off hand reference to "activity uniform" in the handbook. Troop t-shirts however, definitely serve a purpose.  They fulfill many of the goals of uniforming without the disadvantages of actually wearing the official uniform on an activity.  I am a big fan of troop t-shirts and large useful (square) neckerchief for hiking and such. The common lexicon in scouting has often used the term "class B" to mean "all wearing the same t-shirt."  In most cases we know what those people mean.

 

Side note: Is there an official instance of the BSA actually asking us not to use those terms? This article (https://scoutingmagazine.org/2018/08/clearing-up-common-questions-about-what-we-wear/) in 2018 references those terms as unofficial without disparaging them (though the comments seem to talk only about that). This much older letter answer from 1998 (https://scoutingmagazine.org/issues/0605/d-lett.html) does include the correction. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, mds3d said:

I think that the use of the terms do not necessarily indicate a "lackadaisical attitude towards the uniform"

If you showed up at any of our local district meetings (committee, commissioner, roundtable) you could easily be convinced that "Class A" and "Class B" were official synonyms for Field and Activity.  I also here "Full Dress" around here a lot to mean the fully decked out version of the uniform (sashes, medals, etc). A scouter coming from my district online here for the first time would not understand any negative reaction to these terms ...

I, however, am not a Scouter coming online here for the first time. I'm a Scouter who has read almost everything published by the BSA regarding uniforms from the past 30+ years, and so I know the materials and I understand where the BSA stands on this issue. Believe me, even if I were to attend your district, council, or even regional meetings where the terms Class A and B were promulgated, promoted, and pushed, it would not be enough to "convince" me that the terms were official synonyms for Field and Activity. Only official materials published by the BSA would be enough to do that, and their position is clear. 

Much of the problem is that you automatically assume that to correct this issue is to "disparage" (to use your term) others. This is not a fair representation of those who want to follow BSA policy. Just because a Scouter upholds standard policies and procedures does not mean he or she disparages those who do not feel the same. If I, or others, correct the terminology, it is not because we think less of you, look down on you, or wish to belittle you. It is simply driven by a desire to rise above mediocrity in thought and action, and to help our Scouts pursue a higher level of commitment. If you don't share that same desire, that's entirely your privilege, but don't expect us to follow suit and be content with your opinions. It is good and healthy to pursue excellence in all things, even uniforms, and so you can't expect us to be content with terminology that is expressly corrected in official BSA materials.

Just as you insist that we be permissive in how you wish to express your standards, so also must you accept that fact that others will stand firm in getting the terms right - especially when we are attempting to model values and principles to the Scouts with whom we work. 

Edited by The Latin Scot
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Posted (edited)

I'm confused.

@mds3d states in the title of this thread that the constant reminders that "There is no Class A" bring nothing to the conversation.

8 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

The BSA asks us, repeatedly, not to use the terms 'class A or B.'

Is it me oversimplifying? We seem to be disagreeing to agree.

Edited by Chadamus
bolded & italicized for emphasis

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6 hours ago, mds3d said:

 

Secondly - Officially, there isn't even an activity uniform in any program except Venturing (I can only find the terms "field" and "activity" here: https://www.scouting.org/programs/venturing/about-venturing/uniform-guide/)  Although, it seems like there is an off hand reference to "activity uniform" in the handbook. Troop t-shirts however, definitely serve a purpose.  They fulfill many of the goals of uniforming without the disadvantages of actually wearing the official uniform on an activity.  I am a big fan of troop t-shirts and large useful (square) neckerchief for hiking and such. The common lexicon in scouting has often used the term "class B" to mean "all wearing the same t-shirt."  In most cases we know what those people mean.

 

I know at one time it was described in the handbook. I know oldest son's book, 12th ed. has a description and picture of it

 

Online there is this

Activity uniform description is here https://scoutingmagazine.org/2018/08/clearing-up-common-questions-about-what-we-wear/

What’s the activity uniform?

It’s appropriate for informal occasions. It’s the same as the field uniform, with a Scouting T-shirt or polo shirt replacing the uniform shirt and neckerchief. (Sometimes you’ll hear this unofficially called “Class B” and the field uniform called “Class A.”)

 

Anyone remember the 1989 to 1998 Activity uniform of khaki shorts, and red polo for Scouts, maroon polo for Scouts in a venture crew/patrol, and khaki polo for Varsity?

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@The Latin Scot I am a little sorry I posted this now. I will continue to address things you bring up however.  

I know you are not a new scouter. Neither am I. I wasn't talking about us.  I was referring to the Scouter who turns to this community and others for the first time looking for advice that doesn't have anything to do with the terminology used around uniforms.  

Those terms are not "pushed" they are used, by volunteers who run and participate in district level meetings, to refer to the Official Uniform and matching t-shirts. Scouters ask things like "What are people doing about scouts who can't afford full Class A's" and "Where did everyone get their Class B's?" It doesn't really help that scouter at the moment to correct that terminology so I don't. 

As for disparaging, while there is far less correcting than I thought when I search "Class A" or "Class-A" here, that doesn't mean that it is all in a positive spirit.  Some of it is clearly in the vein of "no real expert on the uniform uses the term 'Class A'"  Quickly searching other online scouting communities reveals that it is actually much better here than other places.  

The newest resource I can find in print from an official publication (the Scouting Magazine article referenced above) states that these are unofficial terms but does not call them incorrect, discouraged, or prohibited.  Can you help me find a recent official publication that discourages these terms? I understand that the official documents do not use them but I believe there is a big difference between unofficial and inappropriate. 

After having typed this I think I will change my stance. I only ask that when you correct people, can you do it in context of also answering their question in the friendliest way possible (I am not saying that you don't)? It probably isn't a big deal, I may even be wrong.  I definitely made the mistake of not assuming positive intent, and for that I apologize. 

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I don't think there's any reason for you to apologize. And speaking for myself, I hold nothing against you, nor your position on this matter. :happy: I come to this discussion from the other end of the spectrum, where those who try to promote proper uniforming, however friendly and positive we may be, are labeled as the "uniform police," an unfair term which automatically implies a mean-spirited criticism of the efforts of others which is miles away from the intent and approach I and others like me use to address these concerns. Too often in our attempts to support our own opinions we try to paint those of the opposing viewpoint as being malicious, unkind, short-sighted or narrow-minded, hoping that by making those of the other viewpoint look bad, our own opinions will appear more virtuous or reasonable. Hopefully as this discussion progresses, we can avoid this pitfall and look at the issue from a clear-headed, objective point of view. :cool:

To another point:

1 hour ago, Chadamus said:

I'm confused.

@mds3d states in the title of this thread that the constant reminders that "There is no Class A" bring nothing to the conversation.

Is it me oversimplifying? We seem to be disagreeing to agree.

I, however, believe that these reminders do bring something to the conversation - something important. We now have (what I hope is) a meaningful, productive dialogue going about this topic, and addressing it will be both edifying and informative as long as we can do so in a constructive manner. I am happy to discuss it so long as we can preserve an amicable approach that examines actual BSA policy and materials and not merely our own opinions and feelings. I'm as guilty as anybody of that emotional, irrational approach, and will try to do better as this conversation develops. 

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Curious; anyone know why it is referred to as the "field" uniform? In my military experience, the "field" uniform is the one you would wear when "in the field" and it would generally be absent any awards. The field uniform WAS/IS the activity uniform.

The BSA "field" uniform is anything but that - and is also probably why so many have come to call it the "class A" since it more closely resembles, and is more accurately worn and used in a similar manner.

What is the official terminology for how to distinguish between the "field" uniform and what I most often hear as either the "full" uniform or the "dress" uniform when a scout is asked to include their sash and pants/shorts?

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Posted (edited)

I agree Hawkwin. That was part of my comment earlier. I believe that, like it or not, this is why people persist in using different nomenclature -- because it makes more sense. I'll also reiterate that I think it's time BSA re-engineered the so called field uniform to make it more functional for weather conditions in the field. I know there are plenty of people who love the uniforms as is but there are also plenty who don't. If it were truly a field uniform, people would be more likely to call it that. In reality, though, I think this is a minor thing to be worried about. When I can't remember what to call some piece of equipment I'll just point and say can you hand me that thing? It works. No one has accused me of being a slacker trying to derail kids off the path of excellence just because I've used the wrong word. 

Edited by yknot

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14 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Activity uniform description is here https://scoutingmagazine.org/2018/08/clearing-up-common-questions-about-what-we-wear/

What’s the activity uniform?

It’s appropriate for informal occasions. It’s the same as the field uniform, with a Scouting T-shirt or polo shirt replacing the uniform shirt and neckerchief. (Sometimes you’ll hear this unofficially called “Class B” and the field uniform called “Class A.”)

The Boy Scout Handbook -- the 2016 pre-girl printing  -- page 21, says:

      The official Boy Scout uniform (sometimes called the "field uniform") includes a Scout shirt, Scout pants or Scout shorts, Scout belt, Scout socks, and shoes or hiking boots. ... Proudly wear your uniform to troop meetings, special ceremonies, and other troop functions where dressing up is appropriate.  When you're headed outdoors to do something active, you can pull on a T-shirt with Scout pants or shorts, or wear other clothing that is appropriate for the events of the day.  This is sometimes called an "activity uniform."

Between the Handbook statement and the Scouting magazine article, the most important point doesn't have anything to do with terminology.  Rather, it is that the "official" or "field" uniform is for "dressing up," not for use in the field.  That is, the official Scout uniform is only intended to be worn for approximately 20% of the hours that a troop will spend on Scouting activities. 

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On 7/23/2019 at 12:58 PM, The Latin Scot said:

The BSA asks us, repeatedly, not to use the terms 'class A or B.'

When they grant official licenses to companies like ClassB.com to make and sell BSA-branded goods, that message is getting a little muddy.

They decide who to give a license to, and when they allow a company with a name that contradicts brand messaging to have a license, I'm thinking they're not really that serious about that policy.

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