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Scouts Uniform & Halloween

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Are there specific rules around wearing the scouting uniform for Halloween as a costume? Specifically, one of my scouts wants to be a zombie scout. This entails buying a used scouts BSA shirt, ripping it and strategically pouring fake blood on it. I feel like that is a desecration of an official uniform but I’m not sure if I’m feeling something that would be universal or am I overreacting. Any have thoughts or advice? Thank you! 

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to the forums!

It sounds like an awesome costume. However, if the shirt isn't already ripped, I'd discourage it. We all know scout families who can't afford a decent one. The issue of trademark infringement is a little more nebulous. It's not like she's making a movie for profit, is she? Beyond legalities, is she likely to offend? Well, probably, especially if the shirt came from a neighborhood thrift shop and she knocks on the door of someone who recognizes the scout who used to wear the shirt from the insignia.

I would encourage her to build a uniform from bottom up. A generic shirt would be easier to find, and it's not hard to make fabric ink patches. Those could fit the theme better. E.g.: Scouts ZSA, Junior Assistant Zombmaster, Undead Scout Rank, National Zomberee, etc ...

But, a scout -- even a zombie scout -- is friendly. So, to do it right, she needs to produce something to give to each neighbor she visits -- like neckerchiefs of brains that says something like "In appreciation for your thoughtful support! You're delicious!"

Your scout has a month to do this up right. Explain your concerns, but encourage her to stay positive and do things in a way that reflects scout spirit.

Edited by qwazse
  • Upvote 1

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OMG! What awesome ideas!  It’s not only she who will benefit from your advice, but a few! Because of course now they all want to do these things together! I’ll mention it to our scouts in our next mtg, especially the patches & neckerchiefs! Thank you sooo much for the in-depth response and welcome! 

On 10/8/2019 at 12:06 PM, desertrat77 said:

@Girlscoutmaster, welcome to scouter.com!

Thank you!!!

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I was the kid from Up one year for Halloween.  I wore the uniform shirt (It was our Tiger year so I didn't have knots yet or any other adornments)  and my shorts.  I made my own merit badge sash and copied the badges they had from the movie.   We had some left over balloons here at work and I gathered those up and attached them to my back pack.   It was awesome.   Wish I had a better picture.  I am over on the right. 

image0.png

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As for the original question/costume.     I would not damage a good shirt that someone else can wear.  Maybe hit up the Goodwill's or other thrift shops and see if you can find a cheap alternative.   Maybe a Dickie shirt.  

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To the OP:  https://www.scouting.org/resources/insignia-guide/

Use of Uniform

The official uniforms are intended primarily for use in connection with official Scouting activities, and their use may be approved by the local council executive board for council events or activities under conditions consistent with the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America. No alteration of, or additions to, the official uniforms, as described in the official guidelines or the Rules and Regulations covering the wearing of the uniform and the proper combinations thereof on official occasions, may be authorized by any Scouting official or local council.

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38 minutes ago, RichardB said:

.. No alteration of, or additions to, the official uniforms, as described in the official guidelines or the Rules and Regulations covering the wearing of the uniform ... may be authorized by any Scouting official or local council.

Confession from Junior Leadership Training: I had a choice between letting my uniform be "altered" or losing British Bulldog to a bunch of city boys. I took the win on the field*, the loss on inspection, and an irate Momma when I got home! :cool:

*Quite literally, I was on the field gripping ground for dear life, half my shirt was in some scout's hands.

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