Jump to content
dkurtenbach

Product Pruning

Recommended Posts

Suppose that one of the effects of the BSA's current difficulties is a determination that it is too expensive on an ongoing basis for BSA to develop, produce, maintain, and update all of the various versions of BSA uniforms, accessories, insignia/badges/etc., handbooks, other publications, and program supplies and equipment currently in the BSA catalog.  You are asked what "stuff" could be eliminated or slimmed down without changing any substantive aspect of the current program (such as rank requirements, adult positions, different programs, etc.).  What would you recommend?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am saying this as someone who loves his Kelly green shirt, but in all honesty ...

From the minute they rolled out the tan ODL shirts with epaulets, I always wondered why the Explorers didn't just use those with green shoulderloops. Furthermore, there should be half- and quarter- loops for folks who serve in multiple programs.

One shirt to rule them all ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, qwazse said:

From the minute they rolled out the tan ODL shirts with epaulets, I always wondered why the Explorers didn't just use those with green shoulderloops. Furthermore, there should be half- and quarter- loops for folks who serve in multiple programs.

If adults have position patches and youth have rank/award patches that reveal their program, do we need shoulder loops at all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok you asked.  The entire cub uniform from Lion to AOL needs to be reworked.  Just last year they changed the wolves from gold to red...why?  Lions became the gold rank.  Every WEBELO has a tan shirt, but has (you know I'm right) to get a new one as they cross over.  Most won't remove cubby stuff as a Scout or Tenderfoot, just buy a different shirt.  Lets not talk about each cub rank has its own socks, belt buckle, $15 book, $15 hat, Neckerchief.  I'm glad they did away with activity arrowpoints, those were a royal pain. 

I'm just glad Scouts BSA has one shirt, a neckerchief if the troop decides, belt is usually most any camp's, and one book for about 6 years as a scout in a troop.  Everyone is wearing a "class B" uniform on outings as the "field uniform" costs so much, not very practical on outings,  and can't replace it cheaply.

I too have a love for the Kelly green shirt (with and without a collar).  That uniform was pretty simple and you could find backup shirts at most thrift stores.  The knee socks had to go.  I still put myself through the pain of those socks with garter tabs now and then.  Never ever bring back the beret or red trucker cap.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One handbook per program.

One shirt. Nothing is sewn onto the shirt that ever needs to be removed (flag, wosm, aol). No council patch, city and state is fine. In fact, transferring stuff to a larger shirt is something a scout can do in about 10 minutes.

As for program features, training, general info, make a wiki and identify volunteer editors, that reflect the program, to make a living document.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

How about using the same color shirt across all programs?

The new color shirt is a powerful incentive for many youth. And, they usually need a new one for growth and age. I don't know what you would be saving.

Barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

The new color shirt is a powerful incentive for many youth. And, they usually need a new one for growth and age. I don't know what you would be saving.

Barry

The need to stock blue shirts and tan shirts in the same sizes, and the need to stock green shirts and tan shirts in the same sizes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

How about using the same color shirt across all programs?

 

28 minutes ago, Double Eagle said:

... I too have a love for the Kelly green shirt (with and without a collar).  That uniform was pretty simple and you could find backup shirts at most thrift stores.  ...

How about everybody Kelly green? :D

Except for Sea Scouts ... they're too cool in their blue-as-cub-scouts shirts!

1 minute ago, Eagledad said:

The new color shirt is a powerful incentive for many youth. And, they usually need a new one for growth and age. I don't know what you would be saving. ...

Truth, @Eagledad, I am kinda "poking the bear." I don't know how much cost saving there is having a different color for those tiny cub uniforms that, like you say, is a thing of pride to grow out of.

But, there's not a lot of pride involved in "growing" from tan to green, and in fact I've witnessed some downright arrogance that we could do without. I mean, I am proud to have been a crew advisor because of the positive impact that it made on how I work with youth (Cubs, Scouts, of Venturers). But, I have seen a lot of other adults and older youth arrive at the same place through different channels (e.g., O/A, camp staff, etc ...). So, it's only a partial jest about putting everyone ('cept Sea Scouts) in green.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To cut way back on the number and styles of uniform parts and insignia that BSA has to produce, distribute, and maintain in inventory, I'd suggest:

  • The same color and style of shirt for all programs.
  • No epaulets, no shoulder loops, only cloth badges/patches with no backing so they are easy to sew on
  • The only insignia allowed are the BSA and Council name strips (lettering only), World Scout badge (without Messenger of Peace ring or other embellishment), unit numeral, den/patrol patch, rank badge, position patch, OA arrow strip
  • All insignia are at least one-third smaller than current badges/patches
  • No official pants / shorts / skirts / skorts; no official belts, socks, or hats
  • No sashes; merit badges one-third smaller than current size, may be sewn on neckerchiefs
  • One Cub Scout neckerchief color for all grade levels
  • Cub Scout adventure pins and belt loops become cloth badges sewn on neckerchiefs
  • Other awards currently worn on uniform may be sewn on neckerchiefs

To cut way back on the number of publications that BSA develops, produces, distributes, and maintains, I'd suggest:

  • All publications are electronic, printable on demand
  • The contents of all existing publications are broken down into these collections:  Youth member "how to" information for each program; youth leader "how to" information (Scouts BSA, Venturing, Sea Scouting only); adult leader "how to" information for each program
  • Eliminate all duplication and as much inconsistency as possible from each collection
  • Convert what is left so that at least 90 percent of each collection is in the form of (a) checklists, (b) step-by-step instructions, and (c) diagrams or illustrations; with the remaining 10 percent or less limited to text, but with no single block of text containing more than seventy-five words

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good suggestions, but inconsistent with the primary BSA objective.  

A uniform - the same except for details - would be nice to replace the current brand approach, and would far more closely match the stated reasons for a "uniform."  Again, that approach is inconsistent with the primary BSA objective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Said it on other threads- let BSA make rank/advancement patches, but have uniform items be available from a third party source, similar to Sea Scouts. Get out of the overhead inventory cost, etc.  Not sure you all got the same email I did this morning, but BSA has released the new uniform shirt into distribution, while still having the old one available.  Yup, in the middle of a bankruptcy, they spent likely several million dollars fulfilling purchase orders on these things to sit in the warehouse... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My idea (FWIW):  One color shirt for all programs.  Shoulder loop colors designate program.  Pre-placed hook-and-loop (velcro) where rank and POR patches go; shirts come with a "blank".  All rank (Lion to Eagle) are the same oval shape.  Ranks and POR patches come with velcro backing in place.  This would facilitate "uniform closets", hand-me-downs, etc. as they could easily be corrected for the next scout who gets the shirt.  And facilitate getting the right patches on the shirt.  I guess more of them would get lost, though.

Make pants a unit choice, like with hats/caps.  If the unit wants jeans, wear jeans.  Or a different color cargo pants, or whatever the unit wants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Chisos said:

I guess more of them would get lost, though.

Or you'll have a symphony of ripping Velcro during your meeting as all Scouts realize they have something extra to fidget with.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...