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I have a Patrol Leader who has asked if his Patrol can have their own hat.

There used to be a blurb (I think) in the G2AI similar to the current neckerchief guidance; "Scout neckerchiefs are optional. Troops choose their own official neckerchief. All members of a troop wear the same color. The troop decides by vote, and all members abide by the decision."

The only place I can find a reference for hats is in the Uniform Inspection Sheet; "Headgear. All troop members must wear the headgear chosen by vote of the troop."

Notice that the headgear entry does not say they have to be the same, as it does in the necker verbiage. 

I'm leaning towards saying "Yes", but only after the PLC agrees...

Any sage advice?

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That's a doozy of a question. My first impression would be to "go for it." But the Scoutmaster in me says to have the troop in the same color so I could spot them at large events.

If I were asked I would say "sure," but wear the troop color at large events. Wearing a different hat during a troop campout or such as a show of patrol spirit would be acceptable.

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This is right up there with can the patrol vote to have an official pencil color.  Sure.  Your patrol.  :)   Why not.

 

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If I had a PL that wanted to do something like that I'd take the loophole you found and tell them to go for it. It shows initiative.

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The only possible reason I could think to not do this is if your troop currently has a uniform hat that everyone wears.  Even then I'd probably give the nod to the patrol.  But since very few troops, including it seems yours, actually have a troop approved hat then yes enthusiastically help them get those patrol hats.  

By the way, I would not take this to the PLC, patrol decisions aren't the bailiwick of the PLC.  After all no one would think the PLC needs to approve patrol flags or yells, right?  With any luck the other patrols will see the new hats and will want their own patrol specific haberdashery.

3 hours ago, Scoutmaster Teddy said:

But the Scoutmaster in me says to have the troop in the same color so I could spot them at large events.

Our troop has never had a troop hat.  The closest we come is that everyone who attends summer camp gets that year's summer camp hat.  Since pretty much every other troop around here does the same you can't distinguish anyone, not during summer camp and not at any other event we might attend.

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I did this when I was SM and CM. Uniforming is very important to me because how a scout follows the policies in the Scout Handbook is a series of right or wrong choices. But, I encourage the patrols, and dens,  to use hats as a way to identify their patrol from other patrols. The Pack love the idea, but only a few patrols followed that suggestion. 

Barry

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

By the way, I would not take this to the PLC, patrol decisions aren't the bailiwick of the PLC.  After all no one would think the PLC needs to approve patrol flags or yells, right? 

Yes and no.  If the question is about whether or not the unit will have a uniform hat, then it is something the PLC should discuss.  If the unit already allows patrol hats, then the selection of the color and style should probably be a patrol level decision.

Either way, the policy of my unit would still be that individual scouts are not required to buy a uniform.  That policy would still apply regardless of the question of unit versus patrol hats.  Patrol leaders would be cautioned against creating any undue pressure on patrol members to buy the patrol hat.

Edited by David CO
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Yes.  If they design it source it, and fund it, yes.

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To keep this short, yes go fot it.  I've seen a ton of Woodbadge patrols go way beyond a hat.

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17 hours ago, David CO said:

Yes and no.  If the question is about whether or not the unit will have a uniform hat, then it is something the PLC should discuss.  If the unit already allows patrol hats, then the selection of the color and style should probably be a patrol level decision.

Either way, the policy of my unit would still be that individual scouts are not required to buy a uniform.  That policy would still apply regardless of the question of unit versus patrol hats.  Patrol leaders would be cautioned against creating any undue pressure on patrol members to buy the patrol hat.

I was going to post this response with T2Eagle ... I agreed with the earlier comment that it's not really a PLC decision ... ideally.

I'd add on ... even if the unit has an official uniform ... I'd applaud a patrol that wants to form it's own identity.  A patrol is the fundamental unit of scouting.  SO ... if a patrol wants their own specific hat, go for it.  The patrol is the fundamental unit of scouting.  We want strong patrol cohesion.  We want other patrols to admire and want to be like other patrols.  It raises the bar.  So, if one patrol wants a specific patrol hat, I'd really like to support then and NEVER push back that it conflicts with troop standards.

The flip side should also be looked at.  What happens to patrol / scout initiative if they take the energy to discuss / decide / want and we as adult leaders push back or even just say it needs to go to PLC.  I fear I'd be doing a disservice to patrol identity and scout excitement for the program.  I fear I'd also be telling them one thing and then delivering another.  We want strong patrols with patrol identity and scouts that take initiative and get excited for the program. ... This is something that should be met with excitement and not worry that much about.

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2 hours ago, fred8033 said:

I was going to post this response with T2Eagle ... I agreed with the earlier comment that it's not really a PLC decision ... ideally.

I'd add on ... even if the unit has an official uniform ... I'd applaud a patrol that wants to form it's own identity.  A patrol is the fundamental unit of scouting.  SO ... if a patrol wants their own specific hat, go for it.  The patrol is the fundamental unit of scouting.  We want strong patrol cohesion.  We want other patrols to admire and want to be like other patrols.  It raises the bar.  So, if one patrol wants a specific patrol hat, I'd really like to support then and NEVER push back that it conflicts with troop standards.

The flip side should also be looked at.  What happens to patrol / scout initiative if they take the energy to discuss / decide / want and we as adult leaders push back or even just say it needs to go to PLC.  I fear I'd be doing a disservice to patrol identity and scout excitement for the program.  I fear I'd also be telling them one thing and then delivering another.  We want strong patrols with patrol identity and scouts that take initiative and get excited for the program. ... This is something that should be met with excitement and not worry that much about.

I need to hire a personal professional editor.  I re-write, but I never clean up.  

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