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SWdenleader

Webelos Uniform

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Hello all,

 I’m a den leader who’s boys are now transitioning into Webelos.  My understanding is that they are supposed to wear only the green and tan uniform and that the blue on blue one is no longer allowed for Webelos.

 This is a problem for some of the parents who can ill afford a new uniform right now. Also, when we started in the Cub Scouts, the uniform for Webelos was optional and many of us (including me) specifically bought ones large enough to wear until they transitioned to Boy Scouts. It seems unfair and wasteful to change the rules midway through their tenure.

 My question is; do you think we could we be considered “grandfathered in” for the Webelos uniforms and apply the standards in place at the time of our entry into Cub Scouts?

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I wouldn't worry about this at all. There are no uniform police. 

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Welcome to the forum, @SWdenleader.

You don't need to be grandfathered in. If a scout is going to leave because of a uniform issue then there's a problem. No kid should be denied scouting because of some uniform issue. Honestly, I don't even know if this is an issue (if you can't read where it says webelos must wear a tan uniform, then it isn't a rule), but it doesn't matter. What does matter is your scouts having fun. In this economy, do your best. Don't worry about the uniform.

Oh, and pull up a log and join us.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, SWdenleader said:

This is a problem for some of the parents who can ill afford a new uniform right now.

First, welcome.

Second, a scout may never, ever, EVER be penalized, punished, or denied any scouting opportunity for lack of a uniform. EVER. Even for an Eagle Board of Review, a "Class A" is not required.

What is required is if they wear it, they do so properly (no untucked shirts).

Third, the tan is optional for Webelos. And I quote from the Inspection Sheet (2008) as well as the 2015 printing.

Quote

Webelos Scouts have the option of wearing either the long- or short-sleeve navy blue shirt and navy blue shorts or pants OR the long- or short-sleeve tan shirt with the official convertible Boy Scout pants or official shorts or pants. The blue shoulder loops are worn on epaulets regardless of the uniform color.

 

Edited by CynicalScouter
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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

Yes, and as I said, the guidelines are a scout may NOT be penalized or denied a scouting opportunity for lack of a uniform, even for an Eagle Board of Review ("Candidates shall not be required to purchase uniforming or clothing to participate in a board of review.")

The uniform is a Method of Scouting but poor families may not be punished like this.

In addition, as I noted above, the Webelos have the option for tan/green or blue/blue in any event.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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2 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

Yes, and as I said, the guidelines are a scout may NOT be penalized or denied a scouting opportunity for lack of a uniform, even for an Eagle Board of Review ("Candidates shall not be required to purchase uniforming or clothing to participate in a board of review.")

The uniform is a Method of Scouting but poor families may not be punished like this.

In addition, as I noted above, the Webelos have the option for tan/green or blue/blue in any event.

I agree.  I might have been a bit to quick to state.  I found the statement funny.  "There are no uniform police."  ... Many of us have defended or advocated for scouts when they are confronted by self-appointed uniform police. 

The advice is correct though.  Focus on a good experience and get out and doing things.  Uniform is not required.  

 

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Stick to the cub u uniform that works with the program you are delivering.   Sounds like the blue is it.  There is a reason webelos activity pins are on the right sleeve webelos colors tabs.  Save money, deliver the promise and make every scout proud to wear the uniform they have.

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Posted (edited)

Well, there have certainly been a lot of comments here telling you not to worry about uniforms, or to forget them completely, et cetera. But what if you want to wear the uniform? And after all, as BP himself said, what boy (or girl, or leader) with Scouting in his heart wouldn't want to wear the uniform

The policy which expects Webelos Scouts to wear the tan and green uniform is new - it only came into effect this year. But as per BSA tradition, ANY uniform, once approved by the BSA, is always approved by the BSA - so a Webelos Scout can wear the traditional blue uniform. Just be sure to note to those who may express concern or bemusement that this is now considered a traditional or heritage Webelos uniform, and you should wear appropriate insignia to go with it (so don't wear the new tan oval Webelos rank patch, but instead make sure you wear the appropriate blue diamond rank patch instead). 

Now as I said, there have been a lot of comments here reassuring you that the uniform is not a necessary part of Scouting. I am here to speak to the other side of the coin - of course you can have Scouting without the uniform - but I can promise you, the experience of Scouting loses a significant degree of power, influence, and ability to do good if you omit the uniform from your program. Do anything you can to obtain uniforms for your kids - not just the shirts, but everything from the caps to the socks and all in-between. Why? It will improve behavior. It will increase unity and teamwork. It will enhance your program and elevate your accomplishments. It will assist recruiting and recognition. More than anything, it will measurably and dramatically improve every aspect of your program in ways that you might not expect and would never have witnessed until you were willing to put in the effort. I only say this as one who was skeptical at first, tried it (begrudgingly, I might add), and was soon drastically and irrevocably humbled when I witnessed in my own Webelos den the DRAMATIC difference I saw in my Scouts and our families once I committed fully to this essential and irreplaceable method of Scouting. 

One final note - money has nothing to do with it. I work with many Scouts from immigrant and low-income families. So I would petition Scout troops all over our area for any and all gently-used Cub or Scouts BSA uniform items they could dig up - belts, socks, shorts, neckers, ANYTHING. It didn't take me long to have our entire pack outfitted with everything we needed, and where we were short, I asked for donations from local businesses and community agencies. Don't be afraid to ask for help; if you want it hard enough, it will happen - and trust me, the positive effects of getting your kids in uniforms are ABSOLUTELY something you will want. 

Edited by The Latin Scot
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Tomorrow is Aug 1 and my kid will officially be a Webelos.  He is going to have a tan shirt, but trying to sew on the stuff makes me want to jump out of an airplane.  🤣

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1 hour ago, 5thGenTexan said:

Tomorrow is Aug 1 and my kid will officially be a Webelos.  He is going to have a tan shirt, but trying to sew on the stuff makes me want to jump out of an airplane.  🤣

Well, you could do that.  But then you would have to sew on a skydiving patch.  

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I would not worry about it.

As @The Latin Scot stated, the change to Webelos being "required" to wear the tan and green uniform is extremely recent. It went into effect August 1, 2018, when Cub Scouts went coed and the new books came out.  And it has been ignored because there is a reason why Webelos had the option for either uniform since August 1, 1984. here's the story

Somebody at National actually got it right. Families were complaining about Cubs out growing uniforms by 5th grade (at the time Cub Scouts was 3 years. Tiger Cubs was a separate program for 2nd graders). They were spending a lot of money for a new uniform that may be worn only for a year. There were enough complaints that national decided to give Webelos the option of either uniform, in an attempt to save families money. August 1, 1984 was when the policy went into effect, although "Dink and Duff" stated advertising the option in the June issue of Boy's Life if memory serves. I remember that because I was in the first group to wear the tan and green.

 

As others have stated, "vintage uniforms" are still authorized. Heck my sons wore my old  Carolina Blue Webelos hat.

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Thank you all for your replies. I think I'll tell the parents that we'll follow the '84 - '18 guidance and that either uniform (blue or tan) will be acceptable. Individual scouts/ parents can switch uniforms at their own convenience.

I knew there was no "uniform police", perhaps was just looking for some assurance that this (not following the latest uniform standards) was somewhat justified and had a measure of support.

Thanks!

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14 minutes ago, SWdenleader said:

Thank you all for your replies. I think I'll tell the parents that we'll follow the '84 - '18 guidance and that either uniform (blue or tan) will be acceptable. Individual scouts/ parents can switch uniforms at their own convenience.

I knew there was no "uniform police", perhaps was just looking for some assurance that this (not following the latest uniform standards) was somewhat justified and had a measure of support.

Thanks!

Considering the National Supply Division, the ones who sell the uniforms, is still stating that Webelos can still wear  the Blue Uniform, I think that the new rule will be overruled with the next handbook printing, which the way things are going will probably be in 2022 or 2023.

 

https://mediafiles.scoutshop.org/m2pdf/6568_103111_Web_UniformInspSheet_R11.pdf

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I know there are some people who put a premium on having perfectly turned out scouts. In the current environment, though, I would say the focus needs to be on thrift. value, and safety. 

Thrift -- We should not be asking families to spend a single cent that isn't related to delivering an engaging program.

Value -- BSA , Councils, and Units are raising fees at a time when other youth activities have refunded fees because activities have been cancelled or limited to online only and/or are offering discounts. We should be reducing the need for uniform idiosyncrasies and be more cognizant of the need to deliver value. 

Safety -- Most clothing collection missions near me have been suspended both to cut down on interpersonal contact that is not essential as well as due to the fact that people do not want to bring unnecessary items into their home. It's hard enough to have to have to sanitize groceries with scarce disinfecting products. I would not participate in any kind of hand me down/uniform exchange/thrift shop visits just to try to put together a cheap or free uniform for scouts. 

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