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I apologize if this is a silly question, but if I'm volunteering in a local troop and am still new to it.  I'm of the impression the scoutmaster, assistant scoutmaster, committee members, etc. for sure should have a uniform for sure to identify themselves, but what about volunteers such as myself that are new and don't have any specific position?  I bought a uniform, but I also wanted to make sure I'm on the up and up about any protocols.  Again, apologies if this is a dumb question, but it's been a while since I've been involved with the Scouts.

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35 minutes ago, otakuforlife said:

I apologize if this is a silly question, but if I'm volunteering in a local troop and am still new to it.  I'm of the impression the scoutmaster, assistant scoutmaster, committee members, etc. for sure should have a uniform for sure to identify themselves, but what about volunteers such as myself that are new and don't have any specific position?  I bought a uniform, but I also wanted to make sure I'm on the up and up about any protocols.  Again, apologies if this is a dumb question, but it's been a while since I've been involved with the Scouts.

First, welcome and thank you for your support of scouting!

Second, the rule is that the BSA Field Uniform may be worn a) by any registered adult or youth with Boy Scouts of America or its programs (Scouts, BSA) b) during activities that are meant to advance the Aims and Purposes of Scouting.

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33066/33066_Excerpts_From_The_Rules_And_Regulations_WEB.pdf
 

Quote

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. It is the responsibility of all leaders of the Boy Scouts of America and especially of all commissioned officers and chartered councils to cooperate with the Boy Scouts of America in preventing the use of the official uniforms by those who are not registered and in good standing.

So, if you are only volunteering, no.

If you are volunteering AND REGISTERED, yes.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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Thanks for the prompt response to my question.  I intend to be a registered volunteer and am waiting to submit another application (previous one was closed and never apparently looked at by appropriate people).  I have held off on wearing the uniform as I did know that only registered members should wear it

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Yep. Once you push the paperwork, put on the uni.

It’s a little strange for me because I grew up in a troop where only the SM (not even the ASMs) wore a uniform. And, yes, we boys showed up in uniform to each meeting. So, if it takes you a while to get that paperwork done, but there are things you can do that will assist the SM, doing them won’t keep any scout from looking sharp.

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Good for you for getting your uniform already! If only I could get all the leaders in my troop to be so committed.  😄

 

As for getting yourself registered, there can be delays if you let others handle the job of getting it to council. The fastest, surest way to get yourself in the system as fast as possible will be to get the signatures from your unit leaders and then get the application DIRECTLY to our council's registrar, either in-person or scanned and sent in an email. She is incredibly prompt and utterly dependable - if you get it to straight to her, you won't have any problems. I will PM you her information!

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3 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

Good for you for getting your uniform already! If only I could get all the leaders in my troop to be so committed.  😄

 

As for getting yourself registered, there can be delays if you let others handle the job of getting it to council. The fastest, surest way to get yourself in the system as fast as possible will be to get the signatures from your unit leaders and then get the application DIRECTLY to our council's registrar, either in-person or scanned and sent in an email. She is incredibly prompt and utterly dependable - if you get it to straight to her, you won't have any problems. I will PM you her information!

Thanks for the information! I found the application form online, I'm assuming it's valid if I printed and filled it out then handed it to the appropriate people? 

Edited by otakuforlife
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21 hours ago, otakuforlife said:

Thanks for the information! I found the application form online, I'm assuming it's valid if I printed and filled it out then handed it to the appropriate people? 

Yes; as long as it's the most recent version and it has all the correct signatures in all the correct places, you should be good to go.  👍

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Don't forget to sign and return the very last page of the application  (page 9 of the pdf)...the Additional Disclosures and Background Information Authorization.

Also note, there are many links to the old application out there.  You must use the 02/2020 version.  Best to get it from the official source...

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/524-501.pdf

Second most common mistake in filling out the application...don't forget the two blocks requiring initials, just to the left of your signature block.  These are part of the "I hereby certify that:"

And if you want to put the best example forward, please follow the Guide to Awards and Insignia when "assembling" your uniform.

https://www.scouting.org/resources/insignia-guide/

 

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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Thanks for all the input everyone, I'm printing the application and will be handing it in at the next troop meeting...unless it would be better to take it to the council office?  Either way, looking forward to being apart of the organization for many years to come!

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23 minutes ago, otakuforlife said:

Thanks for all the input everyone, I'm printing the application and will be handing it in at the next troop meeting...unless it would be better to take it to the council office?  Either way, looking forward to being apart of the organization for many years to come!

Whatever you do in Scouting, KEEP COPIES OF YOUR RECORDS!!!!!!!!!!! Before you turn in anything, please make a copy.

I've been in multiple councils over the years,, and BSA's records keeping and IT systems are not the best. My wife turned in about 5 applications, one I hand delivered, and was never registered until I emailed a copy and asked if they could finally register her. While officially "Unregistered" she served as a assistant Den leader, Webelos den leader, and day camp staff.  Lots of complaints about SCOUTBOOK losing records recently. A few years back 95% of the volunteers in my district were "untrained". I spent several months getting the records, recording the records with the codes, and turned it in to teh council. about 2-3 years later, Those records were missing again. Thankfully I had the original records I recorded saved and resubmitted.

 

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40 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

My wife turned in about 5 applications, one I hand delivered, and was never registered until I emailed a copy and asked if they could finally register her.

"Turned in about 5 applications"  ... I'm thinking it's less IT Systems; less Record keeping and more process.  From what I've seen, if the application gets to the registrars office, it's recorded.  Where I've seen things can get lost are these.

  • App gets turned into a unit leader.  Unit leader forgets or misplaces.
  • App then gets turned into district exec at round table or somewhere else.  DE forgets or misplaces.
  • App reaches registrar's office and sits in unit registration folder without being entered ...
    • Because ...
      • missing signature on app
      • missing signature on permission to do background check
      • missing youth training protection certificate
      • no funds to pay for BSA registration
    • Unit leader is contacted to get signatures / fix.  No response and it sits.  Can get lost then.
  • Sometimes apps are shuffled into the wrong pile.  I did see that happen once when I was in the registrars office.  Once. 

I'm hoping the new direct online registration system solves these issues.

Edited by fred8033
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3 hours ago, otakuforlife said:

Thanks for all the input everyone, I'm printing the application and will be handing it in at the next troop meeting...unless it would be better to take it to the council office?  Either way, looking forward to being apart of the organization for many years to come!

Yes, if it's an option, take it to the council office - but CALL first to make sure they are open. Our office has some strange hours, and it randomly closes on Wednesdays, so whatever you do, call before driving down there. I know Westminster is a bit of a drive to the council office, so do yourself the favor and make sure to take that extra precaution. Good luck! 😄

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2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Whatever you do in Scouting, KEEP COPIES OF YOUR RECORDS!!!!!!!!!!! Before you turn in anything, please make a copy.

I've been in multiple councils over the years,, and BSA's records keeping and IT systems are not the best. My wife turned in about 5 applications, one I hand delivered, and was never registered until I emailed a copy and asked if they could finally register her. While officially "Unregistered" she served as a assistant Den leader, Webelos den leader, and day camp staff.  Lots of complaints about SCOUTBOOK losing records recently. A few years back 95% of the volunteers in my district were "untrained". I spent several months getting the records, recording the records with the codes, and turned it in to teh council. about 2-3 years later, Those records were missing again. Thankfully I had the original records I recorded saved and resubmitted.

 

The frequency with which this problem crops up across a system as widespread as the BSA is in the US makes me think it must be rooted in a systemic failure somewhere.  Either because the established processing requirements are inexplicably complicated or because the BSA has failed to grasp the fundamental truth that basic competence in recordkeeping is an important reflection on an organization.

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