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Uniform Standards

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12 hours ago, qwazse said:

To be fair, scouts want some scouters to favor a position against their conscience. And they want to have an outsized voice by promoting an individualism that can’t be expressed through standard uniforming.

Interesting, but I have a hard time swallowing scouts who are passionate enough of the scouting program to make a statement about their opinion of the uniform acting in such a disrespectful manner. It’s me, but I’ve never seen scouts behave like this for a cause. Most scouts want to approach difficult subjects in a mature scout-like manner.

As for individualism, the present uniform does that quite well. Take a fully uniformed First Class rank patrol leader and stand him next to a fully uniformed Eagle rank SPL from a different state, and the observer would know a lot about the individualism of each scout. In fact, the Scout uniform provides each scout, rich or poor, on equal ground. Individualism without the uniform would do the exact opposite.

2 hours ago, DuctTape said:

If it were me and they were my scouts I would start by engaging in a conversation in a non-judgemental manner. (With a smile)... "Hey Jimmy I saw you wearing tights and a tutu, I don't think I have seen that before. How did you come up with that?"

Good post DuctTape, but I sort of disagree with you here.

The issue in this discussion seems to be adults should respect the scouts for their decision no matter how offensive they were to the group. What the scouts wore t-shirts with 4 letter words giving their opinion of those who disagree? Just how offensive does any scout have to be before they are asked why they feel they can behave Not friendly, courteous, or kind?

The problem I see in this discussion is the list is looking at these scouts as youths, not adults, thus trying not to offend them. And, as a result, the list is struggling how to coach or sway the scouts to see the error of their decision. But, that is the wrong perspective of working with young adults.

For any person to make a change in behavior, they alone have to see the benefits of making an effort to change. First, they have to be approached and respected as an equal adult. Second, they have to feel safe in the discussion that, while they are being judged “Hey Billy, I don’t think your choice of how you customized the uniform came off well in the group. When you had some time to think about it, I would like to hear your thoughts.” And, in general the scouts will do a pretty good job of reflecting on their choices and how to reconcile with the results of those actions.

We adults are mentors and we look look for opportunities to get young adults to reflect back at their actions with the expectation that they themselves will seek and explain the rights and wrongs of the motivations, as well as how to go forward with reconciliation, or moral justification.

As a mentor, I’m only a guide in showing the real picture of their choices,  not the administrator reconciliatory actions. For a person to change, they must believe change is required to be a better (more mature adult) person. Rarely have I ever seen a scout not reflect on the choices of their actions and propose a different approach to making better choices. Few people want to be offensive, they just don’t it through. A mentor gives them the time to think about it and plan going forward.


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Barry, I do not think we disagree, except for the judgement that their decision is actually in error. I completely agree with having a worthwhile discussion with them, but I withold judging their behavior. The judgement should come from them.

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4 hours ago, DuctTape said:

… If it were me and they were my scouts I would start by engaging in a conversation in a non-judgemental manner. (With a smile)... "Hey Jimmy I saw you wearing tights and a tutu, I don't think I have seen that before. How did you come up with that?"

Asking anyone how they chose to come up with their choice of dress d seems to be a far more productive use of “capital” than trying to use event organizers as a persons cudgel.
To be clear, I’m not really trying to interpret the scout’s motives. I’m trying to boil down the observations of scouters who took the time post their experience of this incident at that event.

Knowing now that BSA rattles off uniform standards in hope that someone besides them will enforce them, how would any of you want someone to approach such a scout if he/she were from your troop?

For me, it never involved uniforming. I have been in the position of, at events, approaching a scouts’ SM when the scout was spending time with my venturers. By and large, that was met positively because it helped us both to understand who was supposed to check in when and where.

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