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Is there or is there not a uniform standard in Scouts BSA?


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You can easily find pre owned uniforms that are very inexpensive.  What I'm talking about is a situation  wherein the uniform standard is published and nearly everyone is representing the Scouts following the standard.   But...........when a young man chooses to wear a pair of tights and a ballerina tutu, he becomes an embarrassment for the others within the same organization.   I'm quite sure that if he were to show up at most job sites he would be admonished, sent home, and in some cases fired.  I'm fine with self expression, but there is a correct time and place.  Representing a larger organization that is struggling to survive is not the place as far as I am concerned.

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That is quite a jump when you say allowing someone not to wear the official uniform pants means that YPT or smoking rules are optional also.  One is for the safety of the youth and one is the present

My days as a scout were in the 60's when everyone in the troop was in a complete uniform for every activity and every troop meeting included a uniform inspection, so I fully understand the desire to s

I have also seen scouters wearing that particular knot, and while not approved in my council I did speak to people who in casual conversation (I have never confronted anyone for wearing it) stated tha

4 minutes ago, Mrjeff said:

 But...........when a young man chooses to wear a pair of tights and a ballerina tutu, he becomes an embarrassment for the others within the same organization.

Would this perhaps have been at the recent NOAC at UT Knoxville?  I do recall seeing a young man from a different Lodge dressed like that, although not while wearing any part of the uniform.  Did not look like most in attendance gave him more than a passing glance.

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I heard about that and had interpreted it as a form of civil disobedience in support of making the uniform more functional. Anyone else know if that was the case or not? 

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More functional, I'm not exactly sure what that means.  Ever since the old OD green uniforms there has been a bunch of revisions to style, material, pockets, and there are a lot of choices.  The individual was clearly part of the larger group, and the attire received far more then a passing glance.  If someone showed up wearing a speedo and a tank top, or a string bathing suit there would have been an outcry.  Civil disobedience,  what if a member showed up wearing a Hitler Youth uniform, that youth would have been removed.  But, the powers don't seem to be interested in maintaining a positive public image.  Whisper, laugh, ignore, or tolerate,  either way let's just throw the standard away and don't worry about it.   

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36 minutes ago, Mrjeff said:

, the powers don't seem to be interested in maintaining a positive public image.  Whisper, laugh, ignore, or tolerate,  either way let's just throw the standard away and don't worry about it.   

I have no problem discussing uniform advances, but We can’t have discussions of improving marketing and give up the uniforms at the same time. Boy Scouts have been identifiable by their uniform since the program started 110 or so years ago.

Barry

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

I have no problem discussing uniform advances, but We can’t have discussions of improving marketing and give up the uniforms at the same time. Boy Scouts have been identifiable by their uniform since the program started 110 or so years ago.

Barry

True, but you have to honest with what Parts.  The neckerchief, the khaki or green quasi-military shirt (or Blue for cubs), the merit badge sash are all emblematic of Boy scouts.  I would argue the rest is optional. 

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16 hours ago, Mrjeff said:

More functional, I'm not exactly sure what that means.  Ever since the old OD green uniforms there has been a bunch of revisions to style, material, pockets, and there are a lot of choices.  The individual was clearly part of the larger group, and the attire received far more then a passing glance.  If someone showed up wearing a speedo and a tank top, or a string bathing suit there would have been an outcry.  Civil disobedience,  what if a member showed up wearing a Hitler Youth uniform, that youth would have been removed.  But, the powers don't seem to be interested in maintaining a positive public image.  Whisper, laugh, ignore, or tolerate,  either way let's just throw the standard away and don't worry about it.   

From everything I've seen, heard, and read over the years it is a desire for more functional fabric, fit, design, and components. Cost is part of the design and components part -- many people want uniforms streamlined to reduce cost, particularly the cub uniform where multiple new components need to be purchased for every rank. Telling people to go look in secondhand stores, which is something I repeatedly see recommended in scouting unlike other youth activities and organizations, isn't a great strategy. To me that means the uniform is a unique barrier in scouting for many.   

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It is apparently not of high importance to most councils.  Otherwise, every council would maintain at their office a used exchange department.  Far too many uniforms go to some form of thrift, and most of those end up in the market with little control and often excessive expectations.  IF each council were to keep such a resource, people could use it for exchanges as youth grow, and the supply issue might be partly mitigated.  But, that would mean they would likely lose a good percentage of "new" purchases.  The focus needs to not be on profit to sustain the council, but service to meet the "uniform" part of the program.  JMHO of course.  

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1 hour ago, yknot said:

From everything I've seen, heard, and read over the years it is a desire for more functional fabric, fit, design, and components. Cost is part of the design and components part -- many people want uniforms streamlined to reduce cost, particularly the cub uniform where multiple new components need to be purchased for every rank. Telling people to go look in secondhand stores, which is something I repeatedly see recommended in scouting unlike other youth activities and organizations, isn't a great strategy. To me that means the uniform is a unique barrier in scouting for many.   

Barrier? Or part of the game. 

I took an active part in sending National letters 25 years ago explaining the huge negative impact the Tigers program had on the rest of the program. But, one part of the Tiger program they were doing right was issuing Tiger Cub T-shirts. The Tigers only needed a $15 T-shirt for their uniform. In 2000, National change the Tiger program that went totally opposite of what I felt was the fix to the membership problems caused by the Tigers. I was pretty angry. But, what really got me was National switched from the T-Shirt to the more expensive Official Cub Scout Uniform. When I inquired about that change (complained), I was shown some data where parents felt that Tigers were not treated equally because of their uniform. They wanted their toddler cubs to look just like the rest of the pack. It was the parents who wanted the more expensive uniform.

I hear now and then over the years from a few people of how the uniform is either driving membership away, or preventing youth from joining at all. They don't have any real proof, the suggestion is just personal and local. I don't believe it. I think most of the populous believe that the uniform is part of the adventure and fun. Yes, uniforms seem to have their issues of fit, material and appropriate wear. But, those issues are endured so that the scouts can get the full benefit of the program. My experience is scouts between the ages of 12 and 14 naturally struggle with their personal identity and they shun the uniform outside their activities. But, after 14, that pretty much goes away.

I'm not sure what improvements need to be made, I don't really care. I am so glad the shorts were lengthen after 1990. Boy, was that a welcome change. I will say I still have the collarless shirt I wore back in the early 70s and that was a very comfortable shirt. 

Barry

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I would like to cut to the chase.  In my opinion if someone joins Scouting, wear the uniform and follow the rules.  If you don't like the uniform or don't like the rules don't join Scouting.  If a uniform standard is established for an event, follow the standard or don't participate in the event.  Common sense and personal pride should dictate ones appearance when representing the Scouts, especially in public.  If you want to dress up like a princess go to a comicon and wear what you want.  Go to a Scouting event and dress like a Scout.  If someone does not dress in a way that casts a positive light on Scouting they should not be allowed to participate.  Its that simple....it's no different then the proverbial young lady in a string bikini or the young man wearing a swastika on a t-shirt.  

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First … the rule is that a uniform is not required to participate in scouting.

But … I think where I agree with @Mrjeff in that scouting should be a place where we set aside our personal agendas. I discourage scouts from wearing campaign pins on their uniforms. I’m okay with earrings, but when they are being used to set scouts apart from their fellows, it’s a problem. This includes behavior. I would not let a Venturer misquote the Quran to slander Muslims. I insisted that they not use “backward” when referring to those with a restrictive sexual ethic. The “protest tutu” is in that category.

It’s kinda like the knot thing. Stack on too many rows, and it seems like the person is setting themselves apart from, rather than uniting with, other boots-on-the-ground of scouters.

That said, an opportunity was missed here. Rather than grousing about someone not enforcing rules, it would be worthwhile asking the scout what happened that compelled him/her to drift substantially away from dressing like one’s fellows. It then would have been worthwhile to offer to help in any way that conformed to practicality nd conscience.

Edited by qwazse
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I had the opportunity to mention this to some of the national widget spinners, bolt holders, idea spinners and didn't get much of a response other than a grin.  On of these guys used to head up an airline and because of that he knew the answers.  Well, as head of an airline I wonder what his reaction would be if one of his pilots walked through the Philadelphia Airport wearing tights and a tutu.  He could control that because he ultimately controlled  that pilots money.  Since Scouting is a volunteer organization he can't control most Scouters money.  Either publish and establish a standard that everyone follows or don't have a standard and don't be surprised by the result.

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

Official policy even states wearing the uniform is not mandatory and to "promote the wearing of the correct complete uniform on all suitable occasions."

I think this is intentional and works.  At least in our troop we expect for meetings shirts, jeans, or scout pants/shorts.  For Court of Honor and Board of Review full uniform to the extent you own (even BoR rules state something about only having to wear the parts you own).  Etc.  Our troop has policies on what to wear when, the Scouts follow it, we have no issue.

There is no official uniform policy demanding full dress uniform every week at a scout meeting.  Much is left to the unit, I believe this is by design. 

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Is that the attitude that governs human existence or another way to tolerate non compliance.  What happened that made you feel that you needed to drive 100mph?  What caused you to be so upset that you punched your teacher in the jaw?  I understand that you don't like peas and carrots so its ok that you threw your lunch tray at the cafeteria worker.    I don't understand why its so hard to follow the rules or deal with the consequences.  If the rule is wear the suit then wear the suit otherwise don't make up the rule.  

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So what happens if someone shows up at a BOR wearing swim trunks, flowers shirt, and flip Flops?  Do we have the BOR; try to figure out the reason for this attire; send them home to change; or cancel the BOR.  Perhaps we try to find out why;  well, they are on the way to the beach and just stopped off to have their BOR.  We can justify or legitimize anything.  Most people shy away from unpleasantness and take the path of least resistance.   If we just say it's OK and overlook things I won't make waves.  If a standard is established then meet the standard.   If the standard is ignored then don't set the standard.   

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