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Hasta La Vista BSA and SEMPER FI!: A Final Memorandum From Pappy

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Well, good for you! It sounds like you found something you're into!


I am the exact opposite of you. As a scout, I heavily disliked whatever smacked of the military in the BSA; our guys were into it to be outdoors. That military stuff always seems to attract people excessively mooney over guns.

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"If you'd like PT, and marching and "sir, yes sir" discipline, the BSA is obviously not for you. "


It used to be. If you read the old handbooks, morning cals were part of the program. Troops had drill teams and rudimentary drill was practiced by all. It all started changing in the 70s during the anti-military era when mothers were worried that their children might be lured to the Army by know how to stand and walk in a line.

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Funny thing -


We have Bugle calls for our CUB SCOUT family campouts. Its nostalgia, its discipline, and its fun rolled into one.


We use it for flag salutes, for mess call, for assembly, for retirement, and for taps.


My cub scouts also call everyone to "attention" prior to proceeding with raising the colors or rendering retreat of the colors.


Haven't had any complaints yet. Then again, I'm a former Army officer, and my CC has an Eagle scout brother who is a West Point grad on his 2nd tour in Iraq. Guess we seem to think alike.


Even the parents on the far left of the spectrum see value in the "drill" while camping. The subject of having our color guard use "rubber ducks" (i.e. replica firearms) to flank the flags has come up... its a mixed review at this point, but I see value in it.


1) It teaches the scouts another aspect of flag decorum

2) It gets additional scouts (other than the two carrying the flags) involved in the color guard (other than just following the flags in).

3) It teaches discipline, teamwork, and respect for your task.


We'll see how long I last, I guess... never been told these things are NOT allowed in any of my scout training, so I guess I'll beg for forgiveness instead of ask for permission.


Funny how BSA is not a paramilitary organization. It took less than 100 years to forget its roots...(This message has been edited by DeanRx)

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I understand your point GW.


But I guess the same could be said of the bugle calls at cmapouts. Bugling is most definately an "Armed Service" (specifically an Army) tradition, so I guess there's no point in that either. Then again, so is flag retirement ceremonies... guess we should do away with those as well and leave it to the armed service or veteran organizations.


Then again - Knight of Colombus, they have color guards w/ 3rd degrre "Knights" w/swords... they're not an armed service. The Shriner's - yup seen them in parades w/ faux rifles in their color guard as well... are they part of the Navy?... I can't recall. At least in scouting we actually shoot guns. Maybe if they just parade w/ BB-guns GTSS states they can't do 22 cal. until Boy Scouts.


Is not about indoctrination. Its about discipline. Its about having something for the other 5 scouts to do that are NOT carrying the flag.


Then again, I think I'll have the scout color guard use big fake oasting sticks with HUGE fake marshmallows on the ends instead of the fake guns! It'll serve the same purpose, yet leave all the soccer moms feeling all warm a gooey inside about their son's participation! :)(This message has been edited by DeanRx)

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Why have five extra Scouts? One for the pack flag, one for the stars and stripes, two guards, one detail commander.


Bugle calls may have a military flavor but they have a purpose, to pass information.


The Knights of Columbus are knights and their uniform normally includes a sword.


Shriners? They also wear Fezes (Fezini ?), maybe Scouts should do that.


Cub Scouts, epecially today, with drill rifles would be comical at the least, pathetic most likely. Dress? Cover? Hold the rifle properly? It won't ad any dignity to the ceremony.


However, do whatever you want to do. I'm not in charge.

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BSA has no problem with bugle calls at campouts, or anywhere else. Bugling is a POR for a Boy Scout. When we have one available, we have a Boy Scout Bugler at our Cub Scout Summer camp.


There is no place, and no need, for fake guns, especially with Cub Scouts.

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If you want the color guards (those standing next to those carrying the US flag and unit flag) to carry an item that would convey the dignity a color guard should display, why not consider a staff?


You know, a hiking type staff...they could carry the patrol flag(s) or the ribbons the patrols/troop have earned/won.


Scouts should NOT carry or display an imitation firearm as a part of a color detail...as its been pointed out, its conceviable that the "rubber ducks" would'nt be carried properly or would be at best toys and be played with rather than add a sense of honor and martial dignity to the duty of correctly carrying the flags of our nation and the unit of Scouts performing this duty.


A pair of well finished and decorated hiking staffs could be carried by the color guards in the hand to the outside of the colors and resting against the carriers shoulder. For me this offers a solution that seems more in keeping with being a Scout by carrying an item a Scout would have as a part of a Scouts gear.

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Sorry to see you go Pappy. My SM when I was a boy was a 8th & I Marine. I eventually ended up with the Marines when I was a Navy Reservist.


Some kids soak up the military thing. Some don't. If I had run into the Civil Air Patrol instead of BSA, who knows.


I do feel your pain about the "professionals". I seen some real dirt bags over the years. I am blessed with a great DE that came to the BSA as a 2nd career.


Good Luck, Sempre Fi & Sempre Paratus

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Found this in the uniform regs online at the BSA site referring to drill teams and such:

The wearing of special helmets, scarves, gloves, unofficial leggings, and the carrying of ceremonial guns or swords by members of such organizations using the uniforms of the Boy Scouts of America is in violation of the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America.


Guns real or not are against the rules.


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"The wearing of special helmets, scarves, gloves, unofficial leggings . . ."


So to have a special necker for the color guard is verbotten. And gotta watch out for those gloves, if you're outside in winter, don't let the boys have matching gloves.

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