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Official Uniform at BOR

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I'm too lazy to copy your question word for word. Please forgive me if I get lost in my own mixed up train of thought.

While I am very pro uniform.( I have posted my concerns about the price.- But that is for another discussion)

Ownership and wearing of a uniform are not required to be a member of the BSA.

I didn't make the rule and my own personal feelings are that I wish proper uniforming was a requirement. Again that is a topic for some other time.

It is possible for a Lad to go all through Scouting and never own a uniform. I may not like it, you may not like it but that's the rule.

I think that wearing the uniform is a sign of showing your acceptance of the ideals of Scouting. I like to think that each and every person who has ever made the Scout Oath, has accepted the ideals of Scouting. It makes no never mind if they are in or out of uniform. So I ask a Lad to wear it to a BOR, because it is a sign.

When I look at the Vision and Mission statements of the BSA, I see a lot of stuff, I see fun, I see adventure, I see making ethical choices - But no word about uniform.

I agree 100% that it would be nice if Scouts did wear their uniforms at occasions like BOR's but being as it is not a requirement and you don't have to own or wear one to be a member I can't change or alter the rules this is the BSA not Eamonn's Scouts of Anyplace.

I could I suppose say that I totally disagree with the rules of the BSA and this being a free country start up my own Scouting Organization. I have opted not too. I'm OK belonging to the BSA and can get past the things that I might see as being daffy.

When I chair a Eagle Scout Board of Review, I no longer ask Scouts to recite the Oath and Law. I used too, but the poor kids are nervous too start with and this seemed to do nothing to put them at ease. It was an added un-necessary hurdle. Our District Advancement Chair. Does ask them to come in report why they are there and then go into the Oath and Law. When a Lad gets it wrong, he is embarrassed and the board is left wondering if he really didn't know it? Or if he is just nervous? I like to think that by the time a Scout has got this far he has a good understanding of the Oath and Law and we as a board are going to find out if this is true or not.

I think that if a Scout does wear his uniform, it helps him. He feels more at ease, comfortable in the knowledge that he is not being judged by what he is wearing.

To be very honest I have yet to see a Lad arrive at one of our Eagle Scout BOR's without something that is supposed to be a uniform, every Scout has worn a Scout Shirt. Sad to say many units are allowing Scouts in the troop to do this. Again I'm not in favor of this, but if Scoutmasters and Troop Committees are allowing this, it is not the Scout who is at fault. I didn't select the Scoutmaster or the Troop Committee, I think that they are aware that what they are doing is not right, but there is no way we can force people to follow the rules.

I can't help thinking that we need to look at: A Scout Is Obedient. Before we start adding or subtracting requirements. When we add or subtract what message are we sending.

I would hope that we the adults are doing everything that we can to encourage the wearing of the uniform. It sounds as if the unit in which you serve has got its act together and is helping every Scout by making sure he has access to the uniform, I would hope we create an environment where Scouts want to wear their uniform. I don't think we should ever make uniforming so big that it dwarfs all the good stuff that we do and the aims that we hope to achieve.They are so much bigger than a bunch of threads.


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I think scouts should wear their uniforms to the BOR, and I think they should be expected to do so. However, I don't think the BOR should be refused to a scout who is not fully uniformed. It's certainly legitimate to ask him about his attitude toward the uniform during the Board, and to help him understand its importance. Similarly, I think it's OK to ask a boy to recite the Oath and Law at a BOR--but not OK to "fail" him if he stumbles or freezes. Personally, I think just about the only reason to "fail" a boy on his BOR would be the discovery that there was some mistake or misunderstanding, and that all the requirements weren't done. I think the problem here is that too many adults think the BOR is a test or a trial to determine if the boy is "worthy" of the next rank. As you can see from the quote OGE gave us, this is not the purpose of the BOR at all, apart from determining that the requirements have been met. Remember, the boy has already been tested--when the requirements were signed off. I really hate the fact that in many troops boys approach BORs with fear and trepidation, and concern that they may "fail." In fact, troops do "fail" boys because they can't remember their knots, etc. This turns what should be a positive experience into a typical boy-adult encounter in which adults have all the power and can capriciously exercise it--not what BSA is about at all. Sorry for the rant, but this one gets my dander up.

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Good post Hunt.


Last night, we had a boy go before the BOR. This boy has always fought wearing the uniform. He didn't have his neckerchief on, as is not uncommon for him. The BOR gave him a hard time over it (not in a cruel way, mind you). He gave some excuses - I never had one.... (response, didn't the troop provide one to you?), I lost it over six months ago (response, didn't you have it at the last COH?), okay, well I don't know where it is and I don't like to wear it (at least, finally an honest answer). They talked to him about the need to be properly uniformed (part of the team, setting an example, etc.). I hope this reinforces what I've tried to tell the boy and hope he grows up a little in the process.


Oh, and yes, he passed the board.

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Hunt I believe that you and I are on the same page.

At times we have to put aside what we think the rules are and go by what they are.

Maybe it would help if we were to look at BOR's as being more like a reflection, a look back at where we have been, what worked and what didn't, then take a glance at what the future might hold, what hopes and what goals lie ahead.

Many of us have our own pet "Things" which we might like to see more of or done better: The chef might want Scouts to learn a knife drill, the First Aid guy would like more attention paid to some aspect of First Aid. I don't have any problem what so ever having these guys pass on their knowledge, just so long as they don't add these extras to the requirements.

The same must hold true for BOR's we have very clear guidelines, we have to stick to them. So even if the Scout does arrive with his underwear on his head,we still carry on and do the review as we should.

We had one old timer in our District that made a big deal about Scouts having a clean handkerchief when they came to an Eagle BOR. This was his big thing. No Scout ever failed because he didn't have the darn handkerchief, but this guy made a big deal about it. I tried explained that very few people now carry handkerchiefs and that throw away paper tissues are now more common. He wanted no part of it. Some people would say that there was no harm in it, but it made the Lad was made feel more uneasy and there is no mention of clean handkerchiefs in the requirements. Just as there is no mention of wearing a uniform.


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  • 3 years later...

So I am new to these forums and found this topic on a search.


The Advancement rules and Regulations booklet says the followiing:

"The Scout should be neat in his appearance and should be in a coat and tie or his uniform, which should be as correct as possible, with the badges worn properly."


Doesn't that constitute a requirement or are we just too vague in the writing of these rules and regulations by saying "should"?

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"Should" infers a preferred way or best practice. "Shall" and "Must" are more absolute.


Personally, I say it's your call as a unit leader as to the standard you want to hold. If the BOR is pre-planned, they should be prepared per the unit standard. But since it's not a requirement to own a uniform, you can't require it. Nor is it a requirement to own a coat and tie...


I've seen boys go for a BOR in an activity uniform, street clothes, and full field uniform with sash & cap. Never once seen one in a coat and tie, though...



Just keep in mind that the SMC & BOR aren't a test or an inspection. They're check-in points where the SM and Scout can talk one-on-one about the Scout's progress, and where the Committee can check-in with the Scout to make sure the program is living up to all of their expectations.


If that happens in a formal setting at a troop meeting where everyone is all gussied up, great.


If it happens sitting on a log in the middle of the woods wearing rain gear or around a campfire, even better.(This message has been edited by eolesen)

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What are you implying that it implies?


I chose to dial it down a notch above with regard to Scouting literature, but in contracts or technical standards, "shall" and "must" are binding/required actions, "should" is used for non-binding actions which can't be required due to possible conflicting circumstances, and "may" indicates an optional action.


Since you can't require a Scout to own a uniform or a coat & jacket, that would make the guideline of expecting Scouts to appear in one for a BOR non-binding.



"Can" must never be used unless it is unavoidable. ;)(This message has been edited by eolesen)

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Right or wrong this is what our unit does.


First, as Scoutmaster I am not the gatekeeper to the BOR accept for the fact of signing the Socuts book. That is, I don't escort him to his BOR (if anyone does, it is the SPL). I've never set foot in a BOR except for an EBOR.


Second, yes the Scout should be neat in his appearance and should be in a coat and tie or his uniform, which should be as correct as possible, with the badges worn properly, although For the life of me I don't recall the shirt and tie phrase. At one BOR, a Scout was told to come back when he had on his uniform (he had on only his untucked field uniform shirt). However, we did swim checks and the troop performed three BORs that evening too at a neighborhood pool. I'm proud to say that my oldest son passed his BOR for his silver palm and he had on his field uniform. Two other boys passes their BORs (2nd class and Tenderfoot) while in their swim trunks. The call goes to the BOR members.

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Ignoring all the "shoulds", shall dos and what we want to dos, Why should a scout wear the uniform to a BOR? In your minds, what does the board members gain from it and what does the scout gain?



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... and what insight about the boy and the troop program can the board gain from a discussion with the boy about why he is or is not wearing a uniform?


If the troop is not utilizing the uniform method, can the committee fix that by writing a rule mandating the uniform be worn? Would that help accomplish any aim of Scouting?

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ok...so let's play devil's advocate. If it is not required to have or wear the BSA uniform why do we have them anyway?


I for one am in favor of the uniform, wearing it properly and with respect and pride. Just wondering everyone else's opions....

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