Re: Insignia aesthetics
(no name) ((no email))
Fri, 25 Oct 1991 18:15:00 EDT
Manaman....(*laughter*) Are you *sure* that you weren't listening in on my
conversation last night??
I have been "accused" of being a "showoff" and "a superior example of what
Scouting can do", depending on the person involved, the event, and my
participation in it.
***WARNING****WARNING****WARNING**** LONG MESSAGE FOLLOWS:
Last weekend, I taught three parts of Scoutmaster Fundamentals and went to
a Council Jamboree in the Council where I came from. There were marked
differences in the way that the folks at both places reacted. I am due to go
to a Commissioner's Conference, where I am sure that I will get still another
point-of-reference for this discussion.
I have ten (yes, I've counted them all...and its ten) uniforms. I wear the
uniform approviate for the role I will play and the location I will go to.
I have three Exploring shirts...one without anything (call it "explorer red"...
I'll explain it and its companion, "Scouter red" later..); one with camp
stuff on it (and a old "fort knox, ky" city-state strip) that I use for
camp work (when I can do it...) and my Explorer shirt, current edition, that
I wear when I am doing Exploring work for the local Council and elsewhere
(except at Post or Ship meetings, where I wear what I am wearing today..
bluejeans and a shirt). On the "dress explorer shirt", I wear a OA flap,
a international Jamboree patch and german interpreter strip, a US flag and
quality unit/district emblems, a Transatlantic Council "round the world"
emblem with Exploring segments around the patch to the outside edge of the
pocket (per BSA uniform policies), and TWO rows of square knots on the
dark green background (and man, I had to scrounge to get those!) representing
those Exploring awards and the Eagle Scout Badge I earned or was presented to
me AS AN EXPLORER or EXPLORING LEADER. I do wear the Commissioner's patch
instead of the Service team Patch because I serve as "district commissioner"
of the Exploring District...I relate better to my District Commissioner peers
that way instead as of "Council Service Team Chairman"--the job is the same.
I have two "old" version Scout shirts...one in which again, I have
a OA flap, interpreters' strip, Jamboree patch, and in this case, FOUR
rows of square knots representing MOST (not all) of the things I have done
since becoming a Scout. The other shirt is another camp shirt, with camp
school patch and OA flap, one row of knots, World Crest and a temporary
patch (which I change to the camp patch at camps...)
The other five shirts are Scout shirts....three with the current design, one
woolen shirt, and one long sleeved shirt. On the woolen, the short sleeved
one that I wear most often (*had it since the switchover in 1974), and the
long-sleeved one are MOST of my Scouting accomphishments...four complete
rows and one 2/3d completed of those square knots....a OA flap, a Jamboree
patch, a german interpreters' strip and on two, a temporary patch on the
pocket (one, the current totem of the Explorer Post here). These are the
shirts I wear to most of my speeches and presentations, the ones I wear
to represent my Post and council at various places, and the one in which
one of you may see me in if I come your way...
I have one shirt with just a Council strip, a position patch, a OA
flap and a U.S. flag...I call it my "scouter red" shirt. With apologies to
those Scouters out there with just those things on their shirts, here is the
abridged (*yes*) version of the story behind them....
I went to address the fall roundup Scouters in Meridian, Mississippi in
1979. When I got there, I was immediately singled out (being the only black
guy in the room kinda does that to you....)and before I could even sit down
one guy came up to me and this is the conversation that took place:
(Bubba..that's his REAL name! Say his lines in a southern drawl, please..)
"Wooooowee! That's some uniform you done got! What's all them things on there?"
"Well, thanks...*reading nametag*..Bubba. *trying not to laugh*. These are
things that represent various awards the BSA presented to me over the years."
"I've never seen so many things on a shirt before...but you can tell that
I'm new at this...I just got this here badge...*turns to show me his Council
strip and Assistant Scoutmaster patch* and..what's that??? Zit-Kala--How do
you pronunce that?"
"Zit-Kala-Sha. That's the name of the Order of the Arrow Lodge I belong to."
"I'm going to go out and get me some of those....I've got to shake your hand,
Mike Walton...Richmond, Kentucky"
As you can see, I made a positive impact on Bubba Harris....but to avoid such
"situations" in the future, where my uniform overshadow the speaker, I have
two such "scouter red (for redneck...barely wearing anything on it...)"
shirts...one Explorer green and the other scouter tan (*yuck*).
The other shirt is one of the khahi green shirts with some things on them.
WHY DO I WEAR SO MUCH??? That was asked at the Scoutmaster Fundamentals
One, because the uniform ATTRACTS ATTENTION to the program. Remember when
you first saw a Scout in "full uniform"...you were intrigued by the
neatness, the appearance of the "scout uniform".
Two, because it PROMOTES ADVANCEMENT, youth and adult style. There are
literally hundreds of times that I have been stopped and after explaining
that I have the Scouter's Key as a Scoutmaster, Explorer Advisor and
Commissioner; or the Scouter's Training Award as a Boy Scouter, Explorer
Leader and Sea Exploring Leader, people comment "I didn't know that there
was a award for being a (insert job title here)". Youth, on the other hand
look at my shirt(s) and say that "Hey, now here is a fast mover. I want to
have some of those..."
Three, because THAT IS WHERE THOSE THINGS BELONG...not in some drawer
someplace. Scouting is a program where individual acheivements are
recognized...and the most approviate place where those recognitions
belong is on the shirts available to all members of the movement.
Four, because it BUILDS CREDIBILITY...how many times have you been approached
by a new Scouter and asked your opinion on a scouting question??? "Why me??"
you ask yourself, hours later. Because you showed that your knew SOMETHING
about the movement by the uniform that your wear.
Finally, because (and this is a racist viewpoint, folks), you DON'T SEE
VERY MANY (if any) BLACK OR FEMALE OR HISPANIC SCOUTERS WITH UNIFORMS LIKE
THESE EVERY DAY...its good to see that Scouting *does* work, and it does
help the Council and the Movement as a whole to further recruit and
organize units in areas where there is no role model to point and say "He's
in Scouting...you should try it too..."
DO YOU HAVE EVERYTHING ON YOUR SHIRT??? That was asked of me at a trading
post when I stopped to get a Council Jamboree patch and neckerchief.
No, I don't wear EVERYTHING I am entitled to...otherwise, my shirts will
be nothing but patches and pins and devices. I try to wear those things that
you as a Scouter would be most familiar with...(or in the case of Exploring,
that Exploring leaders would be most familiar with).
I am entitled to wear seventeen different square knots, to include one from
Great Britain. I wear fifteen at most, most cases twelve.
I am entitled to wear both a World and National Jamboree emblem. I choose to
only wear one at a time. (Recent uniform policies now say that you wear the
most recent one...)
I am entitled to wear *lots* of Quality/Honor unit patches. I wear those that
I am associated with through registration.
I *do* wear a old Eagle Patrol medallion (the old red and black ones...the
eagle is black) on one of my "dress" shirts. This is not permitted, but
I do it anyway...(I know, here comes the uniform police!)
Yes, when you meet "ollie Walton" (my nickname at Philmont a few years back
when I taught parts of the Exploring Service and Training Conference), you
will realize that I have been a part of Scouting for many years.
I wear it all out of respect for the program and my small part in it..not
to be "smartas*" or "to brag". If I can convince ONE Scouter that Scoutmaster
Fundamentals was worth his/her time in attending (and they WERE impressed,
according to the evaluations I got back!); if I can show ONE Scout that
the weekends he spends camping or attending some Scouting event is worth
missing cartoons and Nitendo and that cute girl next door... if I can show
ONE person that Scouting is a positive thing for ALL youth to become a part
of...and TRY IT...
...that, in my opinion, is worth all of the snickering, snide remarks
(lots from professionals...), and just plain jealosy that surrounds some
of my appearances...
(Sorry for the extremely long reply. This is something that I even spilled
coffee all over papers about last night...and I do get animated when I talk
about me and the completeness of my uniforms...)
Settummanque!@HEY..I don't have a square knot for computer technology... and
I don't own one of those Silver Beaver things either (and won't!)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City