Re: patch vests
(no name) ((no email))
Sat, 14 Nov 1992 11:19:50 CST
Good morning all....
Although I support the policies written in the Insignia Guide, this is one that
I feel needs to be modified to allow for common sense.
The "brag vest" or jacket (blanket, etc) is designed to be displayed at high-vis
Scouting/Exploring events (like Scout shows, the Jamboree and other events).
Those are the same kinds of events that we want participants to be in full
uniform as possible. There is a *massive* disconnect between what should be
worn at Troop meetings and activities (where common sense tells me that the
vest should NOT be worn!) and what could be worn at award ceremonies, events
and other public places where we WANT KIDS TO SEE THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF OUR
YOUTH AND ADULTS (where I feel that the vest would be approviate for wear, with
or without the Scouting field uniforms).
Let's look at what the Insignia Guide says...it states the the vest is available
to be purchased from the Supply Division and that's where the excess insignia
goes on that no longer belongs on the uniform. It also states, for the
record, that temporary patches may be worn on the merit badge sash backside
and that it "...makes a fine display...exhibited in the home of the receipent or
at functions where such a display is invited". This to me says two things:
One, we don't want you to show others what things you HAVE DONE, just what you
are doing now; and whatever you have done, you may only show it at places we
want you to....or you can show it all off (modelling the vest??? For strangers??
) at home.
In reality, most Scouts and Cubs are proud of their years of service in our
programs, and we as Scouters should try to allow that pride to move from the
home into the community. Therefore, I don't get bent out of shape when I see
Scouts (or Scouters, for that matter) wearing a "brag vest" or "brag jacket"
at ANY Scouting function, even Troop meetings. I do have them to take off the
vest or jacket when conducting uniform inspections, since as Kathie correctly
stated, it is NOT part of the uniform (but neither are commercial, non-Scouting
jackets and hats either...and we ask them to take them off there too).
Mary Lee, I would stress to your Scouts the following which I feel expresses
the spirit of the policy yet expresses your pride in their individual
achievements. Later on today, I will post my rationale for this:
The "brag vest/jacket is not part of the official uniform and should only be
worn at District, Council and National activities but not at unit activities.
It is not a substitute for the uniform shirt. It is not where other insignia
other than Scouting insignia (ie army patches, rock star patches, etc.) belong
because sometimes you may want to wear it with your Scout uniform. You may
wear the red vest available from the BSA or have your parents to sew your
patches on another jacket approviate for wear. Please exercise care in wering
(wearing) the vest/jacket during Scouting events and activities, particularily
outdoor events, where the vest/jacket could get damaged or taken. This is the
place where all of *your* personal achievements and good times are displayed, so
wear it with pride in yourself and the Scouting movement.
On a separate issue...I could not find anywhere in the Scoutmasters' Handbook
where it states wearing of the hat...as Don mentioned before, it is considered
"good manners" to not wear a hat indoors, for any reason (and it is courtesy
that we are teaching here), and so I don't even bother marking off if they
have a hat or not on the uniform inspection sheet (the same goes for the shoes
and socks...if you look on the sheet, you would see that tennis shoes, the
staple of youth (and adults...I'm wearing mine this morning!) are not
"approviate wear" with the Scout uniform and socks should be the "official
(expensive) kind". That uniform inspection sheet is a guide, like most other
Scouting items....when I do a uniform inspection, I look for proper placement
of insignia and whether the Scout has or not a complete uniform ACCORDING TOTHE
THE UNIT COMMITTEE AND LEADERSHIP (in other words, I start with the youth
example, the Senior Patrol Leader and whatever he is wearing (and what the
Troop Committee states that the majority of Scouts have) is what I evaluate.
This means that those "passing grades" on the inspection report (which folks,
don't go anywhere past the unit!) are quite low...)
The last Scouting supply catalogue I seen has several versions of hatwear
including specially made Troop/Patrol hats that Scouts can wear with the
official uniforms. The lack of a hat should not disqualify a Scout from getting
a good score on the inspection.
Again, I think that you have to temper a little common sense with the BSA
policies as we have demostrated in several other areas. I think that it's
great that Scouts want to show others that Scouting is fun...don't stifle that
enthusiam with lots of silly rules that keep the vests and jackets at home
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City