COMMENTS ON UNIFORMS & HATS FROM A CURMUDGEON
E. C. HALE (ARTHALE@EKU.BITNET)
Fri, 2 Jul 1993 00:30:57 -0400
I started to send you a short note on your remarks regarding
uniform regs. and ended up writing a book. I've decided to post it
to the List.
FYI: Some Comments On B.S.A. Uniforming Practices
When you wrote, "imitation of United States Army . . .
uniforms . . . prohibited . . ." I had to smile a little. I know
that's the current rule and that it has been pretty effectively
followed for the last twenty years or so. HOWEVER, no matter
whether the rule is in congruence with the original congressional
charter or not, the practice of the matter has been something quite
different. My father's Scout uniform (1917) was an almost exact
copy of the WW I Doughboy's outfit (that's looking at it from the
campaign hat on top to the leggings on the bottom). In my own time
as a Boy Scout (late 40's to early 50's), the Sea Explorers were
nearly indistinguishable from actual navymen. In my case, when I
entered the Air Force in 1955, my khaki uniform (actually a tan),
with the exception of its color, was very similar to the Boy Scout
uniform I left behind.
BTW, I'm not in favor of military camo uniforms for scouts
because the boys around here who wear them seem to think this makes
them some sort of junior Rambos and they act accordingly.
Additional comments of the scattershot variety:
I'm not a fan of the Smokey hat. It's heavy to wear, clumsy
to duck through the brush in and an absolute pain to store in camp
besides being prohibitively expensive. It does look good. The
ball cap is worse. Even though it's cheap, it offers little
protection beyond shading the eyes and is UGH-LEE to the max! I've
seen photographs of Baden-Powell wearing a sort of fedora that
seems to have a lot in common with the crushable outdoor hats like
those sold by L. L. Bean. I think something on the order of this
(in felt) would be great for adult leaders and a cloth version
would be just about right for the boys. This sort of hat offers
much better sun protection than the ball cap and is handier by far
than the Smokey.
Finally, THOSE @#$% SHIRT BUTTON HOLES are the worst! Mature
males like myself (a.k.a convex abdominal profile) cant keep the
ones just above our belts buttoned. No, the cause is not the small
amount of adipose tissue there, it's because the slit is vertical
rather than horizontal. I know it would cost an extra .50 for the
fabricator to have to turn the shirt a few extra times when
putting in the button holes, but I'd be willing to pay it!
My .02 seems to run long today.
Yours in Scouting,
Carroll Hale SM T-118 SAINT MARK RICHMOND, KENTUCKY
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City