Uniform & Things
Ian Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Tue, 26 Apr 1994 22:18:52 BST
Just my 2p worth ( the way the pound is going down it's going to be 2
cents soon ... )
IMHO uniform should be COMPLETE - that means that all the members wear
whatever the troop standard is. Here in UK we do not wear hats apart from
Sea Scouts and Air Scouts. My old Air Scout troop used to wear full uniform
(incl berets) for inspection. Then kids went to the cloakroom and changed .
They wore shorts and sweatshirts under their uniforms for games etc. and
changed for the closing. Hats were worn on " public " occasions except (a)
for church parades etc. ; (b) on airfields (for safety reasons) or (c) when
the person in charge decided otherwise.
I can see NO excuse for kids wearing non-uniform headgear with uniform
<ever> apart from religious regious. Sikh Scouts here wear a turban,
preferably in green or blue to match the Cub/Scout or Sea/Air Scout
uniforms respectively, although I would not press this point too hard.
When I conduct a Scouts Own service I usually open with " Would you please
remove your hats unless it is your custom to pray with your head covered.
Let us pray ... " or whatever. I would expect Scouts of any faith entering
a place of worship to conform with " local rules " regarding dress, i.e. in
a synagogue they should wear headgear. I personally would not have problems
with a Jewish Scout visiting a Christian Church remaining covered, since no
disrespect was intended - but again, common sense and courtesy is the key.
Likewise I would expect female Scouts to conform to dress code when visiting
a mosque, say.
It is courtesy to remove hats when eating in camp , on entering a home etc.
and kids need to learn these things so as to avoid giving unintentional
offence. But somebody needs to explain these standards. I don't see any
problem in requiring basic good manners.
Personally I try to teach these things to my Cub Scouts so they become
routine. Once these good manners have been internalised they are not do
likely to be a problem later. Eventually you will get a Troop or Pack
tradition we <always> do this ... like my old troop used to dress for our
Sunday dinner in uniform and do something a bit special. In the end the
Scouts themselves will set the standards.
I have noticed that American Scouts tend to wear uniform most of the time in
camp , whereas British practice is to get the kids out of uniform as soon as
possible, in order to keep the uniform itself crisp for formal occasions. We
are trying to get all our Cubs to wear Pack teeshirts. In my Group uniform
does not cause much of a conflict - possibly because most of the members
wear school uniform , and so Cub or Scout uniform is no big deal.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City