Re: Uniform Wear Complaint
Cliff Golden (C60DJK1@MVS.CSO.NIU.EDU)
Tue, 28 Feb 1995 19:15:00 CST
re: Uniform Wear Complaint
I have two reactions at two different levels.
Boys Life and Scouting used to have very strict policies on the
requirement of ALL scouts depicted in their publications being in
a full Scout uniform. I have noticed that policy being relaxed.
These two publications are the greatest source of national
influence on overall membership in the BSA. Boys learn through
example. If examples of Scouting portrayed in our national
publications de-emphasize the importance of uniforming then what is
the implication? What statement is being made?
On the other hand, I must confess, I am not a strict enforcer of
full uniforming in my own troop. There is the ideal, then there is
the reality. Many families in my troop don't have a lot of money.
We have many fundraisers, we also have a uniform exchange. It's not
too difficult to get a used shirt that comes close to fitting, but
those pants can be hard to come by, and boys outgrow them the
fastest. I expect all boys to have a Scout shirt, pants are an
option. I'd rather see the money we raise going towards their
program. If confronted with the choice, I'd rather see them spend
money on doing Scouting rather than dressing Scouting.
Even with just a Scout shirt, a boy can take pride in who he is,
display the awards he has earned, and represent Scouting in a
positive way to the public. Isn't that the purpose of the uniform?
There are eight methods to the Scouting program; Ideals, Patrols,
Outdoors, Advancement, Adult Association, Personal Growth,
Leadership Development, and Uniform. If one of these is lifted
above the rest, I don't think Uniforming would be my choice.
It's what a boy believes and does that makes him a Scout, not what
he wears. Full program is more important than full uniform. If you
can afford both, then do both. I think that's great, and I fully
agree that a fully uniformed group of Scouts looks very sharp.
But if you can only afford part of it, go for a full program and a
partial uniform. 20 years from now, what will these boys remember
about Scouting, the things they did, or the clothes they wore?
I do believe in uniforming, but I believe in many other methods of
Scouting more, and set my priorities accordingly.
The National BSA needs to sort out what is emphasized through
the example of their publications. If the method of Uniform is
being played down then they're on the right track. If the method of
Uniform is as important as ever, then they are not supporting it
themselves and showing poor leadership.
YIS, Cliff Golden, DeKalb, IL Scoutmaster Troop 33
Three Fires Council BSA Advisor Post 333
Kishwaukee District Commissioner
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City