Re: Uniform Wear Complaint
Norman J. MacLeod (gaelwolf@MARLIN.SSNET.COM)
Fri, 3 Mar 1995 23:28:17 EST
You know, when it comes down to the BSA's Chief Scout Executive wearing a
mostly un-adorned uniform, perhaps he IS making a statement as to how a
Leader should dress...
We have been reading about the profusion of knots and other insignia worn by
some folks on some of the various Scouting forums in the past couple of
weeks, with the concensus seeming to be that the knots and all that mean a
heck of a lot less than what a Leader is capable of doing when working with
the Scouts. ...Not to mention, of course, how well the kids respond to his
or her efforts to provide a Scouting programme.
The business of proper uniforming is frequently a rather confusing issue.
Some people take a Scouting or Guiding uniform far more to heart than
others. Personally, I believe in wearing full uniform on most Scouting
occasions - but then, I can afford to have more than one. Not everyone has
that luxury. For me, full uniform includes beads, necker, shirt, beret,
trousers, belt and the appropriate identification insignia, to include
longevity stripes. I have not sewed on any of the knots I have earned over
the years in various places. It's not that they don't mean anything to me -
but that's the thing - they mean something to ME. I don't feel a need to
wear them as "bragging rights" or anything else.
The longevity stripes and Wood Badge beads are not there for the "show-off"
aspect. They are there as a visible sign to others that I have a certain
level of experience and training, and to point me out as someone who might
just be a good resource for those wishing to trade ideas or for those who
would like to consult someone with a few more years in the programme than
they may have.
Some Scouts and Leaders from a few countries have a reputation as being
something of a "walking badge colleection". The BSA is by no means lonely in
this department. However, there are some occasions when we run into folks
with loads of knots who really couldn't Scout their way out of a wet paper
sack. Those few "collectors" I have run into have made an impression on me
to the extent that I will keep my knots and "temporary" activity patches on
my wall or sewn to my campfire blanket. This is not to take away from most
of those who choose to wear their knots, since most of them are darn good
Scouters - and have every right to be proud of their accomplishments.
So, perhaps the BSA's Chief Scout would prefer to see more adults wearing
less "salad" on their uniforms, and carrying out the best possible Scouting
programmes possible as evidence of who they are and where they have been in
terms of living as a member of the Scouting family.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City