Carol Breuer (CBreuer@VINES.COLOSTATE.EDU)
Tue, 4 Apr 1995 08:00:27 MDT
I would like to add to the discussion of full uniform including Scout pants &
hat, or accepting just the Scout shirt as proper. I have worked with troops
that have done it both ways, and I feel that a troop that requires full
uniforming tends to have a better standard of conduct.
An illustration in point is the troop I am unit commissioner for. When I
first visited this troop had reorganized only two years before and were
mostly young Scouts, 1st Class and below. Required uniform was a Scout shirt
and the troop neckerchief. It was pretty typical of many troops - some boys
didn't bother to wear their shirts except for Courts of Honor, and others
would walk in putting the shirt on over the T-shirt they had worn on the way.
There was a lot of rowdiness sometimes, and some real discipline problems.
The Scoutmaster (an experienced Scouter) had just recently taken over that
position, and felt it was going to be a real challenge to bring the troop up
to a higher standard of Scouting.
After two years of hard work, this troop has really turned around, and one of
the changes has been the move toward requiring the full uniform with Scout
pants and Scout hat. And the neat thing is that now it is the boys
themselves through the PLC that are deciding this. Two of the older boys,
now in leadership positions, went to JLT and had the experience of being part
of a fully uniformed group. The other factor is an international trip being
planned to visit a Scout group in Curacao, Nethlands Antilles, in July 1995,
and the boys going on this will be required to have full uniform.
But it is the effect on the boys that is the best part. In general they are
better behaved now, have more Scout spirit, and keep more focused on Scout
activities. The new Scouts coming in (10 new Webelos, more than the 6-7 they
were looking for) and their parents know that this is a requirement, and it
does not seem to be a problem. The troop is trying to start a uniform
exchange for outgrown pants, shorts, etc., and is making use of a resource of
a district Scouter who buys uniform parts at garage sales, flea markets, or
whereever, and sells them back to Scouts for a real reasonable price (i.e.
$5.00 for pants).
This turned out to be longer than I intended, but I wanted to share an
example of how full uniforming CAN be accomplished, and the difference it
does make in how the boys feel about Scouting.
Carol Breuer, Fort Collins, CO
Assistant District Commissioner, Thompson-Poudre District, Longs Peak Council
...I used to be an eagle, NC-155, 1986
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City