Darrin P. Wolsko (wolsko@PEGASUS.MONTCLAIR.EDU)
Sun, 9 Apr 1995 19:52:18 -0400
I'd like to stick my two cents in here, as well. I may be
repeating what others have said, but, well, I'd like to say so anyway.
Uniforming is an important part of the scouting program, and all efforts
should be made, and I believe in most cases they are, to uniform all
scouts in a troop.
I'm 21 yrs. old, technically an "adult", but I'm close enough to
the kids to be able to relate to them very well. I totally understand
the kids' misgivings about wearing a uniform in public, and can
sympathize with them on this issue. At one time, when I was 14 or 15,
and even older, I wouldn't be caught dead in my uniform outside of a camp
setting or a scout meeting. It was bad enough at one point having the
other cretins knowing I was a scout at all, let alone having them see me
parading around in my knee-high green socks. I survived, as I'm sure
many of us did. It may be hard, but it isn't an excuse to dump the
uniform in the trash and never put it on again. The kids will learn to
feel pride in it, hopefully.
One of the largest problems in uniforming I have seen stems not
from the scouts, but from the adults. Scouts see their Scoutmasters
wearing jeans to a flag retreat ceremony at Summer Camp. Fathers come to
events wearing a shirt that proudly proclaims them an Assistant
Scoutmaster, but from the bottom down, their appendages are encased in
Lee, Levis or another denim-based legging. If the shirt is bought, the
pants should be bought, and worn. I have worked at Summer Camp for five
years, and I have heard Assistant Scoutmasters, and even Scoutmasters,
speak disdain for the uniform, while young scouts are present. We all
have to be a little bigger and a little smarter than that. All of
scouting is based on the principle of leadership through example. Jeans
for Mr. Smith, jeans for Mr. Smith's scouts. Troop 501 blues.
The comment was made that the scout uniform shouldn't be worn in
rough and tumble activities, for fear of getting it ruined. To a point,
I agree with this, but I've subjected my uniform to tests that are about
as rigorous as an army obstacle course, and its held up rather well.
Plus, these uniforms have been designed for outdoor activities. Of
course, economic considerations must apply, and if a scout has only one
uniform, and no backing of a mint to buy another (those uniforms are
rather expensive....), he should take care to have it last as long as he can.
P.S. - On the lighter side, I hate the long pants, and unless
it's absolutely freezing outside, I'll choose the shorts anyday.
Darrin P. Wolsko
Troop 88, ASM
Eagle Scout, class of '92
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City