2nd Hand Uniforms
Sarah Jones (sarah.jones@SAWASDI.APANA.ORG.AU)
Fri, 16 Apr 1995 20:42:04 +0930
Well, that that Ted has suggeted one of my suggestions, I want to offer another
on the topic of Uniforms and cost.
But first, the Uniform here in Australia seems a heck of a sight lot cheaper
than the USA. I bought the New Uniform complete 2 years ago and it cost me
$100. I checked out the price list agian back in January and you are looking at
a New Uniform costing between $75 to $100. Sometimes a little higher (No more
than $20 depending on what is excatly needed such as hat) However, a lot of
parents buy part new, part 2nd hand.......But having actually sold them for 2
weeks 18 months ago, I dont think the prices have changed much....
We are in a high welfare/low income area where not all of the kids have the
means to get a uniform. Which is oneadvantage the Guides have as theirs is
slightly cheaper. The only thing they really have to buy from the Guide Shop is
the sash the badges go on. The rest can be bought quite cheaply.
However, one thing I have noticed over 23 years of scouting (blame mum and dad
for taking me on a Scouting camp at 6 weeks of age for that! Under Canvus as
well) is that all the groups I have ever been involved with have a second hand
uniform box. In it is everything from Socks, all the way up to head gear. Not
only have these boxs contained Uniforms for the smallest kid, but to the
biggest adult as well. Some of these items are the ones that are not claimed on
camps etc and these ussley are the socks and belts. You wait lng enough and you
can get a matching pair.....
I realize that for those who go all the way through, parting with a uniform as
you grow out of it is a hard thing. Especially as a Egale/Gold/Queen's etc, you
remeber the enjoyment....
However, I want to know if anyone has ever thought of the kids that are only
involved in scouting for a short while, then leaves? These parents if asked are
sometimes more than willing to give/sell back the uniform to the group. While
the idea og buying back a uniform seems strange, then consider that a parent/s
may be more than willing to accpet say $10 or $15 back on a uniform, knowing
that someone esle will buy it and get some use out of it. OK, given that a
compleate Uniform can cost between $75 to $100, New, most realize that someone
else will appreicate it. One of my Cousin's shirts has been sold up and down
his street quite a few tmes over the last 15 years since he was a Cub. But, it
has helped more than one family.
But a lot of parents will realize that by giving it stright to the group, then
it will go to those who genuinally need it the most. And as I have said, once
the situation is explained, most are willing to help out, even if it is only to
give part of the uniform. Some might want the shrit, but will give the pants,
Another thing I have seem a few times is when a birthday or Christmas comes up,
one single mother actually got her parents, to buy the shirt, her sister to buy
the shorst, her ex husband bought the hat. You get the idea? In place of the
ussual presents, the child was bought a compleate uniform. Each member of the
extended family bought a item. It was something he needed and wanted as he dad
was a ex cub and scout and he wanted to join. It also meant that no one person
was buying the whole thing eaither. Now guys, who has thought that next time
your in laws buy you a pair of socks, drop a hint to buy scout ones....
Also, if you are thinking of starting a 2nd hand box, the flea markets, Garage
sales, the Charity stores (In South Aust, the Goodwill stores are the best to
try) are a good place
to start. In fact, there is one in the Elizabeth Area which has in the past
saved them especially for Alan and he has walked out with a bag or 2 of
Uniforms for a few dollars. He then passes them onto the groups that need
The only time I got offended with a parent complaining about the cost of the
Uniform was with the one that sent her child to camp with a pair of jeans
worth $75 and a brand new pair of Reboxs worht $150 (I was doing work
experiance at the time in the shop she bought them in!) She then complained
that the uniform was to expensive, even though for her child it was less than
the pair of jeans.....
--- timEd 1.01
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