Uniforming & Uniform Policy
Walter Gould (w4crypto@IX.NETCOM.COM)
Thu, 13 Jul 1995 10:38:28 -0700
As a former District Chairman, and a District Commissioner for Overland
District, Nevada Area Council, a very large BSA district (100 x 400
miles of mostly sagebrush and jackrabbits), which district's backbone
was LDS Church chartered units, coupled with my experiences in
metropolitan California districts, I am certain that the uniforming
problem is not unique to either Utah or LDS Church chartered units.
I'm positive the *uniform* issue will never be put to bed. But, here
is another *stab* at answering it:
It begins when all adult members realize that we are setting examples
for our youth; it begins with district leaders always being an example
for unit leaders, and with unit leaders being the example for the
youth. Maybe you have to work one-on-one with a Senior Patrol Leader,
who then works, one-on-one with the Patrol Leader's Council and/or
individual Patrol Leaders. Convince one to work with you on the task,
and then convince those they work with.
We can get carried away with uniforming (although I am a very strong
proponent of uniforming). For instance, is a Scout or Scouter "out of
uniform" because a hat isn't being worn? For Scouter's, which hat --
the campaign hat, the ball cap? Well, then, if I wear my Wood Badge
beads, shouldn't I also wear the neckerchief and woggle?
Some units have solved this by setting a "unit uniforming policy" which
outlines some variation of Class A, Class B, etc., specifying which
uniform items are appropriate for the specific occasion. Example,
would be, possibly Class A represents long trousers, and Class B
representing scout shorts. What is appropriate for a Troop Court of
Honor? Should the Merit Badge Sash be worn at all Scout events, or
only at Courts of Honor? I remember a troop on a "working party"
assignment, cutting wood, where the uniform consisted of working
clothes and a "troop hat". And, which is the correct belt to be worn?
There are at least three. And if wearing the wide leather belt (with
or without leather engraving), which buckle is appropriate (I know of
thirty or more different belt buckles I've seen with the wide leather
Is a Scout who is not being recommended for a Board of Review out of
uniform because the unit's chosen neckerchief isn't being worn?
Using the "official Council guidelines" in your posting, am I to assume
that because a Scout who is otherwise qualified, and otherwise
completely uniformed, won't wear a Scout belt, he wouldn't be
recommended for or given a Board of Review? Well, if it is only the
belt, then what instead, if he didn't wear the belt loops, or didn't
wear an Arrow of Light (even though it had been earned)? Well, then,
what if . . . etc., ad nauseam.
Reason -- I repeat *reason* must be used.
I've used the idea posted earlier today (outlandishly out of uniform at
a Roundtable) in a class I taught at the Orange County Council's
University of Boy Scouting. One of my favorites is wearing a Scout
Rank patch on my left breast pocket! I may have been . . . but I am
not now a Tenderfoot. How would we feel about those wearing an Eagle
at age 55, whether or not the Eagle had been awarded? What patrol
patch is appropriate for an adult to wear, day-in and day-out, on the
This I do know, however: when an adult or youth is in uniform, behavior
is modified. When I put my Scout uniform on, I am immediately aware of
the organization which I represent, and will do nothing to dishonor
that organization or its ideals. I even drop down to the legal speed
limit in my car!
This epistle will not put an end to the *uniforming* topic, even for a
while, but it does address several postings in the last two weeks.
And, forgive me if I've been a little *wordy* or too *pasionate*.
I believe "Scouting means Sharing"
Orange Frontier District
Orange County Council, California
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City