Re: "UNIFORMED organization" - BSA
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Mon, 17 Jul 1995 08:28:51 CDT
>Although you strongly endorse full uniforming, you wrote:
>"This is something that cannot be legislated or dictated..." and "we should
> not MAKE Scouts (wear their uniform)....".
>Why not? If we are, as you say, a "UNIFORMED organization" why should we be
>shy about insisting on complete uniforms?
Mainly, Bob, because in today's society, one of the last things that
most families have "spare change" for is a Boy Scout uniform, which
now retails for about $115 for most regular sizes. While we can argue
the relative merits of purchasing a uniform for 60 events during a
year (one meeting a week and an activity on a day for 8 days during a
year on average) as opposed to wearing a sports uniform for only 40 to
55 events (games, playoffs) per year in some cases TWICE as much as
the complete BSA uniform, this is the reason why I am hesitant on
"forcing" _Scouts_ to wear the complete uniform.
The BSA has a series of serious problems, and this one is slowing
rising to the top as it's most significant problem. We want Scouts to
associate with the program, but at the same time, we are not making it
easy or affordable for many Scouts of modest means to purchase the
uniforms. That, coupled with Ben Love & company's "assertion" that we
should not be allowing "just anyone out there" to sell our used
uniforms, has made the Boy Scout (and I am sure this can be said for
the Girl Scout uniforms as well, even though our past Chief Scout
Executive and staff had nothing to do with their lack of availability)
uniform almost out of reach of the kid that wants to wear it badly,
but family cannot afford the complete thing.
Until we can get the Scouting uniforms available in more markets for a
cheaper price, and until we can convince Scouts and some Scouters that
we are a part of a worldwide movement, I'm afraid that we can do
little to instill pride.
>Since uniforming is just one of the eight
>methods of Scouting (BSA), why shouldn't we have a uniforming standard similar
>to the advancement standard that says that councils, districts, and units may
>not add or delete requirements?
But we DO have that standard already, Bob. It's called the "Uniform
and Insignia Guidelines", and is included in the opening pages of the
BSA's Insignia (Control) Guide. Those opening pages outline how the
uniform should be worn,uld be added are full-color illustrations of
what the uniform looks like, worn properly. The subseqent pages in
the Insignia Guide tells all without a shadow of a doubt what badge,
patch, pin or button goes where on the shirt, pants, swim trunks,
dress jacket, or worn with "civilian clothing". The booklet is
updated once every two years at least (the past issues have been
updated once a year), and even gives the BSA catalog number or
restricted insignia ID number of every badge and award possible.
Saying this, the BSA DOES allow for a degree of "customization" by
units (Exploring units come to mind immediately, but the same can be
said for other units, Districts and Councils as well. The popular
Transatlantic Council and Far East Council "segments" is one such
example of this degree; in those two Councils, participants in
Council, District and in some cases, unit events, get a segment to
wear around the central Council patch IN ADDITION TO a regular patch
for that particular activity or event (summer camp, for instance).
Those units that wish to wear a neckerchief have four different
designs of neckerchiefs to choose from, in addition to purchasing
their own neckerchiefs to wear if they choose. If they do choose to
wear a neckerchief, there are instructions in the Insignia Guide as to
how it should be worn (which means, slides for the neckerchiefs).
Those units that want to wear the shorts are given guidance on what it
to be worn with those shorts. Same for the long-sleeved shirts.
> I just don't see the difference and, from the
>statistics you quote, our standards are obviously dropping and need a boost.
Yes they are, Bob. I will have to give this to our past CSE: he made
wearing the field uniform a high priority among the professional
staff, and this had an immense effect on the rest of us. What we need
to do to continue to wear and display those uniforms and show the kids
in our programs that this is something that can be worn and be proud
of, not something that is worn "just for Scouts".
This, from a man that walked around campus in his field uniform almost
as much as wearing jeans and tees. Yes, it's unconfortable to be
singled out for participating in a "kids program", but the pride that
my Explorers and Scouts had I feel had something to do with my
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services ___)_
(h) 502-782-7992 (f) 502-781-7279 (w) 502-782-7467 |-=-|]
5350 Louisville Road, #52, Bowling Green, KY 42101-7211 -=====-
Internet: WALTOML@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU/America OnLine: KYBLKEAGLE@AOL.COM
Windoze Wobbles?? We use GeoPublish (shareware) & Ensemble (commercial)!
Fast & easy & *full* GUI. Try it! ftp://220.127.116.11/pub/geos/publish
Blackeagle Services is NOT affiliated with & does not speak for Western
Kentucky University but is the home to Leaders Online! Ask us about it!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City