Re: "UNIFORMED organization" - BSA
Dr. Steven C. Myers (R1SCM@VM1.CC.UAKRON.EDU)
Thu, 27 Jul 1995 11:56:46 EDT
While this is an old issue (10 days), I am just now getting to
10 day old mail and I feel compelled to respond. Bob Myers
is responding to Mike Walton and Much of the text I will comment on is
Mikes. ... of course I deleted a bunch ....
On Mon, 17 Jul 1995 08:28:51 CDT Settummanque, the blackeagle said:
>>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?
And Mike responds as eloquently as ever...
>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
Here I agree. I want my boys in full uniform, but that is difficult
when they come from all financial walks of life. We recently had
a scout show up at a BOR w/o uniform (a major no-no) and discovered
he had outgrown his and his family could not afford a new one.
The troop soon went out and bought hima complete summer uniform
which is the eighth uniform we have purchased this year. While
we have found donors, run a exchange, etc. it is a constant battle.
>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
This is the comment that I really wanted to respond to. The BSA does
have some serious problems, chief of which is the view that Scouting
is for the rich. It costs $530 for a boy in Troop One to attend all
events and buy a uniform. As all of you know, that does not even
compare to a troop that offers a Philmont trip ($500-$700) just for
that. I have fourty boys which works out to a cost of over $21,000
each year -- just to run a normal program in uniform. This counts no
equipment and also no scout accounts. We do annually purchase
equpment and we have scout accounts for all boys (one has $322 in it).
The point is that BSing in America is quite expensive and the uniform
is a big part. How can I tell active parents and scouts that the
uniform needs replaced when they have trouble paying for camp.
The uniform is important. The uniform is important, the uniform is
important, BUT it is just one of the eight methods of scouting.
The uniform is not a goal or aim of scouting. Building character and
citizenship and fitness are aims and if we can work the other seven
methods, the uniform may come along, but the boy will certainly
What we do is make sure the adult leaders are in full uniform
always, work hard to make sure th junior leaders are in full
uniform, and set the example. When it is impossible for a boy
to buy the uniform, we buy them or find them, or ...
Don't sweat the little stuff. We are there to help boys.
Don't ever expect me to turn a boy away from my program just because
he can't afford it. However, this creates a whole other set of
of problems too.
>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.
Well said Mike. Enough for now.
Steve Myers R1SCM@VM1.CC.UAKRON.EDU (or STEVEMYERS@UAKRON.EDU)
Scoutmaster Troop 1 634 Mardon Ave., Akron, OH 44303
Great Trail Council Dept. of Econ., The Univ. of Akron, 44325-1908
Marnoc Lodge #151 (216) 972-7421
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City