Re: Neckerchief Colors
Ernest R. Spradling, P.E. (Freemason@AOL.COM)
Thu, 27 Jul 1995 17:59:03 -0400
On Tue, 25 Jul 1995 05:43:53 -0800 Scott Drown <scottdd@HALCYON.COM>
>I have a question for the group re Neckerchief colors. The "O" Official
>Neckerchif guide says that neckerchief's are optional and, unbeknownst to
>me that the entire troop must wear the same color neckerchief if they are
The neckerchief is one of the oldest parts of the Scout uniform. It has
evolved over the years from a rather large square piece of colored cloth to
the smaller, triangular neckerchiefs we have today, for better or worse.
have been used as the troop's "colors" since the olden days.
I remember that, in my council, each troop in a district tried very hard
to have its own, unique troop colors in the form of the neckerchief. There
were enough different colors, both solid and two-colored, for this to happen
(we were a rather small council).
Although it seems I'm splitting hairs (and the rabbits hate it! :), it is the
"Insignia Guide". More to the point, the latest printing (1993) has a
on the Neckerchief on Page 6. It covers what is to be worn by whom. I will
pass by the Cub Scout and Lone Scout paragraphs (they're pretty cut and
dried - there we go with "splitting" things :) and stop on the section
Troops. I will quote chapter and verse, then give a few opinions (usual
disclaimer applies - your mileage may vary).
:Boy Scout neckerchiefs are optional. the troop decides by vote, and all
:members abide by decision. If not worn,then shirt is worn with open collar.
:Boy Scout and Boy Scout leader neckerchiefs may be worn in a variety of
:plain colors and contrasting borders. <snipped Supply Division plug>
:Local councils may prescribe the specific official neckerchief to be worn by
:Boy Scouts and Scouters on a council or district basis or permit the troops
:to choose their own official ones. <snipped what it is worn with>
:Special neckerchiefs, the same size as the official ones, may be authorized
:by local councils. Such neckerchiefs may include identification of the
:chartered organization. the standard designed neckerchief may be be
:personalized with troop number, city, and state.
:Neckerchief slides. A number of official slides are available from the
:Division. Boy-made handicraft slides also may be worn.
Seems that Boy Scout troops may adopt a neckerchief of their own, and
adopt wearing policies, provided the local council does not adopt a "council"
neckerchief. Note also that, technically, the troop neckerchief is supposed
to be authorized by the local council. Not that this ever stopped anyone
from adopting their own neckerchief. Actually, the intent of this latter
requirement is to keep the troop neckerchief from having anything on them
that would be offensive, such as racial epiphets or other inappropriate
language or symbology.
Actually, the only neckerchiefs that a Boy Scout troop cannot wear are
Cub Scout colors, Wood Badge scarves or Order of the Arrow Lodge
neckerchiefs as their unique colors.
>About three years ago our troop decided to order it's own custom
>neckerchiefs and went through a lengthy process with the PLC before
>one was chosen. All are happy with it. As part of this the decision was
>made to give out standard red neckerchiefs to new scouts and award the
>custom neckerchief to Scouts as soon as they attain First Class rank.
>This has worked great!
If this is the decision of the Patrol Leader's Council, then it was _their_
decision. Now, IMHBCO, I see nothing wrong with the decision. The boys
are also apparently abiding by their decision. This is an important
>This week end I was told by one of the Commissioners that this was not
>allowed - but he said he would not do anything about it because he was not
>our commissioner. I suggested that perhaps this was a poor rule as our
>goal is to keep scouts in scouting and achievement of First Class has that
>effect. This has been a real motivator.
You did not elaborate on the Commissioner's experience or office. Is this a
Unit Commissioner? A Scout Roundtable Commissioner? Assistant or
District Commissioner? Is this someone who wears an Arrowhead Honor
(that little silver arrowhead under the Commissioner's Badge of Office),
Commissioner's Key (knot looks like a Scouter's Key) or Commissioner's
Distinguished Service Award (a silver knot on red background)? Is this
person ex-military? What? The answers to these questions are critical. If
they are coming from someone with years of experience, then he/she bears a
more serious listening.
BTW, where is _your_ troop's Commissioner and why aren't you discussing
this with him/her? After all, your Commissioner is a valuable asset (and I
don't mean seat-warmer, either :) Your Commissioner should be able to tell
you whether your Council has adopted a neckerchief policy that is more
stringent than what is contained in the Insignia Guide.
>I am not sure what the commissioner is going to do. For years our Troop
>hardly spoke to the Council staff, never attended a Roundtable, never
>participated in FOS and never went to any Council events. I helped change
>all of that when I was Committee Chair for over 3 years.
Not much he/she can do. Call the Uniform Police? :/ While the uniform is an
important tool in Scouting, it is not the be-all and end-all. Bottom line:
sweat it. If your troop does not deviate from the program, or violate
policy in its
functions, then you have nothing to worry about. Of course, check with your
Commissioner, anyway. If the other Commissioner makes an issue over
this, tactfully tell him/her to get a life. Then have that chat with your
I'm pleased that you have reversed the trend your troop has followed over
the years, re: associating with district and council. Don't let this mis-
understanding discourage you from keeping up your troop's relations with
district or council. After all, they are supposed to be there to serve the
not the other way around. Get with your Commissioner.
>Any thoughts from the group?
Notice that I told you three or more times: get with your Commissioner.
You may actually be glad you did. Hope this helps.
>ASM Troop 39 Maltby, Wa.
>Mt. Baker Council, Everett
Randy Spradling, P.E.
Arrowhead District Simon Kenton Council
(and a good ole Owl, too!)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City