David Scammell (David_Scammell.Orlando_spg@XEROX.COM)
Thu, 10 Aug 1995 07:53:30 PDT
Topic of Discussion/Survey: The redesign of the BSA Scout pants and shorts.
In discussions with Scouts and Scouters alike, I have not found anyone (other
than professional Scouters) that like the new Scout pants. I realize that one
of the primary reasons that they removed the side pockets (extra pockets on the
shorts) was to get away from the para-military look ... but in doing so they
removed the functionality of the pants and shorts. The new 'slacks' are nice
for dress occasions (maybe they should add pleats if they want to be stylish),
but that's about it.
In discussions with Professional Scouters, I have also been told that the
uniform was 'modernized', to reflect what Scouts wanted. I don't know who they
talked to or who did their survey, but every Scout I've talked to does not
think too highly of the new pants or shorts (to put it politely). I believe it
is better (and cheaper for Scouts and Scouters) to stay with a 'classic' look
(a 'classic' look is one that is accepted and always in style) than to try to
keep up with fads and fashions.
Since the redesign, I've actually seen more boys wearing jeans or other shorts
with their Scout shirts, instead of buying the new pants/shorts (when they
outgrow their old uniforms). I even know of a few instances of where a smaller
boy has asked an older Scout for their old uniform pants and the smaller boy
could easily afford a new uniform. Also, the workers at our local Council
Office/Scout Shop have confessed that they have not heard anything positive in
regards to the new look. It has become a very sore subject for them.
Scouts and Scouters alike agree that the extra pockets were very functional and
allowed us to carry all the essential items we needed for different activities.
Because of the size and the snap, you never had anything slide out of the
pockets (I've lost a few items from them sliding out of the 'regular' front
pockets). The following is a list of some of the different uses I have heard
of and/or used myself:
Extra pockets were good for carrying patches (patch trading), pens/pencils,
note pads (these are excellent so boys don't have to drag a full-size notebook
with them everywhere), notes, flyers/newsletters (if you send something home
with a boy, 10 to 1 the parents will get a folded up copy of it), maps,
compass, 1st Aid Kit, Survival Kit, specimens for different requirements,
flashlight (if it doesn't fit in your pocket ... it is too big), pocket knife,
matches, etc. (I think you get the general idea).
Does anyone else agree or heard the same? How about counterpoints? If you get
a chance, ask some Scouts for their opinion. If I get a majority of responses
AGAINST the new design, I think I'll start a campaign to Nationals. If not, I
guess that it is just a regional preference. I am not a rebel-rouser, but I
think that this was not a good move. I was taught by my Scoutmaster not to be
a rebel, but to work positively within the system to change the status quo!
David L. Scammell
ASM Troop 227 - Orlando, FL
Eagle Scout - OA Brotherhood
West Orange District - Central Florida Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City