Re: Uniform Participation
Marc Solomon (msolomon@TEK1.TEKNIQ.COM)
Tue, 12 Mar 1996 16:47:06 -0600
At 04:08 PM 3/6/96 -0600, Sean Catherall wrote:
>So we created a contest. Patrols would get
>points for certain things: patrol members earning merit badges, advancing in
>rank, wearing full uniform to meeting or activities, attending meetings and
>activities; patrols using their flag, using their yell, holding independent
>patrol meetings or service projects. Of course we rigged it! The things
>they liked counted for lots of points but could only be done once in a while
>and therefore were extremely difficult to use to win. The stuff they
>pretended to hate had lower point values, but they could be done every week
>and cumulatively constituted a huge potential for points. The patrol with
>the highest point total at the end of the period (3 months or so) would get
>something they could not get every day: a trip to Magic Mountain.
I did something similar but a lot easier to institute. When I first became
an ASM some 7 years ago, I was aghast at the troops appearance. I asked
whether they ever did uniform inspections. I was informed that they didn't.
So I started doing weekly uniform inspections straight from the form. I
also informed the Scouts that the patrol with the highest weekly average at
the end of each month would get pizza.
The first month the Scouts endured my inspections and I trained the SPL and
ASPL how to do the inspections (I was not going to do them myself each
week!). When the Scouts arrived at the first meeting the next month and saw
the winning patrol finishing off their pizza (I served it a half hour before
the scheduled troop meeting), things changed! Over the next few months,
uniforms were put into much better order and worn more correctly. I even
went as far as taking off points for wrinkled slacks and not having "brass
on brass" (for those not familiar with the term, that means that the brass
end of the web belt sticks out of the buckle only enough to assure it is
By the end of six months, the competition got cutthroat. Few points were
seperated the winning patrol from the lowest scoring patrol. I frequently
saw during pre-opening Scouts helping other Scouts fix up their uniforms.
More than that though, I started seeing much more personal pride and patrol
Unfortunately, my job suddenly took me to another part of the country and I
do not know if the routine continued.
For the cost of a few pizzas and some soda each month, I improved the
appearance and Scouting experience for a whole troop. No yelling was done
(by me) and no one came out a loser (every patrol won at least once during
those 6 months). After the first few months, my only responsibility for
this contest was buying the pizzas. The SPL and ASPLs ran the contest.
Marc W. Solomon Unit Commissioner
firstname.lastname@example.org Sycamore District
email@example.com Blackhawk Council, IL
I use to be a wise old owl . . . Now I am just old
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City