Re: Customs and Culture
Rodger Morris (rodger@FISHNET.NET)
Mon, 28 Oct 1996 08:16:58 -0800
At 12:03 PM 10/27/96 -0500, Doug Roach wrote:
>John Dove wrote:
>> We had a small situation arise the other night at our pack meeting and I
>> wondered if any one had any input.
>> My question is, whether or not there is an official BSA rule on wearing a
>> hat indoors. Thanks in advance.
>against both accepted common convention (including
>what my mother taught me) AND military protocol.
>Therefore, it is my opinion that the hats should come
It is often the case that the eternal verities that one learned at one's
mother's knee are neither eternal nor true. That is certainly the case
here in re the propriety of wearing headgear indoors. Mr. Roach writes
as though removing one's headgear indoors is a universal cultural
invariant. Not so.
It should be remembered here that Jewish men who follow the rules of
behavior contained within the Torah to the letter will wear a hat,
in doors and out of doors. This is often the "skullcap", but can be any
hat. Likewise, observant Sikhs will wear a turban both indoors and out
Since a Scout respects the views of others in matters of custom and
religion, it is obviously alright for these groups to wear headgear
I simply note in passing that Mr. Roach's appeal to the U.S. military
custom and tradition of not wearing headgear indoors is moot, as Boy
Scouting is not the military. Thus, their customs and traditions in re
matters of military uniforming are irrelevant to the BSA.
Even within the U.S. military, there are times when it is not only right
and proper to wear headgear indoors, but is mandatory. A service member
under arms wears his or her headgear indoors, for example.
"There are nine and sixty ways,
Of constructing tribal lays,
AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM IS RIGHT!"
Having said that, I usually remove my headgear indoors as a matter of
simple courtesy, as the cultural customs and traditions when and where I
was reared appear to be very similar to Mr. Roach's in this respect. However,
I have piped inside a church whilst wearing a glengarry (Scottish piper's
hat) and I would certainly wear a hat in a synagogue if I were a guest
there and the members of the congregation were wearing headgear.
Perhaps we need to keep in mind that people do have different customs and
traditions and stop being so dogmatic as to what constitutes proper
behavior. As Rudyard Kipling once observed on the subject of custom and
As always, "your mileage may vary".
Yours in Scouting,
Rodger Morris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Scoutmaster, Troop 852 Woodbadge 416-18
Ventura County Council Philmont, 1973
Camarillo, California, USA "I used to be a Beaver..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City