Re: summer camp uniforms
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Fri, 16 May 1997 12:25:20 -0500
Marc Grey asked:
> I have a problem which has arose in my troop concerning uniforms for
>adults at summer camp.
What does *your Council* say about the uniform for camp? That should be the
answer that your Troop follows while at summer camp.
Lots of Scouters get this idea that Council summer camp is this place where
you can do just about anything your unit cares to do, because "this is where
we do the real Scouting at". That's incorrect.
Summer camp....whether its at your Council's facility, at Philmont, at the
National Jamboree, or on your own with another unit, is an exercise in
CITIZENSHIP, CHARACTER and PHYSICAL (and mental) DEVELOPMENT that the BSA
uses to "drive home" what has (should have been) taught during those other
nine months at "home". It is a community-based weeklong program (or
longer, in the case of Philmont and the National Jamboree) in which all of
the tenants of Scouting...the eight methods, the 12 points, the three parts,
and the individual Scout...all come together and at the end of the week,
each Scout, each Scouter, should be saying to him or herself "THAT'S WHAT
SCOUTING IS ABOUT!"
In a community, there's certain attire that's "acceptable wear" at certain
times. During morning and evening ceremonies, during meals, during
activities, during campfire programs. Your Council publishes (or should
publish) a booklet which explains what that attire is and what's NOT
acceptable attire....in most cases, it's common (Scout) sense...in some
cases, it isn't. That's what your Troop should "put out" as what IS the
Now, saying all of that, the field uniforms of the BSA is ALWAYS acceptable
for anyone attending ANY camp....that's why the BSA makes them. In the
absense of the field uniform, the "activity uniform" of the BSA is likewise
acceptable. In the absense of that, any uniforming which is common among
all participants (camp tees and Scout shorts, camp hats,
etc.) should be okay for wear at the *appropriate times and locations*.
For instance, there's ALWAYS been a standing policy that "cut-offs and
shorts" cannot be worn around or in the pool area.....and of course, you
have your "selection" of hats to wear during the week of camp.
Summer camp is your unit's chance to put into PRACTICE all of the things
that you've been working on during the rest of the year. It's a community
which is built, grows, and folds up at the end of the weeklong period.
There's "community rules" and many of those rules are written. Check with
your Council to find those rules and DON'T WAIT until "check-in time" on
Sunday or Saturday to explain and discuss those rules with your Scouts and
Scouters. That's the WRONG TIME to tell a Scouter, for instance, that he
or she cannot smoke ANYWHERE on the camp's property; that's the WRONG TIME
to tell a Scout, for instance, that the ONLY way that he can call back home
is to go to the administration building with an adult.
You can't make people "work within the rules," Marc...that's why we have so
many prisons and jails now. What you can do is to enforce and offer a
compromise to that Scouter that refuses to wear the uniform. (Of course,
the way I would have handled this goes back to something I wrote in 1993
about a "contract for service" that all of my Assistant Scoutmasters sign.
In that "agreement", part of it calls for the ASM to wear the field uniform
whenever it is neccessary or mandatory to do so and that the Troop would
work with "advancing" the money needed for uniform parts as long as the
Scouter is registered with the Troop and as long as they are ordered through
our Committee (which orders them through the local Council, because in our
place in Germany, the local Post Exchange did not carry Boy Scouting
uniforms or accessories)). The compromise may be that he or she gets to
stay back in the campsite during those times that the unit has to be in
uniform; or that they get to travel with the unit, but does not get to
participate in the activities. Of course, if there's a "camp uniform",
perhaps the compromise is that the Scouter may wear the "camp uniform"
instead of the field uniform.
Give us some more information....is the person objecting to the cut or wear
of the uniform; has some kind of negative response to the uniform (breaks
out....hey!! there ARE some people with allergic reactions to cotton, which
the uniforms are in part made of!!), or as Jessica says about me sometimes,
just is out and out "contrary and stubborn to the core" with regard to
wearing the uniform?
For sure, check with your Council and see what EXACTLY is the "uniform for
wear" during your Troop's week of camp...and see if that Scouter has any
objections to wearing it. Of course, the alternative, and I hate to be
brutal about it, is to leave him or her at home if they choose not even to
wear the "camp uniform".
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://www.vhm.com/~uscardnl/
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