Re: Jewelry in Uniform
Doug Roach (djroach@IX.NETCOM.COM)
Thu, 25 Sep 1997 00:17:51 -0400
Rod Smith wrote:
> The situation was that while on our way to Philmont another troop
> came in where we were staying with a crew chief with blue hair and
> several boys with toe nail and finger nail polish on. While I was out
> picking up another leader at the airport, three of my boys decide that
> they wanted their toe nails and finger nails polished. The other two
> leaders told them to take it off before I got back.
> One boy did not and we had words to the effect that it came off or he
> headed home. He did take it off, but him and his parents caused a
> real riff
> when they got home and put me on the spot about my bias about painted
> I do have a couple boys that wear earrings.
> Well what it all boiled down to was that we made a rule that a boy
> could not
> come to the Scout meeting unless he had a Class A or B uniform on and
> jewelry(earrings, chains, etc.), non normal colored hair and nail
> were not appropriate with the Scout uniform. It is unfortunate that
> couldn't just use the Scout oath and law as direction for personal
> appearance, but a lot of the scouts of today don't have the same
> interpretation of what these mean or what appropriate appearance is
> when you are in uniform.
Larry (et al),
I think using the Scout Oath and Law are entirely appropriate for
direction in this instance. The only point of either one that the Scout
may have violated (obedient) was rectified when you gave him your
It is also appropriate that we as leaders be bound by the Law.
Presuming the Scout to have been otherwise well-behaved and qualified to
attend Philmont and presuming he has worked in Scouting to achieve the
rank and training necessary to attend, I would find your threat to send
him home because of nail polish to be less than 'Kind'. Since there was
no Troop policy prohibiting the behavior prior to the incident, he also
would have a case for his leadership not being 'Trustworthy' by your
having violated the agreement you both had for you to get him there.
I don't know where you're from as your sig file lists no town. Here in
Miami, boys of Philmont age routinely wear earrings and other jewelry.
(Nail polish, however, is a new one to me.) We have an Eagle Scout, and
a fine Eagle in every sense of the term, who attended his BOR wearing a
small ring in his eyebrow. Three months later, (last night in fact) he
showed up to the Troop meeting with a new ring. This one is in his lip!
The relationship I have with this boy after years of knowing him is such
that I was able last night to get ballistic about the new hardware. He
accepts my "old-guy-bias" with humility and respect but expects that I
will, in the end, also respect his decision to wear such inane devices.
He is one of the few boys left in our Troop of forty or so that STILL
calls me and every other adult 'sir' in conversation. None of the adult
leadership of our Troop likes the rings. None of the adult leadership of
our Troop considers him any less than a fine Scout.
In the late seventies sometime, a new Commandant of the Coast Guard
issued a directive that all Coasties will no longer wear beards. An
astounding number of senior enlisted personnel (mostly lifer Chiefs)
either retired early or failed to re-up solely because of this arbitrary
order. (Several of my friends and acquaintances among them.) How are we
to expect that such a directive aimed at our youth will not be taken in
the same manner? Our society gives a boy enough reasons to get out of
Scouting without our adding another.
Most of our Scouts do all that we ask of them.... and more. Most of our
Scouts can be compared quite favorably with any other group of youth in
the community. I don't think it too much for a Scout to ask of us that
we accept the fact that HIS generation places some value on items of
personal appearance or on music or on terminology that MY generation
But I STILL think the face rings are ludicrous. :-)
SA Troop 10 - South Florida Council - Miami
http://www.action-net.net/T10 (ya'll come visit)
"Got to keep the loonies on the Path..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City