Re: Uniforms and Advancement
Mike Walton ("settummanque,)
Fri, 10 Oct 1997 02:04:04 -0500
John Caldwell (and another Scouter from a neighboring Council of his) both
sent postings commenting on a *council policy* to force those Scouts serving
in leadership positions to wear field uniforms.
John stated publically:
>A couple of years ago our Council Advancement Chairman sent out a >letter
saying: a Scout must ware a uniform when serving in a leadership >position
or it did not count as service time for advancement and a Scout >must have a
full uniform to appear before a board of review.
And the other person, who asked me not to reveal his name or relationship to
John's Council, wrote:
"What nonsense are they trying to do over there? How are they going to
"certify" that Scouts indeed were in uniform for the full period?? If a
Scoutmaster wants a Scout to attain Eagle, he will insure that the Scout
becomes an Eagle Scout, with or without a uniform. Besides, its NOT THE
UNIFORM that makes the leader....the ability to lead and follow is what
makes the leader in my book".
>According to the letter all the district advancement chairmen and the
>council commisioner agreed to these requirements.
It doesn't matter, John, if the Council Scout Executive agreed to the
requirement. It becomes yet another requirement to attain Eagle, and a
local Council nor a District nor a unit can "add to" the established
national requirements for any Boy Scout advancement.
>When asked to review the letter national said a Scout could borrow a
>uniform for a board of review. They did not even bother to comment on >the
requirement that a Scout must have a uniform for service time to >count.
>They did comment that they, national, determined the requirements for
That WAS National's comment on the letter, John..it's not enforceable and
therefore, not a part of the requirements and should not hold any water for
Scouts attaining Star, Life or Eagle.
>The council advancement chairman showed up at our next round table >and
agreed that a boy could borrow a uniform for a board of review.
Is there a separate form that the Scoutmaster signs, John, that says "Scout
_____________ has served as (name of position) and participated in full
Scouting uniform during his period of leadership"??
Where does that form go to and who signs it??
Is it a part of the Eagle application package?
What happens when you have a Scout from innercity Macon that meets all of
the BOOK requirements but does not have the monetary resources to own a
Scout uniform shirt? Does he "fail" to earn Star, Life or Eagle even though
he's met the OFFICIAL, LISTED requirements as published in the
_Scout_Handbook_ and the _Boy_Scouts_Requirements_ book??
Man, I would have a FIELD DAY with your Council's Advancement Chair...and
National would be right there, on my side, as I hand a copy of the current
copy of the BSA's Advancement booklet to him, and point to the inside front
cover (and I would even HIGHLIGHT IT for him and provide a magafied copy of
the three sentenences in boldface:
"No Council, District, unit or individual has the authority to add or
subtract from advancement requirements. (For the policies concerning Scouts
with disabilities, see pages 20-21). Suggestions for changes in
requirements should be sent to the Cub Scout, Boy Scout or Exploring
Committee, Boy Scouts of America, 1325 West Walnut Hill Lane, Post Office
Box 152079, Irving, Texas 75015-2079. " )
>I do not disagree with those who would like to see Scouts in full uniform.
>Perhaps we should encourage full uniforms but not require them.
That's always been the Scouting way, John. Kids play softball and baseball
in sandlots all over this country. They play with tennis balls instead of
standard sized baseballs. They play with limited protective gear in the
case of the catcher. They play with no uniforms at all (sometimes, they
play with no shirts on..."shirts versus skins"). They play with modified
rules to allow for bounces off of sides of apartment buildings to count as
"in the park homeruns" or as "fouls".
But they have a desire to play, and they follow the rules of the game as
closely as they can and they are HAVING FUN doing it.
Scouting is a game with a purpose, and although one of the eight methods is
that of uniforming, the lack of a complete uniform should NOT deter a Scout
from meeting the requirements for a particular rank and completing the Board
of Review for that that rank.
Should he show up at the Board of Review in a Scout uniform?? Sure. Should
we make him spend money he doesn't have to own a Scout uniform? Not make,
encourage him but not punish him for his or his family's shortcomings.
There's lots of uniforms out there at Goodwill and similar places. Not
really true all of the places around this nation all of the time. And even
then, you have to have money to get it. If you don't have money to get it,
you can't get it. You work with what you have.
So, if that means that Scouts work with Xeroxed copies of Scout Handbooks or
manuals, or that Scouts camp with holey-than-thou handmedown shelter halves
from the Army, or that Troop meetings are held after school is out in the
gym in the school for 40 minutes before the busses get there....that's what
Your Council's Advancement Chair was WRONG and HE KNEW IT.
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
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