Re: Embarrassed of Uniform
Drew Hagemann (hagemann@VISI.NET)
Thu, 16 Oct 1997 19:03:12 -0400
Mayhew R SSgt 612AIS/INAR wrote:
> Folks, in my Wood Badge, course the question of uniforming the Scouts
> came up. One of my fellow patrol members expressed frustration over
> some of the members in his troop being too embarrassed to wear the Scout
> uniform, and refused to do it. Additionally, parents were calling
> leaders, telling them that if they MADE their child wear the uniform,
> they'd pull them from the troop. Other members in the patrol gave some
> suggestions, but I am here to solicit suggestions from all of you.
Our 73-year-old Troop has always required each Scout to wear a complete
Boy Scout uniform as soon as possible after joining. We have a pile of
"experienced" uniforms in our QM that we loan to Scouts when they first
join to ease the burden on a new family's budget. When we meet each
Wednesday night, and when we travel to and from Troop camping trips we
are all (adults, too) in full uniform. We expect it and they comply.
It isn't an option, and new "Troop 6 parents" know that when they turn
in their son's Boy Scout application.
That said, we also know that a boy older than thirteen will not wear his
Scout uniform in public if there is even a remote chance that some kid
from his own neighborhood might see him wearing it. So, when we do
service projects close to home, we forego the uniform requirement,
asking them instead to just wear their distinctive, red Troop 6 ball
caps with their "cool clothes". Some will occasionally wear a Scouting
t-shirt as well, and we always positively acknowledge their bravery if
they do. We know how sensitive the older Scouts are to their
non-Scouting classmate's merciless taunts, so we give them a break, and
they appreciate it.
Luckily our Troop has a large number of 11- and 12-year-old boys, so we
rarely have a problem finding sufficient number of Scouts who are
willing to turn out in full uniform for a neighborhood service project.
If we are going to another part of town where there is an extremely
small chance they'll be seen by a non-Scouting classmate, the older
Scouts will "suit up" as well.
So..., what am I saying here? Three things. One, require uniform wear
to all Troop meetings and all out-of-town trips, and never deviate from
that position. Two, be considerate of the boy's feelings and don't
force them to choose between wearing a Scout uniform to a neighborhood
service project or staying home; you'll loose every time. And, three,
do your best to establish the diameter of their "zone of Scout uniform
discomfort" and don't violate it.
It works for us. We average about 55 boys in the Troop each year. We
had nine boys make Eagle last year, and are looking at advancing another
six to eight Scouts to Eagle this year. And we've had well over seventy
boys become Eagle Scouts in the last ten years.
Andrew Hagemann <email@example.com>
SA, Troop 6
Colonial Virginia Council
A "Charging" Buffalo, SR-158
Jamboree '97 Metal Work MB Booth Coordinator
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City