Godbout, Marc (GodboutM@ANDOVERCONTROLS.COM)
Thu, 23 Oct 1997 13:55:48 -0400
I looked through my pocket and found two cents, so I thought I'd throw
them in here.
First, our troop does not require official BSA pants. I, and a couple
of my assistants wear them, a few of the boys wear them, but most of the
boys wear jeans. We strongly suggest wearing the shirt, and on any
given night we'll have maybe two boys out of 30 not in uniform shirts.
I'm having a hard time understanding why the uniform pants are so
important, other than "the BSA says so". The shirt is the single most
recognized part of the uniform. It's got all the rank, position,
council, etc. identification. IMHO, the shirt makes the uniform. The
pants are more expensive and less rugged than jeans (A Scout is
Throughout this thread, I've seen several references to the armed forces
and police requiring complete uniforms, so the Scouts should follow
their lead. I say that by wearing the shirts, we *are* following their
lead. Even if we all wear the pants, we are already accepting a certain
level of non-uniformity that is not tolerated by the above mentioned
groups. Both the armed forces and police also require certain shoes,
socks, and haircuts, not to mention regulations against body piercing
(let's not start that one again :>). So unless we start requiring the
same from our boys (just try and regulate haircuts) then anything we do
is a compromise. So we let them wear the shoes, socks, and hairstyles
they want. Why not pants?
Also, there have been several suggestions on how to pay for these pants.
We haven't had much luck with used uniform pools with shirts and I
wouldn't expect to have much more success with pants. Fundraisers are
also mentioned. I say it's hard enough to raise money for equipment,
camping fees, re-chartering, badges, etc., without adding a relatively
useless item like pants to the list.
However we do it - more fundraisers, upping registration fees, dues,
whatever - is bound to turn some scouts away. Maybe not very many, but
how many are we willing to accept and what are we really gaining by
turning those boys away.
I think my meter's up; can't get far on two cents nowadays :>)
SM Troop 98
ASM Troop 412
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City