Re: Uniform thoughts
Steve Hoar (shoar@INFINET.COM)
Sun, 26 Oct 1997 13:45:03 +0000
Just a few random thoughs on your missive.
At 01:35 AM 10/26/97 -0500, you wrote:
>I have hiked Philmont Scout Ranch several times. I've encountered very
>few full uniforms in the backcountry (except for Philmont rangers--even
>they weren't 100% official --wool hiking socks instead of Scout socks--for
>good reason) Philmont is a highlight Scouting experience where unity,
>pride, and Scoutlike attitude is essential. If those are the things a
>uniform helps to accomplish, why doesn't Philmont "require" full uniforms on
On the trail weight and space dictates that only fully fuctional equipment and
clothing be taken on the trail. I find that the uniform would be useless as
backcountry clothing. Can you imagine the havoc that a week on the trail
on a fully set up scout shirt!
>The arguments that the police, fire dept., and sports teams require full
>uniforms don't matter to me. We are not arresting criminals, fighting
>fires, or scoring field goals.
In general I would agree with uniforming as a measure of pride. The
aspect is while those other organizations wear uniforms designed for their
purpose i.e. sports, police, military...our is not. Yup, I wear mine to camp
but if I had the authority and smarts to design a 'uniform' for frequent
use, it would not look like the current uniform.
>The uniform method is measured by it's positive effect on boys. It's
>not measured by the dollars spent or the yards of cotton/polyester we buy
>from national supply.
It is an interesting phenomena to watch. As the boys achieve and advance
they seem to want to wear the uniform even more. The pride of accomplishment
carries forward to uniforming. If we provide them the opportunity to
advance in rank and achievements, they reflect their pride in their
uniforming. If the only troop program is playing games at meetings
and playing in the woods, the boys will wear play clothes. If they work
on skills and advancement, they will wear the uniforms to show their skills
>My troop encourages Scouts to wear the Scout Shirt as their uniform.
>Until my PLC changes that, that is what we'll do. (Personally, I own
>several full uniforms.)
What?! How dare you actually let the boys have a voice in the operations
of the troop!
>Now, let's move on to a much more important topic.
>How many troops out there provide a "full outdoor program", including year
>round monthly camping trips, day trips, summer camp, and a high adventure
>program for older Scouts?
Gotta have it. If it is inspired by the adult leadership who show enthusiasm
for the program...it will work. If a full outdoor program is a bother to
the adults and they don't want to really push it, it won't happen despite
the boys might want it. When the outdoor program fades you can soon count
on a steady decline in active membership. And guess what, the uncommitted
leaders really won't care because it makes it easier for them. Besides,
them are there to help their own son make Eagle and having all those other
kids around is really a bother.
>You don't outgrow the outdoors.
You bet! Thats why they join!
Steve in Newark
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City