Re: Uniform thoughts
golden cliff (c60clg1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU)
Mon, 27 Oct 1997 03:12:23 -0600
> Sorry, Cliff, but your reasoning here simply does not hold water. If the
> order of this list were meant to reflect BSA's priorities, then it would
> somehow be more important for a Scout to be a member of a patrol than for
> him to experience personal growth,
Sorry Russ, I respect you from reading your posts and know you have
better training than what is demonstrated by these remarks. I must
believe your comments were the result of your haste to respond.
Patrol Method means much more than being a member of a patrol. What about
boys leading one another and working together toward common goals,
certainly potential for citizenship, character and fitness there.
Patrol Method is not only a way of organizing boys, but more importantly it
provides a structure in which to experience personal growth.
> and somehow more desirable for him to
> merely go camping or be awarded rank advancement than for him to acquire
> leadership skills.
Outdoor Method incorporates practicing citizenship, using and developing
leadership skills, fitness opportunities, and character building among
many other things. It is where Scouting is put into practice. It was the
outdoor method that B-P chose as the basis for his experiment on Brownsea
Island, that was clearly more than merely going camping.
Likewise, Advancement is not merely about receiving awards? The
Leadership method is certainly important, but it is also incorporated into
Outdoor method and Advancement method.
The eight methods are not easily separated since they do overlap. I do
appreciate that all 8 methods should be incorporated into a Scouting
program. I merely question the payback of the "full" uniform given it's
> This list is simply what it appears to be: a list of
> the eight methods of Scouting, in no particular order. It is not intended
> to assign any greater importance to one method over another...
Sorry Russ, I don't believe all methods are equal.
You have yet to convince me.
Scout #1. Believes in Scouting Ideals but doesn't own a Full Uniform.
Scout #2. Wears a Full Uniform but doesn't believe in Scouting Ideals.
I think believing in "Ideals" is far more important than wearing a "Full
Uniform". Are the two boys above really equal?
> As to when and where the uniform should be worn, page 567 of the Boy Scout
> Handbook says to "wear (the) complete uniform proudly and correctly at all
> Scouting events," including "patrol and troop meetings, hikes, camps, and
> rallies," when appearing "before a board of review or a court of honor,"
> when taking part "in Scout service projects in (the) community and in the
> backcountry," and "during Scouting Anniversary Week in February."
> It seems to me that the fact that complete uniforms are the norm at Philmont
> base camp, and that the rangers wear uniform pants or shorts even in the
> backcountry, is more a point in favor of full uniform usage than against it.
My point was that the tens of thousands of Scouts and leaders that hike
the Philmont backcountry each year don't do it in full uniforms. The lack
of the full uniform doesn't seem to detract from their Scouting experience
or their success on the trail.
> No one is arguing that one should wear the complete uniform when it is not
> appropriate to the activity--I would not want Scouts painting the Scout Hut
> in uniform or hiking in Scout socks, for example--but for troop, patrol, and
> PLC meetings, traveling to and from weekend campouts, and especially for
> boards of review, courts of honor, color guard functions, and virtually any
> activity before the public eye, the uniform is just as functional as jeans
> and should be worn.
Excuse me, doesn't the above statement violate page 567 of the Boy Scout
Handbook you quoted earlier. Only traveling to and from weekend campouts?
The book says to wear full uniform at "hikes, camps, and rallies", not
just to and from. Are you picking and choosing when to wear the uniform?
BTW, I don't disagree with you on that. I'm just pointing out that you
contradicted one of your quotes. How far must we adhere to every word
printed in the book? Does the book say "should" or "must"? Is it a
guideline or a regulation?
> I do not necessarily believe that units which only require half the uniform
> are only providing half the program.
Thank you for that statement. I fear there are those that do believe it.
> You ask how many units are providing a "full outdoor program" (which
> yours presumably does), in a tone which indicates that you feel others
> ought to be doing so; yet you argue against a "full uniform program."
My tone wasn't necessarily meant to sound accusatory. I believe a full
outdoor program is more important than a full uniform program, my bias.
That doesn't mean I am arguing "against" full uniforming. If a troop is
fully uniformed, I applaud them. I think that is a fine accomplishment.
I'm just saying that I'm much less motivated in that regard. I believe
the shirt is the substance of the uniform, the rest is icing. That icing
is very expensive for a growing boy.
> Does this mean that you do not offer a quality program? Not necessarily;
> but it does mean that your program is not all that it could be or should be.
> No unit's program is perfect; there is always room for improvement, even in
> the best of them. Full implementation of the uniform method is but one area
> in which many units could improve.
I plead guilty as charged, especially since I've written my confession and
made it known to this list. Naturally there are areas in which we could
improve with Uniforming definately among them. I see the value of
aspiring to the other goals much more clearly than that of buying Scout
pants and belts.
> The uniform is defined by BSA. It is not within the authority of either the
> PLC or the adult leadership to decide which parts of it to omit, any more
> than it is within their authority to decide which rank advancements to omit
> or which ideals to omit.
Class B uniforms omit the Scout shirt in favor of a selected t-shirt.
This is done by units and BSA Camps all over the country.
> The uniform is a method of Scouting, equal in importance to each of the
> other seven methods, and I challenge you to find any official policy
> indicating otherwise.
I still do not believe this, common sense tells me otherwise. I challenge
you to find any official BSA policy indicating that all 8 methods are
considered of equal value to one another.
YIS, Cliff Golden
Scoutmaster Troop 33; DeKalb, Illinois
Three Fires Council BSA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City