Re: merit badge sash
Mike Walton ("settummanque,)
Wed, 29 Oct 1997 01:07:11 -0600
Rhonda asked us all:
>Our troop has a "policy" that the boys cannot wear the merit badge sash
>until they have earned 6 badges.
That's fine but this should be first off, a policy accepted by the youth
(the Patrol Leaders' Council) of the Troop and second, explained to each new
member of the Troop, either transferred or "newbie".
Some here have already quoted the BSA's Insignia Guide and the part where it
states (and it does) that Councils and units don't have any authority to
"modify policy". However, there's two very important things that is left
out of their answers that I want to bring up here.
First, a local Council CAN and HAS allowed for localized modifications and
localized patches and insignia in connection with national or local Council
programming. It's explained in the Insignia Guide.
Second, a Chartered Organization CAN and HAS provided for direction (as it
is THEIR UNIT) as to what kind of neckerchiefs, what kind of unit insignia,
and other uniforming policies (for instance, a urban unit can state in their
bylaws that youth may wear bluejeans in lieu of the BSA standard pants and
the older khaki shirts in lieu of the current khakitan shirts) *with
approval of the local Council Scout Executive (or his or her
representative)*. That's explained in that same Insignia Guide but not to
the degree that I've explained it here.
In both cases, the unit bares the burden of convincing the Council's Scout
Executive or his/her representative of the need for keeping merit badge
sashes at home until the 6th merit badge, if that's what your unit has
decided upon. Personally, I don't see why but perhaps it was something that
the *youth of the Troop* decided upon a while back and it has stuck.
In that case, if you feel that this is wrong, then the *youth of the Troop*
should be involved in changing it and they should be educated in the
reasoning behind the merit badge sash: to place ALL MERIT BADGES EARNED
upon it, IN THE ORDER THAT THE SCOUT WISHES.
As far as the Scouts "teasing" younger Scouts, that should be STOPPED COLD,
Rhonda. Don't let them tease them.....every Scout starts out earning that
first Merit Badge and you have to earn one before you earn two or six or
Show me where in the Insignia Guide where it says that a UNIT has no
authority to modify WHEN a uniform (or uniform item, in this case) is to be
worn. I can't find it. I've found several rules concerning INSIGNIA but
but NOT UNIFORMS (Article X, sec 4, clause 4 does talk about ALTERATION, but
we're not talking about altering BSA policy here....there is "no policy" in
essence, since there is little guidance (handbooks only state that the sash
should be worn "during formal occasions" and that word "should" doesn't mean
"MUST", thereby giving units flexibility in deciding how and when the sash
is to be worn).
And before some of you point to clause 6, note that ..."may be approved by
the *local council* executive board for council events or activities under
conditions consistant with the Rules and Regulations of the BSA".
Bottom line, Rhonda: Your unit's youth Patrol Leaders' Council should be
making the "rule" on how the merit badge sash, just like the hat, the
neckerchief, and other items should be worn by members of your Troop. If
your PLC decide to keep the "don't wear it until you've earned six merit
badge" rule, insure that EVERYONE in your Troop is aware of the rule, that
new members are made aware of the rule and by all means, emphasize again
that Scouting is NO PLACE for "teasing"...every Scout is a "brother to all
other Scouts" and while a small amount of good-natured ribbing is good and
healthy, "running someone down" for something that they may not be aware of
is NOT and should be corrected quickly!
Hope this helps!
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
241 Fairview Dr., Henderson, KY 42420-4339 firstname.lastname@example.org
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