Re: merit badge sash
Wed, 29 Oct 1997 23:41:51 -0500
I have no desire to engage in public humilition and bashing via Scouts-L
but when you set yourself up as some kind of quasi-official Scout icon,
you have a particular obligation to be accurate and objective with your
information. I believe that instead you have mixed some ascertainable
fact with a good dose of opinion and agenda.
Don't take this too personally but I have a problem with self styled
experts and purveyors of Scouting Apocrypha.
You say, in part....
> 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.
Is it clear to you that there is a semantic and legal difference
between "CAN and HAS" and "may and should"? Clause 11, which I believe
is the regulation which allows local councils (with advance approvalof
the Corporation) to produce their own CSP, for instance appears to be
limited in scope to special badges and insignia. I don't get the sense
that any local council/district/unit is authorized to make "localized
modifications" to the uniform.
You further state.....
> 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.
The reason the two things you mention are left out of the answers of
"some here" (slap acknowledged), is probably because they appear nowhere
in the rules and regulations. Of course that again is an opinion and
just my guess. I don't assume that just because I can choose a troop
neckerchief, I can also choose my own official uniform. Explorer Posts
are another matter but I'm sure you must know that.
In my opinion, you should take great care when you engage in
"explaining" the meaning and intent of published policies, regulations,
official statements etc. of the BSA or any other corporation. On whose
authority do you presume to provide "explanations"? My explanation is
that nowhere in the Insignia Guide does it state that anyone other than
the National Executive Board can give approval for a modification of the
uniform, policies, regulations..... Note that Clause 2 defines the
official uniforms of the BSA so, I suppose, if you can find a "handbook,
catalog or other official publication" of the BSA which "illustrates and
correctly describes" a uniform consisting of blue jeans and the "older
khaki shirt", you can and may stick it right there in your unit
by-laws. I think my explanation carries as much weight as your
You also state....
> 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
I don't believe that "when" a uniform is to be worn is at issue. It
appears that the regulations allow for a great deal of local discretion
in that regard. It's all right there in Article X, Section 4 Clause 10.
And further on you can't find.....
>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".
I don't think we're reading from the same Insignia Guide. I don't get
the sense of "when" as an issue. What I sense is that BSA wants to
protect its trademarks and ensure that they are used properly if used at
all. Just my opinion though - don't want anyone going out and rewriting
their troop bylaws on my account.
And you provide your particular vision of uniform policy as.....
> 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!
Nope, the bottom line is that there are rules and regulations of the
Corporation that we sign up to when we register that units are not
authorized to independently modify and yes, hazing is wrong but that's
> (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
> email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
> ---- FORWARD in service to youth
I note with interest that you affix a copyright symbol to your
postings. That's interesting. Speaks volumes. I guess it's OK for you
to protect your intellectual property but the good and valuable
trademarks and copyrights of the Boy Scouts of America can be modified
Hey folks, this is the Internet. You are responsible for verifying and
validating the information you get here. This forum is a terrific
source of ideas and opinions. It's amusing and diverting. It's also
anonymous and unsecure. And, I could be wrong.
Resident List Cynic,
Advisor Post 486
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City