Boy Scout uniform - Long-Soapbox
Steve Hoar (shoar@INFINET.COM)
Tue, 31 Mar 1998 14:58:25 -0500
>Their are certain times when a uniform needs to be worn, such as Courts
>of Honor or Boards of Review, etc. At a troop meeting, I personally have
>no problem as long as the scouts are wearing a scouting related T-shirt.
>I guess my question is, What's the big deal?
Much of what scouting does has to do with building team spirit. Using
the team analogy, take a look around at sports and other group
activities where the uniform builds team identity and helps build
pride in the organization. It harkens back to an old shaving
commercial where the phrase 'look sharp, feel sharp, be sharp' was the key
I am sure that most of the parents out there have coached youth
sports at one time or another, did we not expect them to wear
the uniform to the 'meetings' (Games). What is wrong with
having the same expectation at the scout 'games' (meetings)!
Not to model ourselves after gangs, but even they take pride in their
Next time you go to the hospital take a look at the 'uniforms' which
help identify who they are and what they do.
Policemen, firemen, and even your dentist wears a uniform.
Even folks working at an office or a construction site wear an
official or unofficial uniform.
Look at the uniform of the young teen male today...baggy low hanging
trousers and at least one pierced ear.
The uniforms within the troop help the boys identify what they are a
part of. If they are out of uniform they are little more than a
bunch of kids hanging around together. They will not see themselves
as scouts. The uniforms help remind them who they are and what they
are about. It reminds them and their leaders that they are Scouts.
In all of this the most potent influence is the example set by the
leaders, the adults. If the adults find any and every excuse not to
wear the uniform, then the boys will not wear theirs. If the adults
fail to wear the uniforms then I would hesitate to call them the
leaders. They might be fine organizers and managers but certainly
not leaders. (Or it could be that until they come out with
spandex adult shirts, some scoutmasters will be unable to wear the
I am amused by the comment that some folks don't like the colors or the
designs of the uniforms yet these same folks will wear some mighty
strange looking clothes while they or their sports teams play sports.
Somehow one set of unusual is OK but the other is not OK. Of the two,
I would think that the scout uniform is the least unusual uniform you
What's the big deal? Anything worth doing is worth doing well. If we
aim for the average or just enough to get by, then that is all we will
do or be able to do with ourselves, our troop, or our lives. If we
aim to excel, to be the best that we can be, than that will be reflected
in ourselves, our troop ,and our lives. It has been my observation that
folks tend to be consistent throughout their lives. They tend to live to
the same standards at work as they do at home and in their personal lives.
If they have high standards at school, work, and outside the home, they
tend to have them throughout their whole life. If they have mediocre
standards at work and home, they carry over to their whole life. Somehow
I feel that we owe to ourselves and our scouts to set our standard
higher than mediocre.
Soapbox off, time to go outside and enjoy the beauty of the day.
Stephen M. Hoar
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City