Uniforming Survey Text Comments (Long!)
Joseph Alessi (JosephAlessi@COMPUSERVE.COM)
Tue, 31 Mar 1998 16:36:25 -0500
Here's the comments that people submitted with
Our troop's pictures were featured in the Scouting Oct 95
artictle on Pimaree 3 out or 4 US Scout pictures all the
Mexican's were in my troop) even though we were out of
council. Reason good uniforming. Right now we have 80
boys and 60 registered adults.
We are a small, urban troop. We have many scouts from single
parent families. We maintain a uniform bank - and many of
our leaders buy scout shirts at flea markets, garage sales
and second hand stores for $1-4. These are then given when
larger boys don't fit into the smaller uniforms - with the
understanding that they will return them when they no longer
fit..... It works okay. The pants seem to be the hardest
thing to keep in supply - so shorts get worn a lot. But, in
California that isn't too bad <g>
We encourage uniform use at all functions unless the activity
is one that would damage it. Wide games, painting projects etc
We wear full uniforms only when it is formal, and even then it is
difficult to get all of them to wear it. Uniforms should be more
"all weather friendly", or as much as possible with the varying
climates. The uniform should be something Scouts want to wear,
not be forced to wear.
The use of full field uniform is what is requested at those times
indicated, but doesn't always happen. Many times only a tan shirt
We ecourage Scouts to wear our troop t-shirt during summer camp
meals and on campouts but this is not required. Due to the heat
in this part of the country, the only time that most camps ask for
the full uniform is at retreat. And most troops only wear the
shirt with jeans, shorts, etc. For the past 3 years, we have
required the shorts or trousers during summer camp retreat as the
boys look so much better when compared to other troops.
Well, here's the norm in our troop. I'd like to see us do better,
but this is how it stands at the moment. You'll note that we never
require BSA pants.
Uniform is important for scout spirit, patrol spirit and troop
We are a troop that has always had a large number of lower income
families, and so only requires the shirt. Those that wish to wear
the pants (about 20%) are encouraged to do so.
As you can see, we want the Scouts wearing the uniform at all troop
meetings. When it comes to activities, we are much more lenient. We
have not done any parades, but we would require full uniform then,
too. In regards to Boards of Review: the troop committee set the
standard of 100% full uniform for ALL BofR. In fact, we have one
Scout who has been delayed for MONTHS for he refuses to buy Scout
pants/shorts. He comes to meetings in Scout shirt and blue jeans
with massive holes in the knees. He is aware of the policy and has
agreed to wait. So it is now up to him. Eagle BofR are also in my
area of influence as District Advancement Chairman. I require the
Scout to be in full uniform and I also request that ALL members of
the Board wear the uniform properly, too, if they have one, that
We require a full Scout uniform at most functions, if the Scout can
afford it. If the Scout cannot afford it, then he IS required to
have a Class "A" shirt with all patches, but is not required to
have the official Scout pants. He is required, however, to wear
decent-looking pants, not holey, or about to fall off.
We encourage boys to wear full uniform but there's only a couple
who have the pants.
Most all of the boys in this troop wear their uniforms. Also they
are not allowed to travel unless in full (socks, too) uniform. My
son nearly missed a campout becasue of that (luckily we live
My biggest complaint on the uniform is the material (polyester) is
very uncomfortable and cargo pockets would be nice to have.
Scouts are expected to wear Scout shirts for meetings and formal
occasions. They are encouraged to wear Scout pants/shorts, but we
do not require. About half the Scouts wear full field uniform.
Scout T-shirts are acceptable summer camp wear, as is most anything
else. ... Our adults always try to set the example by being in full
uniform most of the time. I even use an official BSA =
handkerchief!!! but that's another story.
Interestingly, the High Adventure Explorer (Venturer??) Post I
started are all enthusiastic about the Explorer Uniform. The first
fund raiser we had was earmarked for uniforms. Go figure...
Our general policy is full uniform when interfacing directly with
the public, meetings and travel. Once we are on a campout (other
than Summer Camp) the scouts can wear what ever they choose.
As with any proud team, the uniform with badges in the correct
places is a component of that pride. Ask anyone who has gone from
scouts into the military.
Our PLC voted for a minimum of a shirt at meetings, with the rest
of the uniform optional. I have succeeded in getting them to
approve a troop logo to go on a neckerchief and troop tshirt.
Once we get those printed, the neckerchief will be mandatory at
meetings. I would like more of the uniform and try to set an
example by always wearing the full uniform to meetings. I require
travel to/from outings to be at least the shirt. I strongly
encourage scouts not to wear the pants on outings. They are too
expensive and fragile for camping. When we get the shirts printed,
they will become the camp uniform.
We try to get and keep our boys uniformed. We are not in an area
of great wealth, but we manage by rotating the uniforms around
through more than one generation/family. There is still a need for
full dress (Class A) uniforms. Honor Guard, Scout Sunday and
selected service projects. Hiking and Camping require a different
uniform- from a functionality standpoint.
Not all our scouting outings are appropriate for Full Class A's...
I believe and am in agreement w/ many on the list that the Class A
is really an inappropriate attire for anything other than formal
things like COH, Dinner...things that do not require 'active'
participation and by 'active' I mean work, play, projects and so
Common sense has to take place over uniforming "RULES" Our
committee does not allow me to require BSA pants all the time, but
I do require them for Eagle BOR & COH. I can't always fight the
A number of our boys don't own BSA pants, so we try to be flexible
on the "full uniform required" part. We don't want to exclude
anybody because they don't have the right clothes. However, we do
encourage everyone to eventually obtain all the pieces.
My troop does not consider the scout pants or shorts as absolutely
nescessary for every scout since the income level of each scout's
parent varies widely. It would be great if all the scouts could
wear the pants in our troop, but we consider blue jeans exceptable
for most purposes.
Some boys in our troop own full BSA field uniforms and would wear
them where we indicate BSA SHIRT/OTHER PANTS. Our unit does not
"require" full uniforming. We ask them to wear their uniform as
completely as they can. In most cases that is shirt/other pants.
Our Troop "Uniform" is Scout Shirt/Neckerchief/Slide/Belt/
Hat (optional) over "blue" jeans in a good state of repair and
cleanliness. This is purely a cost issue (I would lose Scouts
if I demanded the pants too.) I do encourage those who are
Eagle-bound to acquire a full regulation uniform for/before their
EBOR and ECOH. The current uniform is way too expensive. If OD
BDU pants would encourage the boys to wear the uniform more
often... National should do it.
Troop XX consisted of youth age 15 and older. They absolutely
refuse to wear any uniform where there is a risk of being seen by
their friends. Within the last two years the troop has doubled in
size due to a reorganized feeder pack. The younger boys are
willing to wear uniforms. Right now there is a power struggle
between the adult leaders who want uniforming and the older boys
who are trying to convince the younger Scouts that uniforms are
"dorky". The older boys were never Cub Scouts.
Our Troop asks the Scouts to wear the official pants, but doesn't
require them to do so. I think a lot of families just can't afford
them. The other reason a lot don't have them is the Scouts didn't
ask for them from their parents.(kids don't like the look and feel
We don't require any specific type of pants in the troop, they
don't wear neckerchiefs eiter (Troop vote). I don't know if there
is a real reason other than we're lax in the uniform department,
our main concern is a shirt, we have troop t-shirts and
sweatshirts. We prefer them to at least wear a "scout" shirt to
meetings whether it be from camp or whatever.
On a personal level, with having 5 members of my family in Scouts
including myself; financially it kills me to have to outfit pants
for everyone. Especially with 3 growing boys that seem to go
through 5 sizes a year. We asked the Patrol Leaders council and
all of my assistant Scoutmasters what they would prefer and they
came up with the following: Boy Scout pants are always accepted.
(I always wear mine when I am wearing the shirt). The only
requirements for pants was that they were clean, no holes, and
had belt loops. This eliminated boys wearing running shorts or
sweat pants. Most of the boys wear Jeans or jean shorts.
I would say that the Scoutmaster would like to see everyone dressed
in total uniform. He always is! But he appears to be lucky to
have the boys even show up in their shirts (although that has been
happening more and more often lately). The pants are usually blue =
jeans, probably because of expense. I've seen the boys show up in
shorts and sometimes chinos like "Dockers" -- but not often.
At troop meetings the boys usually wear jeans with their BSA shirt-
sometime the black camo pants. Most outings the black camo pants
are also worn. The reason we went to black camo pants was to try
to get everybody to wear the same thing. Many of our older boys
did not buy the BSA pants because of the cost and the fact that
they would only be worn for Boy scouts. More cost effective to get
them to buy something that they would wear other times. At the
time we did this we also did alot of things with our explorer troop
and they were wearing the black camos. This way we all looked the
same and the older boys did also. We don't require the BSA =
pants for anything but Eagle boards.
For me the reason is fit. The fabric is reasonable tough and dries
quickly. But the cut is too tight around my thighs. I have bought
a size too large and then took the waist in, but my wife got tired
of doing that.
On the Pants issue we allow the boys to wear blue jeans, or other
pants except sweat pants and don't require a full uniform, the
Scout Master would rather have a boy with no uniform than no boy.
BDU's we let the boys wear on outings only. Also we are mainly a
military unit and finances are a problem.
Joseph A. Alessi in Ozwin 2.14
Vice Chair - Program, Lafayette District
ASM Troop 313
Advisor to the Treasurer, Unami Lodge
I used to be an Owl
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City