Re: Embarressed by uniform.....NOT I
Richard Sullivan (rjvlsullivan1@PRODIGY.NET)
Sat, 25 Apr 1998 03:10:18 +0000
Robin Toomey described how she had to attend a Webelos meeting just
after an appointment with her optometrist and a related trip to the
mall followed by a trip to the gas (petrol) station. She then posed
"What would you do? Wear the uniform in PUBLIC? Take it with
you and change at the mall? Not wear it at all and tell the Scouts
why your not in uniform?"
Well, Robin, times change and attitudes change (at least in my
experience) and some things seem never to change. As a lad, I left
Scouting at age 13 when I entered High School (and still regret the
decision) partly because I did not think it cool to wear my uniform.
Since then I have worn several uniforms including one with a dixie cup
for a hat and another which occasionally required a fancy sword and a
high necked collar. At times, I felt embarrassed about having to wear
my Navy Uniforms and simultaneously was proud about them too.
Now my 15 year old son, ten years after he became a Tiger Cub
still feels awkward at times about the so-called "Class-A" uniform but
he wears BSA T-shirts and his Transatlantic Council Sweatshirt along
with his green 1997 "Collectors" BSA ball cap almost everywhere, they
and Scouting are very much a part of him. He claims that if I can
wear my adult uniform around town and on two continents, stopping for
food and gas or petrol as the local vocabulary indicates, then he, too
can wear his BSA shirts anytime he wants to. He wore one last weekend
to a non-scout related scuba-dive weekend with no discomfort among the
somewhat older young adults in his class.
Robin, I hope it is really because Steve has seen me so often
and in so many different venues in my BSA field uniform that he, at
this supposedly sensitive and awkward age, is proud of his
relationship with Scouting. That is why I wear the uniform. I wore it
in Europe to Scouting events, even around London when doing my chores
as Asst. District Commissioner, and now around Solano County,
California, to camporees, and to unit committee meetings, FOS
presentations and a lot of other events. And oh yes, I usually fill
up at the local Arco on my way home from District Committee meetings,
in full uniform, although I can't wear my Smokey-Bear hat in my car
because it won't fit.
Robin, wear that uniform, and wear it correctly and wear it
proudly. You will set an example for your boys, and you will set an
example for other adults. You also just might have some stranger come
up to you to ask about enrolling her/his son in Scouting (you don't
even have to be on the local membership committee, but it helps ;-} ),
or as happened to me on the streets of Antwerp, Belgium during
Interlink '96, you might just meet some very nice "foreigners" who
are/were in Scouting and see in your uniform a sister/brother Scout.
Wear that uniform and wear it well.
Yours in Scouting,=20
Unit Commissioner & Dist. Membership Chairman
Chief Solano Dist./Mt. Diablo Silverado Council
(Fairfield, CA) I used to be a Bob-White!
Wood Badge NE-IV-74 Damp Freedom - Daupthe, Germany
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City