Re: Uniforms: Scouters/Scouts
Steven Tobin (stobin@MMMPCC.ORG)
Tue, 11 Aug 1998 23:56:00 -0600
I know how you feel about the idea of "paying" Scouts to wear the uniform.
I felt that way when I started out, but was faced with the same situation.
I knew it was more a matter of habit and tradition, and I had to break
through the current 'negative' tradition and establish a new, positive
one. I tried an idea I heard about somewhere, and it worked wonders. It
has been discussed before, and it has worked for many other units, so
maybe it is time to run it around again.
We started a Scout Bucks Auction in the troop. We printed up Scout Bucks,
and gave out a Scout Buck for wearing the minimum troop uniform to an
activity. We gave another one for having the Scout Handbook and notebook,
and another for having scout uniform pants.
Even though we had 'required' wearing the uniform at all Scouting
functions, actual compliance was about 15 to 20 percent at any given
activity. This quickly went up to 100 percent at all activities. About 5
percent had full uniforms at the start, and went up to about 50 percent
or highter. We added the requirement for correct badgery(??) and
this went to 100 percent.
Initially it appeared to us as "paying", but I think the boys really went
for the game aspect of the activity. We put about $125 into Scout items
and had an auction in April, and the boys had a great time. We repeated
the next year, and the boys enjoyed it, but it had clearly run it's
course and we discontinued it.
The real payoff, for the troop, was the creation of a 'full uniform'
tradition. The scouts wear them for every activity, no questions asked.
The new scouts accept this, and continue the tradition. And it has
continued for the last 6 years since we ended it. Sometimes it takes
something extra special to change attitudes, and this was it for us.
The bottom line, make it fun.
Steve Tobin, Troop Committee, Troop 39, Cannon Falls, MN
Wakpaota District Roundtable Commissioner, Gamehaven Council
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Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City