scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Zero Tolerance & Uniforms
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blkeagle@USSCOUTS.ORG
Thu Jun 08 2000 - 23:53:23 CDT
Hey Rick and Scott!
One of you wrote in part:
>A "guarantee for life" does not make an inferior product a "great value."
>How many people actually mail their poorly designed Uniforms back to South
>Carolina? (or wherever it is that you mail them--help us out here again,
>Mike Walton)! One out of a thousand? One out of ten thousand? One out of
>a hundred thousand? True value is better measured in terms of
>craftsmanship. I would be interested in your professional observations in
>this area, Scott, see
Actually, you send them back to the BSA's National Office in Texas; the
Supply Division is in NORTH Carolina.
You asked how many people actually mail their "poorly designed uniforms" back?
Not many. Most are very pleased with the performance of the uniform and
keep their uniforms, even when they grow out of them so that they can sell
them on eBay for a small profit (maybe enough to cover the cost of posting
the shirt on eBay! *hheheheehee*)
I don't have any numbers, because one, the Supply Division doesn't keep
those kinds of numbers; and two, even if they did, they would never release
them to me or any other Scouter. That's like asking Wal-Mart how many
dresses did it take back or exchange because the customer wanted their
money back....the intent is not on finding wrong (although I'm sure that if
a LOT of shirts or pants were being returned either to National or to local
Scout Shops(tm) or Council trading posts, that it would bring up a LARGE
"red flag" at the Supply Division) but rather on satistfying the
customer...and in the BSA's case, insuring that he or she is wearing the
appropriate uniform and accessories for his or her program.
But I can estimate that given the membership of the BSA, maybe 500 pieces
of uniforms will be returned to National each year; and out of that, maybe
10 or 30 of that 500 will be because of "poor worksmanship". Mostly people
exchange their uniforming items because it wore completely out after
several YEARS of usage.
The BSA's uniforms, like any piece of clothing, isn't designed to last
forever (well, maybe if you're one of those Scouters who only wear your
uniform maybe four times a year, it *could* last longer than a few
years...I have one shirt that has lasted me more than ten years (of course,
it was let out a little about five or six years ago).
I finally had to "retire it" and instead of sending it to National for
exchange, I found a Scouter here on Scouts-L that could use it for a Scout
in their community, and I exchanged it for some patches.
>BDUs are built better, they do not rip out as often as BSA pants, they
>expand three sizes, and (most importantly to the Scouts) they do not call
>inappropriate attention to the wearer.
But they are NOT official, and they are NOT appropriate attire to wear with
the official BSA uniform or any activity uniform. I don't mix my BDU
pants, no matter how confortable they are, with ANY BSA field uniform
shirt, teeshirt, or polo-style shirt. It's not appropriate...and most
importantly it looks like you don't know which "army" you belong to...the
"russian one", with all of the red...or the American military, with the
woodland, desert or winter patterned clothing bottom!
>Remember that this is a design from the 1970's, when famous dress
>designers could get men to wear tight pants and short shorts. Boys are far
>more modest now than were their 1970's fathers/grandfathers.
Huh? Modest?? Boys wearing pants so low you can see the crack of their
beehinds? Pants so baggie that sometimes I'm wanting to hand them my belt
and tell them to pull them up and "cinch it" with the belt?? That's MODEST??
Don't agree there...nor do I agree that "tight pants" are out. If the
pants are tight, they've gotten the wrong size and they need to go a size
or two up!!! As far as short shorts are concerned, the current Scout
Shorts are NOT short-shorts. Again, this is a matter of getting the right
size and not "the size you wore when you were younger and weighed less!"
>Like Microsoft, the BSA is a monopoly with a captive population. If the
>BSA's concern was really for children and not for wild profits, they would
>simply order BDUs from Rothco or MLW Corporation and sew some BSA >buttons
on them. This might increase their cost to $10 per unit, but their profit
>(not markup) would still be EIGHT TIMES what you are used to in the retail
What I would like the BSA to do instead is to allow Scouts and Scouters to
wear olive-colored Levis (tm) with the side pockets. I'll have Jessi to
take a photo of me wearing the Scout pants and the Levi(tm) pants with the
cargo pockets and I'll post it to the Insignia and Uniform website as a
suggestion. But I'l tell you all: I spent just as much money on the Levi
pants than I would purchasing a new pair of Scout pants...except for the
larger cargo pockets on the civilian pants. I can place one of the older
versions of the Scout Handbook into the pocket.
I don't know the status of the pettition drive, but there were two or three
drives to get the BSA to allow, under COUNCIL DIRECTION AND PERMISSION, the
authority for Scouts and Scouters of that Council to wear "alternative"
pairs of pants...EXCLUDING "Battle Dress" or "Hunting Dress" clothing and
attire. Those two categories of clothing does NOT go with Scouting's aims
and methods, and should NEVER be allowed to be used as "alternative
clothing" in *my opinion*. In this way, those Councils with a large
segment of rural or urban youth, which clearly cannot afford the complete
uniform, can recommend a suitable pant substitute for youth members to wear
with the official shirts of the program.
>Irving should take a clue from Seattle. If you have read the BSA's
>Charter, you know that the BSA serves at the pleasure of Congress and this
>pleasure is subject to review each and every year! If our enemies
>weren't so focused on legislating morality through the Courts, they would
>see how easy it would be to simply yank our Charter through the Legislature
>using the democratic process as it was intended to work.
They have and some have threatened to do just that; but that's also why the
BSA like many other organizations, also have lobbiests working from the
National Cap Area Council working to maintain Scouting's charter in the
>England has six different Scouting Organizations. Think of them as
>operating systems. Most people will always prefer a bulky, commercial
>Windows-type Scouting, but some of us would be happier with a Linux flavor.
I prefer the older, hard-to find-applications for, sometimes bothersome,
"Windows 3.11 version" of Scouting...older, simpler, and most of all, easy
to understand and easy to use *smiling*
>PS: I do NOT recommend BDUs for Scouting. I merely use them as an example
>of an easy to compare product (Scout Pants are merely wannabe BDUs:)
Yes, they are...or the BDU are "wannabe Scout pants"...depending on your
point of view...
>Last night my Junior Leaders announced to the Troop that they had voted to
>adopt the Nesi "AG" model olive-drab nylon zip-off (convertible) pants with
>the Official BSA Shirt as their Troop's "Activity Uniform."
Where do you find those pants?? I haven't been able to find them anywhere...
And the only reason why one pair of MY Scout pants are tight...is because,
well, I'm working on getting them "untight*!!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
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