scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Re: Uniforms and Traveling
Murphy Peter (MurphyP@TCE.COM
Thu Jul 20 2000 - 08:45:43 CDT
> Any assistance in building my case for uniforms during travel is
I doubt that there is any official BSA policy that you will be able to
point to on this. And even if there were, rules are not the best reason
for doing something.
At each of our Courts of Honors, I try to re-educate those parents who
are not in the know as much as I am. I tell them it's easy for those of
us in uniform and who receive all of the mailings from council to forget
that not everyone else is as tuned into what's going on.
I usually include the following three reasons for wearing the uniform:
1) It breaks down barriers and makes us all equal just as we are in the
eyes of God. The boys in my troop attend school in 6 different school
systems and include about a dozen different schools. We also have a pretty
high rate of families moving in and out of the area. With a uniform it
doesn't matter what church you belong to or what school you go to or how
long you've lived here or what color you are underneath the uniform - we
are all Boy Scouts.
2) The uniform has places to decorate with signs of your accomplishments:
badges and ranks. This encourages advancement which is *another* one of the
eight methods for achieving those three aims of Scouting. (I precede this
short discussion with a mention of the 3 aims and that there are 8 methods -
just so the parent know we actually have a method or plan amongst all the
seemingly chaos of troop meetings and campouts).
3) Each time we put on the uniform it is a visible reminder to ourselves
and to everyone who sees us that we are Scouts and that we are expected
to live our daily lives according to the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. The
general public has a certain image of Scouts. They expect better behavior
from us and we must be careful to jealously guard that hard earned
Many of the boys in my troop wear "What Would Jesus Do" bracelets or
and the uniform is a similar reminder. And this all goes to reinforce
*another* one of those eight methods: Scouting Ideals. (funny how those 8
methods are so intertwined)
For traveling I'd add the following additional reasons for wearing the
4) We are representing the BSA, our troop, and our sponsor as we travel in
public. We need to do so with pride and wear the complete uniform and
wear it properly.
5) It makes it much easier to keep track of a group is a crowd if they are
all dressed the same. Have you ever been to D.C. or other major tourist
city and seen the many youth groups all wearing the same issued T-shirt?
Very effective means of herding the group.
6) If aid ever has to be rendered while traveling, strangers will be
more receptive to receiving aid from a Scout than from an average
7) We are advertising by combining our uniform and our behavior. We are
the public know that Boy Scouts is still alive and kicking and that we are
doing good things. Every time my troop travels and it involves a stop in
public, I always get complements from strangers about how well behaved
the Scouts are and how good it is to see them in uniform.
8) People respect Scouts and you never know when you might be extended
a special courtesy or treat along the way simply because of your uniform.
Anyway, that's my list. You can probably think of others.
Peter Murphy, SM Troop 125, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church
Carmel, Indiana, Crossroads of America Council