Re: Traditional Uniforms
Fri, 21 Mar 1997 11:15:44 -0500 (EST)
To assure a supply of traditional dress blue uniforms at a reasonable price
is the reason for Ship's Stores being. It is the reason we do what we do.
Everything else we do is done because (a) there seems to be a need for it
and you want it, and (b) it will further traditional uniforming in Sea
Scouting. While we don't sell white uniforms per se (they are already
available at a reasonable price from the government), we do support them with
the requisite patches.
Most of the nontraditional dress uniforms that have come to our attention
make a youth look like a Las Vegas bell hop at a second-class hotel with a
nautical theme. There are some exceptions to this but even these certainly
don't say "Sea Scout" to the general public. The value of being recognized
as such has been eloquently demonstrated by others already (re-read the post
by Roger Crossland, for openers).
The standardization of work uniforms is a difficult problem. Should some
standard be agreed upon (and considering the individualism in Sea Scouting
that is unlikely), the first thing that has to happen is that the standard be
available to every Sea Scout in the nation and at a reasonable price. We
tried to offer dungarees and chambray shirts but found them almost impossible
to come by via surplus purchase because the Bureau of Prisions uses them for
Federal prisoners (that's where most of the pea coats go, too). We could buy
number one rejects from the mill that makes Sea Farers, but they wanted
$15.90 a pair, wholesale and in quantity! At that point we are getting
close to the problem Boy Scouts are having - it costs $50 to $75 to get a
boy in uniform and who knows how many boys don't become Scouts or don't stay
because they can't afford the uniform? We have no good answer to the
question of work uniform standards.
We are in total agreement with those who feel that the "do your own thing"
attitude concerning dress uniforms and the discarding of the name "Sea
Scouts" was the wasting of our most valuable public recognition assets.
Anything we at Ship's Stores can do to help reclaim those assets we most
assuredly will do.
Rod Mortensen, Manager