In the Linkedin forums I posted a question about the knots for Seabadge and Woodbadge Knots. While, I am not going to re-hash that topic here, I do want to talk about Uniforms. The post lead into a discussion on how Scouters should wear their uniform and what should be on it.
We all want to look respectable and have a clean uniform or outfit no matter where we go. A Scout is Clean. Except if your Mike Rowe, then a Scout is Dirty then Clean. Usually you would wear a ClassB shirt for getting dirty.
The Boy Scouts of America has a Insignia Guideline document that helps in making sure that all uniforms are in proper order. This includes…….PATCHES!
Now, because I use Badgemagic, it’s a bit easier for me to get patches on. I am the one that puts the patches on my son’s uniform. When he crosses over, it’s all him. Currently my son is a Bear. Our Council has a segment program that allows the District patch, in the temporary place to have the segments ringed around it. The general rule of thumb is two to three rings, then the rest go on a Red Vest. Which, the Red Vest is very nice, but at the Scout Shop, too expensive and put together badly. I opted for a fleece vest for my son. It wears better over coats when selling Popcorn, Scouting for Food and other Cold Weather activities.
It is generally the adults that mess-up the uniforms for the Cubscouts at this stage. If the parent is not a Scouter, then I can understand. The Scouters should know where to put patches and badges. Some just do not know. Not even sure how this one Scouter even got those rank badges.
All kidding aside, photos like these really un-nerve me. It’s a total lack of respect to the uniform and the Boy Scouts of America. For me, if you are not in Scouts, you cannot wear the uniform. If you’re not in the Military you cannot wear that uniform. Granted if you’re an actor portraying someone in the military or Scouting then that is different.
Within the Military there are strict guidelines. If you do not abide by them, then your out of uniform and that’s not a good thing.
This is my father who was in the USMC in the early 60’s. As a 1st LT, he needed to set the example for his men. To this day, it’s not “Pants” it’s “Trousers”! There are no former Marines.This culture of dress held over into his every day life. It was also helpful that he grew up in the 50’s where good dress codes were adhered too. Unlike in today’s world of let’s see how low your pants can get to the ground while not showing your all your boxers. I call them “The Saggy Butt Brigade.”
Now, you have to dress the part for the area or type of weather you will be encountering during that outing. Be Prepared is the Boyscout Motto!
As you can see as shown by my mom, a hat, hoodie and warm brown jacket is what is needed when walking the dog in the Olympic Peninsula are of Washington State.
So, why is it important to look good? As Baden-Powell said: Show me a poorly uniformed troop and I’ll show you a poorly uniformed leader.
Scout Leaders need to set the example. It shows respect to others. Your in charge and you respect them. Plus, when out in public on parade, selling popcorn, doing a good deed the public will be judging you.
As Adult Scouters we do tend to put a lot of extra things on our uniforms. Which, I generally try not to do. I will put awards/knots/badges that I have earned or awarded to me on the uniform. I do have a Gilwell Beaver Patrol Patch on the right shoulder. I can do that since I am in Cubscouts and the Cubmaster. Generally Cubscouts do not wear a Patrol patch. Webelos are the only Den allowed to do that. The rest is dens. They put the den 1, 2,3,4 patches on that side.
My overall point is when dressing yourself, be respectful. Keep yourself clean and limit the “Flair” or “Bling” that you put on. I have seen people get all bent out of shape at Scout functions about what should or should not be on a uniform. Granted, I will tell someone who the Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Badge is on the wrong flap, but in a very corrective and supportive way. I will also remind the Scout that it’s also were the Summertime Activity Award Pin goes too. That is just because a parent does not know.
So, as a Cubmaster, I need to make sure that my uniform is correct and also my son’s uniform. Having both correct set’s the example.