The Scout Uniform has a long standing tradition and symbol of Scouting. It also has a certain effect on the behavior of those wearing it and the views they have on the world around them. I do believe in the uniform, and even still have my navy blue Cub Scout uniform. However, I do have two big problems with the BSA uniform.
First, is not directly the uniform but uniform related and that is we are patch crazy. The problem here is it leads to more a competition and power struggle to get ranks and patches as if they make you into something bigger and better then you really are. Scouting is not about power, and appearing to be great. It is about experiences, growing and having fun doing it.
Second, is the cost. I know of many families that couldn't afford the uniform, the book, all the patches, etc. A complete uniform costs over $125 dollars. Yes, they can get a used uniform at a thrift store, or even through local uniform exchanges. My problem is why should they have to. There is no way BSA needs to charge so much for some fabric made in China.
Rant: it drives me nuts how anything with the BSA logo on it instantly doubles in price and is perceived as having great quality. When in reality often times the exact same thing is available with out the BSA logo for far less money. Don't get me wrong I am all for helping BSA and their bottom line, but come on really don't gouge me either.
The point is the uniform and patches are more then just fabric, it stand for something, the greatest youth organization in the world? Not in my book. It represents the spirit, the ideals, the unity and comradery of a Scout.
This comes from http://www.boyscouttrail.com/uniforms.asp
Scout uniforms are an important part of the Boy Scouts of America program and one of the methods of scouting. Each boy gets to be part of a group demonstrated by their uniform and each group has a personal sense of identity. The scout uniform is also a display case for a scout's individual accomplishments and recognitions. We wear the uniform to associate ourselves with the principles to which we are committed - character development, citizenship training, and physical and mental fitness. The uniform is not intended to hide our individuality, but it is a way we give each other strength and support.
The Scouting movement is built on positive values. As we wear the uniform in cub scouts and boy scouts, we stand together and encourage each other to live by those principles. Scouts and adults alike should take pride in belonging to this program and wear the uniform correctly.
The official scout uniform consists of shirt, pants, belt, and socks. A neckerchief and hat are optional. In reality, each unit may have different uniform expectations, with some expecting socks to hat while others expect just the shirt. Having all scouts consistently uniformed for meetings and outings makes for a much better adventure. It is also important to remember that the scout uniform is not a mandatory part of scouting and a scout should not be prohibited from participating just because he does not have a uniform, or a complete uniform.
What are your thoughts about the Scout Uniform?
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The Scout Uniform
@T.K. Robinette on 02/24/2011
I have three grandsons,two are scouts, the other soon to be.Our family has a scouting history and absolutely believe in the values, and all the positives that scouting offers. My scouts are very involved and so are their parents. They are really having a tough time keeping the boys in not only uniforms, but have to make tough decisions about how much necessary equipment they can afford. As a former scout in a low income family I remember that many times I could not afford to be involved or that I felt much less than adequate because I could not afford the uniform. My point is, that BSA is one of the greatest, most worthwhile youth organizations ever established, but at the same time is "culling" some possibly world class future leaders because of exorbitant pricing of scout related equipment, especially uniform pricing. In our case, take the uniform price and multiply by three. With this economy, I fear that my boys at some point will have to do without. And one very important question, are we outfitting these future employees, businessmen and leaders with cheaply made goods form overseas or are we keeping it within the U.S? I believe that to be a very important issue as we all know how cheaply these very expensive uniforms can be made on foreign soil.
The Scout Uniform
@Dan C. on 10/03/2011
Came across your post doing some research on why scout uniforms are made in China.
I don't have an answer, but having seen documentaries about the sweatshop conditions, I'm bothered that this important part of instilling values might be made at the cost of someone else's childhood.
The Scout Uniform@R. Mark Honaker
First; I believe that if a boy is going to wear the uniform including the pants. BSA give Crews the option of choosing their pants but does not give Troops that option. The price people are willing to pay for jeans one could buy 2 pair of Scout pants.
Second; I can not understand why people can not get the patches in the proper place with information on this is on the back cover of every handbook I have eve seen plus a lot of other publications.
Third; Scouters are suppose to follow the Scout Law and when they do not wear the uniform properly or allow Scout to wear the uniform improperly the are no obedient.
The Scout Uniform
@webmaster on 02/16/2012
Thanks for you comments. What I have seen, it could be where I am being a lower income area, but its not those wearing the expensive jeans, etc its those who are lucky to get the $5 jeans from the thrift store. Scouting should be for all regardless if they can afford all the uniform parts or not. One of the better solutions I know of to this problem is thrift stores (when they have uniform parts in stock) and unit / area uniform banks.
From what i understand the uniform parts are mostly being made overseas now. Though I have no proof of that. As Dan said is BSA supporting cheap child labor?
The Scout Uniform
@Colleen Scholz on 10/11/2012
I have been a Scouter for 23 years and I still am wearing my same uniform. i love my uniform and what it stands for! I stand taller when I wear it.I may not look the greatest in my uniform, but I wear it so I can be an example to my boys and the other leaders that I teach. i wiah I could be buried in it when I die!
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