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?