The Boy Scouts of America has always been a uniformed body. There are many reasons for this. One reason stands out above all the rest.
We wear the uniform because it is a means of identifying ourselves openly with the principles to which we are committed - character development, citizenship training, physical and mental fitness.
The fact that youth and adult members of Scouting wear a uniform doesn't mean that we're all alike. We come from different ethnic and racial backgrounds. We have our own religious beliefs and political views. We are each individuals with our own family traditions and loyalties. so the uniform is not intended to hide our individuality. But it is a way we give each other strength and support. It is a bond which ties us together in spite of our differences. It is a way of making visible our commitment to a belief in God, loyalty to country, and to helping other people.
The official uniforms are intended primarily for use in connection with activities of the Scouting movement. They should be worn to all den and pack events. They may also be worn to school, church, or at any family function. The uniform may also be worn while participating in a local council approved pack money-earning project which does not involve the sale of a commercial product or service. It may be worn when selling tickets to such events as Scouting shows which are approved by the council.
The uniform may not be worn by either Cub Scouts or adults leaders when:
- Soliciting funds or engaging in any selling campaign or commercial operation.
- Involved in any distinctly political endeavor.
- Appearing on the stage professionally without special approval from the national Executive Board.
- Taking part in parades, except when rendering service as a Cub Scout or leader.
- Participating in demonstrations not authorized by the Boy Scouts of America.
See Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America and Insignia Control Guide for additional information on uniform rules and regulations.
Adult Field Uniform
The field uniform should be worn when the focus of the program is directed at young people. This would be Scouting Shows, camporees, unit events, camp, unit meetings, roundtables, leader training, commissioner functions and similar events or activities. The field uniform for men and women is described in the Cub Scout Leaders Book, Chapter 14, and the Insignia Control Guide.
Adult Dress Uniform
The dress uniform is worn when the volunteer or professional is involved with non-uniformed Scouters, such as District committee, council executive board, and council committees, or with non-scouter groups such as service clubs, PTAs, or at formal Scouting functions such as annual dinners, or annual meetings.
How to Wear the Neckerchief
- The scout neckerchief is an important part of the uniform and must be worn properly. The following information is a guideline to wearing the neckerchief.
- Fold the long edge over several flat folds to about 6 inches from the tip of the neckerchief. A tight fold prevents gathering around the neck and is neater than rolling.
- Place the neckerchief around the neck of a shirt, either with the collar turned under, or with the neckerchief worn under the collar.
- Draw neckerchief slide over ends and adjust to fit snugly.
- The portion of the neckerchief which shows below the back of the neck should measure no more than 6 inches.
The following neckerchiefs are approved for wear in Cub Scouting:
FOR BOYS :
- Gold Wolf neckerchief
- Light blue Bear neckerchief
- Plaid Webelos Scout neckerchief
FOR ADULTS :
- Cub Scout leader neckerchief (dark blue with gold trim)
- Webelos Den Leader neckerchief (plaid, similar to boys')
- Dark blue Cub Scout Trainers' Woodbadge training neckerchief (if earned)
- Mauve Woodbadge neckerchief (if earned)
- District or Roundtable neckerchiefs (if approved by Council)
Insignia for Red Jackets
The proper universal emblem for the appropriate Scouting branch is worn on the left pocket. The Philmont bull emblem is designed for the red wool jac-shirt (black for men, white for women) and is worn on the left shoulder above the pocket. Boy Scouts may wear their leadership corps patch centered on the right pocket. On all jacket, the Philmont or other high-adventure base emblems may be worn centered on the right pocket or in the same relative position if there is no pocket.
Members of the National Eagle Scout Association or Order of the Arrow may wear their six-inch emblem on the back of the jacket, as may those who have participated in international activities such as the World Jamboree. Only one such emblem may be worn. No other badges or insignia are approved for the red jackets.
The Red Vest
The red patch vest No. 537 (boys) or No. 539 (leaders) may be worn with the official uniform on all but formal occasions. These exceptions would be Blue and Gold Banquets, uniform inspections, etc.
This vest was designed for your extra patches such as Day Camp, Scouting Show, Pow Wow, Pinewood Derby, etc. since only one temporary patch can be worn on the uniform at a time.
This vest is available though the Scouting distributors. Badges of Rank do not belong on the red vest.
Official shorts and Cub Scout T-Shirts are recommended for all outside summer activities. This gives the boys a feeling of being in uniform without wearing the uniform with all the badges, which would be restrictive.
For both men and women, official shorts and knee socks. Men can wear official T-Shirts.
The Webelos Uniform
The Webelos Scout has the option of wearing either the blue uniform of Cub Scouting or the khaki/tan uniform they will wear as Boy Scouts. Insignia placement is the same on both uniforms. The placement if insignia on the Webelos uniform differs from the Cub Scout uniform as follows:
Flag - Moves from above the right breast pocket to the right shoulder.
Den Number - May or may not be worn. Patrol emblems may be worn to designate different Webelos Dens in the same pack. Other than these differences, the placement of permanent insignia on the two uniforms will remain the same.
The Webelos visor cap is where the Webelos Scout wears their Webelos Activity Badges as hat pins. Pins may also be worn on the Webelos "colors", which is pinned to the top of the right sleeve.
Looking your Best
Are you encouraging the boys in your pack to wear a complete Cub Scout uniform? If they are allowed to attend the meetings in blue jeans, they are missing an important part of Cub Scouting, the thrill of wearing a uniform.
The Cub Scout Handbooks and the Cub Scout Leaders Book are clear on the subject of proper uniforming, so don't tell your boys or parents that jeans are acceptable when they are not.
It is the leader's responsibility as a registered adult of the Boy Scouts of America to encourage boys to obtain the official uniform. Cub Scout pants are not only more appropriate, but, they are equal or better in quality and wearability to jeans of the same price.
What would you think of a policeman who wears plaid trousers with his uniform? How about a hospital intern wearing, while on duty, a sport coat with his white trousers? Or what would you think of a bus driver wearing a fireman's hat, or even more absurd an airline pilot wearing the silks of a jockey as he boards the plane? They'd all be "out of uniform" wouldn't they?
Something wonderful happens to a boy when he wears his Cub Scout uniform. As if magic, it seems to lift them out of just plain belonging into active and spirited participation.
Look at a uniformed pack and you will see a unit with high spirit, a unit that gets things done, and a unit that attracts other boys. Many of these new boys join so they may wear the uniform too.
Uniformed leaders are the key to good uniform in your pack. Cub Scouts respect leadership and will follow the example. Let our Cub Scouts know how you feel about the official uniform, they'll do the rest.
Remember to set the example....