By: Posted On: 2018-12-10


 Stop and think!  When you think of a Scout, what does your mind's eye see? A youth wearing a scarf? Probably…

 What It's Called

Whether it's called a scarf, a necker, a neckerchief, or, in Spanish, a pañoleta, it is a major part of the uniform of Scouts of all levels in more than 100 countries of the world.  On a visit to Nuestra Cabaña, the World Association of Girl Guides and Scouts' center near Cuernavaca, México, I noted that each staffer and participant was wearing a neckerchief (sometimes more than one!).  And recently the Girl Scouts of the USA have brought back this distinctive uniform part.








A Cloth Triangle

 The colorful cloth triangle varies according to the wearer's unit, be he/she be a Cub, Scout or part of an older level.  In México, all members of a Grupo (family of units from Cub to adults) proudly wear the same pañoleta, while in the BSA, all members of a Boy Scout (starting   soon, Scouts BSA) troop wear a distinctive colorful triangle.

Some special neckerchiefs

 Special neckerchiefs are worn for Jamborees, Order of the Arrow in the BSA, national and international Scout centers--like Philmont--. camp staffs, sometimes training courses, the Wood Badge necker with the Maclaren tartan is known worldwide, and others.  The use of a   different colored scarf according to age is a relatively new thing in the BSA Cubbing program. 

Return to the full-sized neckerchief?

 There has been a movement in the BSA during the past few years to return to the "full-size" neckerchief, putting it back as a utilitarian part of the uniform instead of just a decoration.  The "full-size" piece can be used as an emergency bandage or arm-sling, and just about anything a Scout's imagination can conjure in time of   a need.