To tuck or not to tuck.
That was the question on the minds of hundreds of parents who have called the BSA headquarters over the past several months.
Their query: Does the Boy Scouts of America require uniform shirts to be tucked in? The questions are specifically referring to field uniforms (known to some by the unofficial name “Class A”) and not activity uniforms (“Class B”).
Problem is there hasn’t been an official policy in the past. The requirement was that the uniform-wearer must be “neat in appearance.” Most packs, troops, and crews interpreted that to mean tucking the shirts in, but a few didn’t.
Now we’ve got our final answer. Read the BSA’s official stance after the jump:
Effective Oct. 1, 2013, the official stance on the Boy Scouts of America’s uniform policy is that shirts are to be worn tucked in, regardless of whether the wearer is a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Venturer or adult Scouter. All Sea Scout uniforms are designed to be tucked in except youth dress whites and youth dress blues.
In the past, guidelines have simply stated the uniform wearer should be neat in appearance. Neatness includes tucking in the shirt. This update will appear in related resources, such as the uniform inspection sheets, as they are revised and printed.
So there you have it: Tuck those uniform shirts in. Though the official stance is new, the practice is old as the BSA itself. Any time you see a Scout wearing a uniform in an official BSA-printed publication, his shirt is tucked in. Just look through the Boy Scout Handbook, Scouting or Boys’ Life magazines, a BSA Supply catalog, or any merit badge pamphlet, and you’ll see exclusively tucked-in shirts.
Equally important is what’s not being said here. The BSA doesn’t tell you to wear the field uniform at all times. Many units that conduct a service project or take a weekend backpacking trip will leave the field uniform shirt on the hanger at home. But that’s up to you (and your Scouts) to decide.
What do you think?
What’s your opinion on this clarification? Does this match what your unit does already? Leave a comment below.