Here’s a new one: An East Coast troop’s uniform policy involves telling older Scouts not to wear their uniforms in public.
Yep, it happened in Scouter B.C.’s troop. Here’s how B.C., who asked me not to use their full name, explained it in an email to me last week:
I have recently become the assistant Scoutmaster for my son’s troop. The Scoutmaster has a policy that disturbs me a little. The older Scouts in our troop don’t wear their uniform in public. The Scoutmaster calls it “social suicide!” I believe they should be proud of the uniform. Am I wrong? Does the Scoutmaster have that right?
The BSA has a uniform policy that discusses the “sense of identification and commitment” members get when wearing uniforms. But there’s no specific mention of exactly when uniforms should be worn, other than saying they’re for “suitable occasions.” Deciding what constitutes a “suitable occasion” is left to units.
In other words, the Scoutmaster may have that right, but whether it’s a good idea is open for discussion.
So I posted the question on our Facebook page last week, and it quickly became the most-commented post in the Scouting magazine page’s history. At the time of this writing, more than 250 comments have been posted.
Here are some highlights from the conversation: