Does your troop wear Scout neckerchiefs?

Tuesday-TalkbackScout neckerchiefs are not required for wear with the Boy Scout uniform.

That said, those triangles of fabric sure can make a sharply dressed troop look even better.

The Guide to Awards and Insignia confirms that Boy Scout neckerchiefs are optional, and it dictates that troops (read: the boys, not the adults) vote on whether to wear a neckerchief. Majority rules here, and everyone in the troop should abide by the winning decision. Uniforms should be uniform, after all.

The Scouts can decide what color the neckerchief should be and what embroidery and logos it will contain. A number of official BSA licensees, including the BSA’s Supply Group, offer custom neckerchiefs for purchase.

What I’m interested in for today’s Tuesday Talkback is whether your troop wears Scout neckerchiefs. If so, what do they look like? How did your troop come to this decision? And if you don’t wear them, why not?

Leave a comment below. 

What the Guide to Awards and Insignia says

Boy Scout neckerchiefs are optional. Troops choose their own official neckerchief. All members of a troop wear the same color. The troop decides by vote, and all members abide by the decision. If the neckerchief is not worn, then the shirt is worn with open collar. Boy Scout and Boy Scout leader neckerchiefs may be worn in a variety of plain colors and contrasting borders.

Neckerchiefs available through the Supply Group include the embroidered universal Scouting emblem if permanent press, or printed if not. Local councils may prescribe that the specific official neckerchief be worn by Boy Scouts and Scouters on a council or district basis. The neckerchief is worn only with the official uniform and never with T-shirts or civilian clothing.

Special neckerchiefs, the same size as the official ones, may be authorized by local councils. Such neckerchiefs may include identification of the chartered organization. The standard designed neckerchief may be personalized with troop number, city, and state. By troop approval, an Eagle Scout may wear an Eagle Scout neckerchief.


What about Cub Scouts?

Here’s what the Guide to Awards and Insignia says:

Tiger Cub neckerchiefs are orange and blue. Cub Scout neckerchiefs are gold with blue border for boys working in the Wolf Handbook and light blue with dark blue border for boys working in the Bear Handbook.

The universal Cub Scout emblem is displayed in a central position on the downward corner. Cub Scout leaders may wear the blue and gold Cub Scout leader’s neckerchief. Webelos Scouts wear the gold, green, and red plaid neckerchief with the Webelos emblem on the downward corner. A Webelos leader wears a neckerchief similar to the Webelos Scout neckerchief, except that it has gold embroidered edging and is larger.

For discussion

  • Does your unit wear Scout neckerchiefs? Why or why not?
  • How’d you make this decision?
  • What about neckerchief slides?
  • Are you an “over the collar” or “under the collar” unit?


  1. My troop wears neckerchiefs for Courts of Honor and other “big” or public events (what we call “Class AA”). We don’t wear it for things like regular troop meetings, etc.

  2. Neckerchief and slide? YES YES YES. If the Troop is in Class A, the neckerchief is ALWAYS worn. Troop 41 wears the green neckerchief with red embroidery with our Troop number and sponsor unit on it.

    As Baden Powell said; “The Scout neckerchief is the most identifiable part of the Scout uniform.”

    There should be no discussion or vote, this is part of the scout uniform. IMHO

    • IMHO, yes, but not actually the way it is. It is optional and up to the scouts to vote on. That being said, I do like the neckerchief look.

      • Steve, Our Troop did vote on it after I told them about the tradition of wearing the neckerchief. Our Troop follows traditional scouting values.

    • Pete, you are entitled to your opinion, as long as you only use your opinion to try to influence the decision of the youth, rather than exerting your will upon the Troop. Adults are involved in Troops for the sake of the youth, not the other way around.

      • Barry, as mentioned above, the troop voted on it after I explained the tradition and importance of wearing the scout neckerchief. Our Troop follows traditional scouting values.

    • Everywhere in the world but the in the US, Scouts can be identified by the neckerchief. Heck the official 1995 WSJ stamp had a Scout wearing only a neckerchief and “Smokey Bear”

      Only the BSA allows the neckerchief to be optional.

    • It’s kind of a moot point because no where does it say it’s a decision that needs to be made “every year” or every X years. Our troop made the decision to wear a neckerchief (boys chose the colors & design, etc) 7 years ago and we’ve never discussed it again. At our troop, we have a troop-specific neckerchief and that’s that…. but when we made the decision, it WAS a youth-made decision.

      Pete, while I AGREE that the neckerchief is distinctive and attractive part of the (one and only) “official” Field uniform and therefore should be worn at all uniformed events, it is imperative that you run your Scouting unit “by the Book”. The BOOK says that it is a decision made at the Troop level. It’s not YOUR decision, it’s not the Committee’s decision… it’s the boys’ decision. Once the decision has been made, your role is to encourage/enforce it.

      The only way I think we’d address the issue again is if there was some en mass rejection or refusal to wear it, which we fortunately have never encountered. Overwhelmingly, people EXPECT a Boy Scout uniform to include the neckerchief.

    • Thats the purpose BP had boy scout wear it, to protect the neck. we’ve worn them for 105 years, they have a purpose not the least of which is to idetify us as boy scouts.

      • It have more uses. Before moving to the USA, I was in a troop in Mexico City and all of us knew that a good neckerchief can be used as: scarf, headband, emergency flag, bandage, tourniquet, rope, mask, stretcher…
        The neckerchief is a tool and every scout must know how to use it.

    • Our troop In Minneosta also wears the bolo. My son was excited in that it was “different”. What’s the history behind the BSA bolo?

  3. Our troop used to wear them, but at one point they voted to stop requiring it. We bring it up every now and then for discussion, but it’s been about three years without them so far.

  4. Troop 727 wears neckerchiefs…adults and youth. We have a Troop neckerchief that is black, yellow piping, and yellow logo. This design was voted on by the Scout when founded in 2012. Scouts can wear Troop neckerchief, OA neckerchief, Wood Badge Neckerchief…as long as they wear one. As SM, I wear my Troop neckerchief during COH, etc…I can usually be found in my Wood Badge one most of the time.

    • Our troop can’t seem to decide. Our leader has her Wood Badge neckerchief she wears. Our NYLT boys wear their red one from there, some of the Eagles have the Eagle neckerchief they wear. When my oldest son was a Den Chief he wore a blue Cub Leader with a Scout Sunday patch for that day. Our color guard also has special red, white, and blue neckerchiefs that they wear for those duties. Then there are a few who wear bolos. It has become rather a hodgepodge of neckerchiefs. At one point our Scoutmaster stated that everyone should wear their merit badge sash to events if they had one. Everyone was to wear them or no one did. So if one boy forgot his no one else wore theirs either. It got to the point where many of the boys just didn’t bother because it wasn’t required so the boys who put out the effort couldn’t wear theirs. It has become that way with neckerchiefs. There isn’t a decision one way or another so many boys seem to feel it just doesn’t matter.

      • Dear Cynthia,

        I am glad your son served as a Den Chief, but I am uncertain if he should have worn the Cub Scout leader neckerchief during that time.

        • Who cares! A bunch of adults arguing/discussing a piece of cloth rather than program or oath and law. No wonder our numbers keep dropping.

  5. Our troop wears them. Not sure how they came to that decision. I think it is not only a great thing to wear to make the troop look nicer, it can also be a great tool for First Aid when out. The troop learned that it can used as a tourniquet, to aid in a broken arm, for bandages, compression to stop bleeding, etc.

    • it was required when I was in the scouts, our troops neckerchief color was red and white, we could also ware any special event neckerchief the troop had been to, or got from a hike, the one that the guys were most proud of was the one they got from the Shiloh Battle Field in Tenn. it always made a great conversation piece, and as it was stated on the neckerchief, that trip was truly, Pathways to History

  6. Troop 236, Shillington, PA here. We wear a cloth embroidered neckerchief that has the Cymru dragon on it since that’s the name of the elementary school in our district. We changed it up a bit so it looks like the dragon is flying with its wings spread wide. We chose the dragon as a local community symbol. It also represented strength through adversity, which represents our unit rebuilding over the past 5+ years. Our unit has opted not to use neckerchief slides. Instead we tie the friendship knot – thank you to our former Scoutmaster and World Jamboree for the inspiration. Our neckerchiefs are worn under the collar. Unless, of course, you have multiple neckerchiefs on (troop, jamboree, eagle scout, gifted necker from international scout, etc), then we wear them however they fit around our neck – it can be a challenge with 13 neckers (I think that’s our current goal for a scout to wear).

  7. Both my boyhood troop and the first troop I served as Scoutmaster have custom neckerchiefs which have been worn for many years (approximately 60 years now for one of them). The neckerchief is well known throughout the council and a source of vast pride for the boys in the troop. The troop I served as Scoutmaster has a pro-forma vote of the PLC each year at the annual planning conference, but I’m told the vote has been unanimous for several years.

    • Check out the new official neckerchiefs.They went back to old-style sizes a few years ago. I am a very big guy and I can use one as an effective sling. The only down side it that they can overwhelm some of the younger guys.

      • Not quite correct. They are longer but they still are not the original “square” neckers that actually work for all those first aid things you find in the handbook.

        • Proper neckers are just a sewing machine away. My first was troop-made in 1954 – 33 x 33″ and 100% cotton. The sun bleaching of the dark green over the years was a sign of honor.

  8. At Troop 770 out of Las Vegas we wear a neckerchief a formal events like Court of Honor’s and when we are Honor Guard at local events. Otherwise, we wear a leather bolo-like tie that is made from leather chording and holds a bead for every campout the Scout (or Scouter) has attended. At the end of each campout, the Scoutmaster hands out a bead to represent that outing and the Scouts add it to their leather tie. These beads make for great discussion and memory items as most of the boys remember ever bead to outing association for many years. Personally, I think sometimes the Scouts attend campouts just to get the bead 🙂

  9. When I first was a scout the Scout Shirts did not have a collar. The neckerchief was a piece of the uniform that all the scouts and adults in my troop wore. We had a specially designed one for our Troop. No one wore different neckerchiefs (like OA or Wood Badge to a Troop function). Then the uniforms changed to the Oscar de la Renta uniform with the collars. The troop policy was changed so that if you had a collared shirt, the neckerchief was optional. Since wearing a neckerchief under or over a shirt collar looked silly, if a Scout wore a neckerchief, the collar was supposed to be tucked in. No one really liked tucking in their collars so neckerchief use declined.

    To this day, I still don’t like the look of a neckerchief with a collared shirt. I will wear my Wood Badge one to Wood Badge events or when promoting Wood Badge. My Eagle one will come out for Eagle Courts of Honor. I even have a Trainer’s neckerchief that I wear for our council’s University of Scouting.

    The Troop I am with now issues each new Scout a standard neckerchief as purchased from the Scout Shop. The problem being is that whenever Webelos have bridged up over the years. Someone has gone and purchased neckerchiefs for the Bridging ceremony. Sometimes they bought the same ones as before – other times they got ones slightly different. As a result, we have about 3 different versions being sported around. Then other Scouts run around with their NYLT neckerchiefs, adults wear their Wood Badge ones. And again others choose not to wear one. It is not very uniform.

    I have suggested that the PLC come up with a design for a Troop neckerchief on multiple occasions, but the youth have not jumped on the idea. For as silly as I think wearing a neckerchief with a collared shirt looks, to me it looks worse when I see a unit were some Scouts and adults wear them while others don’t and then those that do are sporting around multiple variations and specialty ones.

    If the PLC would decide on one specific one to be worn, each Scout and adult should be expected to wear that one. It may be nice to have a bunch of different neckerchiefs, but if you are at a Troop meeting or function you should wear the one that represents your Troop – not OA, Wood Badge, Eagle, NYLT or whatever. As the Guide states: “Troops choose their own official neckerchief. All members of a troop wear the same color. The troop decides by vote, and all members abide by the decision.”

  10. In my troop back in the day, we found that waving neckerchiefs distracted velociraptors. So of course we wore them.

    That said, we were free to wear any neckerchief we had “earned” in certain activities. The council’s camp, for example, gave out a different color neckerchief every year, with the year printed along with the camp logo. It turned out to be a kind of “medal.”

    We never did determine, however, if one color neckerchief was better at distracting velociraptors than others. T. rex really didn’t care, by the way.

  11. Brian,
    There is a site that shows what the benefits of wearing a neckerchief, and what it can do for you. Maybe you can share some ideas here too!

  12. As a Cub Pack, we don’t have a choice. As a Wood Badger, my WB patrol did our project on the history of the neckerchief. You will normally find me in my WB neckerchief, as I’m trying start conversation by earring it to promote the program. I must say, I am a huge fan of the neckerchief since WB. Like one other reader, I do wish it had not been reduced in size so it could be more utilitarian. And, I’m with yet another reader (and Lord Baden-Powell) that it is the most recognizable part of the uniform (including wearing over the collar).

  13. I have a cub pack and more often than not I find the neckerchief to be more trouble than they are worth. Boys loose or forget the slide. Forget the neckerchief . Fail to wear it properly ( Tie it in a knot like f-troop). I try to have them where it for the formal events .

    • “The” slide? Half the fun of neckerchief slides is making them yourself. Racecars for PWD, wood rings for nature, etc. If the boys made the slides, you can bet they’ll find it to show off for pack meeting.

    • And having a different neckerchief (and hat) for each level of Cub Scouts adds to the “elitist” element of Cub Scouts. Most of the boys in our pack don’t have uniforms. A few have shirts.

    • I know its unpopular opinion but I honestly think the neckerchief is childish, unprofessional and outdated as well as pointless. I know its iconic but it just looks silly. You know whats cool that nobody wears anymore? The campaign hats! I would buy one if they werent $100 i think it should be a required part of the uniform for those who wear it correctly and unit leaders. Neckerchiefs are more trouble than they’re worth. My old Troop and Pack never wore them. I’ve never liked them and won’t wear them.

      • Don’t hold back. Tell us what you really think. I’ve heard worse about shorts and the hat West adopted contrary to BP’s suggestions (“floppy”).

  14. I am not as active in Scouting as I used to be (more through circumstance than desire, I should add – in the past I have been an ASM, COR, and VC Advisor), so please forgive me if I talk out of turn. But it seems to me that, in addition to Bryan’s apt assessment that “those triangles of fabric sure can make a sharply dressed troop look even better” (they are part of the historic and traditional “look” of a Scout, and for that reason alone, consideration should be given to wearing them), they were also traditionally seen as part of the TOOLS of Scouting.

    Here’s one list of traditional uses:, and here is another (this one from the UK): For many of these uses (I’m thinking particularly of the triangular bandage, for first aid use, although it applies to many of the others as well) it would help if they were made of more substantial material than many are, these days, and also closer to original size: half of a 36×36″ square (or better yet, the whole square, folded).

    Yes, it is the boys’ decision whether or not to wear neckerchiefs; however, in my ever-so-humble opinion (*grin*), it would not hurt to teach WHY the neckerchief is a useful piece of equipment to have around, and what alternatives might (or might not!) be available if you DON’T have it! (This is also, by the way, an argument in favor of making the Scout uniform – neckerchief included – sturdy and comfortable enough to be a true “field” uniform, and not just a “Class A” or “dress” uniform, so that it actually gets worn for hiking, camping, etc., but that’s another story…).

    Just my $0.02 worth! 🙂 Your mileage may, of course, vary.

    • @ Tharbold,

      I liked the idea “#13.Trunks for bathing”. I saw this a couple of years ago when researching neckchief uses. I would think that the neckers in mind were from a long time ago since the new ones would not even be enough for a baby.

      I grew up with the old green uniform shirts lacking the collar. When we went to the new issue shirts, we tried tucking the collar inside of the shirt and we all thought that it looked stupid and did not feel good on the neck. I think that the necker under the collar looks fine. Do people wear business suits with their ties above the collar? I would think you would get a good laugh from people if you dressed that way.

      I heard of a rumor that a scout performed some first aid on a person. He used his necker as a bandage. The person went to the ER and they noticed the BSA neckerchief being used. It definitely spoke to the patient and the ER staff what some scout somewhere was “Prepared”. A fitting testimony for scouting.

  15. By banning the neckerchief from being worn with civilian clothing and t-shirts, BSA has significantly reduced its usefulness as a Scouting identity item and as a practical tool. Since most troops wear unit t-shirts or non-uniform clothing for outdoor activities, they can’t wear neckerchiefs for outdoor activities. If Scouts are not wearing their neckerchiefs, they probably are not carrying their neckerchiefs, and so those neckerchiefs won’t be available to make slings, wrap ankles, and wash up after a hot day of activities. And groups of youth out on hikes or doing service projects are not easily identifiable as Scouts, as they would be if they were wearing neckerchiefs. We’re missing the opportunity to show the public that Scouts are all over the place having fun and serving their communities.

    Because someone thought that neckerchiefs with t-shirts would look terrible?

    • Agree whole heartedly with you Dan. When I was in the UK, Scout ALWAYS (emphsais) wore their neckerchiefs, even when not in uniform.

      And As I responded above, the official 1995 WSJ has a picture of a Scout wearing only a neckerchief and “Smokey Bear.”

    • Dear Dan,

      I wish we could wear the neckerchief at other occasions too. We’ve lost that feeling. It is great to wear just the neckerchief during Camp-o-rees when we can idenify a unit more readily that way.

    • They do look terrible with a shirt. I think bandage wrap in a first aid kit (which every patrol should carry) makes a better solution than a neckerchief because its a better material and design. If you have a good Class B it should be pretty easy to identify the Scouting unit is Fleur de Li’s Troop 123 somewhere USA, etc. Or you can wear the new breathable uniforms while hiking. I honestly think though it looks more professional that you don’t put a neckerchief on a class b. It just looks bad. We want professional looking scouts.

  16. We wear neckerchiefs that are forest green with a black border and a Troop One logo on the back. Our Eagles not only have the choice to wear the Eagle Neckerchief, they all receive a hand-carved Morgan Eagle Scout neckerchief slide from our Outstanding Eagle Houston Morgan. A story on him is here This great man and my mentor has lost track of exactly how many Eagles he has mentored and presented with a Morgan Eagle Neckerchief slide, but we know it is well over 130.

  17. Our Scouts do not wear them typically. However, the boys are writing up guidelines for their Honor Guard. They are considering neckerchiefs and bolos so they will have something on. They are even considering the vintage tie for their neckwear.

  18. Through the years, 60+, all the troops with which I have been associated wore neckerchiefs. Some from National Supply, some custom. Most wore them with the collar turned in. One troop overdid it, though, with junior leaders and adults wearing a different color, sort of lost the meaning of “uniform”. In another troop, the SM set the standard: bring uniform to meeting and change in the restroom, and no uniforms en route. In a large activity, a distinctive troop neckerchief made getting together a lot easier. Personally, I’d like the Cubs to go back to just one neckerchief…parents objected to expense f a new printed one every year. I wouldn’t feel bad if the BSA followed most of the rest of the world, with the necker worn for identification regardless of what other clothing is worn.

  19. Growing up, my troop had a custom necker that was required. Showed up to go camping without it, and your PL or SPL would send you home to get it. So I feel a little naked without a necker when in uniform.

    As someone mentioned, there are hundreds of uses for a necker. I personally used one of mine for first aid (an aside, NEVER use your “Green Bar” Bill autographed necker for first aid, just go ahead and frame it and get a replacement 😉 )

    My son’s troop uses two different neckers, an inexpensive plain green one, and a green and red silk screened one. Why two different neckers? The troop has a very long history, and back when it was founded, you truly became a Boy Scout when you earned your Tenderfoot badge. Back then, once you earned Tenderfoot, then you could purchase your uniforms. SO you got your troop neckerchief when you became Tenderfoot.

    But Because of Cub Scouts and Crossovers, one of the Boy Scout identifiers is the neckerchief. So the plain green one is given when you join the troop, either at Crossover, or whenever. And one you earn Tenderfoot, you get the troop’s neckerchief.

    Now the rumour I’ve heard is that National Supply will be getting out of the neckerchief business altogether. So my son’s PLC will be discussing what to do when that happens. Custom neckerchiefs can be expensive, and they sometimes don’t make them the correct size. So one idea is to make our own.

  20. Our Troop has had a custom neckerchief since we were founded 57+ years ago. Over the years we’ve seen them worn mainly for Special Occasions, BoRs and other formal events.
    However most of our scouts wear them to meetings as well.

    Before the introduction of the collard shirt, it was easy to wear. Now, trying to get the scouts and leaders to turn the collar under is a challenge (they just don’t look good under the collar). We order the bigger/longer neckerchiefs, which is now the size that the Scout Shops carry.

    Bryan, your interpretation of the Insignia Guide ‘it dictates that troops (read: the boys, not the adults) vote on whether to wear a neckerchief.’ Is not correct. The quote reads ‘The troop decides by vote’ It does NOT say ‘The Boys’. In most units it is a decision of the Adult Leadership or the Chartered Organization, or it is a tradition. When it comes to Class A/Field uniforming, you should never leave that decision up to the scouts. If you do, next thing you know, they will vote to not wear the uniform or its components. On the other hand, Class B/Activity uniforming (t-shirts & hats) can and should be a scout decision.

  21. About 15 years ago, our boys voted to remove neckerchiefs from the troop’s uniform. Motions to restore them have since been met with a resounding “no”!

    I even suggested European style neckers (see Dan’s reference above) to our crew, which they turned down.

    I think it would take some constant contact with international scouts for the situation to change.

    • All right, you thumbs downers, you got to be specific about what you’re opposed to. Is it …
      1. The fact that we permitted youth-led decisions *in full compliance* with the insignia guide?
      2. The decisions themselves (which seems terribly unfair, since that’s simply answering Bryan’s question)?
      3. Or my opinion that we may need help from other scouts around the world to “represent” neckerchiefs to our boys who have rejected them?

  22. I was surprised to see that BSA does not allow the wearing of neckerchiefs with t-shirts or civilian clothes. The Scout neckerchief is the most universal symbol of Scouting. You look at Scouting activities in most other countries and you would see Scouts in t-shirts and civilian clothes doing Scouting activities wearing a Scout neckerchief. Scouts in World Jamborees wear neckerchiefs daily. The Pope, the royalties of England, and President Mandela, have been seen wearing Scout neckerchiefs in civilian clothes. We’ve had participants in our council summer camps from other countries and they wear neckerchiefs daily while in civilian clothes. BTW, they wear it without a slide, just tieing the ends together with a square knot. We’ve got to encourage the wearing of neckerchiefs and be proud of being Scouts.

  23. Our troop wears a neckerchief. We had a scout in our troop who won his battle with Sarcoma/bone cancer. They picked the color that represents this cancer (yellow) and a green border/stitching. Later we added a special (Turtelz brand) troop 52 neckerchief slide in the same colors. It looks sharp.

  24. I like the look of the neckerchief. But my question is do your scouts wear them under the collar or on top of the collar?

    • Joel,

      Since 1972 and the “Improved Scouting Program,” Scouts have the option of wearing a neckerchief under the open collar or over the tucked in collar. Or no neckerchief at all. IMHO one of the many mistakes of the ISP. Even “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt couldn’t fix that one. 🙁

      However if you look at the older literature, it was over a tucked in collar. Even James E. West himself, stated the neckerchief is to be worn over the tucked in collar for leaders.

      Unfortunately my son’s troop wear it under the collar. When I get my troop neckerchief (I’m waiting for the PLC to figure what they will be doing when national goes out of the neckerchief business to buy mine) I will do so as well. Until then, I wear one of my old necekrs in the “proper” manner: Over a tucked under collar 🙂

    • Our troop wears them over the collar. We tuck the collar under so it doesn’t show. We open the neckerchief fully extended, not rolled, place the open neckerchief over the neck, pull the two “tabs” thru the slide.

      The origianal neckerchiefs were about 34″ X 34″ square. Today they have made them a triangle and cut the size down to what we see today.

  25. Our Troop only wears them for Courts Of Honor. PLC’s Rules.

    I’m an Old School Eagle. Back in the late 60’s, early 70’s, the Scout shirt shirt did not have a collar, so we always had to wear one. Only Adult Leader shirts had a collar. And they only wore them for special occasions.

  26. Scout Master Specific Training says that the parts of the uniform are: 1. neckerchief and slide, 2. Shirt, 3. pants/shorts, 4. socks. The only optional part of the neckerchief is the design. They can be stock from or of Troop design. Wearing them, however, is NOT optional.

        • Always. Scoutmaster Training varies greatly between locals. Some councils and districts believe they’re doing the program favors by teaching the way it was and downplaying the current guidelines.

      • That’s why they call it a “guide”. There are a number of BSA regs which must be followed to the letter, I think we can use some common sense on Scouts wearing the neckerchief.

      • When our district does scoutmaster training (we do a full five week patrol method course) all of the patrols are required to make neckerchiefs and wear them as they are required by our “troop”.

        We encourage the scouters to go back to their units wearing them to encourage their scouts to wear them as well. This year I was the Senior Patrol Leader of the training and each week I wore a different neckerchief of significance to me, WB participant, Beaded WB, my own SM training patrol, one from the first patrol I was the troop guide for.

    • The 2008 revision of the Scoutmaster’s Handbook states Neckerchiefs are Troop Option. The 2010 revision of the Scoutmaster’s Leader Specific Training states Neckerchiefs are Troop Option. The 2014 updated revision to the Scoutmaster Leader Specific Training does not even mention Neckerchiefs.

      • I was taught that “Troop Option” was for color or design but that the neckerchief (in whatever design) is still a required part of the uniform. My opinion is wear the whole uniform or join Venturing where uniforms are optional.

        • Sounds like you were fed a bill of goods. The whole uniform includes a troop’s option to forgo the neckerchief completely.

          That said, if you really like neckerchiefs and your PLC brings up going without them, I think it’s an adult’s prerogative to share his opinion and ask them respectfully to reconsider.
          Encourage them to ask each adult … even some past adults and troop alumni what they think. Maybe even contact an international scout to see what he/she thinks.
          Remind them that this decision will impact boys (and potentially confuse adults 😉 ) for years to come, and they should take a month or so to make such a decision.

        • There’s a big difference between an opinion and a requirement. It’s a piece of cloth. It’s truly unimportant. Attitudes like your, my way or the highway, don’t help attract and retain youth.

  27. Our Troop has it’s own neckerchiefs, out troop logo and our troop colors. But they only required for special events like courts of honor or when in a parade. However, they are also required wear for boards of review. Not necessary for regular meetings. We wear them under the collar. We have no standard slide and I’ve made leather woggles for me and my son and he’s made a few out of paracord.

    I agree with @H. Gilson. I also feel that having a visible collar with a necker looks lame, sort of like you don’t know how to dress yourself.

    I wish there were collarless shirts like they used to have pre-Oscar de la Renta. If they had these, I’d wear my neckerchief all the time.

    @Kelly Horton regarding “Do people wear business suits with their ties above the collar?”, well no, not business suits, but some tuxedos, yes. Yet, the scout uniform is not business attire nor formal wear. The professional scouters wear the blazer and a necktie, they don’t wear neckerchiefs with their suits. Thus, business suits w/ties ≠ scout uniform w/neckers. Also, consider that fashion could change where over the collar ties might be the new normal.

    • “I wish there were collarless shirts like they used to have pre-Oscar de la Renta. If they had these, I’d wear my neckerchief all the time.”

      Seam ripper and thread 🙂

      I know a crusty old scouter who threatened to take a seam ripper to his collar if he was forced to wear the necker under an open collar.

  28. Troop of my yoooth designed it’s own necker (bright red, 36″x36″, custom “Always On The Go!” motto on a patch) . Mine has “character”, holes, worn edges. It is wrapped up in plastic now, and is displayed at CoHs and other special occasions. … The Troop wore’m up til the 1970’s when the Troop came on hard times, down to 4 or 5 Scouts. The custom necker was forgot, they ordered the ODL itty bitty necker ( blue, generic Eagle) from SSupply. Later, as the Troop grew, a new, larger necker was voted in. This is a 34″x34″ light blue with “Troop 759” on it, but not the same. It is not used for signaling, or first aid practice, or sweaty foreheads. It is still seen as a decoration.
    The world view of the Neckerchief as the symbol of a Scout is lost here in the US. Often, the Scout in the Rest of the World, may only have a tshirt and a necker to wear as a “Scout”. It is a sign of his belonging, of his stature of being a Scout. I like the web references above tht show the Scout World in neckers… Hang your souvenir on the necker. Better yet, trade for neckers!
    Rare is the Scout here that might find a real NEED for his necker. More common, perhaps, if he found a need and wasn’t wearing it. Use his hankerchief? Tear off a shirt sleeve? Have a piece of rope in his carry-on? His belt? Do a census of your local teenagers next time, see how many eschew belts….
    As for the slide, the woggle…. Yep, they fall off if not installed right. The making of them is a dying art. I sponsor a contest (comes up at the next CoH in two weeks) for their creation. I solicit free coupons from local burger joints, ice cream places as prizes. I have seen Scouts enter elaborate carved slides, and circles of duct tape. I have an independent judge (local art teacher? wood carver friend?) do the judging and , yes, some go away with just a “thank you” and some eat well.
    Yes, indeed, “your mileage may vary”. One kilometer equals about 6/10 a mile….

  29. Troop 0426 always wears as part of the Class A uniform, every so many years when we get tired of the design the boys have a contest to design a new Neckerchief. I think this helps in keeping the wearing of a Neckerchief when the boys actually had a say in its look and desing and makes the Troop stand out a bit with a specially designed Neckerchief. Its a way for them to epress themselves on a otherwise standard uniform. I have to admit they do come up with some sharp looking designs and they are proud to wear them.

  30. Our troop has a custom bolo with our troop logo on the slide (the outline of our state with the troop number embossed across the outline.) We wear that instead of a neckerchief (decision of scouts many years ago …)

    At a Court of Honor, leaders wear their Woodbadge neckerchiefs with the troop bolo (and their beads).

  31. Our Boy Scouts and leaders are very proud to wear their purple dragon neckerchiefs as part of their Class A uniform. We wear them under the collar to all meetings and events.
    The neckerchief slide is their choice. My husband makes all kinds of them that he gives to the boys at various events and I make the beaded chief headdress ones for the SPL and ASPL.
    The boys designed the neckerchief many years ago and it has changed very little since it’s inception. It makes us stand out that’s for sure; stand tall and proud to be dragons!

  32. our scout Troop provides the boys crossing over to our troop a neckerchief,a book . a woggle and we have 10 boys crossing over this timer for a cost of about $350,this assures all boys have the same equipment.
    John D Hawkins

  33. Troop 134 wears ours any time we wear the Class A. We get so many comments on it and it looks awesome. Ours was custom made by Lady Eagle designs. She is a Scouter and the prices are incredibly reasonable.

  34. Troop 373 has a blue neckerchief with gold lettering and an embroidery of our chartered organization (a church). The Senior Patrol Leader awards them to youth and adults after they attend their first troop campout. It’s a great little ceremony at the beginning of the next troop meeting.

  35. Bryan, your interpretation of the Insignia Guide ‘it dictates that troops (read: the boys, not the adults) vote on whether to wear a neckerchief.’ is not correct. The quote reads ‘The troop decides by vote’ It does NOT say ‘The Boys’. In most units it is a decision of the Adult Leadership, the Chartered Organization, or it is a tradition.

    When it comes to Class A/Field uniforming, you should never leave that decision up to the scouts. If you do, next thing you know, they will vote to not wear the uniform or its components. On the other hand, Class B/Activity uniforming (t-shirts & hats) can and should be a scout decision.

    • So, what if 40 boys unanimously vote one way, and about a dozen adults vote the opposite way, and 11 adults vote with the boys?

      Obviously they can’t vote against the bounds of the insignia guide. Or, more specifically, their handbook. So your “next thing you know” scenario is irrational.

  36. We have a Scoutmaster who took the neckerchief one step further by having the lyrics to our Troop Song screenprinted on the back. Then at summer camp, during the big campfire, our skit consists of lining up, whipping off the neckerchiefs and singing the song as we read the lyrics. We don’t really need to read them, as we’ve memorized the words, but it gives a bit more dramatic flair. Watch us on YouTube, Troop 130 Summer Camp Song.

  37. Our troop considers it part of the class A uniform. We have “field” neckerchiefs and “dress neckerchiefs. The field is a full square version in olive color imprinted with our troop number and logo. The dress versions are standard BSA with adults wearing green with gold trim, the scouts wearing red with black trim and JLT trained scouts wearing read with gold trim. The dress version looks very sharp, especially when we conduct the Memorial Day flag ceremony at a local cemetary memorial. The boys can tell this means something special. The field version is very utilitarian and worn with a 550 paracord slide. It is great for first-aid training.

    We have been discussing the idea of a “winter” version made out of merino wool, fleece or fleece-backed.(You saw it here first). This could be like what snowboarders wear to protect their face. Winters get cold and windy here and we camp in the snow, so a winter neckerchief could become a popular part of the uniform.

  38. What purpose of Scouting is served by having adults decide on the neckerchief? The “well-oiled machine” goal? 0___0

    If they are “too small,” make them bigger – and square 100% cotton while you’re at it. That was my troop’s neckerchief when I joined, even though BSA-made neckerchiefs had become triangles.

    If you want to wear a neckerchief in civilian clothing, wear one. It does not have to be the troop neckerchief. It could be a neckerchief selected by the patrol. Paisley “cowboy” neckers come in a variety of colors and are useful tools in camp.

    We wear the black on red printed neckerchief from BSA.

  39. My troop as a scout had neckerchiefs in green and gold, the school district’s colors. The hem was embroidered as was the fleur-de-lis. I’ve seen these with embroidered and unembroidered hems, and I have also seen the binding which covers the hem. They look good but are a pain to roll (at least, that’s my experience)

  40. I was a Boy Scout in the late 70s and early 80s when the collarless shirts were the norm. My troop (Troop 352 Bethlehem PA) had custom neckerchiefs made by an adult associated with the troop. The neckerchief was awarded when a Scout became a Tenderfoot which in those days required two months active in the troop and one merit badge plus other requirements. No neckerchief was worn before receiving the troop one. I’m not sure if this last part contradicted the uniform guidelines of the time, but it added an incentive to advance and prevented giving neckerchiefs to boys who quit shortly after joining.

    My current unit (Troop 226 Phoenix AZ) hasn’t worn neckerchiefs since at least 1999 when I joined. The T226 neckerchiefs when they did exist were made of a material that looked like a checkered flag. I think they were ugly, but somebody must have thought they were wonderful at some point. I’m glad we don’t wear neckerchiefs for several reasons.

    • It’s less expensive when joining the troop. I think uniforms are important (one of the eight methods) but so is thriftiness (one of the twelve points).
    • There are two less items to get lost or ignored. We have trouble getting Scouts to show up with correct belts and socks (and sometimes pants) even though most of the adult leadership and a few Scouts consistently model correct uniforming.
    • I see too many neckerchiefs worn in a sloppy manner that I think detracts from the desired look. I do think neckerchiefs look good if well-chosen and neatly worn, but I don’t see that happening on a consistent basis.
    • It gets in the way or gets snagged sometimes. I don’t like having a necktie or neckerchief hanging in my way when I’m leaning over something to get a better view.
    • The uniform looks too busy in my opinion when Scouts wear other items such as Order of the Arrow or merit badge sashes. I’m a fan of clean, simple design. (Reminder: never wear both sashes at the same time.)

    I find it amusing that the Boy Scout Handbook gives instructions to fold the neckerchief (page 32) while the Guide to Awards and Insignia says to roll it (page 13). Still others such as Pete (above) do not roll or fold it. Then you add over versus under the collar plus special neckerchiefs for Eagles, Wood Badge, et cetera, and the uniformity of the uniform is lost.

    Finally, I think it’s a bit much for Cub Scouts to have a four different neckerchiefs (and hats). There is already a rank badge plus the Webelos colors to signify rank achievement. If all the Scouts in a troop are supposed to wear the same neckerchief, then all the Scouts in a pack should do the same in my opinion. There are those “thriftiness” and “uniformity” themes again. It must time to quit when I start repeating myself.

  41. I think part of what makes many of the above posters (and my troop as well) go with neckers is that they have custom neckers. Make it coordinate with your troop t-shirt, and all of a sudden it becomes a point of pride.

    Darn straight we wear custom neckers! We silk screened our own shirts and neckers, so we take a lot of pride in what we wear!

    • Sounds fine. Ditch the $100+ uniform and go with neckers. I’m betting it would work for everyone except those trying to relive their youth.

  42. My “old” Troop wears a traditional neckerchief available at any ScoutShop.
    They all crossed-over at the same time and were very accustomed to wearing them, so they never thought twice about it.
    Since I moved, I joined a Troop who has there own design, which they have used for MANY of their 60+ years as a Troop.
    They wear them at all regular meetings.
    The exceptions being the Eagle Scouts, they wear the Eagle Scout neckerchiefs from Scoutstuff [64079.]
    It’s not a completely uniform look, but it makes the Eagles stand-out in the crowd, this WAS the decision of the Troop, so it’s been accepted.
    I believe the only time ALL ofg the Scouts wore the same was when they were asked to present the flags at the funeral of a long-standing Troop associate.
    He was a Scout from the Troop, MANY years ago… but still kept in touch when he was in town. He tragically passed in a car accident.

  43. I can see neckerchief’s with class-B tee shirts for the purpose of spotting your unit on outtings.
    I recall a canoe trek on the Delaware river with a dozen boats on the water it’s easy to get some distance between one another. The only way for other boater’s to know we were together was that we seemed to be the only ones with PFD’s and helmets on.

  44. Since I moved to Florida many years ago, I have found very few troops here wear neckerchiefs. And even those really only do it for special occasions. They are just too dang hot down here. Troops don’t even vote on it anymore, it is just that way.

      • I wear a necker on special occasions, no matter what the troop policy is. But that does not change what the troops decide, and I am talking over 90% here. I combine my NESA necker with a woodbadge woggle usually.

  45. Our troop has a custom neckerchief with the troop patch on the back. There’s a version with gold piping for those who enter High School (regardless of rank). The adults wear the one without the trim.

    It’s also a rule that if you have earned a neckerchief from something, you can also wear it, so you see NYLT neckerchiefs and Camping Honor society neckerchiefs too.

    It’s part of the “class A” uniform and it worn during troop meetings. Depending on the trip, the boys wear Class A, B, or no neckerchief (SPL’s decision).

  46. So much discussion over a piece of cloth.

    Folks, Field Uniform or Activity Uniform!

    Nothing else, no other names or descriptions.

    Personally, I do not wear any neckerchief despite completing WB twice; nor do I wear beads either. I prefer a clean, simple appearance with simple, clean uniform to boot!

    If the Unit has an adopted Neckerchief, ALL Members including the Adult Leaders should wear the same neckerchief, IMMHO, no exceptions…

  47. Troop 501 wears a gold necker with the words “Troop 501” above the Gadsden rattlesnake, and “DONT TREAD ON ME” embroidered upon it. It was “designed” by the troop’s SPL, in response to an incident that occurred to one of our Scouts at Summer Camp, the council’s failure to follow national policies and state laws addressing the abuse of youth, and the Scout’s, his family’s, and the troop’s nearly two-year battle that went all the way to Irving, before he got (some) justice. It is a statement of solidarity with that Scout, and a warning to others that they stand together, and will “fight” to the end. It’s quite a story, really, and deeply meaningful to the troop. Of course, it looks sharp, too…

    We wear them under the collar, rolled (not folded), and secured by a turk’s head of black paracord.

  48. In our Troop, new receive a basic green BSA neckerchief and standard slide. Upon earning Tenderfoot, they receive a custom Troop 166 neckerchief. The custom is rust-brown and has an embroidered logo on back that includes art work inspired by “A Cheyenne Sketchbook” by Cohoe. Uniformed adult leaders wear the same neckerchief with green and orange ribbon on the edge. This design has been used for at least 15 years.

    The Cohoe art work has been part of the Troop since 1973 when it was used to decorate our Eagle tipi (has names of all Troop Eagles and SMs on it).

    We wear neckerchiefs under the collar. Having gone through Scouts myself in the 70’s, it took me a bit to get used to it, but I don’t think is looks bad and it is more comfortable than the old collar-less shirts or a tucked-under collar.

    Eagle Scouts wear An Eagle neckerchief or Troop, at their discretion. It many cases, the Eagle becomes the dress option and the Troop a working option. Boys who participate in High Adventure and special events may wear those neckerchiefs on occasion.

    New boys receive a standard BSA slide when they join. After that, boys may select/make their own. We award a custom, Cohoe-inspired, tipi-shaped slide to Scouts and Leaders who achieve 100 nights of Scout camping.

  49. I would love for the BSA to allow neckerchiefs to be worn anytime, uniform or not, like other Scouts throughout the world. At World Jamborees, it seems like the non-BSA Scouts always have on a neckerchief, in uniform or not.

  50. “Folks, Field Uniform or Activity Uniform!”

    For Scouts, there is the “Uniform.” That’s it. As per the Guide, websites, and BSHB.

    While some, including at BSA, incorrectly refer to “Field Uniform,” that terminology was scrapped officially years ago.

    “Activity Uniform”? There was an Activity Shirt that sold poorly and was discontinued. There was never an official BSA “Activity Uniform.”

    I suppose that because camps and units make up their own rules on woods tools that are inconsistent with BSA policy, why not local rules on uniforms?

    The goal in labeling ought to be clear communication.

    Of course, another nice goal would be actual uniformity, but that was lost generations ago. Now we have a brand of clothing to mix and match.

    • There was a time before the Oscar de la Renta redesign that Scout uniforms were what you wore in the outdoors — that was what the uniform was designed for, and the Boy Scout Handbook strongly encouraged it. Now, the Boy Scout Handbook tells us that the uniform is for indoor activities and ceremonies, and that for the outdoors we should wear t-shirts with Scout pants or shorts, or other clothing appropriate for the activity. Ironically, the Oscar de la Renta design has evolved into uniform design and fabrics that are suitable for a wide variety of outdoor activities. But we cover the shirts with patches, badges, pins, beads, loops, medals, and other big, heavy, colorful doo-dads that make the outdoor-style uniform shirts highly impractical for wear in the field. And of course, there are a lot of Scouts and Scouters who don’t even own the uniform pants.

      The point is, there is no single, coherent vision of what the Scout uniform should consist of and how and when it should be worn, and that includes the neckerchief.

      • Before the Oscar, the uniform was thin polyester-cotton and not suitable for outdoor wear. The trouser zippers were prone to failure and one fall produced knee ventilation.

        • I work in a museum. I handle the uniforms. I see how they have stood the test of Scouts. I do not doubt that they were worn. I do not doubt that they were not nearly as rugged as the Sanforized cotton that came before.

          “The point is, there is no single, coherent vision of what the Scout uniform should consist of and how and when it should be worn, and that includes the neckerchief.”

          Absolutely correct. Not a uniform. Just a brand.

        • And yet the uniform is one of the eight methods of Scouting that we are to use to achieve our objectives. We paid it a lot of attention when Scouting was as close to a universal adolescent experience as there was.

          But we know how to gain -or lose – boys. Program. Fun and adventure. How to get there? Properly-trained leaders and truly excellent program resources..

  51. So why is it a triangle and not a square folded in half it would have more uses that way…just a thought. But think it should be worn either way.

  52. All this discussion over a piece of cloth… Maybe if we discussed things like how to recruit more boys and keep them interested, the membership numbers wouldn’t be falling.
    I think that, at times, we lose sight of the fact that this program is for the boys – there are more important things to discuss.

  53. Our troop always wears neckerchiefs, but we take it a step further. All new scouts are presented with a troop neckerchief at their crossover ceremony. Scouts who reach First Class rank are presented with a special neckerchief with gold piping at the edges at the next court of honor. This has proven to be an effective way to encourage rank advancement.

  54. I’ve personally never liked Neckerchiefs. In cub Scouting we used Hats to identify Cubs instead of Neckerchiefs. I came from a Troop that never wore them because they weren’t really practical (Summer camp can get really hot here in Ohio) and they just kind of looked unprofessional and just an extra step. Popping out the collar and having a white undershirt it what I do and it’s functional and looks good. Many kids screw up the slide (Upside down or do something weird like use a watch for slide when they couldn’t find one) or it’s put on weird (Scout Badge not centered. folded too much).The Current Troop I’m in uses them but I just prefer not to because A, never liked them B, don’t own a slide even though I own 3 Neckerchiefs (2 were given).

    • Personally, I don’t like caramel corn. ^___^

      I did like neckerchiefs as a Scout because they kept the sun off my neck in the mountains in California (100+ F. w/ very high UV). So I was prejudiced in their favor when I moved to Ohio. And how else to display my 200+ slides?

      In matters of taste, there is no reason to have disputes, or, if you don’t like Latin maxims, “Different strokes for different folks.” (St. Sly of the Family Stone)

  55. The neckerchief is the most distinctive part of the Scout uniform and is the only part that is recognizable around the world. The decision by BSA so many years ago to make the neckerchief “optional” was a terrible decision. If you are taking your Scouts into any kind of chaotic, crowded situation, neckerchiefs are easier to recognize than the uniform shirts. For all the things that we want uniforms to do, neckerchiefs alone can do most of them.

    While the BSA policy stands, I will support it and allow the youth leadership to choose – but I really wish that BSA would reconsider the uniform policy and put the neckerchiefs back in a place of pride.

    • They’re honestly too much of a Hassel. Boys loose slides, have it misaligned because they can’t check their six etc. You know what other traditional piece of BSA uniform died? The hiking staff and campaign hat. I agree its practical but looks bad on current uniform and childish for that matter. The collar kind of gets in the way of things. Some units also shouldn’t need to wear them because of how hot it gets in the U.S. I personally don’t mind the neckerchief being optional. I’ve never liked it with the Oscar era uniform.

  56. I seem to follow the old-school train of thought in this discussion. I don’t agree with the BSA decision to make it optional. There are both traditional and practical reasons for our boys to continue wearing neckerchiefs.

    When I was a Scout in the 70s-80s, it was a different time, with different traditions. Leaders were male only, but we had a “Mothers’ Club”. One of the ways those Moms got involved was our neckerchiefs. They took plain stock red and plain stock black neckerchiefs, cut them in half, and sewed them together to create the unique red & black neckerchiefs that only our Troop had- and we wore them with a great deal of pride. Still have mine.

    I wear my Leader uniform today with the same pride that was instilled in me back then; and I tell my boys that their uniforms are their personal, wearable trophies- almost every part & patch gives them bragging rights to something they’re part of, and/or something they’ve accomplished.

  57. To everyone saying that the neckerchief is what identifies a Scout, if they’re not identifiable by their actions then they could use some work on being a better Scout. Their actions is what should be identifying them as a Scout, not a triangular piece of cloth.

    • Matt, the “actions” reveal them to be persons of certain qualities – who may or may not be Scouts.

      One of the methods of Scouting is that Scouts should be dressed in a way that tells the world they are Scouts.

      Given the choice, I would select the actions, but there is no such choice forced upon me.

  58. When I was a scout (cue old timer’s crotchety voice), it was easy to wear neckerchiefs because the scout shirt did not have a collar. IMHO, the collar gets in the way of a neckerchief (does it go over or under?).

    Also, in my troop, we each wore different neckerchiefs. This way, scouts who attended Jamborees or summer camp could show off. Glen Gray, the camp at which I worked, awarded neckerchiefs for special service. I (still) have boxes of neckerchiefs from days of yore.

  59. Our Troop just voted on a neckerchief design. Up until now the scouts haven’t worn them. As Assistant Scoutmaster (I’ve been with the troop 2 years) I always wear one and have shown on several occations how handy they are. Just last year we had to cross a stream and I used my neckerchief to secure a handrail for our bridge.

  60. My troop Troop 55 (now disbanded), Greenwood,SC had a blue Neckerchief that had the Scout Sign and Troop 55, Greenwood SC underneath. Slide was personal choice (mine, at least for part of the time) was the woodcarving of the Indian Chief (doubly appropriate because Blue Ridge Council’s primary camp is Camp Old Indian). Worn during unit inspections and CoH’s. Hated when I turned 18 and switched to a tie.

  61. Our troop wears them. When a boy joins the troop, he is issued a plain green neckerchief. When he makes Tenderfoot, he gets a troop patch to put on it.

  62. My troop does not wear them. I would like to see my troop, at some point, wear them. They look sharp on a uniform. It also would allow the boys to create their own personal slides.

  63. Pack 3149 in Bonner Springs Kansas, as well as everyone I’ve seen in our KC district wears the neckerchief as displayed, under the collar and the appropriate color with rank. Actually I had no idea it was optional as everyone does it, so I’m sure it’s been done so long no one ever questioned why!
    I agree, makes the uniform look sharp and I think the uniform helps remind them about being neat and clean and they show off their achievements.
    Our troops also all wear a specific designed neckerchief based on their location and I assume their voted design. 🙂 Good discussion!
    Celeste Williams

  64. North field Pack 161 of Pleasant Grove, Utah awards the boys with a neckerchif, slider and rank book apropetate to rank advancement. When they bridge into 12 year old scouts they get the same award.

  65. We are down in Texas and it gets rather hot around here. We also don’t wear at normal meetings or campouts. Unfortunately too many things are left after the meetings and campouts, this would be another. We do give Scouts our troop neckerchief when they join and also a troop slide we make. We only ask them to wear them at COH’s, district dinners and such. They are nice to see while selling popcorn, but it is not required.

  66. Troop 248 of Oakdale, PA wears a red neckercheif and slide as part of the uniform. You recieve a standard red BSA neckerchief when you join the unit and you recieve your embordered neckerchief when you complete your Tenderfoot.

  67. First, i grew up wearing them and love wearing my Wood Badge neckerchief for formal events I attend as a Commissioner. I wear by my Philmont and a BSA/BSN Jamborre neckerchief most of the time. Currently I am wearing my Wood Badge Tartan neckerchief as i am finishing my second time through the course.

    The Troop I help found will wear them as soon as we get them made. We are a composite troop made up to help youth with Autism. The boys have their home unit numbers on their shirt, so the neckerchief (with our Troop Number) serves to show our unity. Being we were first chartered last October, the young men who we have join in the first 17 months, will also sport the Founders Strip below the troop number on their neckerchiefs.

    As far as neckerchief slids will be up to the young men. Personally, I have a dozen I wear.

    SM Troop 1910
    Great Salt Lake Council

  68. I’m a Scout Leader in England. As soon as you are invested you wear your scarf, it’s part of the uniform. The colour of your scarf is as important as the football team you support, it’s what identifies your troop and who you are and all Scouts are proud to wear them. Can’t believe you don’t wear your scarves at all times! For informal occasions you usually wear them with a friendship knot but formally you wear a woggle (slide!). Blue hike trousers are also part of the uniform. We also have scarves made for trips in different colours. Do you have a contingent scarf for the WSJ in July? UK Scouts will be wearing many from their Scout troop, Explorer Unit (Varsity), District, County, Jamboree Unit and National contingent. We have special colours for all of these – all steeped in history! My own Troop dates back to 1908 and we have been wearing the same scarf ever since.

  69. Logically, every patrol should have a distinctive necker since the patrol is the team in Scouting. The troop is the league.

  70. Completely new her, but a couple of thoughts from someone born in the middle of the last century.

    The neckerchief became a uniform item because it was useful. Not only was it a triangle bandage in extreme conditions, it kept the sun off your neck and absorbed sweat, aiding in the evaporative cooling process, and it is a good face shield in dusty conditions. This is why you see pictures of the US Cavalry and cowboys alike wearing these devices in the hot American plains and southwest.

    This continues today. When I was a cavalry officer in the modern US Armored Cavalry, I and my cavalry scouts wore olive drab triangle bandages or large triangle-folded cloths. Today, you can still see troops (and contractors) wearing such devices or (or camouflaged shamaghs) in current campaigns. It is not outdated at all.

    Too hot is not an excuse…extreme heat is the condition the necker was intended for (like BP in South Africa).

    It was and is a symbol of the outdoor nature and self-reliance of scouting.

    Yes, the BSA allows troops to vote on it. Given that is the case, let’s make sure that the boys understand the reasons why the necker was adopted in the first place and the reasons for continuing it today. The last thing we should do, consistent with scouting’s “enduring values,” is to turn it into a statement about contemporary fashion.

  71. Chris: Thank you for resurrecting a worthy thread.
    The neckerchief/necker/Scout Scarf is so iconic to Scouting. It is the ONLY part of the Scout uniform INTENDED to be useful. Yeah, you can use shirts and trousers as floats (see Life saving MB) and even socks can be used as mittens in cold weather, but it blew my mind when I saw the book “Matching Mountains With the Boy Scout Uniform” from 1929 (see it on line) and they listed upwards of 40 uses for a Scout Scarf. Bridled any horses lately? Controlled any parade crowds?
    To say outright that the necker is not appropriate or useful or thought to be anachronistic or old fashioned is so short sighted.
    Next Jamboree you go to, bring extra neckers to trade. Next Camporee you plan, give out a necker rather than a patch. Next First Aid class, use your necker for a sling or ankle support.

    As for the slide/woggle: …. Yep, they fall off if not installed right. The making of them is a dying art. I sponsor a contest (comes up at the CoH in February) for their creation. I solicit free coupons from local burger joints, ice cream places as prizes. I have seen Scouts enter elaborate carved slides, and circles of duct tape. I have an independent judge (local art teacher? wood carver friend?) do the judging and , yes, some Scouts go away with just a “thank you” and some eat well.
    Yes, indeed, “your mileage may vary”. One kilometer equals about 6/10 a mile….

  72. Neckerchief (and the awesome counterpart, “buffs”/neck gators” are the preferred neckwear for Pack 188 Webelos in Cincinnati. We are 100% on board with this new ruling.

  73. Our Pack does wear the Neckercheif, and it is under the collar, they boys wear according to Their Rank,the Cub Master and Asst Cub Master,
    We are trying to get. Our leaders to wear a uniform to make it look better for our boys if all the leaders are in full uniform

  74. Our group as part of Scouts Canada in Toronto wears the neckercheif always. Our colours are red on the right and green on the left. Our colours were brought to our group over 60 years ago when formed by our first Scoutmaster. they were the colours of his group in England.
    In Canada it is common to wear just the neckercheif (or ‘scarf’) without the uniform as well at district or area events as a means of identifying which group one belongs to.

  75. I found that boys would forget their neckerchief on a regular basis. As a collector of neckerchiefs, I decided to start giving away neckerchiefs from my collection at Court of Honors for 3 different awards. Most Helpful, Most Friendly, Most Cheerful. They boys loved getting antique neckerchiefs. They started wearing them at every meeting. It was something they were very proud of. When you give a boy an item that was the Scoutmasters it is something they remember. Give a 1953 Jamboree neckerchief and they think it is so cool. Go on to ebay there are plenty of neckerchiefs you can buy for $5.00 or less.

  76. My son has been a Eagle Scout for 4 years and now is 18 and a Asst. Scoutmaster . Is he allow to wear his Blue Eagle Scout neckerchief . I have not found this information.

  77. Our troop always wear neckerchiefs. The troop members have one color, the patrol leaders have a different color and the SPL and ASPL have yet another color, with their badge of rank on the neckerchief instead of on the shoulder. Some scouts wear camp or high adventure neckerchiefs.

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