‘Neatness makes the difference!’ Check out this 1950s uniform inspection sheet

Clean fingernails? Check.

Hat tilted to the right? Check.

Neckerchief folded smartly and snugly around the neck? Check.

With those and a handful of other uniform elements in order, Scouts in the 1950s were ready to score 100 out of 100 on their uniform inspection.

My dad discovered in a box of Scouting artifacts a 1950s-era uniform inspection sheet, not unlike the one we use today. It encouraged Scouts to wear their uniform properly and proudly.

Back then, as with today, a uniform didn’t need to be brand new to earn a top rating.

“No sir, your own Official Uniform, regardless of how old it may be, can rate just as high as any outfit bought day-before-yesterday,” the text read, in that distinctive 1950s style. “Neatness is the big factor and every Uniform, old or new, has exactly the same chance to score.”

Check out the inspection sheet below, and see how it compares to today. One thing I know for sure: “there is only one official uniform … no substitutes.”

My favorite part of the uniform inspection sheet


1950s-era BSA uniform inspection sheet

Click each image to enlarge



About Bryan Wendell 3128 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.