John Andrews will never forget buying his son his first Cub Scout uniform.
Back then the nearest place to buy uniforms was a local hardware store. Andrews went to the counter where the clerk rang up the patches, but Andrews couldn’t find the uniform shirt he swore he had picked up minutes earlier.
“He’s wearing it,” the clerk said, pointing to the boy.
Andrews’ son had put the shirt on and wasn’t about to take it off. The boy slept in it that night.
The importance of the uniform — at all levels of Scouting, but especially in those early Cub Scouting years — cannot be overstated.
It’s a tool for recruiting other young people into the program. It’s a way for boys to show off their accomplishments. It provides a sense of belonging.
“That little blue uniform is pretty familiar to most people,” Andrews says. “It might depend upon what community you’re in and what the cultural tradition of Scouting in that community is. But anything that we can do to help the community know that Scouting is an organization that cares about kids and teaches kids to care about each other and to be citizen servants and to grow up as people who are going to take care of the world they live in and play leadership roles — all of those things are important.”
Andrews, a professional Scouter for 32 years and now the Scout executive of the Northern Star Council, shares more of his insight in the latest episode of CubCast, the monthly podcast about Cub Scouting.
He tells the hosts about the importance of a uniform, how to set a pack uniform policy and how to help families afford uniforms for their Scouts.
That and more in the October 2015 episode of CubCast, available to read or listen to here.