When you see someone wearing a neckerchief over their collar (or under their collar), that person very may well be a Scout. Across the globe, the neckerchief serves as a universal identifier for Scouting.
Every year on Aug. 1, everyone involved in Scouting is asked to wear their neckerchiefs in public. It’s called Scout Scarf Day, a time to proudly make Scouting visible wherever you are. And yes, you can wear it when you’re not in uniform.
Scout Scarf Day is also a time to show how we’re all connected through Scouting. As the Scout Association’s Chief Scout Bear Grylls shared at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree, “We are all bound together by this … By our scarf! … And you know what this is? This scarf is a promise to serve our community and create a better world.”
The neckerchief can be more than a symbol of Scouting. Lord Robert Baden-Powell suggested a few uses for it in Scouting for Boys, the original handbook published in 1908.
When you get up in the morning, remember that you have to do a Good Turn for someone during the day. Tie a knot in your handkerchief or neckerchief to remind yourself of it.
For binding a broken limb, you want a good large three-cornered bandage, such as your Scout neckerchief.
The scarf protects your neck from sunburn…
Wearing a Scout neckerchief is optional, according to the Guide to Awards and Insignia. But typically, every troop chooses its own neckerchief with a distinctive color and sometimes unique design. Cub Scouts often wear a different colored neckerchief based on what rank they are. Neckerchiefs can also designate Sea Scouts and Eagle Scouts.
You can fasten the neckerchief around your neck by tying a knot (like the friendship knot, see below), or by using a slide or woggle.
So, wear that neckerchief with pride and feel free to share a photo with us and tell us how wearing it shared the spirit of Scouting with others. Scouts can share photos of their neckerchiefs with Scout Life magazine here.