Homepage Forums Boy Scouts (Scouts BSA) Can scouts be required to wear their class A for their SMC?

This topic contains 8 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Joel 7 months, 1 week ago.

  • Author
  • #155571 Reply


    In our troop, we have always required a class A uniform for conducing a Scoutmaster conference. It has come to our attention recently the wording in “Troop Leader Guidebook, No. 33009 (volume 1)”, (pages 98 and 99) explains that “A Scout can’t pass or fail a Scoutmaster Conference. He meets the requirement simply by participating.”

    So if the scout shows up without a complete Class A uniform (or one at all really), are we allow to ‘fail’ the SMC or even allow it to start if this is our troop policy? Or do we need to change our troop policy?

    Thanks in advance for the advice.

  • #156942 Reply


    Straight from the Guide to Advancement, on the front page under the heading Policy on Unauthorized Changes to Advancement Program:

    No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements. There are limited exceptions relating only to members with special needs. For details see section 10, “Advancement for Members With Special Needs.”

    This would not be one of them limited exceptions. Wearing or not wearing a full field uniform cannot be a reason to pass or fail a Scoutmaster Conference or a Board of Review, or to be granted one either.

  • #156893 Reply


    Your Troop policy needs to change. You can neither add nor take away from the requirements as given in the Guide to Advancement, and as is stated, you can’t “fail” a Scoutmaster Conference. You also cannot require the Field Uniform (what some erroneously call the ‘Class A’) at the conference, nor even at the Board of Review. You aren’t there to judge how well he is dressed; you are there to observe how his Scouting experience is coming along and to talk with him about it. You are not testing him; you are not judging him, and you are not there to “pass or fail” him. It would be both wise and imperative of your Troop to revise its procedures.

  • #157055 Reply


    Thanks Middletownscouter and Edward for your responses. I’m new to scouting so your experience is valuable to me.

    It sounds like we can’t directly interfere with a scout’s advancement requirements. I 100% get that and respect that. We allow our boys to dictate a lot of the troop policies so we will get them to correct this to align with BSA policy.

    Related Question:
    About a year ago, our boys proactively wrote up requirements for successfully completing a leadership role. The idea was brought about by scouts that were elected to positions, but then did not show up at enough campouts, etc, actually execute on that leadership. (A leader in name only.)

    So the youth wrote a policy that you had to attend X number of meetings and X number of campouts to get leadership credit.

    Hypothetically, could the boys make a policy that says if a scout does not wear a full Field Uniform (thanks for the correction) to a SMC then they are not eligible for leadership that election cycle .. or maybe the following election cycle… or something similar?

    Thanks again for your scouting insight.

  • #158093 Reply


    I tried to reply twice already. Short answer: no.

  • #158095 Reply


    Don’t link Uniforming with advancement or leadership development. Those methods should be independent of one another.

    Link it with food:


  • #167114 Reply


    Hold the phone… let’s not be so quick to answer this question because you might be missing the “bigger picture”.

    The super-simple answer is “no” you can’t “fail” a Scoutmaster conference by not being properly uniformed; however, being IN UNIFORM is expected of Boy Scouts at Scouting functions. The Uniform is part of the Aims & Methods of Scouting. It’s rarely “optional”. Also, The Boy Scouts of America Insignia Guide says it’s your responsibility as an adult leader to “promote the wearing of the correct complete uniform on all suitable occasions.”


    Scouting is about BUILDING CHARACTER and much of what is done in Scouting is about INCULCATION of positive behavior and traits.

    In our troop, we EXPECT (not require) that a Scout seeking a rank advancement will come and present himself in full uniform, and they always do! They rise to every “challenge” we give them. Not because we are “uniform police” or “control freaks”, but because being properly dressed is a SIGN OF RESPECT (for self and SM). We also promote the SMC and BOR as training for a JOB INTERVIEW. You wear nice clothes out of respect. You present yourself clean & polished. You sit up straight, you look people in the eye when you shake their hands, and you speak clearly. You PRESENT YOURSELF as someone worthy of being advanced and applauded for his achievements.

    So… yes, you can treat a SMC as “just another requirement” and get through it with jeans & a Metallica tee shirt, or you can use it as one of many opportunities in Scouting to reinforce what you’re actually here to teach these young MEN… BE PREPARED FOR LIFE.

    So, “required”… no. EXPECTED… YES! Use every moment as a “teachable moment” and explain to them WHY you’re ASKING them to be in uniform.

  • #174494 Reply


    I can’t imagine why not… Would they go to their SPORTING EVENT without their Uniform and expect to play ? Well, in today’s society maybe…… My word, I can’t even believe this is a question.. Why be in Scouting if you aren’t going to follow some simple LIFE RULES and learn something… You going to your job someday, NOT dressed as you are supposed to be? because YOU didn’t feel like YOU needed to? I’m sorry, I just can’t believe that those doing a SMC would even do it if the Scout per-say showed up in a T-Shirt and Sweats…. I am just floored that this is “EXPECTED” and NOT a written rule… Those before us would be turning over in their graves!

  • #179329 Reply

    Daryl Rossman

    I would conduct a SMC only if the scout demonstrated respect for the program. Otherwise, the scout is not ready. If it’s not important to him why should it be for anyone else? If you just give it away the program will have no value.

Reply To: Can scouts be required to wear their class A for their SMC?
Your information: