Homepage Forums General Scouting Neckerchiefs With T-Shirts?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Wally Tirado 3 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #26122 Reply

    Dan Kurtenbach

    The BSA Guide to Awards and Insignia (http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/home/media/insigniaguide.aspx) states, at page 12: “The neckerchief is worn only with the official uniform and never with T-shirts or civilian clothing.” The Boy Scout Handbook, at page 32, describes the official uniform and then says: “When you’re headed outdoors, you can pull on a T-shirt with Scout pants or shorts, or wear other clothing that is right for the events of the day.”

    So my question is, if BSA is encouraging T-shirt wear with Scout pants or shorts, thereby wearing part of the official uniform for an outdoor Scouting activity, why not allow neckerchief wear with the T-shirt and the official pants or shorts for that outdoor Scouting activity?

    And beyond that, the neckerchief is the single most iconic piece of the Scout uniform in the public conciousness (followed by the lemon-squeezer campaign hat – just check out Scoutmaster Snoopy’s attire when he is hiking with the Beagle Scouts). If you have a bunch of youth running around outdoors in T-shirts, whether or not their pants or shorts are the official uniform pants or shorts, how is anyone supposed to know that they are Scouts unless they get close up (and maybe not even then)? Why not allow Scouts in the outdoors who are actively doing Scouting to be easily identified as Scouts from a distance?

    Didn’t the neckerchief evolve from the kerchief worn by cowboys for everything from keeping dust out of their mouths to washing up to bandaging wounds? Isn’t it the ultimate outdoor clothing item?

  • #26137 Reply

    Mike Walton (settummanque)

    Sure, Dan…in other nations, Scouts wear the neckerchief with tee-shirts or polo shirts to distinguish them as Scouts or while performing Scouting-type activities. But in the USA, we have a uniform and the neckerchief is a component of that uniform. Like the wearing of the Wood Badge with a tee-shirt, it’s not allowed from a “presentation” standpoint as well as from a safety standpoint. Not that a neckerchief would get caught up somewhere — but there’s the possibility, even remotely.

    I would advocate a change to the Insignia and Uniform policies which would allow the wearing of the unit’s neckerchief during *ceremonies and meetings* in which the unit has chosen not to wear the official field uniform. For instance, in *my thinking*, there should be no issue with Scouts wearing neckerchiefs during dinner or lunch while wearing camp or unit tee-shirts; and likewise, during activities in which there’s not a lot of running and jumping around, like a campfire program.

  • #26198 Reply

    Dan Kurtenbach

    Howdy, Mike!

    Wearing the neckerchief at ceremonial occasions and other gatherings where the uniform shirt was not required would be a great start. Summer camp would be ideal locale to start, and expand to camporees, then unit campouts. I think once people realized that neckerchiefs actually look fine with t-shirts, we could breathe new life into this traditional piece of Scouting attire.

    If the neckerchief is just another piece of “flair” for the uniform shirt (see the movie Office Space for more on “flair”), there’s not much point to it.

  • #26389 Reply

    Deb Redmon

    I agree with Mr. Kurtenbach. I think it would help to distinguish the scouts when they are involved in activities that don’t require the official shirt. Lots of community sponsored service projects in our area have a t-shirt they pass out for volunteers to wear, so if each of our scouts could wear their neckerchief with it, others would know they were scouts.

    • #26391 Reply

      Dan Kurtenbach

      Cool idea!

  • #40314 Reply


    Sorry for the post to an older thread but I was doing some research and found this thread.

    A little while ago our original den leader for my son’s den moved to England and he recently posted a picture of his son in Cub Scouts there. In trying to better understand their program vs ours, I learned a number of things. The most interesting and most consistent that was even part or BSA’s past is the Neckerchief.

    I really like how scouts around the world will wear them anytime they are participating in a scout related activity regardless of the rest of their uniform. I really think that the BSA is missing that key link to other scouting organizations by making the neckerchief optional and not allowing it to be worn with T-Shirts.

    I really hope they rethink this as it really sets scouts apart. Check out http://www.scout.org and look at all the service projects and the colorful neckerchiefs.


  • #139868 Reply

    Wally Tirado

    I think it’s time for BSA to revisit this. With Lions part of the pack. Their uniform is a T-shirt. Neckerchief (yellow) is optional wear. I think we need to go back to our roots that the neckerchief isn’t a uniform accessory but an outdoor tool.

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