Archive for the ‘uniform’ Category


I finally did it! On Wednesday, after thirty years of holding the position, and after one month of retiring from that position, I pulled the Scoutmaster patch off the left sleeve of my Boy Scout uniform. I have been wearing that patch since September 1981. I think I have now been traumatized. I pulled it off myself. I should have left someone else do it. It may take months of psychiatric therapy to get over this.

A few years ago I bought a new uniform, so this was actually the third shirt on which I wore that patch. And I should mention that this was not the first Scoutmaster patch that I have worn. The first patch is still on the first uniform shirt. This was the latest uniform, with the latest patch, the one with the current meaning.

That patch did not come off easily. I had decided during my lunch break to bring my uniform to a local lady who does sewing. I stopped at home, grabbed my uniform out of the closet, and grabbed a Troop Committee patch along with a new Journey To Excellence patch. (Our troop earned the silver award this year.)

I had applied the Scoutmaster patch to the sleeve with Badge Magic adhesive. I was in a hurry so I grabbed the edge of the patch and pulled. And pulled again. And yet again. It was being stubborn. It did not want to easily come off. Either the Badge Magic was working well, or the shirt did not want to lose a trusted friend. I slowly, finally removed that round piece of cloth, leaving much of the plastic backing on the sleeve. I didn’t care, much. The new patch would cover up the mess. I grabbed everything and left the house.

I do not think I will be wearing the uniform very often anymore, but is was important for me to change the patches. I have always stressed to the Boy Scouts that they should wear they uniform correctly and proudly. I scoutmaster should set the example. Only one person in the troop should be wearing that patch and that person is no longer me.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to leave for my appointment with my therapist. He is going to help me remove the scoutmaster patches from the top of my shoes, the car windshield, my neighbor’s nose…

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    The last few times I attended a trek at Philmont Scout Ranch the crew had tee shirt printed to wear during the adventure. Most of these stated the crew number on the front with a map of the trek on the back. Nothing too special, but a nice souvenir. I still wear a couple of them since I have not wore them out yet. They are quite comfortable.

    I recently was cleaning out my email box of old messages when I came across one from a Philmont forum I belonged to that talked about humorous Philmont tee shirt slogans.

    One writer wrote of a shirt he saw that read,
    “I hiked ’till my heart raced and my muscles burned, And then I hiked some more. Philmont 2006.”

    Another shirt stated,
    “Another day,
    Another dozen miles,
    Same socks.
    Philmont 2006″

    My favorite one had this printed on the back of the shirt:
    “IF YOU CAN READ THIS SHIRT, I’VE LOST MY PACK !!

    Did your crew have a great saying on its shirt? Leave a comment here and share it with us.

    (BTW: The picture is one of the many shirt designs available at ClassB.com.)

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      One of the reasons I enjoy Twitter is that I can keep in touch with Scout leaders from around the country, and around the world. Sometimes they post links to something that is pretty cool. Like today, for example, David Copeland posted a link to a thread about wearing the Scout uniform. It is a fun video created by a troop in Utah featuring the Boy Scouts singing a rap about wearing the uniform properly. I enjoyed watching the video and thought you may enjoy it also, so here it is.

      What do you think about the video?

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        I was the only guy in my high school (grades 10-12) who was an active Boy Scout. When I was in the tenth grade my scoutmaster told the members of our troop that we should wear our Boy Scout uniforms to school on February 8 for the Boy Scouts of America anniversary. Yeah, right, okay, I’ll get right on that.

        I did it. I wore my uniform to school. I was already the smallest guy in school who got picked on regularly by some other guys. I was already the shy quiet dork. Wearing the Boy Scout uniform to school could not make things much worse. Could it?

        Well, it did not make things any worse. Almost no one teased me about it. In fact, a few girls even talked to me about the colorful patches on my shirt. All in all, it was not a bad day. I guess no one cared if I wore my uniform, but to tell the truth, even though I was proud to be a Boy Scout, I never wanted to wear my shirt to school again.

        Turn the clock forward several years. I was now the scoutmaster of my hometown troop. Scout Anniversary Day was coming up. Should I ask the Boy Scouts to wear their uniforms to school? I thought about it. I brought it up to the troop, but I did not tell them they should wear their uniforms to school. I could not ask them to do something I did not want to do when I was a youth (even though I did do it).

        The biggest factor in my decision was not my feelings on the subject but the reaction of the boys. They flat out refused. They did not want their classmates to know they were a Boy Scout. They were having fun in Scouting, but they did not want to advertise they were a Scout. The boys’ attitude surprised me. I could only hope that it would change over the years and that at some point the boys would not be ashamed to tell their peers that they were a Boy Scout.

        Many years have come and gone since then, and many boys have joined and moved on. I still do not ask the boys to wear their Scout uniforms to school, even though the boys today seem to be a lot more comfortable about Scouting then the boys were in the early 1980′s. I have even heard about a few boys over the years who wore their troop tee shirt to school.

        On a final note, I stated earlier that I never wanted to wear a Scouting uniform to school again. As an adult leader I have wore my uniform to school many times. Wearing it in public is not a big deal anymore.

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          The Boy Scouts of America is coming with with a new uniform in August! Oh, you have heard about that already? I thought you might have. I am probably the last Scouting blogger to write about the new uniform. I was not sure what to think about it so I did not really want to write about… Until now.

          I have read a few things about the new uniform. I have seen the BSA’s information about it. I have seen the pictures of it. But only recently have I made up my mind about it. And that is only after talking to Jerry at The Scoutmaster Minute.

          To tell the truth, I think it is time for the uniform to change. I did not have a problem with the current shirt, but even this 48 year old thought the current uniform pants and socks were dorky looking. Plus, the shorts were designed horribly, in my opinion. I have not worn the official shorts or pants since the 2001 National Jamboree. The new uniform looks like it should be a lot more comfortable and that it will wear better on troop functions. The right sleeve pocket looks like an interesting idea, but I wonder how many times it will get sown shut. The new cap will not look like a target sitting on a Scout’s head.

          Fred Goodwin has found an article in the Dallas Morning News that talks well of the new uniform, and also quotes a couple Scouts on how they feel about it. You can check it out at http://tinyurl.com/5lm7pz .

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            I dislike sewing. It may be due to the fact that I am not a good at it. I remember the last time I tried sewing a patch to my uniform. After three attempts to get it right I quit trying, and have not gone back to it.

            When I went to the 2001 National Jamboree one Scout’s mother agreed to sew the patches on my shirt. She did a fantastic job. The uniform stills looks great. Unfortunately, she does not enjoy sewing either, although she is good at it.

            The last time I needed a patch sewn on my shirt I took it to a lady in town who has a home business. She did a good job of sewing, charged very reasonably, but I did not feel she did a great job of patch placement before sewing the patches on the shirt.

            Okay then, I now need a new patch put onto my shirt. I do not like sewing. The mother who did a great job of sewing is no longer doing it. The sewing lady in town I am not completely happy with. What is a scoutmaster to do? (And no, I have no plans to learn who to sew!)

            Well, lucky for me, a found something online that sounds promising. It is called Patch Magic, an adhesive to apply patches to a Scout uniform. It even has how-to videos on the site. I watched a couple and it almost looks to good to be true. I am very tempted to purchase it and see how it works. You can check it out by clicking here.

            My question to the readers of this blog is, “Have you tried this product? Does it work well? Is it easy to remove?” If the answer is yes to these questions I think I have discovered a better way for patches to be placed on my uniform.

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              Yes, I was a Boy Scout. For three and one half years I was a member of Troop 68 in Melrose, Minnesota. The troop had about a dozen members or so, divided into two patrols, the Falcons and the Cougars.

              I am the oldest of three brothers. My brothers were Cub Scouts. Unfortunately, when I was Cub Scout age there was not an active pack in town. However, I did get to participate in a couple Webelos den activities with my brother Dan. At the time I wished I could be a Scout.

              About the time when Dan’s den was ready to graduate into Boy Scouting a troop was formed in town. I joined the troop right away. I started out as the oldest member of the troop at 13 years old. The rest of the troop members were 11 or 12 years old. It did not take long for me to become the senior patrol leader, a position I held for most of the years I was in Scouting.

              I have forgotten more about my time as a Scout then I remember. I am sure there are a few things best left unremembered. But there are also a few things I will never forget.

              I remember going to summer camp for three years at Parker Scout Reservation. Two of those years were spent at the Bear Skin campsite. We (all the campers) would sing songs before supper in the dining hall. I earned pioneering merit badge although I had a lot of trouble trying to learn how to splice ropes. I saw a skunk and it’s little ones for the first time as it crossed the trail on my way back to the campsite. I remember one afternoon when my fellow troop members and I sat in a tent and discussed things that were important to us at the time, including the existence of God. I remember one patrol event which involved getting the patrol up into a tree as fast as possible. Friday night campfires were great, and my troop even performed a skit at one which involved Dracula, the werewolf, the mummy, and Frankenstein’s monster, but I don’t remember what it was about anymore. In other words, I had fun at summer camp.

              One year my scoutmaster wanted everyone to wear his uniform to school for Scout Day. At the time, I was the only student in the high school who was a Boy Scout. I knew I would be the only boy in school wearing that uniform, but I wore it because I was proud to be a Boy Scout.

              I prepared myself for the snide comments I expected to receive in school, but they never came. No one made fun of me and my uniform, at least not to my face. In fact, I had people asking me about the patches on my shirt and what they represented.

              As the scoutmaster of that same troop today, I do not ask the boys to wear their uniform to school. Society has changed somewhat during the last 30 years. But you know, when you stop and think about it, Scouting is as much fun today as it was back then. Don’t cha think?

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