Posts Tagged ‘uniform’

Some people involved with Scouting may collect handbooks. Others may collect coffee mugs. A lot of Scouts and adult leaders collect patches. How many do you know that collect bolo ties?

I have accumulated a couple dozen bolo ties over the years. I could have a lot more in the collection, but I have stuck to bolo ties from events or places that I have attended. That self imposed rule has kept the cost of this collection down a bit.

There are four bolo ties from Philmont Scout Ranch but only one from the Summit high adventure base. I think you can get an idea how many times I have attended each base. I was a little surprised that I only have 5 different bolo ties from Many Point Scout Camp since the troop has been going there for nearly 30 years. I wish I had bought a few more of the Order of the Arrow bolo ties.

Do you collect Scouting related bolo ties? Do the Scout of your troop? How many have you collected over the years?

Boy Scout uniform shirt.

It was time to buy a new Scout uniform. The one I have been using I have probably been wearing for ten years. The sleeves are starting to fray at the edges. Some of the patches are coming loose. The worse problem with the shirt is that it seems to be shrinking. It was fine when I bought it but during the last couple years it just does not fit as well any more. I just don’t understand it.

So I bought a new uniform shirt along with a new batch of patches. I did not want to go through the work of taking the patches off the old shirt. Many of them were applied with Badge Magic and I do not think they would come off easily. I will hang the old shirt at the end of the closet with the other old shirts from the last 38 years that may one day find their way to the Scouting display at our local museum.

Anyway, like I was saying, I bought a new uniform shirt. That was ten months ago. It has been sitting in a bag on my bedroom dresser since I bought it. Along with all the new patches. It appears the patches will not apply themselves to the shirt even if you wait ten months.

A couple weeks ago I decided to do something with the new shirt. I spread it out nicely on the family room table. I sorted through the collection of patches that need to be applied to the shirt. There would be eighteen patches, three of which I still had to order from somewhere. I dug through the closet and pulled out the Badge Magic I had left over from preparing the old uniform. I then cut pieces of Badge Magic and started applying some of the patches to the new uniform. I was using the adhesive strips to place the patches, not as the permanent application method. My goal was to bring the shirt and patches to Judy, a seamstress in town, to sew them onto the shirt. She is very reasonable with her fees.

The shirt laid on the family room table in the basement for a few more days since I forgot to grab it on my way to work. One day I went home for lunch, remembered the shirt, grabbed it on the way out, and brought it to Judy. She said she would call me after she finished sewing the ten patches. Yeah, ten patches. I could not do the left shoulder yet because I was waiting for the 40 year patch. I also needed a 2001 Jamboree patch for over the right pocket. The new Journey to Excellent patches have not arrived.

Within thirty minutes of arriving back at work I received a phone call from Judy to let me know my shirt was ready. As I drove up the next day to pick up the shirt I was wondering how much she was going to charge me for sewing ten patches. The Scout Shop charges $4.00 per patch. I was hoping she would be less than that. She was. The bill was less than $8.00, and she did an excellent job.

Once the final three patches arrive I will place them on the shirt and bring it back to Judy for another round of sewing. The Jamboree patch has arrived but I am still waiting for the other two.

I hope I get another ten years or more from this new uniform. I hope it does not shrink like the last one did.

The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 began wearing a Troop T-shirt in the 1980s. The Scouts would wear the T-shirts for the summer outdoor troop meetings and some of the monthly activities. The full uniform was worn for winter indoor meetings, courts of honor, and other special events.

I do not remember Melrose Area Cub Scout Pack 68 ever having a T-shirt. Until now that is. About a year ago the pack committee decided the Cub Scouts should have a T-shirt to wear for certain meetings and activities. The parents agreed. The picture above shows the design on the pack’s shirt. The Cub Scouts like them. Even some of the parents wear one.

While the uniform is an important part of the Scouting program, it is not really needed for every event. I am glad the Pack finally has its own T-shirt.

IMG_5900The new troop tee shirts have arrived! After a few months of discussing logo designs, and type and color of shirt, the order of the new shirts has arrived. The troop ordered 80 shirts, all adults sizes from medium to extra large, in case a few adults would like to purchase one. We got a pretty deal on the order and are able to sell the tee shirts for $8 each.

During the planning stage, several ideas were tossed around the committee and the Boy Scouts. The Scouts finally decided they wanted to keep the gray color of the current troop shirt but go back to the logo we used when we first started using tee shirts in the 1980’s, with a couple color modifications. I thought it was interesting that the Scouts wanted a retro design on the new shirts.

The picture above shows the new shirts. The picture below shows the previous shirt, of which only a few are left. You can click on the pictures for a larger photo.

What do you think of our new troop tee shirts?


Winter Drift Murder practiceI had a hunch I would be receiving a phone call so it did not come as a surprise when the phone rang two days after the first meeting of this year’s mystery dinner theater group. I had been in the play two years ago and probably would have been in last year’s play if I would not have had neck surgery. When the director called in January I agreed to be in the production if I could have a small role.

This year’s play would be “Winter Drift Murder”, written by a local writer. It would be a western that takes place during the time when the railways were being built across the country. Would the audience be able to solve the murders before the sheriff did at the end of the play?

My role would be Vil Ion Badgoi. (Yes, that is a pun.) He is a local gunslinger also known as Mr. Murder. He may not have liked the Judge, but he didn’t kill him. The role had a whopping 13 lines. I was only on stage during the last ten minutes of the play. When I first read the script I thought it was a serious role but the director thought it should be played as a comic villain. Even during the last night of practice we were still developing things for this character to do.

When it came time to create our costumes the men raided their own closets at home for as much as they could find. I used my own black jeans, a dark long sleeve shirt, and a brown cowboy hat. The vest and boots came from the high school prop room.

I have been involved in the Scouting program for too long to not try to “sneak” something Scouting related into my costume. I was able to get three items into my wardrobe. On the cowboy hat I wore a small red B.S.A. pin. The leather belt came from Philmont Scout Ranch. The belt buckle represented my Bobwhite Patrol from a Wood Badge training course.

Did anyone notice these Scouting related Easter Eggs? No. The pin was too small for the audience to really see. The belt and buckle were pretty much hidden by the vest for most of the performance. Do I care that no one noticed? Not really. I was just happy to bring a little bit of Scouting onto the stage with me. After all, it was because of performing Scouting skits and campfire songs that I was asked to be in my first play years ago.

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.

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 .

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.