Posts Tagged ‘uniform’


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 http://tinyurl.com/5lm7pz .

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.

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?