Recent events around the district and council has brought to light a recurring issue... uniforms!
According to the BSA's GUIDE TO AWARDS AND INSIGNIA, the wearing of the uniform is not mandatory, it is highly encouraged. The leaders of Scouting--both volunteer and professional—promote the
wearing of the correct complete uniform on all suitable occasions.
It is our jobs as adult leaders to set the example with our own uniforms, and ensure our scouts are properly wearing theirs.
Effective Oct. 1, 2013, the official stance on the Boy Scouts of America’s uniform policy is that shirts are to be worn tucked in, regardless of whether the wearer is a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Venturer, or adult Scouter. All Sea Scout uniforms are designed to be tucked in except youth dress whites and youth dress blues. In the past, guidelines have simply stated the uniform wearer should be neat in appearance. Neatness includes tucking in the shirt.
- Improper Patch placement. The BSA's Guide to Awards and Insignia layout specifically where patches go, and where certain pins and medals are placed. Inform scouts and parents of these resources and guides to ensure all scouts are looking uniform in their uniforms. Some patches, like the Whittling Chip emblem for Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts, is not for uniform wear and are just keepsakes.
- Cub Scout Sports and Academic Pins worn on hats and shirt collars. Sports pins, as cool as it is to show off, are for non-uniform wear. Also, No pins may be worn on official headgear of the BSA. Have the scouts create a shadow box or some other kind of display for their pins and extra patches.
- Poor neckerchief wear. If you are going to wear a neckerchief, wear a slide. Official slides can be purchased from you local scout shop. Boy-made handicraft slides also may be worn. Also, the neckerchief should be folded on the long edge over several flat folds to about 6 inches from tip of neckerchief. A tight fold prevents gathering around the neck and is more efficient than rolling or twirling. Boy Scout neckerchiefs are optional.
- Cub Scout Parent Pins (Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, Arrow of Light) - nonuniform wear.
- Council Strip and Unit numbers should be placed on the left sleeve. The Council shoulder emblem should be placed just below the left shoulder seam, the unit number (white on red for Cub Scouts & green on tan for Boy Scouts) is sewn on touching the council shoulder emblem.
- Journey to Excellence Unit Award is worn at the 4" mark of the right sleeve. Also, only one, the most recently earned JTE Unit Emblem, may be worn.
- According to official policy, Adult Scouters should neither seek awards designed for youth members nor wear them on the Scouter uniform except for square knots representing the Arrow of Light Award, Eagle Scout Award, Venturing Silver Award, Quartermaster Award, or religious emblems earned as a youth member.
Baden-Powell said it well in his Aids to Scoutmastership:
“Smartness in uniform and correctness in detail may seem a small matter, but has its value in the development of self-respect, and means an immense deal to the reputation of the Movement among outsiders who judge by what they see.”
The BSA's Guide to Awards and Insignia can be found here.
Cub Scout Uniform Inspection Sheet
Boy Scout Uniform Inspection Sheet
Adult Leader Uniform Inspection Sheet