Wednesday, 30 January 2008


Whenever I talk about uniforms in the Scouting program to adults or youth, I usually try and include this quote because it sums up what the primary purpose of the uniform is in the scouting program. Yes it does not match the Eight Methods of Scouting exactly but when you are referring to a outside source then it sums up the purpose of the uniform for the general non-scout population. So here it is:
  • Putting on the uniform does not make a fellow a scout but putting on the uniform is a sign that the world that one has taken the scout obligations and folks expect scout like acts from one wearing it
This quote means that putting on the uniform is a physical sign to the rest of the world that this person has agreed to act Scout like. When I talk about scout like behavior from a outside the program perspective, that outside person demands and expects that this person is going to have strong morals and ethics even in this world were it is commonplace for your average teenager to loose this and not realize it is important until much later in life. The obligation that this Scout has taken is not some top secret code that very few people understand, this obligation is clearly laid out in the Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan. There are no secrets about how this system is suppose to work if you are willing to carefully examine and understand the words to these statements of ideals.

One of the most important things to do while wearing a Boy Scout uniform is to to be proud to wear that uniform. Be proud of who you are and what you stand for even if you are standing alone. Having the courage to be able to truly do this takes guts but once you do this you will feel much better with yourself. This is only true for members of the Troop who actually want to be there. If you do not want to be there then most likely you will be the one putting down the organization. Let me give you one piece of advice if you dislike being a Scout "Leave us alone, get out, and I hope you can find a organization that you like to be involved in, so good luck in whatever activity you choose, sorry this could not work out but obiviously it wasn't meant for you". I now realize that even though this would be a wonderful program for everyone to participate in, in my eyes, I have to realize that this is not possible because everyone has different tastes.

Wearing your Boy Scout uniform is just like a sports team putting on a jersey for games and practice. Yeah Boy Scout uniforms are just a little more formal than a sports uniform but it is the general idea. You would not show up to a game as a player without your uniform if you wanted to play in the game, then why do you think it is appropriate to show up to a Troop meeting without a uniform. Yes occasionally you are not going to have your uniform availble for you to take to your meeting but showing up consistently is a disrespect to yourself and others who are supposed to be proud of the organization you are involved in.

Enough ranting but here is my last thought. Wearing the uniform means that you are showing the world that you want to make a difference and become someone of high moral and ethical standards.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark West
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

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