Uniform Police…Out ta getcha!

“Show me a poorly uniformed troop and I’ll show you a poorly uniformed leader.” – Sir Robert S.S. Baden Powell

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the methods of Scouting… and the Uniform of the Boy Scouts of (Insert Country here).
In the Boy Scouts of America we have 1 uniform. We have many variations of that uniform, but we have only one uniform. And that is the Field uniform.
OK- now the Pros have theirs too… but by and large we all wear the Field uniform. It consists of a Shirt, pants or shorts (Switchback style gives you both) Socks, a belt, and a hat. There are optional items, such as the Neckerchief.
So why is that hard? I hear the money argument, but that really is not that bad, it can be done if you want to… just like anything else. I hear that the uniform is not practical.. not anymore.
I hear the boys don’t like it… they don’t like doing chores either, but it is good for them to learn to do their part.
The uniform is an important part of Scouting and when worn it should be worn properly.. and that is what I am really getting at.
Even if you don’t wear the full uniform…wear what you have right.
I hate to be the uniform police… but there are certain things that drive me nuts.
First and foremost… TUCK IN YOUR SHIRT! (and button it up)
Second… CLEAN IT.
Third… Have the patches in the right place. You don’t even have to know how to sew these days. Badge Magic is available at every Scout Shop. The Scout handbook shows you were everything goes.

Now- this is not a rant.. it is just a reminder that when we put on the uniform, we represent the Boy Scouts of America. I suppose having worn the uniform of our Country for 21 years, I have an eye for those that do not have enough pride in themselves and the organization to wear it properly.

When I leave my house, I make sure that my hair is combed and that I am neatly dressed. I have pride in myself and how I appear in public. Some folks just don’t care, and I guess that is a choice, but when we represent something like the BSA, we should go out of our way to look the part.
A Scout is Clean. Hair combed, teeth brushed, and clothing neat.

Last weekend at our Webelos Woods event, I must have corrected 50 people on their uniform, mostly adults. What example are we setting when we do not tuck our shirt in, fail to have unit numbers on the shirt.. and most of all not wear the whole uniform.

As a method of Scouting the uniform takes on importance. We do not get to pick and choose not to use it to achieve the aims.

Now before I get emails… for those of you that pick nits… NO.. the Uniform is NOT REQUIRED by the BSA to participate in Scouting. There, said it and now moving on…

Wear your uniform completely and properly…set a good example!

Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. My biggest pet peeve is the untucked uniform shirt. When I worked at a summer camp I told the Scouts that if they wore the uniform shirt it would be tucked in if they were on my range, I’m equal opportunity so the same rule applied to the adults.The kids usually just grumbled a bit and then would comply. I always enjoyed the adults who would argue with me… they thought they could win, but they never did. “Sorry Sir, but if you can’t follow a simple instruction as to tuck in your shirt, I can’t trust that you will follow my safety guidelines on the firing line. Therefore you are not welcome on my range.” (The Camp Director had my back, the Program Director always got annoyed with me…)


  2. Firstly, AMEN! I have a friend who is a scoutmaster who “just doesn’t like the uniform”. I’ve been trying to convince him that it’s all part of the package.As far as the shirt being untucked goes, I have a mother in my pack who has promised her son if he doesn’t keep it tucked in she will sew pink lace to the bottom of it. I never see it out!


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