The Uniform

I would change it.  I actually like it.  But scouts don’t.  Here is why.

The original Boy Scout uniform was made to look like a military uniform.  Scouting came of age during WW1 and WW2.  A young scout looked up to his military heroes and wanted to look like them.  His image of them was in uniform and his parents set them up as role models – saving the modern world.

Now it is 2016.  Scouts see the military through a different lens.  Hopefully, scouts still consider them heroes.  They should.

But now, they are high-tech, often wearing night vision goggles and other high-tech gear.  They are more often seen in fatigues with muted display of insignia.  Nothing like the third-world dictator uniforms with colorful insignia that we ask modern scouts to wear.

But modern scouting is now somewhat different from the modern military.  Modern scouts see scouting more as warm ups for X-Games, adventure sports, and such.

The neckerchief is dated and embarrassing for modern scouts.  A touchy subject, I know.  But the neckerchief originally came from officer’s uniforms in the 1910’s.  Even WW2 soldiers no longer wore them.

Oscar De la Renta designed the current uniform in 1980 which has had only minor upgrade since.  My solution:  have LLBean or REI design the next one.  Mute the insignia.  Replace pin-on badges with special rank carabiners.  Replace most patches with velcro like today’s military have.  The current pants are pretty good but lean toward a sporty look rather than military whenever possible.  Make scouts comfortable among rock climbers and AT hikers.  They don’t with today’s uniform.

Modern scouts will love it.  Old Scouters will hate it.  Scouts should prevail.

 

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