As I exited our local grocery store last month, I was greeted by a local Girl Scout selling Girl Scout Cookies. She was in her green vest with patches which is the current uniform for their program. I realized the big advantage Boy Scouts have because they have a full official uniform with which to wear. In fact, the image of a Scout in full uniform immediately brings a sense of someone who is honest and wants to help others.
However, the question arises as to exactly when can a Scout wear the Official Scout Uniform when raising money.
The first place to reference is the Unit Money Earning Application. The back of this form states the following:
“The official uniform is intended to be worn primarily for use in connection with Scouting activities. However, council executive boards may approve use of the uniform for any fund-raising activity. Typically, council popcorn sales or Scout show ticket sales are approved uniform fundraisers.”
This seems fairly clear. If it is a council-sponsored fundraiser, a Scout can wear their Official Scout Uniform. Otherwise, they cannot wear it.
So what about Unit fundraisers like selling Christmas trees, candy, nuts, and batteries? In all of these cases, Scouts cannot wear the Official Scout Uniform. Most councils allow Units to wear what is commonly known as ‘Class B’ Uniforms. Class B uniforms are typically a t-shirt or sweatshirt which has the Unit number and Cub Scout or Boy Scout logo. However, one must check with their local council as some councils do not allow any BSA logo to be used in Unit fundraising efforts.
The next question is what qualifies as the Official Scout Uniform?
There is a relatively new web site at www.bsauniforms.org which shows uniforms for each level in Boy Scouts. The site is interactive and shows you the parts of the Official Scout Uniform, were to place patches on your uniform and has a link to www.scoutstuff.org to place an order. Check it out.
Scouts should be “neat in appearance”. I understand many Units do not require youth to wear Scout pants for financial reasons. However, in my opinion, this would exclude jeans with holes in the knees, board shorts or other athletic pants like baseball pants. Scouts should also have their Uniform shirt tucked in which became the official policy in October 2013. The Scout hat should be on straight, not backwards. Finally, the uniform should be neat in appearance meaning it should be clean with no wrinkles.
The Official Scout Uniform is part of the ‘brand’ of the Boy Scouts. However, there is a time, place and correct way to wear the Official Scout Uniform. Look at this from the customer’s point of view. When a Scout knocks on a door to sell popcorn, the customer can immediately recognize the Official Scout Uniform whether it is Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts. Customers are far more likely to buy from a Scout in a properly worn, full uniform which is neat and clean than those not wearing a uniform.