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The Black Shoulder Loop...


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#1 VentureScoutNY

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 07:56 PM

I thought I would share this with all of you, and ask if you have ever heard of it before: Unfotunately, thoughout my Scouting career I have had to attend more than one funeral of a fallen Scout. We as a Troop went to the wake/viewing together. My Assistant Scoutmaster made for all of us in the Troop 1 Black Loop made of a feltlike material. We replaced it with our Red loop on our left shoulder over our Heart. It was something that at the time we all felt was a nice symbol of revrence and rememberance. Just curious if any of you have either done this or heard of this. If not even though it isn't official, it is a nice idea. Yours in Scouting VentureScoutNY
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#2 Bob White

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 08:04 PM

I believe it was the intentention of the BSA to have the shoulder loops reflect the program affiliation of the wearer, not the mood of the wearer. Certainly being present in a proper uniform provides as much comfort for the family as showing up in an improper uniform. Your ASM does not have the authority to change the Field uniform beyond the options offered by the BSA. A black neckerchief would be a unit option allowable under the uniform policies of the BSA. Perhaps you could persuade the ASM to make an adaption that he is actually allowed to make.
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#3 VentureScoutNY

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 08:22 PM

That is true he does not have the authority to change the Uniform. But it is only worn in instances very far and few between. It adresses not necessarily the mood of the wearer but a symbol of respect maybe? For instance when the Police wear black stripes over their badges during Funerals. It's more a sign of maybe solidarity? The black neckerchief is a good idea though, I will tell him about that.
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#4 FScouter

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 08:51 PM

I'd suggest that the mere presence of a Scout at the funeral shows a tremoundous amount of respect. Any sort of mark of mourning doesn't add any more respect.
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#5 AK-Eagle

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 10:25 PM

Black shoulder loop, black neckerchief, black armband, what ever works for you in your situation... Uniform police can just sit back and chill out for a day. Those bans of mourning don't just help the direct family but those who choose to wear them I'm sure those people that designed the uniform and write the guidelines (not commandments) will understand. YIS Phil
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#6 Adrianvs

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 10:42 PM

I think that a black arm band (and/or neckerchief) would be appropriate. While I wouldn't begrudge one who wanted to wear black shoulder loops in mourning, I think it better to add the symbol to the complete uniform rather than replace a uniform piece with another symbol. You could just as easily attended wearing all black "civilian" clothes, but you chose to attend as fellow scouts and scouters. It only seems right to be properly attired as such as you demonstrate your reverence and rememberence. Again, I don't look down on anyone who has or wishes to wear the loops. I just think that an armband is more appropriate.
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#7 Fat Old Guy

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 11:24 PM

Bob White gave the expected Bob White reply. I've heard of Black Loops for funerals before. I don't see anything grossly wrong with it considering the other egregious uniforming problems that I see. I think that the neckerchiefs are a much nicer idea.
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#8 captainron14

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 04:31 AM

I like the idea of "Black Neckerchiefs". It would be a lot more visable than shoulder loops. Especialy with the Venturing Uniform. The green loops with the dark green shirt is bad enough, black would be invisable. As for the "Uniform Police", they can "pound sand" for the day. They will get over it. :)
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#9 acco40

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:57 AM

Our troop normally wears black neckerchiefs with gold lettering (BSA symbol & troop name). Our "official" hat is a black campaign hat with the same logo and lettering as our neckerchiefs on top. I'd hate to see our "style" viewed as funeral wear. Seriously, one dresses in black (civilian clothes) to indicate one is in mourning. I would prefer that Scouts and Scouters wear their typical field uniform with no alterations. I don't believe anyone would mistake the gathering of Scouts at a funeral as lost souls looking for a troop meeting.
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#10 VentureScoutNY

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 10:30 AM

Your Troop wears black campaign hat's?? Where do you buy them? It must be expensive to dress your Troop in campaign hats though, but very cool! If they are BSA ones that awesome! Are they really black? I have never seen a black one...
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#11 Fuzzy Bear

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:51 PM

Your post brings back a memory of a Scout that died one evening late after leaving our District Camporee. His name was Gary D. He and I had not been particularly close because he was having personal problems and he generally appeared angry and distant. I never found out the source of his resentment. That night he simply left the camp and hurtled into oblivion. I knew his dad and liked him a great deal. He was always there for our O.A. events and helped establish our Indian Dance Team. More than anything, I felt the deepest sorrow for him. I can remember being shocked by the suddenness of it and feeling despondent. That morning we gathered at the teepee that we had built as one of our O.A. projects. We were in a circle and nobody could even speak. As the Chapter Chief, I took off my Campaign hat and passed it around to take up a donation for flowers. I could barely choke out the words that Gary was a friend. Down deep I knew that we were not close friends but the circumstance was too overwhelming. I was truly at a loss in so many ways. Over the years, I have experienced the loss of close friends and most of my family and because of that I respect death and its meaning to life. It will never be an event that I will be disconnected from or that I will be able to make good judgments about, including the choice of clothing or what to say. I have felt the personal hurt and the pain of it and would never prevent or discourage others their expression of sorrow. FB
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#12 acco40

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 09:38 AM

Oops! We really don't have campaign hats. I'm not really sure the style name of the hats. Maybe a "bucket" hat or fisherman's hat? It is black and has a brim. I know that for BSA headgear the choices are a campaign hat or a visored hat. I hate the ball caps and have interpreted "visored" hat as any hat with a forward brim which our has (it has a brim all around). Sorry for the confusion. I've never seen a black (after cleaning) campaign hat either.
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#13 hops_scout

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 03:39 PM

Boonie hats? They are similar to campaign hats except they have a soft brim and not a hard one. They are kind of military style.
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#14 Eamonn

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 04:54 PM

I'm with FScouter. Eamonn
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