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Ditch the Neckerchief


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#41 EmberMike

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 04:26 PM

Not a fan of the somewhat vulgar title, but a great article otherwise. We should be encouraging both the history and the wearing of neckerchiefs in our Troops. They really are one of the most visible emblems of Scouting.

 

 

Shouldn't we be encouraging them to make their own decision about this optional part of the uniform? I'd love to see some thoughtful debate among the boys about the pros/cons, personal opinions, etc., leading up to a vote on the topic. 


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#42 qwazse

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 04:48 PM

Shouldn't we be encouraging them to make their own decision about this optional part of the uniform? I'd love to see some thoughtful debate among the boys about the pros/cons, personal opinions, etc., leading up to a vote on the topic. 

By way of "encouraging," does that include warning them that they run the hazard that any scout from anywhere else in the world (from any other time in history) will, upon seeing them in their pretty tan shirts and glorious epaulets, challenge them with, "Where's your neckerchief?"

 

And, how often should the boys have this vote?

Once? If so what right do your boys have making a decision for scouts decades later? :( Keep in mind: fashion's fickle.

Yearly? If so, things like this can be divisive. (I can see some SPL's campaign plank: "Repeal and replace my predecessor's affordable necker act!")

 

Basically, if you're troop sports a neckerchief, I'd advise just going with tradition unless a super-majority of boys (including troop alumni and feeder packs) wants to change. If not, I'd advise going with the flow, but modelling your desired behavior, offering newly-forming patrols the opportunity to innovate.


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#43 Col. Flagg

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 04:49 PM

Shouldn't we be encouraging them to make their own decision about this optional part of the uniform? I'd love to see some thoughtful debate among the boys about the pros/cons, personal opinions, etc., leading up to a vote on the topic. 

 

Ours did just that. They decided to ditch the necker. I supported it. The troop committee tried to override it. PLC stuck by their guns. 

 

Then the parents on the TC, many of whom have sons on the PLC, "talked" to their Scouts. There was a re-vote and the neckers were kept.

 

The irony: The sons of the folks on the TC who were strong-armed in to changing their vote NEVER wear them with the uniform. So, of course, no one else does either. In solidarity with the PLC, I never wear mine either.  :D

 

NOTE: PLC got votes from each patrol. The vote was 80% in favor of ditching the necker.


Edited by Col. Flagg, 02 March 2017 - 04:50 PM.

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#44 qwazse

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 04:51 PM

... Then the parents on the TC, many of whom have sons on the PLC, "talked" to their Scouts. There was a re-vote and the neckers were kept.

 

The irony: The sons of the folks on the TC who were strong-armed in to changing their vote NEVER wear them with the uniform. So, of course, no one else does either. In solidarity with the PLC, I never wear mine either.  :D

 

NOTE: PLC got votes from each patrol. The vote was 80% in favor of ditching the necker.

Quick question, were your TC parents troop alumni?


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#45 The Latin Scot

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 04:54 PM

Oops! Double-post, delete this one please!


Edited by The Latin Scot, 02 March 2017 - 04:56 PM.

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Hearken world, and listen up! There is no such word as "Webelo." If your son is an older Cub Scout, he is NOT a "Webelo!"

The singular of Webelos Scout is ... WEBELOS SCOUT!  That's it! Please take the extra half second and get it right! Thank you for indulging my little pet peeve!

 

Did I mention my obnoxious OCD?  :D 

 


#46 The Latin Scot

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 04:56 PM

Shouldn't we be encouraging them to make their own decision about this optional part of the uniform? I'd love to see some thoughtful debate among the boys about the pros/cons, personal opinions, etc., leading up to a vote on the topic. 

 

I don't perceive your thoughts and mine as being mutually exclusive.  ;)  We can certainly teach, inform, and encourage the boys in regards to the history and usefulness of the neckerchief, and then teach, inform, and encourage the boys to make their own decision as per the patrol method, which of course we should treat as all but sacrosanct. We aren't making the decision for them, but we are giving them a solid context for the issue which they can weigh and consider in discussion. 

 

ALSO: I have a question; do your fellows' units choose their neckerchiefs by patrol or by troop? In our local unit each patrol uses a different neckerchief , usually in their patrol colors, so each patrol is distinguished by their necker, their flag, and their patrol medallion. 


Edited by The Latin Scot, 02 March 2017 - 05:00 PM.

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Hearken world, and listen up! There is no such word as "Webelo." If your son is an older Cub Scout, he is NOT a "Webelo!"

The singular of Webelos Scout is ... WEBELOS SCOUT!  That's it! Please take the extra half second and get it right! Thank you for indulging my little pet peeve!

 

Did I mention my obnoxious OCD?  :D 

 


#47 Col. Flagg

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 04:56 PM

Quick question, were your TC parents troop alumni?

 

Nope. Just parents that wanted to see the necker kept. But they don't have to put up with the thing, so in the end the kids prevailed.

 

When these parents come on events they always encourage the boys to wear them. When they arrive and see no one wearing them they are taken off. In fact, the SPL says "If one person is missing them, we will all not wear them." Very Heartbreak Ridge;)


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#48 EmberMike

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 05:10 PM

By way of "encouraging," does that include warning them that they run the hazard that any scout from anywhere else in the world (from any other time in history) will, upon seeing them in their pretty tan shirts and glorious epaulets, challenge them with, "Where's your neckerchief?"

 

 

How often do you run into scouts from other countries? Might be just me, but I have yet to meet one myself. Maybe at World Jambo it might be a question kids get, but generally, not likely. Besides, look at the co-ed thread discussion and you'll see plenty of opposition to doing anything in the BSA simply because it's done in other countries.  ;)

 

In fact, a more likely question from a non-US scout would be, "Where are the girls?" 


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#49 Stosh

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 05:30 PM

I was in a gift shop in Banff AB and I saw a couple of kids wearing neckers, co-ed group, all different colored neckers.  I simply asked, "Where are you Scouts from?"  The conversation lasted quite a while.  They were from Thunder Bay, just down the road a piece from my neck of the woods.  Without the neckers I would never have started the conversation and without a uniform, it was just a speculative guess.


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Stosh

 

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#50 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 09:48 PM

How often do you run into scouts from other countries? Might be just me, but I have yet to meet one myself. Maybe at World Jambo it might be a question kids get, but generally, not likely. Besides, look at the co-ed thread discussion and you'll see plenty of opposition to doing anything in the BSA simply because it's done in other countries.  ;)

 

In fact, a more likely question from a non-US scout would be, "Where are the girls?" 

 

My first encounter with a British female Scout was in the US hiking with my troop as a youth. We thought she was a Girl Scout ( Girl Guide in the UK) because the only uniform item on was a neckerchief. Great conversation. I still got that neckerchief I traded my belt and all the Skill Awards for.


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#51 qwazse

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 06:40 AM

How often do you run into scouts from other countries? Might be just me, but I have yet to meet one myself.

Every crew meeting and activity the Italian exchange student can make. :)
And, occasional Sunday dinners ... Some weekdays when the college is closed. (That was when the Czech scout saw Son #2 and his buddy on the way to a meeting neckerless.) ... And the occasional baby shower/wine tasting party of 50 year old former patrol members.
Comes from teaching our kids to talk to strangers. The random scouts are among the strangest.

Maybe at World Jambo it might be a question kids get, but generally, not likely. Besides, look at the co-ed thread discussion and you'll see plenty of opposition to doing anything in the BSA simply because it's done in other countries.  ;)

But, this isn't a different country. Troops 1/4 mile apart in the same town decided differently weather or not to break ranks with the most original part of their uniform.

In fact, a more likely question from a non-US scout would be, "Where are the girls?"

.... The older ones who are trying to find a scouting community for there kids do ask that.
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#52 Back Pack

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 07:12 AM

How often do you run into scouts from other countries? Might be just me, but I have yet to meet one myself.


We see folks from California all the time. Does that count?
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#53 The Latin Scot

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 09:43 AM

Wait what part of California? Because people from the Northern half might as well be from another country if you ask me, lol.


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Hearken world, and listen up! There is no such word as "Webelo." If your son is an older Cub Scout, he is NOT a "Webelo!"

The singular of Webelos Scout is ... WEBELOS SCOUT!  That's it! Please take the extra half second and get it right! Thank you for indulging my little pet peeve!

 

Did I mention my obnoxious OCD?  :D 

 


#54 EmberMike

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 09:56 AM

Sorry guys, I'm not buying it. There are a dozen ways to identify as scouts, neckers are just one option. Hats, t-shirts, patches, etc., stuff kids wear even outside of scouting activities. Any kid wearing something with a BSA symbol/text/trefoil on it is going to be recognizable as a scout. 

 

I'd even argue that we'd likely see kids wear scout gear more often and outside of scout functions if we were encouraging them to wear a scout hat than a necker. What kid would wear a necker alone while not at a pack/troop activity? I can already hear resistance I'd get if I told my son to wear a necker to school one day. But a hat? He'd be happy to. He's got a camp patch sewn on to his backpack. 


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#55 Back Pack

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 10:18 AM

Neckers belong with knee socks and garters. Campaign hats for all? Wool uniforms?

Neckers were add on to the original uniform. Then there's how neckers are worn? All rolled up like a bandana or draped like we do in the US?
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#56 qwazse

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 12:07 PM

@EmberMike and @Back PackYou may think you sound all "scouting for the 21st century", but in the process you are discounting scouts who aren't living in your bubble.

 

True, the necker was standardized as part of the uniform "only" in the 1930s. So, it's been a moniker of the organization for a measly 90% of its existence.

 

Now, with the rise of specialized manufacture, units can get any style they desire produced on demand. (Which is probably why BSA is going out of the necker business.) I'm actually kind of glad BSA is getting out of the custom neckerchief business, and looking forward to see what youth come up with

 

Hats? I've seen more styles come and go than any other clothing feature. Worse, if you don't like your troop's hat, there's no folding it in your pocket! Good luck getting all the scouts in the nation to settle on one of those.

 

Meanwhile, that piece of cloth is not officially part of the venturing uniform, yet I see more area and regional venturing leaders with a necker than I ever did 10 years ago.


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#57 SSScout

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 12:29 PM

Once upon a time, a boy joined a Scout Troop.  He had been a Cub Scout, had heard from older friends that this Troop went camping and stuff like that, and it sounded fun to him.  His dad and mom said okay, and signed him up .  At the "joining" meeting, the Scoutmaster had a little ceremony to welcome him and the other new boys into the Troop.  He presented the boys with the Troop shoulder patches (number, town name, state ) and talked alittle about the Troop's history, which back then wasn't too long, being only five years, but they had been to Philmont,  and had hiked some of the Appalachian Trail.

 

The new Scout, now much older with a grown, adult Eagle son of his own,  remembers the Scoutmaster presenting lastly the new Scouts with the Troop's bright red neckerchief. He said that it had been designed by boys in the Troop, and noted the motto on the tag end , "Always On The Go". He warned the new Scouts that it was a motto not to follow, but to live up to, that they should never be afraid to go places and do things, that they were now Scouts and should never, ever sit still for too long.  He then asked the Patrol Leaders to come up and welcome the new Scouts into their Patrols.  Everyone clapped and cheered. 

 

Then we practiced knots and planned the next camping at "The Property".

 

The  same Troop no longer has a "Property", now has a generic, stock BSA necker,  it is light blue. The Scoutmaster of today is new and learning how to encourage Patrol activities. The Scouts sit at their tables and wait for someone (an adult?) to tell them what to do.....


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#58 EmberMike

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 12:29 PM

Hats? I've seen more styles come and go than any other clothing feature. Worse, if you don't like your troop's hat, there's no folding it in your pocket! Good luck getting all the scouts in the nation to settle on one of those.

 

I'm a little lost on this one. I don't recall suggesting a nationally standardized hat. If that's what you were getting at. 

 

If hats aren't your thing, what about t-shirts? Remember I was talking about hats in the context of something worn when not in uniform that serves to identify someone as a scout. Surely a t-shirt can't be problematic. Or does that also need to be able to be stuffed in a pocket?


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#59 TAHAWK

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 12:48 PM

EmberMike, on 02 Mar 2017 - 6:10 PM, said:

How often do you run into scouts from other countries? Might be just me, but I have yet to meet one myself.

 

 

I have Scouted in Mexico four times and Canada eleven times.

 

Scots Scouts visited our museum a couple of years ago.

 

Norwegian, Japanese and Scots Scouts visited our camporee on the was to a Jamboree.

 

Then there is the Internet.  


Edited by TAHAWK, 03 March 2017 - 12:49 PM.

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#60 Col. Flagg

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 12:49 PM

@EmberMike and @Back PackYou may think you sound all "scouting for the 21st century", but in the process you are discounting scouts who aren't living in your bubble.

 

Well, there's be a whole lot of change in the last four years. Why can't the necker be one of those things sacrificed on the alter of progressiveness? In all seriousness, we seem to be protecting a piece of cloth more than the REAL foundation of Boy Scouting. This is an ironic and amusing dichotomy. 


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