View Poll Results: What is your dress code for a 'standard' Troop night?

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  • Full 'parade ready' uniform

    8 11.11%
  • Shirt and necker; activity trousers

    26 36.11%
  • Shirt and necker only

    33 45.83%
  • Group-branded leisurewear

    2 2.78%
  • No uniform

    1 1.39%
  • Other

    2 2.78%
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Thread: Unform worn at Troop meetings

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big George View Post
    It’s a case of there is a set of rules to be followed. If they are blasť about one set what is to say they won’t be blasť about the others?

    We follow a similar approach, they are told everything they do can build or lose trust. If they follow the rules/instructions for games, activities, uniform etc. then we develop trust in them, when the don’t, we start to question whether it is safe to send them out without leaders on expeditions. Given it is the leaders that will be held responsible should things go pear shape we think this approach is reasonable.
    Not really.

    As long as you're clear with your expectations - the rules you hold to and those you don't.

    If you're consistent, it shouldn't matter. For example, wearing uniform trousers has never been an expectation we've had, and I don't think any of our scouts owns a scout belt (and wouldn't have loops to put it through if they did). Since that's never been a thing we told them they needed to do, it doesn't detract from the things we do tell them they need to do.

    We prefer to pick our battles. I'd rather spend time encouraging safe use of knifes (etc) than agonising over whether badges are on straight or pockets are buttoned up.

    *Edit* We're shirt and necker only. I've sent kids home if they haven't worn their shirt. */edit*
    Last edited by pa_broon74; 20-08-2019 at 11:08 AM.

  2. #62
    Sea Scout Leader richardnhunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I don't think one thing always follows the other. We have strict rules around use of potentially dangerous equipment, but we don't have strict rules around uniform. Not having the latter, doesn't affect the former.
    In that case, one is a rule, one is a guideline.

    Consistency matters - it gives people some idea where to draw lines.

  3. #63
    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    i would rather have them turn up eager to join in, rather than castigate them over uniform - which is one of the biggest reasons some kids don't join Scouts and gives it its outdated imaged. our youth group just has a hoody as uniform and chatting them they would hate to wear a formal uniform.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Not really.

    As long as you're clear with your expectations - the rules you hold to and those you don't.

    If you're consistent, it shouldn't matter. For example, wearing uniform trousers has never been an expectation we've had, and I don't think any of our scouts owns a scout belt (and wouldn't have loops to put it through if they did). Since that's never been a thing we told them they needed to do, it doesn't detract from the things we do tell them they need to do.

    We prefer to pick our battles. I'd rather spend time encouraging safe use of knifes (etc) than agonising over whether badges are on straight or pockets are buttoned up.

    *Edit* We're shirt and necker only. I've sent kids home if they haven't worn their shirt. */edit*
    I think youíre making my point. You have a set of rules about uniform - shirt and necker, and you apply sanctions if the rules are not obeyed. We have rules about the way we do things, be it games, challenges and even uniform. These may differ from your rules and other leaders rules but we are consistent about our rules (which agrees with what you said). Weíve said following the rules and instructions develops trust, trust means we are in a better position to sign off on expeditions where the leaders are not with the teams. Lack of trust means they are less likely to get to go on those types of expeditions. At the end of the day itís my name (insert appropriate leaders name here) on the nights away permit, on the dofe form to be their supervisor, on their personal permit for paddling etc. And itís me who will have to answer for it if it goes wrong. If they and I donít develop that trust the whole edifice falls apart.

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  6. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by richardnhunt View Post
    In that case, one is a rule, one is a guideline.

    Consistency matters - it gives people some idea where to draw lines.
    Not exactly.

    Guidelines blur things. I've found, being clear about what your expectations are, is more effective. We don't have guidelines, we have rules, that's it. It's shirt and necker - and if you're using a knife, you don't wander around with it (etc).

    There are no guidelines in this area. I suppose where we do have guidelines is around what can be discussed, because acceptability is always subjective and there are many variables involved, so it's probably impossible to have rules.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Big George View Post
    I think youíre making my point. You have a set of rules about uniform - shirt and necker, and you apply sanctions if the rules are not obeyed. We have rules about the way we do things, be it games, challenges and even uniform. These may differ from your rules and other leaders rules but we are consistent about our rules (which agrees with what you said). Weíve said following the rules and instructions develops trust, trust means we are in a better position to sign off on expeditions where the leaders are not with the teams. Lack of trust means they are less likely to get to go on those types of expeditions. At the end of the day itís my name (insert appropriate leaders name here) on the nights away permit, on the dofe form to be their supervisor, on their personal permit for paddling etc. And itís me who will have to answer for it if it goes wrong. If they and I donít develop that trust the whole edifice falls apart.
    Indeed.

    I think what I meant to say was, it doesn't really matter where you set your rules - or the standards they meet. As long as you're consistent... And so on.

  7. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Not exactly.

    Guidelines blur things. I've found, being clear about what your expectations are, is more effective. We don't have guidelines, we have rules, that's it. It's shirt and necker - and if you're using a knife, you don't wander around with it (etc).

    There are no guidelines in this area. I suppose where we do have guidelines is around what can be discussed, because acceptability is always subjective and there are many variables involved, so it's probably impossible to have rules.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Indeed.

    I think what I meant to say was, it doesn't really matter where you set your rules - or the standards they meet. As long as you're consistent... And so on.

    My son's secondary school was very much like that. At first I was a bit taken aback when they made a bit of a fuss about the socks that he wore for PE but then I realised that they expect all the rules to be equally obeyed - what you wear, how you behave etc. etc. The result was a really good school.

  8. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernwood View Post
    i would rather have them turn up eager to join in, rather than castigate them over uniform - which is one of the biggest reasons some kids don't join Scouts and gives it its outdated imaged. our youth group just has a hoody as uniform and chatting them they would hate to wear a formal uniform.
    I agree that some people don't join because of the uniform but others don't join because of other reasons. Also some people would not join whatever the 'uniform' was even if it was just a hoodie. Scout uniform is always going to be 'out of fashion' as it is SUPPOSED to be a practical thing that identifies us as scouts not a fashion statement. There are other things that identify us as Scouts too but uniform of some description is a visual one that is one of the first things that people see although it has changed a few times over the years may no longer be instantly recognisable.

    But by the same token some do like wearing the uniform and around half a million ACCEPT it one way or another.

  9. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    For example, wearing uniform trousers has never been an expectation we've had...
    We don't require the trousers either, but perhaps we should, as they are part of the official uniform. I'm not sure to what extent individual leaders have discretion on these things - we're actually a national organisation, with national rules. So, I went back and looked at POR again. It views the wearing of uniform as a privilege, which is denied to non-members (10.1), and to those who are currently suspended, including if it is their units that are suspended (e.g. 3.20g). Uniform should not be worn if it is unsuitable for reasons of safety/weather (10.3). That implies exceptional circumstances*, although I'm the last one to argue for uniform throughout camp, for example.

    The idea of uniform as a privilege is hard to put across in this day and age, but I think it's worth a go. I always regret it somewhat when leaders turn up in mufti at adult meetings and so on. If you don't practice what you preach...

    * Except that a good programme will be full of such exceptional circumstances
    SL, 11th Hitchin

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  11. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by DKRSL View Post
    I always regret it somewhat when leaders turn up in mufti at adult meetings and so on.
    That's me then. No chance of me going to all the faff of putting uniform on just to walk 100 yards from the car into a building, sit in a room with people who all know we are all Scouts, and walk back to the car. The only people that turn up to our District leaders meetings in uniform are those that have come straight from running their section meeting the same evening.
    Does anyone know what's going on?

  12. #70
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    I wouldn't want to over-state it. Our District leader meetings are so informal that I don't bother with uniform either. However, there are other occasions when uniform seems to be disappearing as well.
    SL, 11th Hitchin

  13. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    My son's secondary school was very much like that. At first I was a bit taken aback when they made a bit of a fuss about the socks that he wore for PE but then I realised that they expect all the rules to be equally obeyed - what you wear, how you behave etc. etc. The result was a really good school.
    I think though, that's more about enforcing rules you have - not necessarily the details of what those rules actually are.

    Assuming your rules meet some minimum requirements, consistency is more important than content.

    Uniform is always a bugbear. I think the older kids get the more it affects the balance they hold in their minds about staying on. We always lose some kids when they get to high school, and it's because of the uniform. For all the years I've led, there are always kids who hide it or put it on when the arrive - and there are always kids who never seem to mind.

    Must admit, while seeing lots of scouts/cubs in uniform satisfies a somewhat nostalgic streak I still harbour, I don't like the uniform. I'd be happy for kids to come down in some sort of top and a decent necker and woggle combo. Our compromise is a necker and woggle (which they always make themselves) and a shirt. It does rather annoy me that the badges they have are never on straight - I still think if you're going to do something, you may-as-well do it properly/neatly - so we're going to tackle that in the coming months - probably by learning how to glue them on.
    Last edited by pa_broon74; 21-08-2019 at 10:01 AM.

  14. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I think though, that's more about enforcing rules you have - not necessarily the details of what those rules actually are.

    Assuming your rules meet some minimum requirements, consistency is more important than content.
    I guess what I'm trying to explore* is, because the rules belong to TSA and not to us, whether "consistency" means that our attitude to following them says something to the Scouts about our attitude to rules in general. Of course, they won't know the rules in detail, but a Troop that never wears uniform except maybe at District events, in a uniformed organisation? No, it's not black and white, and we're clearly meant to use judgment (and let's face it, the Chief Scout often wears branded clothing rather than uniform).

    We don't seem to have that much trouble, as I may have said. We've one or two who consistently turn up when we're at some third-party place, and say, "Sorry, didn't realise you wanted uniform", when it was in the same note that told them where and when to be. But standards in the hall are generally good.

    * If I can be allowed to explore this without being seen as telling everyone what to do. I've already said I don't bother at some events, and don't enforce wearing of the official trousers.
    SL, 11th Hitchin

  15. #73
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    I agree to a point that consistency is the core of a uniform - maybe I just think our uniform is designed for something we mostly don't do.

    If you join a football team you have to wear the team strip when playing for that team. But the strip is specifically designed (other than colour) to enable best performance at that activity - which is I admit relatively easy because its a specific activity. On that front I sometimes balk a bit at rugby players wearing their club headguard for the national side, and even though I get that its probably not worth getting another one made in white for England when you wear a blue one for your club, it still breaks up the uniform a bit.

    If you take our uniforms (certainly above Cub level), they are designed for smart appearance not practical activity. You definitely shouldn't be wearing a necker for any activity involving climbing ropes etc, nor probably fire lighting. A thick cotton shirt isn't the best thing for most active activities, pockets/buttons get caught, it doesn't wick sweat well. It is pretty much a ceremonial uniform, and just like we wouldn't expect the Coldstream Guards to actually fight warfare in their red tunics and bear skin hats, I balk at getting young people to do active stuff in a uniform which isn't designed for it. Given that as a group we do no external ceremonial stuff (district doesn't have a St George's parade or Remembrance parade) the only point in a uniform is being recognisable when out on activities. What we seem to have is the Coldstream Guards bearskin and tunic uniform but not their actual day to day uniform that they'd use in action. I get that parents won't buy two but I'd rather have the active version than the poncing about version!

    Similarly I rarely wear my uniform for sessions because inevitably what we are doing gets messy, and its another thing for me to sort out in a very tight timescale from leaving work to arriving at the hall via a quick change at home on the way. I'll generally wear it for investitures etc but most of the time I wear a Scout branded polo shirt and a Cub branded hoodie.
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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  17. #74
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    Interesting points. I generally do wear uniform at sessions (as do other leaders) because we're not the ones getting messy I agree that the uniform is not suited to adventurous activities, but it would be hard to design one that was suitable for all such activities (Scout uniform swimwear, anyone?)

    I ask Scouts to wear uniform at flag-break and flag-down. Since hardly any meetings in the summer term are in the church hall, there's no uniform at many of those. However, if we're going out to some facility (e.g. sailing at a Council-run venue), I ask for arrival in uniform because we're representing the movement*. I also generally expect uniform arriving on Scout sites, because that's always been the tradition, although I do bend a bit if we're there for an evening of firelighting. I wear uniform going to Scout sites, partly because I'm an unknown adult wandering around other unit's kids.

    The trouble with centering your objections on the necker is that it's the one consistent bit of uniform that the public do recognise.

    I don't think I'd want to go as far as the Guides, for whom I have great respect - but they've gone so far down the casual/activity route that it's hard to tell whether they are in uniform or not. However, their tradition of wearing blue on camp is a neat way of getting some coherence, if not uniformity, and looking like a single unit rather than a bunch of strangers.

    * Sometimes, we're getting a special rate, or some other favour, or only being invited, because we are Scouts. So turning up looking like a youth group seems plain rude.
    Last edited by DKRSL; 21-08-2019 at 11:28 AM.
    SL, 11th Hitchin

  18. #75
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    "I guess what I'm trying to explore* is, because the rules belong to TSA and not to us," and I always thought we were The Scout Association!! I find it really hard to understand this sort of statement. It does not exist without its members and we are the members.

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