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The Uniform
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Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler
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Joshua Tree Rock Climbing Nov 14-16, 2008
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The Uniform – When and Where it is Worn, and other FAQ’s

The Scout uniform is worn for all:

The Scout uniform is also worn for special occasions such as the morning inspections at summer camp, community service projects and other occasions when advised by the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) or the Scoutmaster.

What is the Scout uniform?

According to The Boy Scout Handbook, Eleventh Edition, pages 12-13, “The complete official uniform includes the Scout long-sleeved or short-sleeved shirt, Scout pants or shorts, Scout belt and buckle, Scout socks or knee socks. A neckerchief and cap or campaign hat are optional.”

When is the neckerchief and slide worn?

The neckerchief and slide are worn to all troop meetings and all indoor ceremonial events such as Courts of Honor, etc. The Patrol Leader or the Senior Patrol Leader may ask that they be worn for other special occasions or activities. They are optional for Patrol Leader Council meetings and Troop Committee meetings.

Does Troop 555 wear the optional Scout cap or hat?

The Scout cap or hat is not required as a standard part of Troop 555’s uniform. There are occasions where a special event cap or hat will be worn. For outdoor events while wearing the official uniform the scout may want to wear a full-brimmed hat for sun protection. Wearing hats or caps with advertising, non-scouting logos and non-scouting messages is discouraged and the scout may be asked to remove it.

When can activity shirts and T-shirts be worn?

BSA or Troop T-shirts or activity shirts are often worn after arrival at an outdoor event or outing. For instance, there may be a special printed T-shirt that all participants have purchased for an outing, such as National Jamboree, National High Adventure, or other special event. The SPL (with consent of the Scoutmaster) will advise when those T‑shirts may be worn. If every member has one, the Scoutmaster and SPL may permit the patrol to wear the red Boy Scout activity shirt instead of the khaki Boy Scout shirt, while on outings. Generally, the BSA official uniform with khaki shirt is worn while traveling to or from outings; exceptions, when they occur, will be advised by the SPL.

What is meant by “Class A” or “Class B”?

“Class A” and “Class B” are actually not official Boy Scouts of America uniform designations. However, most scouts and scouters (the adult leaders) understand these military terms to mean the “official uniform” and the “activity uniform”. Here's the BSA reference from the Letters section of the May-June 2006 issue of Scouting magazine.

"First, when referring to uniforms, Class A and Class B are military terms that are not used in the BSA. The correct Scouting terms for the two versions of the uniform are "official uniform" and "activity uniform." Although less formal, the activity uniform is still considered an official uniform, and therefore it is appropriate for boys to use the Scout salute while wearing it during a flag ceremony."

Boy Scouts had traditionally used the term “field uniform” when referring to what is now termed the "official uniform". The presence of multiple terms with identical or related meanings can lead to confusion and misunderstanding, so when in doubt – ask.

I’ve just joined the troop – what patches do I need to have?

Assuming the Boy Scout shirt you have purchased already has the American flag patch on the right shoulder, and the Boy Scouts of America embroidered cloth strip above the right pocket, you will need a San Gabriel Valley Council shoulder patch (abbreviated CSP) and the “555” numerals, which are sewn onto the left sleeve, and the patrol emblem patch which is sewn onto the right sleeve. The patrol emblem is determined by which patrol the scout is assigned. Templates for sewing the patches are provided on the inside covers of The Boy Scout Handbook. A new member of the troop is given two week’s grace period following his assignment to a patrol for securing his complete official uniform, with patches. It is expected that he bring his own copy of The Boy Scout Handbook by the next meeting after submitting an application to join the troop.

Are used uniform shirts, pants, etc. acceptable?

Definitely "yes". Young Scouts often outgrow uniforms before wearing them out. A point of the Scout Law is “A Scout is Thrifty” and it just makes good economic sense to find used uniform clothing to save money. Ask around - some of the parents will have them, or advise where you may find them. You will need to make sure the correct patches get sewn on.

When do I wear the merit badge sash?

Wear the merit badge sash to Courts of Honor and Eagle Courts. Wear it when you appear before an Eagle Board of Review.

When do I wear the Order of the Arrow sash?

Wear the Order of the Arrow sash while attending OA meetings, OA ceremonies, and OA service events.