Tips to make your family's transition into Scouting a breeze.
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Families that are new to Scouting discover a world of adventure with new learning experiences and lots of personal growth in an environment that prepares children for a happy, honorable future. But the program is so new, with new terminology, a uniform, and unfamiliar advancement requirements. For some it can be a bit intimidating. In this series of blogs we’ll discuss five tried and true tips to make your family’s transition into Scouting easier.

Five Tips for New Scouting Families
Part 2:  Help Him Take Pride in His Uniform

Your son will probably wear a number of uniforms as he grows up – for every sports team, for marching band or musical groups, and sometimes for school – but none that he will be as proud of as his Scout uniform.

Scouts wear uniforms for a number of reasons.  We are not remotely a military type organization, but wearing a uniform teaches him to take pride in himself, to stand a little straighter, to salute the flag with his hand to his brow rather than over his heart.  A uniform gives him a place to display his awards.  Its universal insignia ties him to the world brotherhood of Scouting.  Perhaps best, it has a “leveling effect” where every Scout looks the same, regardless of how much money his family has.   

You can help him take pride in his uniform by letting him know that there is only one way to wear a uniform: dead-on perfect.  An untucked shirt, a crooked hat, or a wrinkled neckerchief never looks “cool.”  At the earliest possible age, teach your son how to iron his neckerchief himself (with supervision of the hot iron please).  Teach him how to sew on his own patches.  By age nine, my oldest took great pride in this and did quite a good job sewing on patches straight and securely.  Each time he gets a new award, he looks forward to running home and sewing it on, rather than nagging me or his mom to do it. 

Getting your son a full uniform, including the blue (Cub Scouts) or olive (Webelos/Boy Scouts) pants, belt, and socks is optional in some packs and troops, but it’s best to wear the uniform properly from head to toe, assuming you can afford it. (Some Troops and Packs keep a supply of gently used uniforms from departing Scouts to ease the financial burden of buying uniforms. See my earlier blog for more on this subject.)

I’m sure you’ll find as our unit’s families have that having and wearing a full uniform to every event boosts your Scout’s enthusiasm and motivates him to advance and stay active in a program that can do so much for his future.
Copyright © 2015 Orange County Council, BSA, All rights reserved.

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