Friday, February 13, 2009

The Multi-functional Boy Scout Uniform

...Let's see:
Scout Shirt....Check.
Scout Pants...Check.
Scout Socks...Check Garters and tabs ...Check and check again.
Scout Belt......Check.
Scout hat...... (garrison, red beret, or campaign) Check.
Merit Badge sash....Check.
Scout Book...Check.
Progress pocket book...Check.
Scout boots...Che....what!?! There were Scout hiking shoes?

Yes, indeed there were hiking boots that were once BSA approved.

We even had to wear the hip pack first aid kit, which was a tin box that your scout belt would fit through.
My how the times have changed. Some for the better and some for the worse.
The heavy weight long sleeve shirt was replaced by a short sleeve lighter weight fabric and also the scout pants became lighter in weight but both were less functional in the field.
I treasured my first uniform shirt when picking blackberries in it to prevent throrns from damaging the skin. You can't say that about today's uniform shirt.
Now days, neckerchiefs are considered not being a apart of the standard uniform and I miss that.
The neckerchief was once the most important part of the uniform as it was often recruited to be used in first aid, to signal someone, to be made into a makeshift armband for team designation, and much more.
Now days, I would would be hard pressed find a scout that could take a triangular neckerchief and fold it into a cravit or be able to make a sling for an injured arm.
The garrison hat, I personally miss and I wish I still had mine, was used as a cozy to keep your mess kit from burning you when eating hot meals. I also used my red beret for the same purpose.
I rember shooting countless photos at camp with my Kodak Scout camera even though the flash bulbs were exactly enviromental friendly.
The first waterproof flashlight was a Boy Scout flashlight. Had the Boy Scout pocketknife too.
And the compass. And mess kit. And harmonica.
And all held together in, what else, the Boy Scout knapsack.
I miss those days and I wish that we could go back in time to pick up those items that are no longer available with scouting supply for they did serve more than one purpose.
Maybe it is because of a less sophisticated time, or maybe that I am reliving past memories.
All that I know is that I had a lot of wonderful memories wearing my old uniform and would still love to wear it had it not shrunk so from the '60's.
So now if you will excuse me, I am off to try to finally master,"Red River Valley," on my vintage Boy Scout harmonica.

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