Boy Scout Uniform
|The BSA Centennial Uniform|
Design for the latest boy scout uniform came out in August, 2008. The colors are pretty much the same so new uniform pieces can be transitioned as old ones are outgrown. A big difference is red shoulder loops and unit numbers are now forest green. The uniform is promoted as more versatile and wearable in the field instead of just for meetings.
I do think the new boy scout baseball-style cap is a big improvement - I bought one myself and it looks great! The switchbacks pants are staying around but with a few changes. There are two styles, heavier and lighter.
I bought zip-offs in August, 2006 when they first came out. The price was a bit steep for me, but I figured I would wear them often. I've certainly gotten my money's worth out of them!
Update 03/2014: The zip-off pants have finally been put to use as "paint pants". I've worn them over 7 years on over 65 weekend campouts, backpacking over 400 miles on 8 scout treks, 6 weeks of summer camp, and uncountable troop and district meetings. I also wore them all 1.7 million steps of my 800-mile, 43 day hike of the Arizona Trail in 2012, .5 million steps of my 13-day, 250-mile Superior Hiking Trail trek in 2012, and 2.25 million steps of my 1,100-mile, 56-day Ice Age Trail hike in 2013. The IAT was their last use as uniform pants.
I now have a new pair of zip-offs for uniform wear. Unfortunately (in my view), they no longer have a zipper in the lower leg portions so I transferred the zippers from my old pair to these.
My BSA baseball cap changed color from my sweating, and possibly the sun. Starting out green, it turned a mottled tan/green - I actually think it looks better but it finally wore out after almost 6 years. I've got a brand new one for my next hike.
Placement of insignia on the uniform is important.
The Uniform Inspection Sheet has insignia placement guides.
There is also a Male & Female Leader Uniform Inspection Sheet.
If you wonder where a patch goes, it is probably a 'temporary' patch. See Scouting FAQ page for help - they can be displayed on a blanket, vest, wall display, shoebox, or the back of the merit badge sash.
See the BSA Insignia Guide for more information on uniforms, patches, and such.
The Scouting program in America has always included uniforms for its members and volunteers to identify members and show they are part of the Boy Scouts of America. Scouts and leaders should wear their uniforms to all patrol meetings, troop meetings, and scout outings.
The tan and green Boy Scout uniform is a well-known symbol of American scouting. All scouts in the program wear the same uniform with the major differences being the badges each scout has earned and the troop specific neckerchief.
Most scout troops also have an activity uniform which is often a t-shirt customized just for the troop. Activity uniforms are worn for work projects, sporting activities, and other events in which the dress uniform might get damaged. The official dress uniform is commonly referred to as the 'Class A' uniform and the activity uniform as 'Class B' even though these are not correct BSA terms.
The best place to buy customized scouting t-shirts is the ClassB.com web site. ClassB.com is an official licensee of the Boy Scouts of America and is actually run by a few Eagle Scouts.
Each scout belongs to a patrol within the troop. To foster patrol identity, each patrol chooses a Patrol Patch and creates a patrol flag, name, and yell.
Sashes and Such
The BSA Insignia Guide discusses all the uniforming, patch placement, and other insignia use.
Merit badge placement on the sash is up to the scout. The badges can be displayed in rows of two or three, starting three inches down from the top of the sash.
There is no required ordering of badges. The scout can put all silver-bordered Eagle-required badges first, followed by green-bordered elective badges. Or, he can display them alphabetically, or by favorites, or by color, or in the order earned (which is most common).
When the front of the sash is full, additional merit badges can be displayed on the back or on a second or third sash.
The merit badge sash is worn draped over the right shoulder and left hip.
Only ONE sash is worn at a time.
A second sash is NOT worn over the shoulder, nor tucked into the belt.
The same is true for Order of the Arrow sashes. The scout wears either a merit badge sash OR OA sash, but not more than one sash at a time.
These two sashes show merit badges in rows of three. They belong to my two Eagle sons. One has all his Eagle-required badges on top, the other just has them as earned.
|Boy Scout Uniform Costs|
|(BSA zip-off pants give you long and short pant uniforms, plus a belt)|
|World Scout Crest Emblem||$1.50|
|Council Strip||$1.50 - $6.00|
Total Uniform Cost
|about $120 to $160|
Scout Handbook Cover - $7
Scout Requirements Book - $6
Sewing Kit - $5
Uniform details, price changes, and other scouting gear is found at ScoutStuff.Org - and you can now purchase online.
Retrieve a list of Scout shops and distributors in your area at this Scout Store Locator
Boy Scout Uniform Savings
These uniforms are a significant cost for many scouting families. Some possible ways to reduce costs are:
- Have your scout earn his uniform or part of it.(it might last longer, too)
- Purchase only minimum required items in your troop.
- Check with your troop or district about a Uniform Exchange where you can pick up or drop off uniforms.
- Buy used Boy Scout items at local clothes store.
Feb 19, 2012 - Julie Schmidt
See this page for more info.
1. If I was in OA as a youth, do I put my youth lodge badge or the lodge badge where I am currently a leader?
2. I had the honor of representing the BSA and the United States at the World Jamboree in Australia in 1987. Is it acceptable to have that patch on an adult uniform? I would love to be prompted by scouts to share that amazing experience by having the patch.
2. Yes, you can wear it.
I hate to use adhesives since these patches will be swapped out as the boy attains new rank. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
See this page for more info.
I am registered with my local troop and will be sending my application form in to be a registered merit badge counselor. I volunteer with my sons troop and go to all the camp outs and meetings with him. My son is Autistic so he always wants me at the events and meetings and I like helping as well. My question is should I be wearing a class A adult shirt as a volunteer? Thank you.
You can wear your OA pocket flap if you are a member in good standing of the OA - meaning you are paying your annual dues. Please see this OA page.
I also don't see value in wearing an outdated patch when the current ones are expected to be used. It sounds like the old patch is being used to draw attention to the scout, or his family's history, rather than to help identify his current role.
The NYLT patch is worn only with the position he was trained for during NYLT (if he changed positions he should remove the patch)
Hope this helps,
BSA uniform shirts should have an official BSA logo on the label and the buttons should have tiny fleur-de-lis symbols on them.
I have a round camp badge about 2 1/2" in diameter.
While at camp they earn individual tiny badges (curved on the inside and outside). These tiny ones are to go around the big badge to surround it.
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