In celebrating the birth of the United States of America, on this Independence Day, it seems only fitting that we give pause, and consider how we honor her throughout the year.
Troop 501 is an incredibly patriotic Boy Scout Troop. We have retired our Great Nation’s flag, multiple times, in conjunction with the Veterans of Foreign Wars. We (Mrs Hufford) started the annual Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery New Year Good Turn, at which Troop 501 presents and posts the Colors. And, we have even been honored to be the on-field Color Guard for our Nation’s Standard at a game of the Major League Baseball’s National League Saint Louis Cardinals!
As a symbol of our pride, and our dedication to the values of Scouting, and as a reminder of our Duty to Country, we proudly wear the Rattlesnake motif, and verse, “Dont Tread on Me,” from the Gadsden Flag, on of the earliest flags of the American Revolutionary War, embroidered on our neckerchiefs of yellow-gold fabric.
In the image to the right, a postcard from our past, the Gadsden Flag, noted in the caption to be our Nation’s First Flag, Revolutionary War Patriots capture British commanders, at the Battle of Bunker Hill, along with the flag of Washington’s Crusaders, and the Continental Flag.
As an outward sign of our deeply held patriotic values, and our tenacity in our brotherhood and solidarity to each other – and to honor another Scout – Eagle Scout Drew Vitello conceptualized the simple, yet complexly significant re-design of the Troop 501 Neckerchief, during Summer Camp, in 2013. It has been a smashing success, and with (and without) our campaign hats, certainly commands attention, whenever we are around!
To help re-enforce these lessons of American History and patriotism, we fly a variety of Historic United States Flags from the Revolutionary War – Era, posting a different flag of historic significance, each day. We open Summer Camp with the Bedford Flag. The amoured arm, holding a sword, descending from a cloud, with three cannon balls in the background, is the arm of God. The Latin inscription, which reads, “Vince Aut Morire,” written from top down on the front, and the bottom up, on the obverse, is translated into English as, “Conquer or Die!” The Bedford Flag is the oldest existing flag in the United States, the second oldest in the western hemisphere and the only flag carried by the Minutemen at the battle of the North Bridge in Concord on April 19, 1775, and it was the flag that was flying, representing our fledgeling Nation, over the “Shot that was heard ’round the world,” starting the American Revolution.
It had a long history before the Revolution, for it had been used as a standard of the Massachusetts Bay cavalry Troop for over 100 years and had seen service in the Indian Wars many times before that great day at the bridge.
In 1659, when the cavalry troop was organized, arrangements were made for a proper emblem. The flag was probably made in England for the Massachusetts Bay Colony sometime between 1660 and 1670. Records of the order for the flag, and a description of the proposed emblem, are in the British Museum.
In recognition of the fact that every family’s financial situation is different, and wishing to include any boy that wishes to participate in the Scouting program, it is Troop 501’s policy to have the following Uniform requirements:
The Official Troop 501 Uniform shall include:
1. The Official BSA Uniform Shirt (long or short sleeved) with all required patches and badges sewn in the appropriate positions;
2. The Troop 501 Neckerchief;
3. The Troop 501 Woggle, or approved substitute, usually hand-carved;
4. Official BSA Uniform pants or shorts, or green khaki or cargo pants or shorts, or blue jeans or blue jean shorts in good repair;
5. Official BSA Uniform belt, or brown leather belt;
6. Official BSA Uniform socks, or green, black, or white socks;
7. Hiking boots or shoes, or brown or black leather shoes;
8. Campaign hat for First Class Scouts and above, with appropriate rank insignia (not permitted for lower ranks).
The troop will endeavor to keep “Uniform Closet,” of “retired” uniforms that Scouts may have outgrown. It is requested that each family donate uniform pieces when they no longer fit, or are no longer used. Also, if Uniform parts are found at thrift stores, garage sales, or the like, it is requested that the item be purchased and donated to the Uniform Closet.
Members of Troop 501 wear a distinctive uniform, which although entirely “official” is subtly different than the uniform worn by most other Scout Troops. This is in keeping with our traditional scouting philosophy and our belief that Scouts should look like “Scouts” rather than members of the military, or of a sports team or other organization. The most important distinctions are our hats, our neckerchiefs, and our staves.
The classic silhouette as depicted in the famous Mackenzie scout statue (and also in many of the Norman Rockwell paintings) is the image that Troop 501 wishes to portray. Members of Troop 501 care about the smallest detail of their uniforms. We like to see heads turn when we march by. We like to be the only troop in FULL uniform, and we like to feel SHARP. We’re proud that we are Scouts and we’re proud of our troop.
Our uniform, although traditional in appearance, is designed, as it was traditionally intended, to function as a one part of an integrated camping and outdoor activity system consisting of clothing, equipment, tools and know how, and it is important all elements of the uniform be obtained and worn properly.
Class A: Campaign or “Smokey the Bear” hat for Scouts First Class in Rank, or higher. Official BSA Campaign hats are available through the Scout shop or on the internet. The official version is of a very high quality, includes an official leather hat band, and its cost reflects same. If the official hat is purchased it will be the most expensive part of the uniform. Also acceptable are second hand campaign hats available on eBay, and new surplus hats, available through several internet resources, and Uncle Sam’s. The surplus hats are of a lesser quality, but otherwise acceptable, provided they are of the correct green color. Hat Keep the brim hard and straight by pressing with a hot iron over a damp cloth. Keep your hat in a press or on a flat surface when not in use. Nothing captures the image of a Scout more than the broad-brimmed hat. Although many options have been tried over the years (such as the W.W.II overseas hat – or garrison cap, the red beret, and the baseball cap), the “Smoky-the-Bear” or “Campaign” hat is the only uniform item which has remained constant since Scouting came to the United States in the early 1900’s. In addition to its obvious functionality, it is still the broad-brimmed hat which makes Troop 501 stand out from other troops in camp or at a parade. Only Scouts who have achieved the rank of First Class, or higher, may wear the campaign hat, all others are encouraged to work hard to achieve this distinction, and are invited to wear any other official BSA cap, in the meanwhile.
Class B: Any “baseball” type cap, having a front brim. Traditional solid colors such as green, brown, black, maroon, etc., or containing Scouting designs are preferable.
Gold with Gadsden Snake and “Dont Tread on Me” inscription with “Troop 501” embroidered, or the Troop 501 BSA Centennial neckerchief. The neckerchief is worn under the collar. The neckerchief is secured using a slide consisting of a three stranded cord “turk’s head” made by the scout, and tied at the end as a reminder for each scout to “do a good turn daily.” The Neckerchief is rolled rather than folded. The point at the back should be about six inches from the top.
Official BSA shirt. If you can not afford one, please see the Scoutmaster. Tuck in your shirt at the waist and keep it free from bulges and wrinkles. Lay the collar neatly over the neckerchief so that both will lay neatly and snugly. Long sleeves are typically rolled up and secured. The sleeves of your T-shirt or undershirt must be short enough so as not to be visible by protruding outside the sleeve of the uniform shirt. Do not have over-crowded pockets. You should have a pencil and a notepad or paper inside the left pocket. Insignia Should be sewn on flat with no gaps or buckling and no loose threads. Check your Scout Handbook for the proper location of the badges and patches. If you have any questions, please see the Scoutmaster.
Under shirt: Any clean, sturdy and properly fitting T-Shirt. Must be one solid color unless containing approved Scouting designs. Traditional solid colors such as green, brown, black, maroon, etc. are preferable. The Troop has an official undershirt (Class B) which should be obtained from the Scoutmaster.
The official “Centennial” web Scout belt, with gunmetal buckle, should be trimmed to the proper length — just long enough so that only the metal tip extends outside the buckle. A leather belt is also acceptable. The belt should be worn with belt through all the belt loops of the shorts. The button line of your shirt, your belt buckle, and the fly of your pants should all be in a straight line. This is called the “gig line.”
Official BSA green “Switchback II” convertible pants, “Centennial” convertible pants – made of Supplex Nylon, BSA shorts, other BSA trousers, green or khaki cargo pants or shorts, blue jeans in good repair (no holes or rips), or blue jean shorts.
We recommend traditional long knee socks for use when legs need to be protected by underbrush and other hazards. Unfortunately, these socks are no longer available from official BSA suppliers, and ours must be obtained from Bass Pro Shop or “Outdoor World.” They are called “Redhead Mountain Bear Socks” and are available in several sizes. They are worn up to just below the knee.
Footwear (shoes or boots) must be of a dark color (e.g. brown or black) — not white or a bright color, luminescent, or flamboyant. They must be in good repair and clean with the laces neatly tied. Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support are preferred, particularly for outdoor activities.
Important NEW Information for
EAGLE BOARD OF REVIEW
Chairman of the Eagle Board: Mr. Gary Hartmann
Phone Number: 636-937-0155 (leave a message);
Date: LAST Thursday of the Month;
Location: St Luke’s United Church of Christ, Imperial, Mo.
Procedures And Expectations:
*SCOUT will call at least 10 days in advance for appointment.
*SCOUTMASTER (Unit Leader) is requested to attend with Scout to introduce them and serve as an observer.
*SCOUT will be expected to be in FULL uniform (Class A Shirt, troop neckerchief/slide, uniform pants, BSA belt, clean shoes/boots-preferably brown leather, sash is optional) if the scout does not have these items – borrow them.
*Board reviewers will now be scheduled to ensure each team has enough reviewers. To volunteer for future boards, please sign up at roundtable or e-mail Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The uniform makes the Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Boy Scouting is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Scout’s commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals. The uniform is practical attire for Boy Scout activities and provides a way for Boy Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished. Uniforming is one of the Methods of Scouting. The Methods of Scouting are those methods by which the Scouting program is delivered. Information on the Official Uniform of the Boy Scouts of America can be found on the internet. A site developed to support the uniform is located here: http://bsauniforms.org/.