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.