The first Scout uniform adopted by the new British Scout association appeared in 1906. The uniform adopted for the Cubs, especially the cap also became a standard. The English Scout association has made several major changes in the uniform, but the influece of that uniform can still be seen in the Scout uniforms of today. Perhaps the most significant was the new uniform adopted in 1969 including long pants for the Scouts. The basic organization of Scouting was set in England with the creation of the Scouts in 1906 and the addition of cubbing in 1916. The organizatand has remained unchanged except for the creation of Beaver Scouts in 19??. Most countries initially adopted the British system, although some countries changed the names. The English Scouts from the beginning have give more attention to the uniform than Scouts in many other countries. The English Scouts continue to require a uniform while Scouts in many other countries, especially in Europe, have virtually given up on uniforms.
Baden Powell gave considerable thought to the uniforms for the new Scout movement. I'm sure he must have written in detail about why he selected the uniform and
specific garments. I have not yet come across such writing, but it would certainly make a valuable addition to HBU. B-P was aiming to make the uniform look
UN-MILITARY. It was youth organisations which one might have expected to be of pacific intent, such as the Boys' Brigade and Church Lads' Brigade, which
adopted military trappings. The religious groups also drilled with rifles (real or wooden) in the early days, which the Scouts would never have done. One HBU contributor reports seeming to recall that B-P's experiences in South Africa during the Boer War had some influence on the uniforms. HBU needs to examine Tim Jeal's definitive biography of
B-P and Michael Rosenthal's The Character Factory for more information.
The first Scout uniform adopted by the new British Scout association appeared in 1906. The uniform adopted for the Cubs later in 1916, especially the schoolboy-type peaked cap, also became a standard. The English Scout association has made severalmajor changes in the uniform. Perhaps the most significant was the new uniform adopted in 1969 including long pants for the Scouts. There have, however, been many other changes made over time in British Scout uniforms, some major, others only minor.
Lord Baden Powell selected a uniform of Smokey Bear wide-brimmed hats, khaki shirts and short pants, with kneesocks. This uniform has a rather military look to us today, but that was not Baden Powell's intentioms. He was in fact trying to move away from the "spit-and-polish" uniforms of some other youth groups like the Boys' Brigade. The Scout uniform garments selected by Baden Powell proved tremendously influential and were adopted by Scout groups forming in different countries around the world. Gradually other countries introduced national garments into their uniforms, but the original garments selected by Baden Powell were and continue to be highly influential. The garments have gone through many changes, especially in 1969 when long pants were introduced.
The basic organization of Scouting was set in England with the creation of the Scouts in 1906 and a yoonger boys were also interested, the addition of cubbing in 1916. Than Rovers for older boys were added. The organizatand has remained unchanged except for the cretion of Beaver Scouts in 19??. The garments included a lemon-squeezer hat, shirt with flap pockers and epaulettes, neckerchief, darker short pants, and knee socks. Many of these garments are still associated with Scoutung. Most countries initially adopted the British system, although some countries changed the names. The Scout Association from an eaely point decided when they created Cubbing, that the Boys at the diffrent levels should have desstinctiuve uniforms, in part so the older boys' programs would not be confused with the younger boys. The Cubs adopted a green peaked cap with yellow trim which became a standard around the world, although some countries changed the color. The Scout lemon squeezer hat and the Cub peaked cap became iconic stmbols of Scouting not oly in Britain, but around the world.
Baden Powell chose a theme based on Kiplings Jungle Book, it proved wildly popular with the boys--even if it is now often made fun of in our more cynical age. The English Cub uniform spread around the world. Some countries used it virtually unchanged. Others like America changed it significantly. One comstant in most countries was the Cub cap, just as Scouts in most countries used the original Scout hat for decades. The uniform adopted for English Cubs in 1916 was worn by English boys for decades virtually unchanged. It was adopted by Cubs all over the world although it was gradually modified and changed. In England, however, it has continued virtually unchanged. The only major change has been in the pants and kneesocks the boys have worn. The Wolf Cubs began operating in 1916. The uniform designated for Cubs in 1916 was worn by English boys for decades virtually unchanged. It was subsequently adopted by Cubs all over the world although it was gradually modified and changed. In England, however, it continued virtually unchanged.
Scouting was founded in England during the 1906. Lord Baden Powell fresh from South Africa and the Boer War chose a military-style uniform. The garments included a lemon-squeezer hat, shirt with flap pockers and epaulettes, neckerchief, darker short pants, and knee socks. This uniform became a standard for Scouts as other natiinal programs were founded. Many adopted the samevbasic uniform that British Scouts wore. Only gradually did destinctive national uniforms appear. English Scouts wore this samevbasic uniform for some time. Knee pants were common for boys at the time, but the similar short pants began a substantial change in boyswear in Britain and other countries. English Scouts made some major changes in their uniform in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Scouts in the 1940s wore blue shorts and blue kneesocks. During the 1950s a change to an all khaki uniform was made. The English Scouts unlike America did not have a summer and winter uniform. The uniform called for short pants and keesocks throughout the year. The Scout Association's Chief Scouts at that time, Lord Maclean, in 1969 set up an Advance Party to determine how to modernize Scouting and better appeal to boys. The outcome was to change English Scouting for ever. The Association got rid of the names Wolf cubs and Boy Scouts for Cubs and Scouts. He put all the Scouts in to long pants by changing the uniform that was set out by Baden-Powell to a new uniform of green long sleeved shirts and mushroomed coloured long pants. Some English Scouters, at this time, broke away from the main-linw Scout Association and formed the Baden-Powell Scouts Association. Since 1969, the English Scout uniform as stayed roughly the same. They were allowed to get rid of their berets, green shirts and mushroomed pants for green sweatshirts and school pants.
Scouting in Britain has been diminated by Baden Powell's Scout Association. There have, however, been several competing associations. The British Boy Scouts in the early years of the movement was an especially serious competitor.
HBU at this time does not have details as to the uniform worn by the British Boy Scouts--an early rival to Basen Powell's Scout Association. The British Boy Scouts in the early years of the movement was an especially serious competitor. The BBS foundered on the attempt to purchase uniforms. There is some indication, however, that the BBS had a profound impact on Baden Powell's Scout Association.
Some British Scouters disagreed with the decission by the main British Scout Association in 1969 to adopt a long pants uniform. These more traditiinal Scouters also object to a variety of other "modernizing" changes made to make Scouting more appealing to British boys. These traditinal Scouters felt that the reforms were poorly conceived and in moving Scouting away from the original traditions conceived by Baden Powell, boys would miss much of the value of the Scout experiece. As a result, a new Scout Association was formed--the Baden Powell Scouts. This Association adopted a more traditional program with a uniform based more on the traditonal uniform designed by Baden Powell.
There was comsiderable variation as to the uniform colors worn by British Scouts. Although the most well known image of the British Boy Scout is a khaki shirt and shorts, up until 1968, troops could choose to wear khaki, grey, blue or green shirts, and a similar range of shorts. Thus identifying the countries in some images can be complicated. Of course the uniform colors were not always apparent in old photographs because most were black and white images.
The English Scouts from the beginning have give more attention to the uniform than Scouts in many other countries. The English Scouts continue to require a uniform while Scouts in many other countries, especially in Europe, have virtually given up on uniforms. We note that uniform inspections were an important part of English Scouting. Some Scout masters wre sticklers for a spit and polish turn out, but this varied quite a bit. This was less true in other national Scout programs. Certainly it was less true in Ameirican Scouting. Uniform standards are less rigorous in English Scouting today, but few European Scouts groups have such high uniform regulations as the English. A reflection of this attitude towatd the uniform can be seen at Scout band competitions.
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