Scottish Boy Scout Uniforms

Figure 1.-- Here is a picture of Scottish scouts on a camping trip during the 1960s. Some boys wear kilts and some shorts. If you had a kilt you could wear your own tartan. There were s also socks which match the scarf which is different to the English, though one boy is wearing his school socks. Notice the different wear the boys wear their bonnets.

Scottish Scouts basically wear the same uniform as other British Scouts. There are some differences which include headwear, kilts, and hosiery. Scottish Scouts have the option of wearing kilts rather than short pants or after the 1969 uniform change, long pants. I'm not sure when the option of wearing kilts was authorized, but presumably it was from the beginning of the Scout movement in Scotand. I am not sure how common it was for Scottish boys to have kilts. They are fairly expensive garments, so it is likely that only middle-class had them. This would mean that many working-class boys would not have kilts. Thus there may have been some variations in the uniforming of Scottish Scouts.


I'm not sure what the original Scottish Scout uniform was. It may have been identical to the English uniform, or it might have consisted of the kilt rather than short pants from the beginning. We have noted Scottish Scouts in the 1920s wearing kilts with the traditional wide-brimmed Scout hat. Many Scottish Scouts still choose to wear the kilt. But as it is rather epensive, the kilt is now generally only worn for ceremonial occasions. Scouts when participating in jamborees, especially international jamborees almost always wore kilts. When participating in activities in Sotland itself, most troops left it up to the individul boys. Some wore kilts while others did not. Modern Scouts often wear their kilts with a Glengarry cap, but we have also noted berets like those worn in England. Thge scottish Scouts called them bonnets and it looks like they were in the 1960s part of the official uniform (figure 1). There were also differences in the hosiery from the English iniform.


Scottish Cubs have almost always worn the traditional peaked Cub cap as in England. We have not noted Scottish Cubs wearing Glengarries or other destinctive headwear. I am not sure how commonly Scottish Cubs wore kilts like the Scouts. A Scottish reader tells us that in the 1950s that he and some other Cubs occassionally wore kilts to meetings, but that it was less common than in the Scouts. Another Scottish reader reports that "Most Scottish Cubs in the 1980s and eraly 90s that I have seen wore short trousers until the 1990s when long pants became more common." Another report from Scotland indicates, "I never saw any Scottish Cubs in kilts. I don't know why. Maybe they just ran around so much it wasn't practical."


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Created: January 2, 2004
Last updated: January 2, 2004