The neckerchief is the most underrated part of a Scout’s uniform.
Around the globe, this piece of cloth is often the primary identifier that someone is a Scout. (Exhibit A: Bear Grylls, Chief Scout of the U.K.)
Within the BSA, there are special neckerchiefs for Eagle Scouts, for each rank in Cub Scouting and for adults who have completed Wood Badge training.
Troops choose their own official neckerchief — usually through a popular vote among the youth members. If you’ve ever seen a troop where every member wears the same-colored neckerchief, you know it looks pretty sharp.
But today’s discussion isn’t about whether to wear a neckerchief or which kind is best. It’s about how to wear that neckerchief.
The BSA’s Guide to Awards and Insignia says, on page 13, that “the unit has a choice of wearing the neckerchief over the collar (with the collar tucked in) or under the collar.”
The part about “the collar tucked in” means that some Scouts, Venturers and adult leaders will roll the collar under their shirt. This collarless look, with a neckerchief atop it, looks great.
It’s recommended that units pick one style — over or under — for the entire unit. That way everyone’s uniform looks, well, uniform.
With this freedom to express yourself, what style does your unit prefer? Sound off with a comment — and share pictures if you’ve got ’em.
Wearing the neckerchief without the uniform
Remember: When engaged in Scouting activities, members may wear the neckerchief with appropriate nonuniform clothing to identify them as Scouts.
I blogged about this when the change was first announced in 2015, and it’s still true today. Feel free to flaunt that neckerchief any time you’re doing Scouting stuff.
Removing restrictions for neckerchief wear brought the BSA in line with other members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.
This info will come in handy for Scouts and Venturers representing the BSA at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree next summer at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.
In addition to looking great, the neckerchief, as recommended by Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell, can be a tool for first aid.
It can work as a sling, tourniquet or bandage. But only if you’ve got it with you.
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