Scouts have worn uniforms since the start of scouting in 1908. While the standards and requirements have varied from time to time, the fact of a uniform as been a constant. Uniforms are worn for various reasons, apart from tradition. They give a sense of belonging; they are used to display the advancement of the scout and they equalise discrepancies between the backgrounds of the scouts. We have noted, in discussions a few years ago, that our scouts are quite possessive of the current uniform and are not keen to make substantive changes to the uniform.
It is part of membership of the troop that we require our scouts to wear the approved uniform. Uniforms vary from troop to troop in minor aspects as allowed by the regulations governing scouts in South Africa. At 1st Claremont we have minimised the cost of uniform by wearing blue jeans instead of shorts and troop socks and dispensing with headgear.
There are 6 main items to the uniform:
- The shirt. The shirt required is a normal khaki shirt which can be purchased from the Scout Shop at 124 Belvedere Road, Rondebosch. This shirt is traditional and has been worn by scouts since scouting started in 1908.
- The scarf. Our scouts wear the traditional 1st Claremont scarf. Every scout troop in the world wears their own scarf and is justly proud of it.
- The woggle. We currently use the traditonal leather woggle, which is available from the scout shop. Traditionally 1st Claremont has used bone woggles and we plan to revert to these this year. We do not recognise any other woggles except those earned by warranted scouters and scouts who have attended PLTU.
- The belt. We also use the scout belt which can also be purchased from the scout shop.
- Jeans. We wear blue jeans to reduce the cost of uniform. There is no distinction between summer and winter uniform.
- Badges. Badges are sewn onto the uniform after investiture and as they are earned. Their positioning is set out in the Scout Badge Book which is available online here. Badges are an important indicator of who we are and also of advancement. It is important for the scouts that they are sewn onto their uniform when they are earned so that they can show their advancement.
Uniforms are inspected on a weekly basis and points form part of the MOSCIP Trophy. A scout whose uniform is not correct will cost his patrol points. It is thus important that the uniform is correct and that scouts have all the major items with them every week.
It is inevitable that the scarf will get mislaid. The scarves are made to order by the Group and we keep a stock. The cost of a new scarf is R50. Although the first scarf given is part of being invested and no charge is levied, any subsequent scarves will be charged for.
Woggles are also lost on a regular basis. Although the leather woggle is available from the scout shop, we do carry stock which is available at R10 a woggle. When we revert to bone woggles, the replacement cost will remain at R10.