Hello Dear Reader
You may or may not have come across the woggle-gate over the last couple of days this was something that came about when 1st Rhosnesni Scout group suggested on their website that they have a Woggle Ban (while your there take a look at their fantastic programme of events for young people)
So what is this about, is it about being cool because Bear Grylls only wears a necker with a friendship knot, is this about moving away from a simple piece of leather that has holds the same stigma as dyb dyb dob dob, who knows.
I am not the best person to ask, I am probably a bit old to be hip and down with the kids (as demonstrated by that statement) and I have my own views about the Scout Uniform that can be conservative at times. However I know that the Uniform in general is something that cause so many comments and debates by why?
The issue seems to be around the term Uniform and what it actually is
If you read POR Chapter 10 defines a uniform for each section of the movement, lets take explorers as an example
Rule 10.11 Explorer Scout Uniform
a. Items of official uniform:
- beige long sleeve or short sleeve shirt or blouse;
- Explorer Scout Unit scarf and woggle (a Group scarf may be worn if specified in the Partnership Agreement);
- navy blue activity trousers;
- smart navy blue skirt;
- Scout belt / Explorer Belt and buckle.
b. Optional items a Explorer Scout Unit may
decide to have as part of its official uniform:
- navy blue shorts;
- grey fleece;
- navy blue outer jacket;
- navy blue baseball cap.
c. Optional items for activity dress:
- beige polo shirt;
- navy blue sweatshirt.
Nowhere in that list does it say IScout/Unit/Group TShirt or IScout/Unit/Group Hoodie (now it may say somewhere else in POR but I have not found it) therefore when we do a press call, like the other day the Explores should have been in beige polo shirts and neckers, not brightly coloured vibrant IScout tops.
Would this photo look as good if they were all in beige…… ?
But why do we have one uniform? If it is to give us an identity then maybe with the increased use of IScout clothing and the friendship knotted necker in the media and the constant clamour to make Scouting cool now is the time to have two uniforms.
A number one, Dress uniform – Shirt, trousers, shiny shoes, woggle the whole nine yards, This uniform would be used for parades, special occasions when the need to be smart was called for.
A number two, Activity uniform – combat style trousers IScout/Unit/Group Tshirt or IScout/Unit/Group Hoodie necker with friendship knot. This uniform would be use for all other occasions that don’t require best bib and tucker.
If you look at other uniformed organisations they have two or three the British Army have 16 Royal Airforce have 14 and the Royal Navy have 9, even with all those uniforms you still know when you see them that they are the British Forces.
In amongst a lot of dross dug up on the whole Wogglegate there was a quote “that maybe the woggle should go the same way as the single sex troop?” I can’t see that happening but who knows the woggle is better than the elastic band that I have seen holding some scouts neckers together.
With all the above being said, It does however beg the question does it really matter what is worn so long as the image that is portrayed is one of Scouting. Maybe the questions we should be asking is, “is it the uniform that makes the scout or the person underneath the uniform that makes the scout?”