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Scouts Canada Uniform Review

It appears as though National Council is undertaking a Uniform Review. The following is a document sent by the National Commissioner regarding the review. Email the Webmaster with your comments.

To: Scouts Canada Commissioners
cc: Council Executive Directors
From: Sam Elsworth_National Commissioner
December 5, 2000

Dear Commissioner:

I trust this letter finds you well and enjoying a fantastic Scouting year.

As you know, the topic of uniform fiequently comes up when we discuss our declining membership and barriers to young people joining Scouting. Anecdotal evidence has for years suggested that many youth members in the Scout, Venturer and Rover sections dislike our uniform, and that it prevents other young people from considering Scouting. Our research with Angus Reid (now Ipsos-Reid) confirmed that our current uniform contributes to an old-fashioned, irrelevant image of Scouting.

Through further research with Ipsos-Reid, we’ve examined the role of our uniform, and the reaction to it from youth members (Scout, Venturer and Rover age) and the public. National youth Committee members, under the guidance of Ipsos-Reid, have been conducting focus groups with teenaged members and non-members across Canada to gather their vital perspectives. At Forum 2000, the youth Committee presented the results of the focus groups, and Forum participants made some important recommendations around the issue. I attach two articles (from the December 2000 and January 2001 issues) from the Leader Magazine that discuss the focus groups and the issue of uniform.

It’s very important to highlight several key points from the articles:

We must respect the wishes of our youth members regarding uniform. We need to be flexible to meet the needs of our current youth members and attract more youth to Scouting. This has the potential to become a highly emotional and volatile issue among some adult members.

You can help by ensuring that people in the field do not mis-interpret where we are going. As we move forward on this, it’s worth remembering the comments of a young focus group participant:

"The point of Scouting is not what you wear to meetings or to special events. Scouting is about learning and having fun."

Let’s ensure that all our adult volunteers understand that it’s Scouting’s programs, values and activities, not the clothes they are wearing, that are vital to our youth members and the fulfilment of our Mission.

Best of the Holiday Season to you and your families.

Yours in Scouting,
Sam Elsworth
National Commissioner

Check out further Uniform discussions on the site.

Another version on the National website

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