Uniform and Insignia

We're not one of those uniform-inspecting spit and polish troops.  We're more spit than polish, really.

The troop doesn't require official uniform pants or socks, we just want to see a properly set-up uniform shirt with neckerchief and slide (or "woggle"), with the shirt tucked in to reasonably presentable jeans or shorts. No basketball shorts.  

We wear the uniform to our weekly meetings unless we think it's likely to get trashed due to some planned activity, and to Courts of Honor (twice yearly awards ceremonies, and we add the merit badge sash for those).  It's also worn for scoutmaster conferences, and boards of review.

The Boy Scouts publish the BSA Insignia Guide (item no. 33066) that describes the various scout uniforms and insignia. Most of the content of this is available on the BSA website.

If you're buying a scout shirt for the first time buy it BIG!!!!  You're going to wear it to that Eagle Court of Honor when you're a junior or senior in high school!!!  Most guys go for the short sleeve version. The troop provides the neckerchief and woggle.  It's our tradition that you wear the woggle upside down until you get to Scout rank.  The neckerchiefs are another 186 tradition, we get them from our sister troop in Ecuador, and no two batches are ever the same.  So you can see a kind of strata in the troop as guys age through.

The Uniform and insignia of the Boy Scouts of America page in Wikipedia has lots of information on the scout uniform and insignia.

Here's a typically atypical 186 uniform belonging to Eagle Scout Ben Pratt.  The arrows point to the stuff you actually need to buy along with the shirt: 
  • council patches (oblong shoulder and round pocket)
  • shoulder loops
  • troop numerals
  • arrow of light patch if you earned it as a cub
Anything else on there was provided by the troop along the way.  

As an oarsman Ben went for the port and starboard look in the shoulder loops, but you can't even get the red ones any more.  Just get the green loops - troop numerals are also green-only now, too.