By Stan Lockhart
Feb 22, 2016

Online Registration and Affordable Uniforms

Recently, our council and many other councils in the Western Region met with LDS Church leaders and National Council leaders to discuss how to better implement Scouting in the LDS Church. Over 100 people were there. We discussed a host of issues (You can read Darryl Alder’s report on the meeting and what was discussed here). I asked Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive, about two UNPC priorities:

1. Online, paperless registration and rechartering Our council volunteered to help the National Council develop this system. Sam Thompson is our point person at National and Ken Kuhni is our UNPC contact person. We intend to help develop this system and we hope to make a call to our Scouting supporters in the near future to help us find volunteers with the skill sets necessary to complete this project.

2. A Walmart-priced uniform – I didn’t get much interest in this issue, but in defense of the National Council, it was the first time we have brought the issue to their attention. In the meantime, our council is exploring other options, such as more aggressive promotion of activity uniforms and collection and sales of slightly used uniforms.

We believe these are two of the most important issues that the National Council can help our Scouters with at the present time. We have been communicating with National on the online registration and rechartering for a long time and we hope that Sam and Ken can help each other. On the more affordable uniform issue, we intend to take the lead as a council with the activity uniforms and uniform banks and then be grateful if any help comes from National.

If you have questions, concerns, or feedback, feel free to contact me at stanlockhartutah@gmail.com or (801) 368-2166. Here is some information regarding a uniform bank.

uniform-exchange

LockhartStan7231

 

Author: Stan Lockhart | President, Utah National Parks Council, BSA

Print Friendly

4 thoughts on “Online Registration and Affordable Uniforms

  1. April Driggers

    I completely agree with you on the idea that the uniform needs to be made much more affordable. I’m in Texas in the Longhorn Council and one of the complaints is the cost. You can go to a local sporting goods store and buy a pair of the pants for $20 but they’re $50 at the local Scout shop. I don’t think you can really justify that. I certainly hope they listen to you!

    Reply
  2. Walter Williams

    Perhaps one method for creating affordable uniforms is for BSA to sell/allow licenses to make uniforms to retailers like Walmart. They have already allowed Revell to make BSA approved pinewood derby parts.

    By licensing retailers to produce uniforms, they would be able to lower the cost through competition. Also, BSA would not assume the risk of production costs.

    What worries me is that BSA is too concerned about revenue streams, and won’t compromise one like uniforms to make them affordable.

    Another area where Scouting could be more accessible and affordable is to provide merit badge pamphlets via PDF download. I am aware of the new online courses for merit badges, but I won’t recommend them to my Scouts because they want to charge for them. Although Scouts (and many adults) would rather have a digital pamphlet, BSA hasn’t done it because of the revenue stream.

    Reply
  3. Ray Cox

    I am working on the assumption that BSA makes a good chunk of revenue from uniform sales, and is therefore not eager to slash the cost. Every operation, non-profit or for-profit, has to bring in revenue to keep the lights on.

    I like the idea of more actively organizing and promoting uniform banks, for youth and adult leaders. A scout is thrifty, after all. If there was a way for a new scout or leader to get a uniform today, we’d probably get more of them in uniform. Over time, as the uniform came to mean more to them, they may want to purchase something new, but perhaps not and that’s okay.

    Reply
  4. Linda Hanks

    Thank you, President Lockhart, for bringing the issue of the cost of the uniform to the attention of the national organization. I hope that some discussion will take place in the near future about this. I wonder how many scouts are actually in full uniform at national events like the jamboree. Lately when I see media pictures of Eagle scout projects, etc, it is rare to see the boys in their full uniforms (most are wearing jeans or shorts with a uniform shirt not tucked in). I have put this complaint on my surveys. I attended Wood Badge with a man from Libya. He showed me pictures of his troop there and they were all in full uniform. It was a simple outfit and affordable to a very poor people. I think that when you ask families to have boys in full uniforms, then the uniforms needs to be affordable. It simply is not. I know some families will budget $100 for their “back to school” clothes which would give a boy 5-8 outfits. This would not even buy a full scout uniform if you include shirt, pants, socks, belt, neckerchief, slide, and hat (which would be closer to $150). We want boys in full uniform, but don’t give them any options to make it affordable. Fundraising (within LDS chartered groups) are not allowed for uniforms and they are simply overpriced!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *