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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a Venture Scout in the BSA and have a Court of Honor tomorrow. As a Venture I can choose a uniform instead of the traditional uniform. I found a blazer that seems to work well with the rest of the standard BSA uniform. I want some thoughts on this for my uniform, rather than the standard.

On my right (left of picture) I have my religious BSA awards (Faith in God and On My Honor). On my left (right of picture) I have the Eagle Medal w/Gold Palm on my breast pocket and the Arrow of Light on my lapel.


 

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Why would you want to cover up any of your BSA uniform and insignia with a blazer? Everything on the uni means something, recording skills acquired and achievements achieved, or noting valued affiliations within the world of Scouting. Therefore, my advice is to "go OBS" all the way and save that non-OBS jacket for another occasion.

Throughout your later life you'll have countless occasions to wear a solid-colored blazer or sportcoat. Courts of Honor are rare and special ceremonies focused on Scouting and its ideals, and in my view your dress as a participating Scout should reflect that as fully as possible, which means no distracting blazer.
 

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I would agree. As an Eagle Scout myself (although not a Venture Scout) the blazer detracts from your appearance (especially with the merit badge sash underneath and all of the medals/awards pinned on kind of haphazardly).

Are you wearing the typical short-sleeve uniform under there? If that is the case, I would definitely shy away from the blazer. A court of honor is somewhat formal, but it is formal by Boy Scout standards, not any prevailing fashion sentiments. I would adhere to the BSA uniform code and not try to spruce it up.
 

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An Eagle Scout and Order of the Arrow here as well. My recommendation is also to ditch the coat.

You want to go with a full dress BSA uniform, clean, well-tailored, and as close to spec as possible.

Recomendations...
- Headcovering: Wear it, but not inside. I was always partial to the red beret... but that's dating myself!
- Neckerchief: definitely
- Shirt: collarless if with neackerchief, long-sleeved for winter.
- Press that shirt as crisply as possible, starched if you're up for it.
- Polish all brass as needed.
- Plants: long (no shorts!) and with a crease you can open a letter with.
- Shoes: If an indoor event, go with a simple lace-up brown oxford. If outdoors, clean hiking boots (brown leather if you got 'em) look best.

And congratulations! :icon_smile_big:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
All right. Reaction is unanimous :p. Thanks guys, I'll put the blazer back on the rack.

While I am O.A., how was that spotted? I don't think anything was visible that showed my O.A. status. The only O.A. insignia I have on the uniform is sewn to the flap of right pocket...
 

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I know this idea has fallen out of favour, but how about an Ike Jacket, or even a mess jacket. I wouldn't wear a blazer, because it looks too pedestrian, but this is a perfect opportunity for a Spencer jacket. And outside, an Ike Jacket would be perfect, as it's originally military battledress. It would probably have to be custom made, but a white or grey Spencer jacket wouldn't be hard to find.

Thomas
 

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One hopes that something remains sacred. My ordeal was forty-one years ago and was about as brutal as a young man encouters prior to Ranger training.

Buzz
I'm not sure when your last experience with the OA was, but it has certainly been toned down quite a bit. When I was chosen, our lodge still did a "tap out". This involved ceremonial characters walking through the camp fire and grabbing you suddenly, dragging you forward to "the Chief" to be recognized as a candidate for the OA. Most, if not all, lodges are now forced to perform instead a "call out" ceremony, where the candidate's names are simply read aloud.

In addition, the Ordeal itself has been scaled back a little. When I took my Ordeal, the only food we were given the night before was a slice of bread, an egg, and 2 matches. The egg is no longer given, I guess because some kids who couldn't get fires built were eating the eggs raw. In addition, when I took my Ordeal the vow of silence was rather strictly enforced, but in recent years it seemed that this was still preached but not practiced at all. The kids had no respect for why silence was required while they performed their service. Half of them smuggled in chocolate bars and lighters as well.

That said, the Vigil Honor, if you know what that is, has not changed much. My shirt was almost ripped off in front of everyone when I got tapped out for Vigil, and the blows the Chief rained down on me left my shoulder red for days.

PS - I don't see any Order insignia. Was this inferred from a previous thread or something?
 

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Dayum. I'm older than I thought... and I still have my OA sash!

(Speaking of which - Don't forget to wear the OA sash from the left shoulder and under your merit badge sash)

**trying to redeem myself**
 

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On the lapel is a crossover medal from the transition from cub scouts or webelos (sp) to boy scouts, not an O.A.

My O.A. ten years ago or so was decently rough, full tap out and dragged around, sleeping outside with whatever shelter I could procure, complete silence and minimal food for a day of hauling rock to build pathways. Not all that fun, but maybe not as bad as the first week of three a days playing soccer in undergrad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I tried wearing my O.A. sash under my merit badge sash once... severely reprimanded for that one.

The Ordeal has certainly been toned down. While I did have a full tap-out the silence rule was not enforced. Since the Ordeal is not (supposed to be) spoken about outside of the O.A. most of us did not know what was going to happen. At a regional O.A. conference It was explained that the silence is not really enforced at all, enforced merely psychologically and by tradition.

In an effort to keep this from going to the Interchange: What changes/improvements could be made to give the BSA a true Dress or Mess uniform?
 

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As a former scout, and assistant scoutmaster, and O.A. ( my ordeal was 42 years ago) I would add to the chorus of saying stick to the traditional uniform and not mess with the blazer. Why cover all those fabulous merit badges you worked so hard for?
 
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