Picture

Vintage Boy Scout California uniforms


Figure 1.-The Scout uniform from the 1950s was little changed during the 1960s. The campaign cap was the most popular headgear. Note the standard necerchief. We begin to see more diverse neckerchiefs in the 1960s.

Here we note developments in American Scouting during the 1960s. The most importan development was the Golden Jubilee in 1960. We do not note any important changes in the Scout uniform during the 1960s. We note more Boy Scouts wearing the short pants uniform. We do not, however note many Cubs wearing the short pants uniform. We note boys beginning to wear a great diversity of neckerchiefs. Most American boys in thr 1960s wore the long pants Scout uniform. This varied somewhat by region. Shorts were worn more in California. It was beginning to become more common to wear the short pants ubiform during the summer. One HBU contributor tells me that he was an Eagle Scout in the 1960s. "Yes, I remember wearing the shorts and knee socks and all, at least during the Summer months. The shorts didn't seem any more "sissy" than the regular long-pants uniform, but you didn't dare wear either of them to school past about the 6th grade-unless you wanted to get teased by the other boys." There were no major changes in the Scout uniform during the 1960s.

Scouting Developments

The BSA celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1960. The Post Office issues a commemorative stamp for the occasion. The Johnston Historial Museum at New Brunswick, N.J. was dedicated in 1960.

Scouts held the 5th National Jamboree, Colorado Springs, CO in 1960, continuing the policy of alternating between coasts. Attendance totaled 53, 378.

The BSA in 1960 conducted another national get-out-the-vote campaign. The BSA Inter-Racial Service in 1961 began projects in public housing. The BSA in 1962 holds the first National Explorer Delegate Conference at Ann Arbor, MI.

Scouts in 1964 held the 6th National Jamboree at Valley Forge, PA. The attendance totaled 52, 000.

The BSA in 1965 launched the Inner-City Rural Program. The BSA in 1967 launches a new Wood Badge program, changing the emphasis from Scout skills to leadership. A commemorative tribute sculpture in 1967 is placed in front of the White House. The 500, 000th Eagle badge is presented in 1965. The BSA adopts a revised charter and by-laws in 1966. The BSA dedicates the Ernest Thompson Seton Library and museum at Philmont in 1967.

The BSA introduced an updated Cub Scout program in 1967. The Lion rank discontinued and the Webelos Scout program begun.

The first experiments with coed Scouting began in 1969. Girls were allowed to participate as non-registered Explorer Scouts.

The 7th National Jamboree, was held at Farragut State Park, Idaho in 1969. Attendance was a disappointing 35, 000. The rather isolated location appears to have caused the lower attendance, 17, 000 less than the 6th annual jamboree.

Figure 2.-These Scouts are pictured with Astronaut and future senator John Glen-a strong advocate of Scouting. Notice only one of the boys wears the short pants uniform.

We do not notice any major uniform changes for any of the major levels (Cubs, Scouts, and Explorers) of Scouting during the 1960s. American Cubs in most areas wore the long pants uniform. The uniform was virtually unchanged from the 1950s. The Cubs wore the long pants uniform even more commonly than the Scouts. This wasbecause there were no camps for Cubs, thus unlike the Scouts dis not but a uniform for camp or jamboree wear. Most American boys in the 1960s wore the long pants Scout uniform. This was in part because American boys at the time did not commonly wear short pants. There were some exceptions. Some boys wore shorts during the summer. A few boys, mostly younger ones still had short pants suits, but this was becoming increasingly less common, especially as the decade progressed. As a result, it was undestandable that boys wore the long pants uniform, except for camps or jamborees. Uniform trends varied somewhat by region. Shorts were worn more in California. Boys in other regions were more commonly wear the short pants uniform during the summer, but long pants were by far the most common. One HBU contributor tells me that he was an Eagle Scout in the 1960s. "Yes, I remember wearing the shorts and knee socks and all, at least during the Summer months. The shorts didn't seem any more "sissy" than the regular long-pants uniform, but you didn't dare wear either of them to school past about the 6th grade-unless you wanted to get teased by the other boys." There were no major changes in the Scout uniform during the 1960s. Scouts did begin wearing more diverse neckerchiefs. Scouts in the 1950s wore the traditional red and black neckerchiefs. Scout troops in the 1960s began wearing their own distinctive neckerchiefs.

HBU readers have provide some images of vintage Scout uniforms in the 1960s. They provide an opportunity to assess the details of the uniform and the styles worn. As vintage uniforms can be photographed in color, the color of the uniforms can also be assessed. We note that the kerchiefs seem to be mostly standard rather than council kerchiefs.

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