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Scouts, girls and Uniform

(33 Posts)
Startail Wed 06-Feb-13 13:44:02

DD is a scout, she loves the activities, but she finds the uniform, especially the trousers really unflattering and uncomfortable. They are not cut for slight children of either gender

Now the scout leader, femail, wants her either to wear her school shoes, not safe or buy some black trainers.

Ok her existing non school trainers are very bright, but I really don't see it matters for non public ordinary meetings.

I come from a brownie/guide background and expecting me to buy shoes DD will hate and refuse to wear feels a step too far.

Seeline Wed 06-Feb-13 13:47:44

My Ds is a scout although no girls in his troop. THe boys all wear various trainers for meetings but wear school shoes (ie black, smart shoes) for church parades etc.
I agree the scout trousers (the same throughout Beavers, Cubs and Scouts) are a most peculiar fit. They are not cut for the more 'rounded' form of child either grin

meditrina Wed 06-Feb-13 13:50:26

Why are her school shoes not safe? Unless camping or climbing, I'm not sure what the extra hazards would be.

It won't be that long until a growing child needs new trainers. Perhaps you could just tell the leader you'll look for a dark coloured pair when you come to replace them.

Startail Wed 06-Feb-13 13:50:53

Yes, scouts could argue the new guide uniform is a mess and I would, to an extent agree.

That there is no formal remembrance Sunday, special event outfit is a mistake.

However, even thirty years ago our guider let us wear jeans, (she knew we could do formal because we had navy school skirts and dark shoes), she didn't worry every week.

Those of us who cycled, liked our guider.

Specifying petty things like shoes after DCs have been stuck in school shoes and ties since 7.30 am just seems a bit much.

Startail Wed 06-Feb-13 14:02:56

She's an 11 year old girl! I can't tell her she's having dark coloured trainers and expect her to wear them. I won't even get her to try them on.
In any case her feet don't grow very fast, she doesn't need new shoes.

She refuses to wear her school trainers because they get detention if she forgets to take them back to school. They are bright white and pink too.

Her school shoes are fairly slippery and she races about like a lunatic. She is very competitive, she likes to beat the boys.

I just like the new scout leader to lighten up a bit and accept that if they accept girls (which I think they shouldn't have done), they are going to find some things are more contentious than they would wish.

That said,I've just remembered, DD has been known to pinch my brown trainers, so they may keep the peace for a week or two.

madwomanintheattic Wed 06-Feb-13 14:04:34

So she wears her school shoes until she needs new dark trainers.

It's a uniform, and this is obviously a unit where they care about the children's appearance (this could be for a variety of variety, and may not just be aesthetic).

It's only an extra two hours a week in a pair of shoes she owns already - scouting is great for giving youth a voice, but it's also pretty good for discipline and toeing the line where necessary.

Or she leaves and joins a group which doesn't care, and the ethos may be different.

madwomanintheattic Wed 06-Feb-13 14:05:45

Why is she wearing dangerous shoes to school? Surely for school she also needs a functional pair of grippy shoes so that she doesn't have to teeter about like a laydee?

madwomanintheattic Wed 06-Feb-13 14:07:02

(I've got a 13yo girl. She has a decent pair of dark Keens that she wears to such events. If you want to take part in active scouting and guiding stuff, you wear the uniform. Simples)

Startail Wed 06-Feb-13 15:48:28

Simples if your sending DD1, less simples if you are sending DD2.

I think Scouts and fashion conscious Pre-teen girls is a difficult mix. And DD2 meets her partner in fashion at scouts which truly doesn't help.

I've never been sure that Scouts should take girls, Guides has moved with the times Scouts hasn't.

Unfortunately DD1's Guides is really dull (she stayed because she saw friends from another school) and the Scouts activities are a way better suited to my sporty, art hating DD2.

As I say I think she is just going to have to wear my brown trainers and the scout leader and DD2 will have to take that as a compromise.

At least no one has yet moaned at the fact I've never ironed her scout uniform grin

sandycloud Wed 06-Feb-13 15:55:01

My ds has just started scouts. She is very slim too so the trousers do not look great. However they go in uniform and after formal stuff they all change. She can wear stuff underneath her uniform. This seems much better as they often do hands on stuff or go outside. By the way I have bought cheap super market trainers to leave at school. Would they let her wear some plimsolls or canvas shoes that she might wear again? They all wear any kind of trainers but black shoes for parades etc. good luck!

Startail Wed 06-Feb-13 16:48:40

I think our lot are allowed to wear their camp polo shirts under their uniforms and loose their shirts in summer.

It was so cold last year no one really cared.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Wed 06-Feb-13 19:52:00

I didn't realise how lucky we were. Cubs and Scouts alike wear school trousers and school shoes for formal/church parades and their own choice the rest of the time. Cub jumpers/scout shirts and neckers are always worn.

I wouldn't be happy about buying dark trainers as school trainers have to be white.

Startail Wed 06-Feb-13 23:34:26

That would be common sense as they almost all, boys and girls have black school trousers, one girls may be navy, that fit and are comfortable.

The uniform trousers stick out in funny places, even the smallest were way to long.

Lancelottie Fri 08-Feb-13 14:00:03

I must have the only child in the country who is the right shape for Scout trousers then (or was, at 11-13). He used to moan that he couldn't wear them to school.

He is a pretty funny shape, though, now you mention it.

BackforGood Mon 11-Feb-13 16:52:36

Odd, because my 3 have been wearing Scout trousers since cub age (eldest is now 16) and the whole point is, they are not fitted - they are practical wearable trousers. I've a boy then 2 girls, all different shapes (ds went through a really chunky stage, dd2 is tall and skinny, dd1 has always been on the short side) and they've all been fine in their (passed down) Scout trousers. I've put the hem up for dd1, then down again for dd2. Never had any 'sticking out in funny places' going on.
Thing is, she's not being asked to buy some special footwear, she's being asked to wear her school shoes - again, fairly normal in this part of the world. If you join a uniformed organisation, then you wear the uniform. Mine have gone through spells of wearing their shoes for opening and closing bits and changing into trainers if they are doing a lot of running around, but ultimately, their school shoes are all practical enough to run around in, and they've all found it less hassle to just wear their school shoes most of the time.

Startail Mon 11-Feb-13 16:58:59

You know what, the contrary madam has decided on some navy converse for her birthday, having had a total tantrum on the way home from scouts last week.


I'm not expecting she'll wear her uniform trousers without a fight.
Last two weeks DH has taken her and he wouldn't recognise the difference between navy skinny jeans and scout trousers, so she's being being sneaky.

AgentProvocateur Mon 11-Feb-13 17:05:27

This is - IMVHO - the issue around letting girls join scouts. My boys have gone all through from beavers to explorers and never once worried about what the uniform looked like on them, or what shoes they had to wear. If I was a leader and the girls started moaning about what the uniform looked like on them, I'd be pretty pissed off. The trousers are practical, for activities. It's not a catwalk - it's a scout meeting.

BackforGood Mon 11-Feb-13 17:12:42

Seriously Agent? My girls (and their peers, as far as I'm aware) manage to go to Scouts each week (and previously Beavers and Cubs and now the eldest is in Explorers) without having any problem about what the uniform looks like. Please don't lump all girls into this category.

Chopstheduck Mon 11-Feb-13 17:21:00

I don't really think her gender has anything to do with the uniform issue tbh. If she wants to go to scouts, she should wear the uniform, simple! DD goes to GB, she has to wear a uniform. It's no different to a school uniform. I have two boys in scouts. They are very particular about what they wear outside of uniforms, but at scouts they wear their uniform, because it is part of being a scout! I think you need to stop pandering to her and tell her if she doesn't wear the uniform, she doesn't go!

Also fwiw, I agree with you that girls shouldn't really have been allowed in scouts. It seems very unfair that there are two brownie groups local, one scout group and girls get the pick of all three. Though feeling that way, I wouldn't personally enroll my daughter in the scouts!

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 11-Feb-13 17:25:31

I'm another believer that scouts should remain single-sex and male, but that's a side issue. smile
OP, if she's a scout, she wears the uniform. Or she moves on to other activities.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 11-Feb-13 17:28:46

She could join the guides instead and learn how to tailor her uniform.

Lancelottie Mon 11-Feb-13 17:29:47

The problem with arguing the girls shouldn't be allowed in Scouts is that, IIRC, the numbers of boys wanting to join was too low to make some units viable.

AgentProvocateur Mon 11-Feb-13 17:33:17

Sorry. You're right. That was lazy stereotyping. My DC were in a huge scout troop, but there were only two girls, both of whom were unwilling to join in with the more "extreme" outdoor activities, like winter camps, night hikes, abseiling etc. It changed the vibe of the group, but I was wrong to generalise. That was only my experience.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 11-Feb-13 17:38:48

'The problem with arguing the girls shouldn't be allowed in Scouts is that, IIRC, the numbers of boys wanting to join was too low to make some units viable.'

Maybe so, but not round here. And if a troop amalgamates or closes, it's not a disaster. Someone can always start up another one when demand rises again, and the facilities can be used by other community groups in the meantime to keep them maintained.

FelicityWasCold Mon 11-Feb-13 17:42:20

She could join the guides instead and learn how to tailor her uniform.

I've been involved in guiding, continuously since I was five. I've never learnt this, statements like this make me hmm

OP if she wants to be a scout, she wears the right stuff- let her choose if she wants to be a scout or not, end of discussion.

I've never been a scout, but I've been to winter camps where the emergency gas bottle froze with cold. And I've been on zip wires through the rainforest canopy in South America.

My guides don't have uniform trousers, and although we insist on trainers, we're not fussed on colour.

It's worth mentioning that it's not 'unfair' that scouts take girls- as their membership did vote for the change, it wasn't forced on them.

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