Scouting Forums

When is it not appropriate for a scout to be in uniform when it comes to parades, festivals, and community events?

Just asking about the uniform rules, I know they can’t wear it when fundraising for the unit, but they wear it when selling popcorn for the Council. What about parades, festivals, and other community events?

Hi, @BrianMurrey,

The Guide to Insignia, page 7 has guidance on this. The guidance appears to be excerpts from the official BSA rules and regs (PDF, 2018-06).

It depends. Your council can approve wearing the uniform for fund-raising activities. Please see the Unit Money-Earning Application form for details.

Thanks for the links. The guidelines are not too specific and seem to lay the decision of when and when not to wear a uniform outside of a scouting event on the council. I guess there is no national uniform policy.

@BrianMurrey, it’s a big country. So, yes, policies may vary slightly from council to council.
We do want scouts in uniform as much as possible, but there are also concerns about BSA seeming to endorse a product or a party. I wish people weren’t so uptight about this. But that’s not the age we live in. Your scout executive would have a better sense of the complaints about improper endorsements that have been coming into council HQ. He/she can help you decide what’s the best strategy for scouts in your area for a particular event.

As far as getting a national rule on this, well … that violates my rule #1: Don’t ask for a rule. You’ll live to regret it.

So we know what the above discussion is about here are some


II. Policies
Participation in Public Functions
Scouters must, when practicable, cooperate in connection with civic or other public gatherings of a nonpartisan and nonpolitical character in a way that gives youth members an opportunity to render service in harmony with their training instead of merely taking part in parades in their uniforms. Any such participation must be consistent with the principles of the BSA.

VII. Programs
Insignia, Uniforms, and Badges General
Use of Uniform
The official uniforms are intended primarily for use in connection with official Scouting activities, and their use may be approved by the local council executive board for council events or activities under conditions consistent with the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America.

2019-07-09 update:


Further clarification was made during the 2016 and 2018 campaign seasons by our local Council. I’m not sure it’s universal, but it aligns with the National policy and will keep you out of trouble…

Scouts and Scouters can attend political rallies in uniform for specific portions of the event (for example, as part of the flag honor guard). After the non-partisan/non-political part of the event, Scouts and Scouters may not remain at the event in uniform. They are free to change in to civvies and remain, but have to take care that their presence doesn’t imply any support of the BSA for the political candidate/cause.

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Thank you for posting this. I remember this guidance. I think it was published at the national level, but I was trying to find the source before posting it.

Another good document for parades is the example council Safety Tips for Parades

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