Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Letters of the day: Change for change's sake

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Re: Scouts Canada looks forward with new, more stylish look (March 26). Scouts Canada's "new" uniform is little different from the one introduced in 1968. One thing is different: putting badges on the sleeve instead of the badge sash is what was done before 1968.

No, the new uniform is not modern. It is change for the sake of change, a poor attempt to stem flagging membership through window dressing when big improvements in program quality are what is needed.

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The current uniform, from 1991, is the same shirt that was worn for many years by rangers in our national parks. It is a tough, practical and smart-looking piece of outdoor equipment.

Parents save because all ages except Beavers wear the same uniform; there is no need to buy a new one until it gets too small. Trousers are navy blue, so kids can wear jeans they already own.

The worst part is that the new uniform was designed by a tiny, unelected, unaccountable elite without membership involvement. Scouts Canada has no democratic structure and expects volunteers to serve the corporation in silence.

Local Scout groups do so much good for young people. It is a shame that the Scouts Canada corporation is focused on flashy conferences, launch parties, its $11-million payroll, and selling camps instead of supporting the local volunteers.

 

LIAM MORLAND

Scoutmaster

Waterloo, Ont.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 30, 2011 A13

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