United States Boy Scout Uniforms: Camp Uniforms

Figure 1.--These boys at a New York Scout camps is undated, but we would guess was taken in the 1920s--notice the old fashion shoes. Although most Ameruican Scouts wore a knickers uniform, many camps had a uniform policy requiring short pants.

Many camps had regulations about the uniforms to be worn. Early ad hoc camps show the boys wearing a wide variety of uniforms. Gradually as the camps became more established, uniform standards developed. One notable development was that boys at camp began wearing short pants. This is notable because the standard Scout uniform for American Scouts at the time was knickers. The United States was one of the few countries that did not adopt a short pants uniform for regular wear. Yet at the camps boys mostly wore short pants. Presumably the camp organizers began to require boys to wear short pants. I am not sure just when this developed and to what extent it was a centrally organized policy. The camp shown here clearly had a uniform policy. American Scouts, especially Scouts in the northern states, did not wear shorts until the 1970s. This often meant that the boys had to buy a special uniform for the camp. Thus wearing shorts at camp meant purchasing special garments just for the camp. <>br>


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Created: February 26, 1998
Last updated: 7:54 PM 8/13/2004