To acquire scouting gear, there are basically 2 options. I) It is best to go to the ‘council shop’ to try things on, located in East Hartford. It is wise to buy a little big, to avoid having to trek out there again for awhile. II) Scout gear is all available online too (www.scoutstuff.org), though sizing can be a little weird and the shipping can be slow/expensive.
The council shop is at:
To begin, scouts will need to purchase just two items:
A) a uniform shirt. Most get the short-sleeved poplin one, see this link.
B) The only patch that needs to be bought for the uniform is the Scouting World Crest, which is a purple-ish disk.
The troop will provide several other items to new scouts.
C) Various patches. The following also need to be attached to the uniform, but will be provided:
American Flag (comes on the uniform)
Patch for the ‘3 Rivers Council.’ This is the administrative region we’re in for scouts. This is provided by the troop.
Troop Number (56). The troop will supply this patch.
Patrol patch. Also supplied by the troop.
Various ranks/awards/insignia. These are earned along the way.
NOTE: Patches get attached in specific locations, laid out very well here:
D) ‘Shoulder loops.’ (1 pair, basically epaulettes). These are also provided by the troop.
E) The troop also provides a new scout book, neckerchief, neckerchief slide, cap, and ‘class B’ shirt–basically a wicking t-shirt the scouts use for less-official functions.
Over time, most scouts also acquire the following:
F) Many of us are not so good at sewing thick patches onto uniforms. Fortunately, there’s a very easy solution, ‘Badge-Magic’ adhesive. It lasts 1-3 years, which is pretty much the lifetime of a uniform anyway before it is outgrown.
Specifically, you will want the ‘Badge Magic® BS Kit‘, which covers all of the normal uniform patches plus a few spares. Soon you’ll probably also buy the ‘merit badge kit,’ but this can wait a year or so. Or, you can use a needle and thread and calloused fingertips… Badge Magic Kits
G) Through the years as a scout, boys earn merit badges as they learn more specific skills in certain topics–some mandatory for rank advancement, and some optional depending on the interests of the boys and the troop. It is common for scouts to earn 2-6 merit badges each year, especially if they go to summer camp. The troop provides all merit badges when they are earned, which should be attached to a merit badge ‘sash’ worn for formal events. Most scouts typically need the sash starting 1-2 years after joining (the 30″ sash is sufficient for all but the tallest scouts). Merit Badge Sash
H) Trousers. This is truly optional–some scouts don’t have any official scout shorts or trousers. But, scouts and parents do tend to like them, both for meetings, and for camping/hiking trips. The convertible pant/shorts version is the most popular. Scout Pants
I) Similarly, special scout socks are not at all mandatory. The coolmax ones are very useful and perfect for hiking, though. Scout Socks
J) Finally, camping gear. To participate in most camping trips, a Scout must provide his own clothing, sleeping bag and pad, eating kit, and backpack (internal or external frame). Tents and food are usually provided.