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Uniforms and Patches

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Uniforms and Patches

Post by Phillip Gross on May 19th 2013, 8:29 pm

This topic was touched on in chit chat, but I figured I'd go ahead and start a dedicated thread.

As you know, I've been debating the issue of what to do about our merit patches. I'm ok with the awards vests for RK's, but not for the older boys. I started looking into ribbon bars after Dan mentioned them (I think Claymore mentioned them on the old forum too, but it didn't click with me at that time) the other day. I like the way they look and found a website with tons of different ribbons that we could assign to represent merits and other accomplishments because RR has moved away from them.

I started talking to the other commanders and came to the conclusion that we didn't want to put pins on the utility shirt because it's so thin and lightweight. We want to keep it that way. So that took us to the only logical (for us) conclusion. We're planning on bringing a (what I'm calling) "class A" uniform into the outpost. Khaki colored shirt, pants, belt and tie with black shoes. This uniform will be worn for our special ceremonies. The utility shirt with blue pants will be our "class B" for our weekly outpost meetings (what we wear now) and then we're going to have screen printed t-shirt for our "class C" for camping trips, outings, etc.

Now to really blow the top off... We're seriously considering bringing back a rank system for our boys at the outpost. RR used to have rank complete with chevrons years ago. I've talked to both commanders and boys and have gotten very positive feedback on the idea. We do the patrol leader, gear manager, etc etc, but as one of our rangers said "Those are more like appointments than earned position". We'll most likely do what they had in the past with different colored stripes for each age group starting with DR's.

Thinking of having a system where depending on what level a boy attains in one age group will determine what level he begins when he moves up. There will be a lot of criteria involved for advancement which will all need to be ironed out. The boys felt like rank advancements will give even more incentive to the boys to work hard. One commander asked why RR ever went away from it anyway. I said most likely because of political correctness. He rolled his eyes... We're not into being PC, and we definitely don't have a problem with appearing "military".

Does anyone have any detailed info on how the RR rank advancement system operated back in the day?

As far as the insignia is concerned, I'll probably make them myself. I needed a sewing machine, so I bought one that does embroidery too. You simply take a design, make sure it's in .pes file format and then dump it into the sewing machine. Load the correct threads when necessary and voila! It spits it out. Also found some Youtube instructions on patch making and some online suppliers for patch material. Now I don't need to worry about RR and GPH not carrying something I want.
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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by ccm2361 on May 19th 2013, 10:36 pm

In the Barnes era system, the Chevrons were the advancement patches.

Watch for a trailblazer handbook on Ebay for complete details

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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by Phillip Gross on May 19th 2013, 11:27 pm

ccm2361 wrote:In the Barnes era system, the Chevrons were the advancement patches.
I figured it was something along those lines. I plan on using the watered down system currently in place with more added to rekindle a desirable advancement system.
ccm2361 wrote:
Watch for a trailblazer handbook on Ebay for complete details
Good idea. I did find that old Adventures in Camping edition on Amazon. I'm sure there's an old manual floating around somewhere.
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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by ccm2361 on May 20th 2013, 12:27 pm

actually I have one.
I can scan the relevant pages & email them if you need it sooner.

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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by Phillip Gross on May 20th 2013, 1:38 pm

I wouldn't want you to mess up your book. I can just order one. Thank you though.
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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 20th 2013, 9:39 pm

As you know I came up through the old system. If you have questions ask anything. It is true most of the patrol jobs are appointments by the Guides. The Guide, Asst Guide are elected.

What is it you prefer about the chevron system? Personally, Chris and I have had this convo before. I feel 15 steps, 1 per quarter is rather meaningless and is aimed at selling more patches. Its a feel-good award. Here you go Johnnie you did 6 lesson of orange category, attended SS twice for alt lessons and completed 1 skill merit, and stayed home for half a quarter...

The chevrons took time to earn, usually 1-2 per year. Normally 1 was avg. the chevrons didn't give us any higher place on the totem pole you know like in the military. A 1st Class could be Guide while a Master Rating could be a patrolman. It wouldn't bother me in the least if they made the advancement levels in DR and AR like they are in ER where they are just yearly steps. I don't know how anyone keeps up with stocking or affording all 12/15 levels.

When you earned a stripe it meant something. This new 6 bible + 5 skill + 2 alt lessons outside of Royal Rangers meetings means you could earn the E3, GMA, or GEA by only showing up half the time. Sure it helps the 3 - qtr year outpost but cheapens the top medals for those who know how different it is now.

I'm so glad Ben did it the old Marriott way. Imho, eliminate ER system and span the GMA over AR/ER. This was how it was in my day when GMA spanned over Trailblazers and air/sea/trail rangers. Four chevrons in TB and 3 triangular patches from AST Rangers inside the master chevron. I believe the old advancements were patterned after the Eagle Scout levels. I think there are 7 levels to Eagle too that span middle to HS. We need to go back to that. We need to realize that dumbing down the GMA is not the way to attract more boys, sell more patches/medals, or make us more appealing to pastors.

I don't have a problem with Honor GMA should awarded at time of GMA service for completing RK, DR, and AR/ER GMA. Make the GMA Harder and require more than GTA or GEA. I'm wondering do I plan a big court of honor all over again if Ben does E3?

Sorry, Chris I know you wanted to do a topic on the difference but Philip opened a can o' worms with this topic I couldn't resist.
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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by Phillip Gross on May 21st 2013, 7:49 am

That basically sums up our thinking. The current advancement system seems fairly disjointed and bland. I also agree with you about not liking how they do GMA now. I think there should be small steps specific to their age groups (ie merits) along with an overall advancement structure that everyone recognizes and identifies with. I happen to think a rank system achieves that goal.

I've been chewing on this and as of now feel like a ten step advancement is what we may do. Three upper chevrons, three lower chevrons (instead of the one in the past), and four diamonds in the middle.

The system will start at DR (3rd grade) and run through high screwl graduation. The first couple stripes will be relatively easy to attain and will become increasingly difficult to achieve.

There will be a lot of things to figure out on this, but I think it'll be good. The good thing about what I'm wanting to do here is that we're not replacing any of the current advancement system, but simply adding something to make it (IMO) better. If a boy has spent a few years with us and then moves, then he'll still have all of the official RR advancement that he's earned. He'll just have to do away with his stripes....
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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 21st 2013, 6:40 pm

Def od ideas. Will the chevrons be requirement based or merit based? If merit based will it be any merit of a certain color or specific merits?

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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by Phillip Gross on May 21st 2013, 8:31 pm

RRCmdrBennett wrote:Def od ideas. Will the chevrons be requirement based or merit based?
YES! Laughing

RRCmdrBennett wrote:If merit based will it be any merit of a certain color or specific merits?
I'm planning that the system can be started out by a boy entering from RKs or just some boy that starts out as an AR. If you look at the military system there are soldiers in so many different jobs, but just one advancement system (chain of command).

The idea will be that it will be a combination of skill, Bible, and leadership merits, attendance (time in), along with other things like attitude etc. My thoughts are that just because someone can burn through some technical merits or written work doesn't guarantee advancement. Of course you have to be careful with subjective ideas like attitude because someone can cry foul if they feel slighted. I figured that we could have write up sheets that could be filled out by any commander on any boy and put in their file. If a commander observes a boy doing something thoughtful or kind to or for another boy then he would fill out a report. Same if they observe a boy being ugly. I think negative reports would need to be discussed at the time of a report so that everyone knows the situation and it's not hidden.

Make sense? I'm open to suggestions.
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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 22nd 2013, 12:43 am

Consider an Advancement council?

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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by Phillip Gross on May 22nd 2013, 6:50 am

Definitely! The last thing I'd ever want is to ever have any favoritism. I want it to be fair and earned.
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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by ccm2361 on May 22nd 2013, 8:44 am

Ok
So whats an advancement council? Dunno

Is that like a testing group, like in old system where you had to test off on skills?

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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by Phillip Gross on May 22nd 2013, 9:23 am

ccm2361 wrote:Ok
So whats an advancement council? Dunno

Is that like a testing group, like in old system where you had to test off on skills?
That's not a bad idea too. I was more thinking a council for the subjective areas like attitude and leadership abilities.
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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 23rd 2013, 12:13 am

It was something John Philips mentioned scouts do when they apply for advancement after completing the merits and such. The BSA advancement is not as automatic as Royal Rangers is. I think another purpose was to keep things on the up and up. So daddy cmdr can't pencil-whip son Johnnie through to the Eagl Scout. Its a time to evaluate the candidate's performers, character, and verify he knows what he claims to know.

It could be a small panel of 3 leaders or 2 leaders and a church leader. Think of it as mini-gma review board but for each of the steps in between

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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by strods on May 23rd 2013, 10:39 pm

This reminds me of work I did on reviewing current merits in light of the old advancement trails. Working them into merit subject groups. Let me boot up my excel and see if I could offer a starting point for ideas at least.
I'll post shortly

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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 23rd 2013, 11:48 pm

The Excel Master is back! Thumbs up

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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by Phillip Gross on May 24th 2013, 12:00 am

strods wrote:This reminds me of work I did on reviewing current merits in light of the old advancement trails. Working them into merit subject groups. Let me boot up my excel and see if I could offer a starting point for ideas at least.
I'll post shortly
That would be great! I'd really like this to be something good for the boys, so I'm definitely open to input!

I'm nowhere near an Excel master, but I'll try to keep up. My wife is the one in our family who knows how to do all that. I might have to... ask her for help. scratch
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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 24th 2013, 12:36 am

Phillip Gross wrote:
strods wrote:This reminds me of work I did on reviewing current merits in light of the old advancement trails. Working them into merit subject groups. Let me boot up my excel and see if I could offer a starting point for ideas at least.
I'll post shortly
That would be great! I'd really like this to be something good for the boys, so I'm definitely open to input!

I'm nowhere near an Excel master, but I'll try to keep up. My wife is the one in our family who knows how to do all that. I might have to... ask her for help. scratch

Can you repeat that last part and say it louder...I think Christi would appreciate hearing a man ask for his wife's help LOL
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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by ccm2361 on May 24th 2013, 6:58 am

LOL

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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by sreidelberger on May 24th 2013, 4:44 pm

ccm2361 wrote:In the Barnes era system, the Chevrons were the advancement patches.

Watch for a trailblazer handbook on Ebay for complete details

I have a few of the second edition pioneers and trailblazers handbooks if you guys are interested. They are from the Ken Hunt era so they are not "original" but they are pre-Marriott RRv1.0.

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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by Phillip Gross on May 24th 2013, 4:53 pm

Do they still contain the same info as the original editions? If they show the advancement system including stripes then I'd be interested in buying one if you want to sell. PM me if you're interested.
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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by ccm2361 on May 25th 2013, 1:10 pm

Phillip Gross wrote:
I've been chewing on this and as of now feel like a ten step advancement is what we may do. Three upper chevrons, three lower chevrons (instead of the one in the past), and four diamonds in the middle.

Phil you have inspired me.
I have decided to take our outpost farther off the rails than we are now. The current system is too cumbersome for 2 leaders to manage 4 age groups.

So..
I too am going to chop up the current advancement system. There are currently 49 levels from Antelope (RK Year 1 Quarter 1) to E3
I am looking at making 5 level RK trail, followed by a 15 level DR through ER trail. Everyone 3rd grade to 12th on the same trail. I will start my own thread & post details there (when they are hatched)

Thanks Phil Thumbs up

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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by Phillip Gross on May 25th 2013, 4:20 pm

Cool! I look forward to seeing what you're thinking.

I'm also trying to figure out what benefits higher rank will have. I've thought about possibly one benefit being that the cost of trips would proportionally decline as they climb in rank. That benefit might get the parents more enthusiastic about them climbing!

Once again, open to ideas if y'all have any.
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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by Christi on May 25th 2013, 7:48 pm

RRCmdrBennett wrote:
Phillip Gross wrote:
strods wrote:This reminds me of work I did on reviewing current merits in light of the old advancement trails. Working them into merit subject groups. Let me boot up my excel and see if I could offer a starting point for ideas at least.
I'll post shortly
That would be great! I'd really like this to be something good for the boys, so I'm definitely open to input!

I'm nowhere near an Excel master, but I'll try to keep up. My wife is the one in our family who knows how to do all that. I might have to... ask her for help. scratch

Can you repeat that last part and say it louder...I think Christi would appreciate hearing a man ask for his wife's help LOL

And A BIIIIIIIGGGG AMEEEEEN to that, and while your at it ..... tell her how wonderful she is tooo Sunny
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Re: Uniforms and Patches

Post by Phillip Gross on May 25th 2013, 8:37 pm

She IS wonderful! We just had our 13th anniversary at the beginning of the month. God made her specially for me because He knew nobody else could put up with me!!
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Re: Uniforms and Patches

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