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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Hawkeye Troop: 1956

Hawkeye Troop: 1956

"Boy Scouts 1956." Our young friend Kermy is holding the flag on the right in this Kodachrome slide found on eBay. View full size.

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Most of these kids are probably about 2 years older than me. I was a Cub Scout in Kansas from 1956 to 59, and a Boy Scout from 1959 to 1964. We all wore the long-sleeved shirt, which for reasons I never understood required you to fold the collar inside the shirt before putting on the neckerchief. When I was 14 I went on an expedition to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. The troop I went with all wore the short-sleeved shirt (which had no collar), short pants, and a campaign hat (which was an optional item.) After that, I never went back to the long-sleeved shirt, even in winter.

The pose

I noticed their poses as well. I think they were very consciously (without realizing it, if that makes any sense) mimicking the poses they saw their fathers taking in the unit pics from WW II.
I was a Cub Scout in 56, but graduated to the green uniforms in 1958. That hat style was what we called a garrison cap in the Marine Corps, but it had a slightly ruder common name, the p*ss cutter.

Not that Troop 433

Troop 433 of the Balto. Council still meets at a Methodist church in Perryville.

I've been trying to identify the campsite but it's not obviously either of the two local boy scout camps (Broad Creek or Hawk Mountain) or in Patapsco Park on the other side of the city.

This could have been

a picture of my troop in the early 60's. The garrison cap worn by these Scouts was still the official "topper" for scouts of my era.

Scout seniority

When I was in Boy Scouts in the early 80s, we had the recently-introduced khaki shirt with dark OD green trousers and a mesh back baseball cap [OD green with the BSA emblem in center]. However, some of the older Scouts and a few of the adult leaders still had the old style, all-OD green uniform as shown in this photo. Sort of an indication that they were "old-timers" and still wore the older uniform to prove it. It definitely looked a lot sharper than the ones we had and was also more comfortable.

1950 census

I wish we had access to the 1950 census, so we could look for a family in Overlea, Maryland, with a little boy named Kermit (at least I can't think of any other name that Kermy would be short for).

azhdragon is right. These kids would have been in the age group of most who served in Vietnam. Its a very sobering thought.

Mounting evidence

Something tells me the evidence will start building sufficiently from these photos to track down Kermy and his sister.

I wore that uniform

Minus the convenient folding brimless hat, whatever you call it. I know the hat is military in origin, but I also associate it with fast food clerks. When we wore hats at all, they were ball caps.

I was one of the last Scouts to wear this style uniform. The new uniforms, with the lighter-color shirts and epaulets, were introduced about 1981. I wanted to be up to date, but my parents had just bought my uniform and were determined to wait until I outgrew it, which I did soon enough.

The Scout troops that beat everybody else in the knot-tying competitions must have worn their uniforms all the time. That wasn't us. It was only much later that I understood that they were busy perfecting these skills, while we were backpacking 100 miles, and climbing Mount Whitney. I think we had more fun.

Balmer Boys

Overlea is part of Greater Baltimore. Today's Maryland Troop 433 is now located in Olney which is west of the city.

Uniformed and proud.

A time when the BS wore full uniforms and looked the part. I remember having to wear the official shorts, socks, shirts, berets etc. We were proud to do that as well and were always dong some volunteer task the town asked us for. We had a huge Scout troop in my hometown 40-60 at one time. I recently went back for the 4th of July parade in the hometown and was dismayed at the look the local Scouts took on. 7-10 members now shuffling down the street: shirts un-tucked, baggy cargo shorts, flip flops; barely any trace they were indeed BS. Total slobs. Oh well.

Kermy's from Maryland!

I would have guessed Iowa, glad to hear it.

Jungle Greens

For some reason the poses in this shot, particularly of the lads squatting at the front, remind me of photos of young soldiers in Vietnam or Korea.

I guess a few years into the future from here, these lads may well have been those soldiers.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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