During my first visit to Kandersteg International Scout Center it was immediately apparent that Scouts the world over wear neckerchiefs, they wear them all the time, and they wear them with either the uniform or informal clothing.
This immediately made sense, the Scout neckerchief is a symbol that identifies Scouts as members of a worldwide movement. I learned there were some very practical reasons to wear our neckerchiefs too. The bus in Kandersteg is free for guests of the hotels and the Scout Center, hotel guests get a pass card, but Scouts are permitted to ride for free if they are wearing their neckerchiefs.
I was also told by our friends who run a B&B in the village that all the residents and businesses knew they could call the Scout center to alert them about any misbehavior identifying the miscreants by the color of their Scout neckerchief.
Scouters I met there were surprised that the BSA’s uniform policy – the neckerchief is “worn only with the official uniform and never with T-shirts or civilian clothing. With this announcement, that policy has (thankfully) changed. The 2015 version of The Guide to Awards and Insignia reads:
When engaged in Scouting activities, members may wear the neckerchief with appropriate nonuniform clothing to identify them as Scouts.
I am pleased to see the BSA catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to Scout neckerchiefs, and hope more changes are on the way!