FNE Uniforms

Proudly and uniquely we are a uniformed movement. While other organizations strive to eliminate a truly viable sense of belonging through the wearing of a uniform for everyday program activities - we within our FNE family embrace our uniformed image. Our uniform helps our youth develop a sense of responsibility and belonging. We wear our uniforms for all indoor events and for outdoor events when suitable or logical to do so.

Our uniform is "traditional" in nature. We teach our youth to be proud, to dare to be different, to lead rather than to follow with the masses.

We would like to share with you a perspective as to "uniforms" as written by Paul Ritchi, our "General Commissioner" of the Federation of North-American Explorers (FNE) and we quote:

As either youth or adults, do you remember joining the local sports teams and couldn't wait to get on your uniform, to look the part, to belong? Remember how you felt, as photos were taken in your sports uniform and when looked at by others within the community? Or how you felt different, special, excited, as you looked forward to the next activity every time you put on that uniform?

Have you watched a parade, seen a band or group of Air Cadets march on by and remarked on how proud and sharp they look in their uniforms?

Lord Baden-Powell then (and even now as it applies to today's world) clearly understood the impact of our uniforms on youth, our members. The impact is most profound - in a positive way - on our youth members. Once all of our youth are wearing their full and complete FNE uniform either at the Otter Lodge, Timber Wolf Den, Explorer Troop or Wayfarer Explorer level they feel that they are part of a larger family, they belong, they can demonstrate a sense of responsibility and self-discipline. A few of our FNE Timber Wolves have expressed their feelings to share with interested parties and we quote:

"Every time I put on my uniform I feel different, special, and I can't wait to get to Timber Wolves and have fun. I like my uniform, it's neat. I like it when people see us in public when we have our uniforms on, they say really nice things about us."

"I wore my uniform in school for Remembrance Day. Although some of the older kids teased me, my friends thought that my uniform looked really neat and asked me stuff about what we do in Timber Wolves. Timber Wolves is really cool!"

"When I put on my uniform, Akela and the other old wolves expect me to take good care of it and wear it proudly. I think that's good because it teaches us how to be responsible for ourselves. I am also a Sixer, so I help the wolves in my group look after themselves and their uniforms."

"When we travel every spring somewhere special, like when we went to Ottawa last June, many people stopped and took pictures of us when we were in our uniform. We don't get treated like just a bunch of little kids, people treat us special and I really like that."

Please note - that our uniforms are required wearing for all of our members, both at the youth and at the adult level. The group owns the uniforms, we charge a nominal rental fee (included in the membership fee) to help us replace uniform parts as they wear out.

 

The uniform that our members wear consists of:

  • Uniform shirt (tan for males and light blue for females)
  • Group neckerchief with a woggle
  • Leather belt with the following attachments:
    • A clip with rope (for Timber Wolves only)- worn on left side
    • Leather pouch (for Timber Wolves only) - worn on left side containing the Section handbook (for Timber Wolves - it's the "Mowgli" handbook!)
    • Clip with a one decade Rosary - worn on right side
  • Shorts and knee socks (please note - track pants can be worn over uniform shorts and knee socks to and from indoor meetings or events for removal on arrival during colder weather)
  • Skorts and knee socks for our female members. (please note - track pants can be worn over skorts and knee socks to and from indoor meetings or events for removal on arrival during colder weather)

 

WHY FULL UNIFORM?

Our FNE Explorer program is winning and unique. Collectively we install a sense of belonging and responsibility. After all, when one joins our FNE Explorer movement, one joins a very unique, special and exciting youth organization that offers a program second to none.

The complete uniform effectively helps instill this message to our youth and adult members. When you join a team - dress to look like a team - a winning organization! The current uniform is versatile and wears well. For our FNE program based male members, uniform shorts and traditional knee socks are worn. There are no knees to tear or wear out. They are cooler for active and summer events. They last longer before needing to be replaced due to natural growth in our youth members. For our female member's skorts with knee socks are worn.

During colder weather, track pants can be worn over shorts / skorts to and from meetings/indoor for removal on arrival so that all members are properly wearing their uniform. Full and complete FSE uniform is a membership requirement within our FNE Explorer family. Uniforms are owned by the group and are ordered through the Group Leader.

Lastly a comment from a nonFNE member as to his observations about our youth in their uniforms...

Please forgive me, but I cannot let the opportunity go by, without comment on a first impression from the photos on your website and Facebook page, that of seeing the boys and girls in full uniform for most of their activities. While the notion of wearing a uniform in public is greeted with some disdain in similar organizations (at least in my experience), I find it most admirable, not only that the youth wear it for most of their activities, but that they enjoy being seen doing so. What a remarkable display of esprit de corps this must be! And to see them marching on pilgrimage, with flags unfurled, to Chartres and other destinations, is such an awesome thing to behold, and which makes me so wish that I could join them.

The very sight of this gives me such great hopes for the generation that is to come,  the one to which the burden of rebuilding Christendom may indeed fall.

May God bless you and your fellows in your endeavor to prepare them.

YIS,
David L Alexander
Arlington, Virginia, USA

 

 

 

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