PRESENTATION OF THE
SCOUTMASTER CAMPAIGN COVER
SCOUT 1: Attention all hands for award presentation! The success of our Troop comes from the
effort of all team members, from the Boys as leaders, to the Scoutmasters, to
the Committee Members and other parents helping to organize trips, camp outs,
and fundraisers. Today, we would like to
thank our Scoutmaster for his countless hours over the past few years. The adage a scoutmaster spends 8 hours per
week is probably closer to 20 hours per week when you factor in all the weekend
campouts, coordination and planning, and paperwork. From all of us, we present you with one of
the oldest symbols of a true scout leader, the CAMPAIGN COVER.
SCOUT 2: A little about the history of this campaign
cover. The origins of this type of hat can be
traced to the 1840s when U.S. Army mounted troops posted to the far-west
sometimes wore wide-brimmed civilian hats, which were more practical than the
regulation shakos and forage caps then issued. The crease was
influenced by the designs of the sombreros worn by the Mexican Vaqueros. The
name started to be used after 1872 which introduced a black felt hat, and after
1883 could be drab color during the American Civil War.
At this time, the campaign hat was not stiff like the current version.
Around 1893, the famous cowboy hat maker Stetson made a Campaign Hat named
“Boss of the Plains” which was being creased into pointed tops by the British
Scout Africa Company (BSAC) in Africa.
This is where Sir Baden Powell was working with the scouts and British
Army in the 1890s. He met an American,
Frederick Russell Burnham, who was the Chief of Scouts and worked with the
British Army who wore the Stetson Campaign Hat.
Baden-Powell like it so much, he ordered 1200 for the Canadian troops
serving under him, then ordered another 10,000 hats for the British.
SCOUT 4: Around 1911 the US Army adopted the hat during
the Spanish American War. Through WWI,
the hat was fairly soft. US Army General
Officers had a golden cord, and other officers wore golden and black cord. Field clerks wore silver and black, and
eventually the Marines started wearing them.
In 1930’s, the felt hat was made stiff with permanent brim.
SCOUT 5: To close the loop back on scouting history, Baden Powell picked
up the habit of wearing a Stetson campaign hat and neckerchief for the first
time in 1896 in Africa during the Second Matabele War. In the African hills it was Burnham (the
American that wore the Stetson Campaign Hat) who first introduced Baden-Powell
to the ways and methods of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, and
taught him woodcraft (better known today as Scoutcraft). Baden Powell may have been influence on the
campaign cover since the “Boss of Plains” style hat was also abbreviated BP,
which was also his initials. When
Baden-Powell re-wrote his Army handbook Aids to Scouting into Scouting
For Boys in 1908, he included sketches of Boy Scouts wearing
the campaign hat. He prescribed a campaign hat as part of the Scout uniform,
which he stated was "very like the uniform worn by my men when I
commanded the South African Constabulary". He continued; "...The
broad brimmed khaki hat is a good protection from
sun and rain."
SCOUT 6: In the original scout handbook, Sir Baden
Powell wrote that the Campaign Cover is to be worn square with the floor,
unlike the current Drill Sergeants. Current
BSA Regulations state that the Scout Universal Hat Pin should be worn. Wear it as a symbol of our pride in the Boy
(LEFT) Sir Robert Baden-Powell founder of the Scouting movement for
boys, wearing a British Scout uniform and an American Stetson campaign hat
(RIGHT) American Scout Frederick Russel Burnham wearing a campaign hat in 1902 after the Second Boer War. He first introduced American Woodcraft (now called Scout craft) to Baden-Powell in 1896.
Adult Leaders at the first US National Jamboree in Washington DC in 1937