Uniforms (Bill Dixon)

It was not unusual for scouts during the mid-40"so (and probably before) NOT to have a summer uniform for camp. The $12 expenditure for the regular uniform was HUGH for most families. I was extremely anxious to be a Boy Scout. To me it was a VERY big deal. My troop 240 would allow a boy to join three months prior to his 12th birthday. I joined three months to the day! Then the $12 expenditure. I recall (and I recall these things better then yesterday) That was in April 1944. I rapidly became a Tenderfoot with enthusiasm. Most boys in my patrol, Flying Eagle, was going to TMR for the third period. It would be Camp Oneida in the then Division 3 since the scoutmaster would be Dan Riviera who was our Senior Patrol Leader (Troop 240). Kids that are 12 do not really understand the financial stress of their parents (or in my case parent) so I am sure I made going to camp that summer about the most important thing in my life. Of course to me ...it was. My patrol had also become my best friends. Well, my Mother came up with the 24 dollars and also the money for a "haversack" pack. My two blankets were a horse shoe. That was it and my "winter" uniform was my "summer" uniform. I only wore it at retreats and I guess as Phil said with the sleeves rolled up. I must have gotten a summer uniform for my second year at TMR. Along the was I got an a larger Alpine pack and then the Ski Pact with the metal frame that Phil mentioned. Weren't they Army surplus? My final pack was a "basket pact" which Dan Riviera gave me and I guess was my last. Because it was unusual I really thought that basket pack was great....and it was easy to neatly pack with "diddy" bags. I had many summer uniforms when I was on staff but never had to purchase them. At the end of each period and even more so at the end of the season there were uniforms all over.... that campers had left. It was absolutely amazing the amount of clothing that was left behind. As a camper I had so little....nothing was left behind. But for sure being poor in money took nothing away from all the fun I had as a scout at TMR.