Necessary Necker




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Necessary Necker

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The Neckerchief a Heritage from Scouts of Old

The smart and necessary neckerchief is the only spot, apart from the badges and insignia, in which the practical, earth-hued uniform of the Scout flowers into color. Like the painted sails of the boats of Venice, the age-old fez of Cairo's bazaars, and the paint box sweaters of a college campus, the Neckerchief, "a heritage from the Scouts of old, the pioneer and the plainsman," gives life to the sober dress of the Boy Scout. And that touch of color is the one thing needed to catch the eye and to stir the enthusiasm of the spectators when the parade swings down the avenue and horn and drum and cymbal stir the soul.

The Neckerchief is a passport for the Scout. Scouting says that at Santa Barbara following the earthquake, and in Illinois and Indiana during the tornado disaster, the Scouts' Neckerchief was a passport for any Scout through the police and hospital lines.

The Scout Troop which is uniformly and colorfully neckerchiefed stands out as a beautiful unit in a crowded hall, on parade, and in the summer audience in shady woods. The adoption of a Troop Neckerchief makes it easy for a Scout to find his own crowd, for the Neckerchief both identifies and promotes Scouting.

When help is needed in a hurry, the Scout with his colored Neckerchief is quickly recognized, and his Good Turn is done with grateful swiftness.

The Neckerchief is the thing by which Scouting is most quickly recognized the world over.

Emergencies call loudest to the Scout for the Neckerchief, for life itself may depend upon it. In a moment it is a bandage, a smoke mask, or a lifeline.


So much depends upon the Neckerchief that it is subjected regularly to careful tests and inspections before it can qualify as the Official Scout Neckerchief.

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The Tested Neckerchief

The complete Scout Uniform requires it, and requires it worn correctly: not under the collar; not rolled and worn half way down on the chest; but flat, according to Scout regulations, over the collar of the shirt and held in place with the quickly available and necessary slide or "woggle." 

Out of his rich and pictured experience Daniel Carter Beard, the National Scout Commissioner, speaks with his usual aptness when he declares that "the Neckerchief is first and last a necessity."


The following standard for folding the Neckerchief has been adopted upon advice from plainsmen, cowboys, out of doors men, and experienced Scouts throughout the country.

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Folding the Neckerchief

First, fold the Neckerchief once to get the triangle. According to the size of the boy, turn the long edge over about three inches smoothly, once or twice, or even three times, to insure the Neckerchief's lying smoothly at the back and hanging correctly in front. Place around the neck over the collar of the shirt, insert the slide, or woggle, up over the ends to the point where the knot would be if tied as a four in hand necktie. Then tic the two loose ends in an overhand knot, as if it were one piece of material. This lower knot is a constant reminder to do your Daily Good Turn.


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The Woggle

Always wear the slide, or woggle, with the Scout Neckerchief. The advantages of the slide are that in hot weather and on the hike the Neckerchief can be loosened around the throat, while in a cold wind or snowstorm it can be drawn up closer to serve as a muffler. When necessary to use the Neckerchief in emergencies, the slide can be drawn down instantly, permitting the Neckerchief to be whipped off over the head. When the slide is not used, a knot must be tied, and as it is seldom tied twice alike or at the same position at the throat, a very untidy appearance results. The slide is an immense convenience and adds distinctly to the appearance of the Neckerchief.

The Neckerchief Slides are made in this pleasing variety of colors: white, khaki, gold, royal blue, brown, black, gray, green, orange, purple, yellow, red, and a combination of red, white and blue. Each Troop should adopt a color to be worn by all its members with the Neckerchief of harmonizing color which has been adopted for the Troop, District or Council.


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Neckerchiefs Growing Like Flowers
in an Old Fashioned Garden

The Scout Neckerchief grows like the flowers in the old-fashioned garden, "Out at Old Aunt Mary's. "

The single color Neckerchiefs grow in these shades: plum; red; maroon; orange; lemon; tea green; moss green; dark green; navy blue; royal blue; violet; khaki; dark brown; gray; black; sky blue; gold.

The double color Neckerchiefs grow in these shades: red, gold border; gold, navy border; green, red border; gray, green border; sky blue, maroon border; navy blue, gold border; red, black border; gold, red border; orange, black border; purple, orange border; royal blue, sky blue border; black, red border , lemon, navy blue border and maroon, gray border.


"Be Prepared" tells the Scout never to be without his Neckerchief and therefore to be ready for any emergency. There are fifty six practical uses among many others for the Necessary Neckerchief.

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Some Uses of the Neckerchief


  1. Rope for tying animals
  2. Mosquito covering for head
  3. Sweat-band for games
  4. Identification for teams in games 
  5. Tie for three-legged races
  6. Swatters for running the gauntlet
  7. Red kerchief on projecting poles in transit
  8. Padding for carrying load on head
  9. Repairing harness
  10. Substitute for hat or cap.
  1. Signal flag by attaching to stick (Morse) (1) 
  2. Signal flag (no sticks) (Semaphore) (2)
  3. Life line (Troop) 
  4. Rope ladder (Troop) 
  5. Bag (hobo style) (1) 
  6. Lashing for canvas or bundles 
  7. Caulking for boat 
  8. Sail for boat (4) 
  9. Covering for food
  10. Belt emergency (1)
  11. Knot tying practice
  12. Substitute for clothing (4)
  13. Trunks for bathing (1) 
  14. Apron for kitchen police
  15. Troop or District identification
  16. Good Turn reminder (1) 
  17. Guard rope (Troop) 
  18. Emergency sock (1) 
  19. Distress signal (1) 
  20. Smoke signals (1) 
  21. Flare (1) 
  22. Torn strips, trail marker
  23. Bathing cap to denote classes of swimmers; red, beginners; blue, fair swimmers; white, life savers.
  1. Pressure on armpit artery 
  2. Arm sling (10) 
  3. Collar bone fracture (3)
  4. Ankle sprain dressing
  5. Fractured hip (7 to 9)
  6. Kerchief stretcher (5) 
  7. Padding for splints (several) 
  8. Chest carry (1)
  9. Tump line carry (1) (pack strap) 
  10. Hand bandages (1)
  11. Head bandages (1) 
  12. Foot bandages (1)
  13. Support for sprained wrist
  14. Tourniquet uses (1) 
  15. Trench bandages (1)
  16. Compress 
  17. Smoke mask for fires or gas 
  18. Fireman's drag-- free wrists 
  19. Tied hands carry (1)
  20. Tied hands across over turned canoe
  21. Tying good ankle as splint to broken one (4)
  22. Guide rope to find way out of smoky room (Troop)
  23. Sun shelter for injured people (one for each person)







Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
How to Make Neckerchiefs ] Scouting with Neckerchief ] [ Necessary Necker ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Activity Pants ] Traditional Uniform ] Otter Uniform ] TimberWolf Uniform ] B-P Examples ] B-P Shirts How-To ] B-P's Uniform ] Scout Neckerchief ] Hats Inside? ] Dan Beard Camp Uniform ] Daniel Boone Costume ] Gumption for Chumps ] Officer Badges ] Woodcraft Honor Band ] Woodcraft Council Robes ] Sewing Patches ] SM Hatpins ] Scouting for Boys ] Cheap Backpacking Socks ] New_Uniform ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.