When to Wear Which Necker

How choose which necker to wear

By Scouter Liam Morland, 1996

Many Scouters have several neckers and sets of shoulder tabs and are confused about when to wear which. Here I will present a simple set of guidelines which make logical sense. The basic principle is that you wear the shoulder tab and necker combination of whatever section you are representing at the time.

There are six shoulder tabs: Beavers, Wolf Cubs, Scouts, Venturers, Rovers, and Non-section. There are four types of necker: group, Gilwell, National, and International. Correct wearing of these depends on wearing the proper combination of shoulder tabs and necker. A few rules of thumb for wearing these:

Now a few examples. A Venturer Adviser who also sits on District Council should wear the group necker and Venturer shoulder tabs when acting as an Adviser, and the National necker and non-section shoulder tabs when in the capacity of a District Scouter. If this Adviser sits on District Council as a ADC Venturers, then the Venturer shoulder tabs should be worn with the National necker.

A Gilwellian Pack Scouter can wear either the group necker or the Gilwell necker, depending on what they wants to emphasize: Pack Scouter with Group or Gilwellian Pack Scouter. At multi-pack events, it would be most appropriate to wear the Group necker as one would be better identified with one's group. If this Scouter moves to Scouts, they should not wear the Gilwell necker until they complete Gilwell in Troop. This is because they is not a Scout with 1st Gilwell Scout Group but a Wolf Cub.

Rovers who are also Scouters can wear either their Rover shoulder tabs and necker or that of their section. They should not wear the Gilwell necker with the Rover shoulder tabs unless they have Gilwell in Rovers. They should not go half and half and wear Rover shoulder tabs with their section's necker (unless they are a Scouter and a Rover with the same group) as this would imply that the person is a Rover with the group that they are a Scouter with. If this is not true, they should not look like it. This is why matching shoulder tabs and neckers is important.

How to Roll a Necker

Neckers should be kept clean and always worn rolled. Gilwell neckers should be hand washed in cold water with cold water detergent. Otherwise, they will turn pink with time. Once a necker has been washed, it should be laid flat on a table to dry, then ironed flat. To roll, hold one tip in each hand so that the top side of the necker is towards you. Flit the point of the necker over, keeping the cloth between two tips tight. Continue until the necker is neatly rolled. It may take some gentle shaking to get the necker to roll nicely. A necker rolled this way will be a neat, round tube instead of flat. Do not iron the necker once it is rolled.