1. Give them time to prepare and take care of any last minute item (straightening socks, gig line, neckerchief roll, etc.).
2. Teach them something: Give them something to look for — a “tip” (e.g. teach them what a gig line is, then make sure you check everyone to ensure they understood and listened). If you’ve got more time, teach them something more elaborate (such as how to shine shoes) or have everyone re-roll their neckerchiefs.
3. Be lavish in praise, stingy with criticism. Praise twice, criticize once. Never, never, never point out or be critical of a deficiency in someone else’s uniform if you have the same error. Praise first, then blame.
4. Take notes: Always make a note of any criticisms (a mental note, only if your memory is reliable);
Can be taken by the SPL himself, ASPL, Scribe, or the PL. Check the following week to make sure the mistake is corrected; if corrected, be sure to notice and tell the Scout. Have PLs call a day or two before the meeting and remind the Scout to make corrections; check up on the PL to make sure he does this.
5. Never be critical of a Patrol Leader in front of his Scouts, if possible. Normally have the PL stand beside you when you inspect his Scouts; if his uniform is bad require him to remain at attention, in place, just like the other Scouts; in other words, don’t allow him to assist you in the inspection.
Don’t point out his errors so that his Scouts can see or hear you; either let him know by pointing to the discrepancy and communicating with eye contact and a scowl, pointing them out to him after the inspection behind his patrol, or if bad enough, scolding him afterwards, in private.
6. Move along briskly — otherwise the Scouts will get restless. The inspection should be thorough but swift. Should never last more than five minutes (the formal part) Do not attempt to inspect everything at each inspection.
7. Give a brief critique to the group when finished. Comment on the appearance of the group as a whole. Remember to praise them at the same time; When one item is particularly noteworthy of praise (make sure you find at least one), be sure to point it out to the whole troop and use the name of the individual or patrol. Purpose of inspections: create pride in personal appearance and the spirit of belonging to a smart unit.
ANY DEVIATION IN A UNIFORM INVITES OTHER DEVIATIONS