Guidelines for wearers of a Smokey Bear costume, from the U.S. Forest Service’s Smokey Bear FAQ:
- The person wearing the costume must exhibit appropriate animation to be effective. Express sincerity and interest in the appearance by moving paws, head, and legs.
- There shall be at least one uniformed escort to accompany the Bear. The escort shall guide the Bear at the elbow.
- After donning the costume, the escort shall inspect the suit. Check for the following:
- A private dressing room is necessary for putting on and taking off the costume.
- The costumed bear should not force itself on anyone. Do not walk rapidly toward small children.
- A round-point shovel is part of the Smokey Bear image. It shall be used for appearances, when appropriate.
- The costume becomes hot to the wearer after a very short period. Success has been noted with the use of compartmentalized “ice vests” and the addition of a battery-operated fan in the hat. Several cooling options are available from the costume manufacturers. Limit appearances to 15-20 minute segments to minimize personal discomfort.
- After each appearance, check the costume for needed repairs or cleaning. Note this on the outside of the storage box for immediate follow-up by the owner/manager of the costume.
Is the drawstring tucked in?
Is the zipper out of sight?
Are the buttons fastened?
Is the belt firmly fastened to the pants?
Are the pant cuffs neat?
Is the hat crown up?
Is the head straight on the shoulders?
Is the fur brushed generously?
Costumed users must not speak during appearances, must never appear in less than full costume, and must appear dignified and friendly. “Do not use alcohol or illicit drugs prior to and during the Smokey Bear appearance. This condition applies to uniformed escorts as well.”