Boy Scout patch collecting for beginners

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Patch collecting, especially Boy Scout patch collecting can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to get you started.

1. Pick an area you'd like to start.  Council shoulder patches (CSP), Red & white strips (RWS), camporee, camp-o-rall, expo, jamboree, Order of the Arrow (OA) flaps etc. Or collect anything that "looks cool". 

2. Start inexpensive.  You may be surprised how many scout patches are available for a dollar, even as old as the 1970's. Also if you later discover your patch to be a "fake", much money has not been invested. You may also want to pick up a few extra cheap patches for trade. To another trader, you may have a patch he really wanted specially if he was at the event on the patch!  Like my local 1986 Scout Expo which I was entitled a patch and never given!

3. Get to know what are the most commonly faked patches.  This may save you from great embarassment with fellow collectors and great dissapoinment.

4. Many modern patches can be purchased at local Scout council office. I purchased a grab bag and got numerous expos & camporees I missed, and they were all local!

5. Collect patches from discontinued/merged councils and lodges. Example Skyloo 442 & Cole Snass Lamatai 259 OA Lodges merged in 1994. Now has become Wauna La-Mon'tay 442. You'd have to do some internet research to find this information.

6. Don't rule out old scout shirts. Old uniform shirts sometimes sell $5-20 based on the size and condition, but may have patches that list for way more than that! Plus you have a neat item that can be easily displayed.

7. Make sure the seller has it correct! Sometimes sellers get confused between girl scout & boy scout so you may want to check that you are not getting a girl scout camp patch.

8. Patch collecting is like Disney pin trading. Very addictive! New issues and commemoratives are always being made.

9. Keep your "earned" patches and traded/puchased separate. I would easily forget which ones I got as a scout or the ones I bought via ebay.

10. Other scout items. Scarves and slides are very affordable. $5-10. More for better quality, rarity etc. These can compliment your collection and are easily displayed or even worn.

Before you know it, you will have a zillion patches to display however you like. This is not by any means a complete list, but some of the things I found out as I recently got back into collecting scout stuff. 

Good Luck!


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