Some of our scarcest insignia pieces are for the lowest offices. What brings this to mind are a couple of collar pins we have up for auction. They are so obscure that we had to look one of them up, using Scouting History Through Memorabilia, to be sure we had them titled correctly.
They are for Council Employee and Layman:
Why are they obscure? Because most of the folks holding these positions did not wear uniforms (think now, how many of your council office staff or Scout Shop employees wear uniforms? How many of your Pack Committee or Troop Committee wear uniforms?)
Now when identifying pins, and the corresponding badges there are some basics to remember. Red = professional position and blue = volunteer, except when they’re green for troop leaders. So that starts to give one a clue. The next thing to look for is to remember that commissioned positions have a wreath behind them. Commissioners are “commissioned.” Scout field staff are commissioned. Council officers and above take an oath of office so you will see a wreath behind their badges. Since neither of these pins had a wreath, we knew they were the lower positions.
We see Council Employee pins from time to time, although cloth badges much less so unless they were say certain camp staff positions. Layman pins very rarely turn up unless in collections. Some of the cloth badges from the 1920s-1930s on square khaki cloth are quite obscure and rare.
This is the more common Layman patch from the 1940s and it is still harder to find than many Council positions of that era: