Council Employee Badges circa 1950s

Posted on April 7th, 2014 in Adult Position Badges,Insignia by ramore

In the “We’re still always learning” category comes something Destry just picked up while going through the October, 1956 BSA Uniforms and Insignia guide. What caught both of us is that there was a special pin for women employees of the Boy Scouts. See the write-up below:

Here’s the patch for men:

And the corresponding pin – again for men (this is a double clutch version which would be from 1963-1968):

Now we’ve both seen the pin. Probably have one around here but never paid attention to it nor knew that this is what exactly it was for (frankly, I had thought both genders used the pin pictured above).

The rest of the page this information came from shows some ‘sexy’ patches, in my opinion. I’ve always like “one-person” patches. Badges of office that only one person in the country could wear.

Neat Camp Tom Wooten site

Posted on December 28th, 2013 in Camps,Hobby Trends by ramore

Just this past week I was discussing with a senior collector about the struggles in the hobby right now with knowledge. We are creating so many items that its hard to keep up with what’s newly issued and as a result the older, seldom seen items get missed or forgotten. Ultimately the solution is better education and education tools.

Against that is technology is giving us better tools to record and share information than ever before. This thought comes to mind as I was responding to a share of an eBay auction for an old Camp Tom Wooten felt camp patch.

The title says it was from the 1930s. To me it didn’t quite have that “feel” as I have patches with this design in my collection that are dated in the 1940s. Well, a person quickly was able share a web-site link that showed the historical Camp Tom Wooten patches. Very neat! Very useful. There are a lot of these out there but what we need to do is figure out how to integrate them all.

In the OA Blue Book web-site, collectors can now record the history of patches in the comment fields for any issue. We could never do that before and it only works with an on-line database. (and there has to be in the design for folks to comment back either to add to the information or correct a mis-statement). We need to do more of this.

A few years back I created the ScoutPatchWiki. Folks from around the world were putting reference information in. But, it got massively hacked by foreign spammers and had to take it down. I still have the data and it looks like the software has increased its security so maybe that will be part of the new year’s resolutions is to resurrect this site.


Sometimes the lowest are the rarest – Scout Position Badge edition

Posted on December 10th, 2013 in Adult Position Badges,Hobby Trends,Insignia by ramore

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:

A couple of California patches of interest

Posted on December 10th, 2013 in Camps,Hobby Trends by ramore

My team has handled a LOT of patches over the years so I always enjoy seeing new mainline collectibles I’ve not seen before such as this council patch. Not sure the value (min bid is $300 with a buy-it-now of $400) but the seller is a VERY knowledgeable CA collector so he probably has a good feel for it. (P.S. I call it “mainline” as it is a collecting theme that has been around for decades. Now I’ve also been saying that CP/council patch collecting is WAY over due for an update to its collector list. Someone? Anyone? up to it? It will be fun, but a lot of work.)

From the seller’s description:

This is an old rare council patch (CP) which was worn on the Scout jacket as a jacket patch.  The patch was issued by the old Tahoe Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, headquartered in Auburn, California (now part of Golden Empire Council).  The patch is silk screen on light canvas and is 6 1/2 inches across and 4 1/2 inches high.

And I mentioned ‘patches’ – here’s a nice price realized for a felt Camp Pahatsi, again Tahoe Area Council, that closed at $177.51

Used but in nice shape, seller says its from the 1940s which seems about right. As I’ve said before not every, actually most, felt camp patch is worth $100 but many are given their scarcity and demand.


Non-Scout patches labeled as such

Posted on November 11th, 2013 in Camps,Hobby Trends by ramore

A friend knowing my interest in camp patches sent me an eBay link to the following patch from Camp Chickawaki:


The title of the listing is “Vintage felt Camp Chickawaki Patch Boy Scout BSA.” Now the design looks like other Boy Scout camp patches from the 1940s and 1950s but I had not heard of this camp name. This doesn’t mean everything but puts it in the “question mark” category for me. I asked Destry if he had heard of it. He hadn’t either but with the vigor, and routine of youth, he Googled it and found out “Apparently it was a non-Scout summer camp in Lehigh Valley Council. The seller has some 50′s era Trexler stuff so that fits. Gotta love Google…..”. I’m just not as fast to going to Google but the internet search engines have been a real added value to researching Scout patches. I say “routine of youth” as my son, a college junior, when he doesn’t immediately know the answer to a question Googles it.

What this listing also shows though is that many folks will post items in the Boy Scout category hoping to either trick someone or hoping to get a score which tells me our category sells better than many others.


Camp Tom Wooten felt closed at $942.

Posted on October 12th, 2013 in Camps by ramore

A recent eBay auction I was watching was for a Camp Tom Wooten patch out of Texas.

Its different than the normal design that shows the Texas capital building. Was curious what it would bring even though its undated (most, if not all of their felt camp patches are undated to the best of my current knowledge). Well, now we know. It certainly was not overlooked. It closed at $942.

This comes to mind after just coming back from the Columbus Ohio TOR (a really nice regional TOR by the way). A collector was asking for my advice as to what to price a 1923 Camp Wayne felt patch from Wayne County Council along with paperwork and documentation. Well the first thought that came to mind was $500 but also said $1,000 would not be out of line as well. I then mentioned to the collector about a felt camp patch selling in the Phil Parlett estate auction that went for over $3,000. Now there are a lot of felt camp patches that don’t/won’t bring more than $10 if that much but …. for the right specimen from the right part of the country and right camp… well, “Katie, bar the door!”




Cool Quartermaster Card

Posted on August 19th, 2013 in Rank by ramore

Eagle Scout memorabilia collectors, lead by Terry Grove, have both documented and driven up the interest in Eagle Scout certificates. As Terry pointed out at an ISCA Dallas National Trade-o-ree, the Eagle Scout certificates and national letter maybe the only item every Eagle Scout received. Well in today’s eBay surfing I saw a card, rarer than the Eagle, that I seldom see. Its the comparable card for Quartermaster.

Sea Scouts are the oldest program in Scouting starting in 1913 (now its 100th anniversary). The Quartermaster is their highest award and is much rarer than Eagle. My guess, and I don’t think I’ve seen them, there probably is a whole series of these cards like Eagle Scout. I find this kind of ephemera as interesting as patches and maybe more so as it documents the history. Very neat piece, IMHO.

Still learning after all of these years… Cub Scout sheath edition

Posted on August 14th, 2013 in Equipment,Hobby Trends by ramore

Between Destry and I we have over 50 years of collecting experience and have literally handled 100,000′s of Scout memorabilia items and looked through most of the major estates and collections in the country. Yet still we come across items we’ve not seen before (could be we did not pay attention as they might be in some of the side eddies of our hobby but we still find of them of interest). The item at hand that we just traded some back and forth e-mails about is this Cub Scout knife recently auctioned off on eBay for $72.

Now its not the knife that caught Destry’s attention, although it is in stunning condition He’s more the specialist on these than I am although I’ve handled everyone of the early Scout knives including the Sea Scout with marlin spike. What caught his attention was the belt sheath. He’d never seen it before. Clearly it is official. I’ve not seen it either. I think that these were for boys under the age of 11 who would be wearing this on their belt? Granted different times than today and maybe an adult leader would wear one of these but still, this is uncommon and a pretty trick item IMHO. Is it great value? Probably not really as the price realized indicates. But still plenty cool and would be interesting to know more of the story. Certainly fits into a nice display or collection of Scouting knives.

Birmingham Area WBS Confirmed

Posted on July 25th, 2013 in Hobby Trends,KRS and others,RWS,Shoulder Wear by ramore

I was talking with ISCA column editor Blake Keasey about a recent acquisition. How is it that 40 years or longer after the fact, these were phased out when CSPs came in, we are still discovering new red and white council strips or in this case a Sea Scout white and blue council strip? Up to this point this Birmingham Area C/Alabama strip has been unreported. That means neither Art Hyman nor Rob Kutz had it reported to them. Nor Bruce Raver. Nor Blake. Some of these have got to be real hens teeth. But its also why this collecting area is both fun and legitimate (that’s on my mind with all of the new, crude issues coming out for the 2013 Jamboree). They could be ordered as few as a “half order” or six.

For Your Information by Paul Myers in ASTA


Senior collector Paul Myers of Goshen, IN was at the recent Calumet Council Memorial Day Trade-o-ree. Paul is a former editor of the Trader magazine in the 1960s. In the 1990s he wrote a regular column for ASTA, the America Scout Traders Association, which merged with NSCA to form ISCA the national group today. At the TOR Paul was handing out a compilation of the articles he wrote for ASTA. It is now contained in a PDF below. It covers over 75 topics of Scouting collectibles. Not in depth necessarily but my guess is that even veteran collectors will learn something knew from going through these pages.

The topics include:

  • Amaquonsippi trail patches
  • US Grant Pilgrimage patches
  • Lincoln Pilgrimage patches
  • Contest medals
  • Henderson Award System
  • Belt Stencils
  • Colored Background Service Stars
  • BSA Anniversary Week
  • Ribbon Pin Bars
  • 100% Duty
  • Standard Church Troop Bars
  • Original Twelve Regions
  • OA Chapter Flaps
  • Early Registration Cards
  • Scout Emergency Units
  • Recruiter Strips
  • Scout Diaries
  • Boy Rangers of America
  • District Badges
  • Region 7 Hoe Down
  • Sweater, swim suit, hat and jacket badges
  • Veteran Emblems
  • Explorer Top Awards
  • Presidents Awards & Quality Unit
  • SeniorScout Titles
  • Civic Service
  • Overseas Travel Badges
  • Service Library
  • WW 1 War Service Medals
  • National Service Camps
  • Boy Scout Bands
  • Tenure in Scout Camp
  • Service Troops
  • Jamboree Staff Positions
  • Jamboree Participation Awards
  • Jamboree Contingent items
  • Jamboree Shoulder Identification
  • 1950 Jamboree Prototypes
  • Variations in Jamboree Patches and Neckerchiefs
  • Jamboree Region Items
  • Strengthen the Arm of Liberty Program
  • Take Me Home Folders
  • Scout Straight Knives
  • Scoutmaster’s Key
  • Cub Scouting
  • First Class Hat Pins
  • Patrol Identification
  • Folding Pocket Knives
  • OA Chapter Badges
  • Scout Rings
  • Pin Back Buttons
  • State Strips
  • Early Camp Honor Societies
  • Philadelphia District Badges
  • Region Standard Camp Badges
  • Philmont Contingent Patches
  • Merit Badges
  • Boycraft Co. Booklets
  • 10 Year Program Award
  • Sea Scout Ships

Boy Scout Memorabilia Information

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