Changes to Northern Illinois and Indiana Councils

Posted on August 1st, 2014 in BSA Info,Hobby News,Hobby Trends by ramore

Received this update from Central Region:

August 1, 2014
To:                          Central Region Executive Committee
                                Central Region Area 7 Committee
                                Chicago Area Council Key Three
                                Three Fires Council Key Three
                                Northeast Illinois Council Key Three
Des Plaines Council Key Three
Calumet Council Key Three
Blackhawk Area Council Key Three
Rainbow Council Key Three
Northwest Suburban Council Key Three
                                Central Region Area Directors
From:                    Brian Williams, Central Region President
                                Reid Christopherson, Central Region Commissioner
                                Al Lambert, Central Region Director
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
After much research, discussion, and deliberation, the Central Region Executive Committee has adopted a multi-phase approach to the realignment of councils in the Chicago/Northwest Indiana Metropolitan area.
As Phase One, the geographical territory currently being served by Northwest Suburban Council, Chicago Area Council, Calumet Council and Des Plaines Valley Council will be assigned to a new council that will be created within the boundaries of these four councils.
It is believed that this new council, operating within these approved boundaries, will successfully position Scouting in the Chicago/Northwest Indiana Metropolitan area for the future.  This new council will be constructed and fully operational by early in the first quarter of 2015.  Until that time, the four legacy councils will continue to operate and should continue to provide the services necessary to support their Scouts and families.
The Central Region Executive Board will provide interim governance and support for the newly created council.   National Executive Board member Ray Wood has been appointed to lead our support of the legacy councils during the transition.  Ray’s committee will include representatives of both the National Executive Board and our Regional Board.  Deputy Regional Director Fred Wallace has been appointed to lead the daily operations of the new council during the build out and will replace Matt Thornton as interim Scout Executive in our legacy councils.    You will hear from Ray and Fred shortly.
Phase Two of the project will begin later in 2015.  During this phase we will look at the councils and the territory surrounding the new council and will continue to explore the best alignment of communities aligned to provide strong Scouting programs to more youth.  Some of these could include:
·         A review of the territory served by the Rainbow Council including potential consolidation, collaboration and/or shared resources.
·         A review of the territory served by the Blackhawk Area Council, Three Fires Council and Northeast Illinois Council which could include discussions of consolidation, collaboration, shared resources, and boundary realignment.
·         A review of the Wisconsin and Iowa territory included in Area 7 and Area 3 to determine if those counties are being served in the best possible manner.
·         Other areas of review as determined.
While there will be much to discuss as the new council is built, we look forward to the Area 7 committee engaging with you to insure that every youth has an opportunity to join a strong program this fall.  This is surely the Main Thing…more youth across Area 7 experiencing the fun and adventure of Scouting.  Mike Duffee and Ernie Froemel continue to provide strong leadership to Area 7 – please count on them.
A sincere thank you is extended to the multitude of volunteers and professionals that have participated in the consolidation talks the past two years.  Your input was invaluable throughout this process.

eBay lot takes in the unknowing

Posted on June 22nd, 2014 in Fakes,Hobby Trends,Rank by ramore

Here’s the title of a recent offering on eBay (end of May, 2014)

***RARE*** Vintage Boy Eagle Scout Type 1 Or 2 Rank Patch Badge BSA Merit Award

With the following description:

This is an extremely rare vintage 1924 Eagle Scout rank patch that has been kept in excellent condition and is certainly a rare find! I’m not sure if this is a type 1 or 2 but either way it is an extremely rare patch! This patch is a collectors dream and is something that everyone desires but no everyone gets! Bid on it now to secure that you will be the next owner of this amazing patch that is part of scouting history!! Happy Bidding!!! Let me know if you have any question!

And here’s a picture of the listing and patch:

But rather than be an authentic first issue Eagle patch, it is from the modern BSA issued commemorative Eagle patch display.

Now the history of avarice and greed are not new to our hobby. At one level, one can reach more collectors more quickly than ever before but at another level frauds can be found out more quickly. Moral of the story: buy from reputable dealers who know the patches (and that really is fewer than many realize). Also, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Update:

This seller is back now listing this as:

***RARE***Vintage Eagle Scout Rank Boy Scout Patch 1924 – 1932

with this description:

This eagle rank is an extremely rare find and has been passed down from my grandpa’s collection! He had it displayed and sewn onto a navy blue felt material years ago and this is how I got it from him. This is a patch is in amazing condition compared to others which is really hard to find and is a collectors dream! I have to start getting rid of his collection and this one must go! Let me know if you have any questions that I can help you with and make sure you get this for your collection today!!! Thank you!!

and here’s the picture:

 

WRONG!!!!!

I see that someone did get taken in. Bought it. Paid for it. Received it and then when pointing out that it was the modern fake/repro and tried to return it the seller tried to charge a $125 re-stocking fee. What a scam!

 

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.

 

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.

The Strength of Boy Scout Collectibles

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

A recent back and forth set of e-mails with Texas friend Roger Schustereit was about an eBay offering of a “Scout Camp Patch”

The title of the listing is: Boy Scout Vintage Felt Patch Camp Kenan

picturing this patch:

My first reaction was that I don’t know this camp name and that the patch does not “feel” like a Scout camp patch. A simple Google search reveals that there is a still active YMCA Camp Kenan in Lockport, NY. Finding this, it VERY much feels like a YMCA patch (they are often red and white and often have a red triangle on them which this one does not).

In some ways it speaks to the strength of our collecting area and the presence/influence of the Boy Scouts of America. Lots of these peddlers place things in the Boy Scout eBay category hoping to strike a lick. What it means is they think this is the best place to put these unknowns hoping they become knowns.

Item Didn’t Get Missed Department – Philmont version

Posted on May 13th, 2013 in Hobby Trends,Philmont by ramore

From time to time in our eBay searches we see an item and wonder if collectors will pick up on it. One such item surfaced in the spring, a vintage Philmont Ranger back pack with the bear claw patch still on it. Really is one of the trick items in Philmont collecting. Very few are in collectors’ hands.

Well it did get found as it closed at $3,627. Probably not the highest price the item could bring but very respectable for something just tossed out there wondering if two someones would catch it. I’m sure its got a good home now.

 


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