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.

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:

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

Teens-1920s Scout Leader Uniform Catalog

Posted on January 3rd, 2012 in Adult Position Badges,Insignia by ramore

Destry and I were just talking about, for us, the interesting parts of collections are often the paper materials as these give the history. In a small accumulation we got last week it included a little eight page booklet of uniforms for adult leaders. It is from Sigmund Eisner which dates it from 1910 to 1932 with the badges on the sleeve being outlined would place it into the 1920s to early 1930s.

I’ve scanned it in here as actually this is a rare item. It provides wonderful full-color drawings of the uniforms. In Chief Scout Executive James West’s introduction he notes that leaders are obligated, in setting the example, to only use official BSA uniforms (and with profits obviously flowing to the National Office.)

It shows some rarely seen items – the Lumberjack Shirt and the Scout Mackinaw coat. It also lists the types of cloth available including Melton (see my video with Paul Myers about some of these early types of cloth), two weights of Serge, Whipcord, and Gabardine. On the back it indicates that a leader could get made-to-measure, i.e., custom-fitted, uniforms. All in all, very trick IMHO.

New Commissioner Knot Coming

Posted on April 20th, 2011 in Adult Position Badges,BSA Info,Insignia by ramore

At the upcoming National meeting there will be the introduction of a new knot for “Commissioner
Award of Excellence in Unit Service”. I don’t have the requirements yet. Knot collecting continues to be quite popular. George Crowl has a great web-site for these. Go to the Publications section. There he has Word documents covering all the periods back to the beginning. Enthusiasts even go after the type of backs and twill differences (some of which are VERY hard).


Area Project – Designing Scouting for the 21st Century

Posted on January 4th, 2011 in Adult Position Badges,BSA Info by ramore

One of my Scouting roles is an Area Vice President. I chair one of seven task forces chartered by the National Key-3 to propose the ideal structure for the delivery of Scouting in Central Region Area 2. The vision for the project is to:

We will have the ideal structure to support a vital, growing Scouting program for youth, families, charter organizations, units and communities within Area 2 that will remain sustainable through the 21st century.

We’ve been asked to dream big and with a blank slate – that is, if we were starting fresh except for what goes on in units, how would we design the organization of Scouting.

There is a project web-site that has minutes from the various discussions, presentations made on work to date, etc.. Check it out. Feel free to pass on your suggestions and I will take them to the task force. This is an open project with nothing predetermined.

Naragansett Council of Rhode Island has initiated some structural changes within their council. They have dropped the term ‘District’ and have organized Community Groups and Service Area Groups (comprised of Community Groups). They have even re-named their commissioner titles and issued new badges of office. See below.

Oversized error for NESA Life Member knot

Posted on August 19th, 2008 in Adult Position Badges,Insignia by ramore

The National Eagle Scout Association, NESA, came out with a new uniform square knot for lifetime members. I’ve heard from a collector that received one noting that it was oversized. He had gotten two in and sent one to Dennis Dowling’s museum in Raton, NM. Dennis put it on display. When a National Supply Division staff member came through this summer Dennis pointed out that the square knot was much larger than normal knots (this brings back recollections of the first Spurgeon Award knot). The Supply Division person said this shouldn’t be and had all of the knots recalled and issued to the correct size. We don’t know how many of the error ones got out.

See the picture below for the differences. At first I was thinking it was just extra cloth which is happening now with some of the knots due to poor quality control but no the first issue is much larger than the correct knot. Should be some collector item.


Rare Scoutmaster Patch Surfaces

Posted on July 7th, 2007 in Adult Position Badges,Insignia by Roy

We are always scanning web-sites and auctions for interesting pieces of Scouting memorabilia. This past week an interesting patch blanket auctioned on eBay. (An aside – You have got to love patch blankets as you wonder if there’s a pony in there somewhere. Although, as one ‘patch digger’ said “As soon as I see that the patches were sewn on to a blanket or coat, I immediately drop my offer because the person has already indicated what they think their items are worth. Not much if it can be sewn on to a blanket.”)

Back to the story – the blanket had a number of mostly 1960s era patches out of the Del-Mar-Va area. There were some older pieces but in general not very note worthy. There was an interesting, at least for us red and white collectors, homemade strip that said “The Hague/Netherlands”. If it had been US made, “Katie bar the door” as the saying goes. But, since it was hand made, its a curiousity piece and nothing more.

What was interesting though, and actually much earlier than most of the other patches was a Type 2 Scoutmaster. Destry picked up on that it seemed wierd but he was thinking about the line-in-crown issue of this patch which was used only one year. No, this is the no-line issue that was used from 1920 to 1937 but what sets it apart is the style of the eagle and the way the feathers lay-out. Also, the knot hanging from the scroll is unlike any of the other knots. The eagle’s talons stretch into the petals of the FDL. Its almost like one of those “What’s hidden in this picture” puzzles.

Here’s a picture of the patch.

Rare Straight Wing Type 2 BSA Scoutmaster Patch

Note that the top of the eagle’s wings go straight across. The standard version has the eagle feathers following the curve of the First Class badge, a different hanging knot and many other differences. See below

Type 2 BSA Scoutmaster Patch on gabardine

In talking with one expert collector, he indicated that this issue is known in both Scoutmaster (white outline) and Assistant Scoutmaster (yellow outline) but that this is only the second straight-wing variety he has ever seen. Now, he has seen a lot of patches but we do not know what people have in their collection and don’t realize it. Maybe you need to go check?

Why this variety exists, we don’t know. It is probably due to a different manufacturer. It would make sense that there must be a production run of these unless they were a manufacturer’s sample that has gotten into the mix. This style of eagle, almost a more military style eagle, does not appear on other badges of this era or later for that matter.

Paul Myers on Early BSA Non-khaki Badges

Posted on June 13th, 2007 in Adult Position Badges,BSA Info,Insignia,Podcasts by Roy

This will be a first for us, and pretty much the hobby, as we’re publishing a “podcast” of an interview we recently did with Paul Myers discussing the different uniform cloth the BSA used and the badges that match them.

Some background

Paul is a leading authorty on BSA insignia as he has been a collector and researcher of this area for over forty years (boy he sure looks young!). He has published many articles and books on BSA memorabilia. His most recent is a full-color edition of Collecting Boy Rank badges. Paul has received numerous awards and recognitions for his contributions to the hobby.

Why a podcast? Well a picture they say is worth a 1,000 words so what is a moving picture and sound worth? That is, we think we can show and say more to explain things in our hobby that we could never write to paper (or computer file).

Our position within the hobby gives us access to leading collectors and authorities in the hobby. We think showcasing them and sharing their hard developed knowledge will benefit all. We’ll see how well this works. The files are huge (maybe some of our younger readers can give me some pointers here) but we think worthwhile. Please let us know what you think.

We hooked up with Paul recently at the Calumet Council TOR over the Memorial Day weekend. In this podcast, Paul talks about how in the 1920s through the 1940s the BSA made uniforms in many different types of material other than cotton khaki. These include serge, gabardine, wool and a material I’ve been wondering about ‘melton’. The uniforms were made in these materials and listed in the equipment catalogs. The question on my mind, and Paul’s as well, is “Do badges exist in these materials to match?”

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