New FSC Boundaries Established for Michigan

Posted on November 9th, 2011 in BSA Info,CSP,Hobby Trends,RWS,Shoulder Wear by ramore

The Board for the new council here in Michigan approved at its first meeting new Field Service Council (FSC) boundaries. FSCs are a new concept in the Scouting structure that we’re developing. Although there is one legal entity there are at this time four (4) local delivery entities who’s primary purpose is unit support. The Coordinating Council, also sometimes referred to as the “Administrative Council”, integrates back office functions and achieves economies of scale that we could not achieve as individual councils. Basically we have been silos working within our boundaries. One of the goals of the Crossroads Recommendation is to not compete with each other but compete¬† to bring more youth to Scouting.

Here’s the new boundaries approved at the meeting. When will these be effective? Soon but still being worked out.

Note – the boundaries between FSCs is dotted. These will flex over time depending upon who can best serve the needs of a given unit. Within Field Service Councils we may well have additional Community Service Councils that are even more focused on unit service – MMM – membership, manpower and of course money. We’ve had discussions where our shoulder wear will change to the community level. Not as specific as red and white community strips that collectors know but more specific than council shoulder strips we’re used to seeing.


The criteria used are on this slide. The Unit Serving Executives to Total Available Youth ratio is about a third better than the current ‘gold standard’ for the national dashboard metrics in Journey to Excellence.


Troop Specific CSPs

Posted on August 6th, 2010 in CSP,Hobby Trends by ramore

One of the nights at the Jamboree TOR Bob Salcido of California and I were comparing patches. Some of the JSPs are hard to separate from CSPs. We were looking at a pair of Minsi Trails patches and concluded they were CSPs for the 100th anniversary and not JSPs. Upon closer inspection, we noticed that we had different troops. Over the next week I looked for them and came up with four. Talking with Bob later he said he ran into their Exec and the Exec said he was not aware of these. Does anyone know any more specifics? Is this a new trend?

Here are the four I found (Bob’s was one of these troops):

400 and counting – 2010 CSPs and more

Posted on May 25th, 2010 in CSP,Jamborees,JSP by ramore

I’m now woefully out of date as about two weeks ago I was talking with Bill Loeble. Bill along with Steve Austin are the primary authors of the Council Shoulder Insignia book, the standard catalog for CSPs and other shoulder patches. Bill said they have over 400 different CSPs listed for 2010/100th anniversary of Scouting. The reason I’m saying woefully out of date is that after this conversation we had a Scout-o-rama. In talking with one of our DE’s he figured that our local council, Great Sauk Trail, is up to seventeen (17) CSPs for 2010. Ouch! If you have information about your or other councils, please post here or e-mail Bill (ask me for his e-mail as I don’t want him to get spammed by web-bots).

Bill also reported that he’s figuring there will be over 2,000 JSPs. I mentioned that we thought that the number of JSPs was going to top out back in 1997 after all of the council mergers. Boy were we wrong. Bill figures there were around 1,200 JSPs at the last Jamboree even though we were down to 310 councils.

There will likely be over 5,000 council/lodge issues for 2010 between CSPs, JSPs, and OA patches. One could spend their lifetime collecting this year alone (although it would make for an interesting collection).

Off and running – 100th Anniverary Patches Ramping Up

Posted on February 8th, 2010 in Camps,CSP,Hobby News,Hobby Trends,Insignia,Jamborees,JSP,OA,Rank by ramore

Last week I was at my Scout office for a meeting and stopped by the trading post. They have the new boy rank patches out commerating the 100th anniversary year of the BSA. I think these are neat but the quality control is poor. There are at least three major varieties in this group alone. Some appear to have been made by the BSA. Others have ‘Made in China’ stickers on the back. The latter is a separate sore point but we’ll leave that for another blog. Anyway, variety collectors are going to have a field day figuring these out. I’m told there’s an Eagle patch as well but I’ve not seen it. I’ve also been told that Scout shops are to have returned their inventory of the regular items so as to be replaced with these 2010 pieces.

Then Destry and I went to the Indy TOR this past weekend. Their hospitality was great as always (except for the 9″ of snow.) Several councils now have out 2010 patches. That got me asking around how many items do you think we’ll have for the 100th anniversary? By “items” I mean regular issue pieces – CSPs, JSPs, OA items. I’m figuring it will be up to 5,000. Could be more. And this is not counting camp and camporee items or Jamboree staff items. One could spend a lifetime just to collect this year. Also, I was hearing quotes for “rare, limited edition” varieties at huge prices. Councils and lodges could kill a good thing. If you know of some egregious abuses, please pass on the comment. Thanks.

11,500 CSPs and counting

Posted on August 14th, 2007 in CSP by Roy

That’s the number of different issues collector, and National OA Committee member, Bill Loeble reported to me at the 2007 NCLS. This is issues, not twill varieties or plastic back/cloth back differences.

In the early days of CSP collecting, pre-1980, we paid attention to “twill left rough” (TLR) or “twill right smooth” (TRS) because there were so few different issues. We have pretty much gotten away from this making Bill’s accomplishment even that much more impressive. Generally it is good that we have gotten away from technical varieties that were merely the result of production runs.

We do run the risk though of losing our history of first issue CSPs where twill direction or backing makes a difference between truly the first issue and later runs. Several that come to mind include Longhorn T1 cloth back – the true first issue – much harder than the later runs of this patch or Scenic Trails TLR or…. the list is long. Further, most, but not all, first issue CSPs were on TLR cloth. There isn’t really a good book on these that I’m aware of. The Ellis/Jones/Austin book is the best but even they don’t have all of this documentation. You have to go back to the early issue catalogs from the guys who ran the Illinois Traders’ Association (ITA) who were documenting this as it happened. Most of the web-sites are incomplete as well with respect to this information.

I am working on my CSP entry for my shopping cart. As of 1998 there were 5,450 issues in the catalog. Thus, we’ve basically doubled that number in 8 1/2 years. That works out to 650 issues per year. With 320 councils on average during those years that means 2 issues per council per year. No wonder there are so few national all issue collectors (but there are some!)

I collect all of the Michigan issues where I do admit to collecting varieties of twills, border, backing, etc. I have fun with it. Just going after Michigan gives me challenge keeping up with what’s been issued and special issues.

I had a lot of fun putting together a first issue collection (and why I did research on true first issues.) This area continues to bring collectors in as many of them can easily be obtained but then there are some real bears to track down let alone acquire.

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