Patch Trading - Is There A Policy? Adults/Scouts?
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Sun, 9 Jul 1995 23:33:25 -0400
In an earlier message I stated my belief that BSA policy prohibited patch
trading between adults and Scouts. Greg Benesh and Bob Fiedler were
quick to alert me to concerns with this statement. So I tried to find
the source, but couldn't. Neither could Ted Sarah, who also looked. It
appears that I mistook what our Council said in its newspaper issued at
the time of the 1993 National Jamboree as national policy. My apologies
for any shock and alarm unnecessarily created. It appears that BSA has
not issued a definitive policy prohibiting trading between adults and Scouts.
My thanks for those who responded.
Although there is not a current national policy prohibiting trading
between adults and Scouts that I can verify, you should be aware that
trading between adults and Scouts was prohibited at the 1993 National
Jamboree and 1994 National Order of the Arrow Conference.
Why was there a prohibition? Here are some of the answers I received
while visiting the National Jamboree in 1993:
1. At the 1989 there were some egregious cases of adults taking
advantage of Scouts in trades - some pretty unsavory types were cleaning
the Scouts out of everything they had for a supposed "rare" patch that
really wasn't necessarily even rare or particularly valuable. (I
personally witnessed this sort of thing at the 1989 Jamboree and stepped
in to stop a few trades and then had a talk with the adult about his role
in Scouting and what ethics he was teaching.)
2. The idea of patch trading to build friendships is encouraged, but too
many participants bypassed some or all of the events in favor of patch
trading, missing much of the Jamboree program. The Jamboree of course is
there to foster the purposes of Scouting and the concern was that leaders
were setting a bad example leading boys away from the benefits of the
Jamboree program. (At the 1993 Jamboree less patch trading was evident
than in 1989 and more boys seemed to be participating in events during
the days I was there.)
3. Some adults were introducing counterfeit and/or unofficial patches
into trades with unsuspecting Scouts (patches had BSA name and/or logos) in
violation of BSA's patents on insignia.
In each case it came down to adults that had lost sight of their role as
Scout leaders there to fulfill the promise of Scouting by furthering its
goals using Scouting methods. Instead these folks were there to amass
collections for their own benefit.
Was this widespread? I don't know, but my observation was that this was
another of those situations were a very few have spoiled something for
the great majority of those who were acting properly. As a patch trader
and collector, I can understand from what I saw why the prohibition went
into effect, while at the same time I can lament that a lot of good
natured patch swopping was hurt.
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
whose Vigil name, "Memhallmund" means "Trader" mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City