Re: Service Stars and the Insignia Police
(no name) ((no email))
Tue, 27 Feb 1996 22:00:46 -0600
Bruce Harper wrote:
>It is amazing how long this thread has gone on, over a small >piece of tin
and a plastic disk that together cost less than 25 >cents.
You haven't priced them lately, have you, Bruce? The current cost of a
service star is around $1, and you can only purchase 12 disks
in a package which runs $.85. So, dividing those by 12, you get
about 8 cents a disk. So, for $1.08, you get a year pin.
Many units do NOT award them, as I've stated earlier, for just those
reasons...they are costly to maintain and confusing to award. Their take on
it: "If you want it...go down to the Council office and purchase it yourself".
>Yet when was the last time a DE or someone from the Council came >by and
did a service star audit?
When was the last time that you had a Commissioner to conduct a
uniform inspection? That's part of the inspection, or was when
I served as Unit Commissioner, Scout Commissioner, and as District
Commissioner. I looked to see if a Scout has one, especially if
he is wearing the Arrow of Light (which tells me that he's had at least two
years of Cubbing) and a Star Badge or better (which tells me that he's been
around the Troop for at least a year).
I ALWAYS have lots of those plastic backings with me when I attend a
Council's Scout Show, Scoutorama, or during a national event in which Scouts
are present. I give them out, and even assist the
Cub or Scout in wearing the year pin correctly. You'd be surprised at where
those pins end up...on the pocket flap, on the
right side, on the hat as a hat pin...all because NOBODY bothered to show
them or place it correctly on their uniform the FIRST TIME it was awarded.
Or, going back to what I stated earlier, they could have purchased it from a
distributor and "decided to wear it there".
>I'm not upset about the discussion, just curious. Do you put as >much time
and effort into the _PROGRAM_ for the _boys_ as you put >into worrying about
Yes, I do. This....wearing the uniform properly...is a valid part of the
program. I take great pride in the way I look to Scouts and other Scouters,
and I hoped that that would wear off to the
Scouts and Scouters that I've come in contact with.
> If a boy bridges from Webelos II to Boy Scouts in April, yet >receives a
4-year pin for Cub Scouts (even though he didn't
>make it the full year to the following September), is the program >damaged?
I don't think so, but there are others that will look at my "oversight" and
assume that since a kid met 10 of the 12 requirements for Wolf, he should
get the badge anyway. Or since a
kid attended the overnight on Saturday but left Saturday evening so that he
could attend a soccer match on Sunday, that we should
give him full credit for attending. See what I'm saying?
No, the *program* isn't damaged....but our *implementation of that program
equally* could be.
>If a Tiger Cub parent gets a 1-year pin for being a partner and >taking an
active interest in a program with his or her child, >will the Insignia
Police swoop down with lights flashing and >sirens blaring to haul off the
Cubmaster for wrongly issuing a >pin?
No, but he or she will endure a lot more damaging embarassment when some
"Scouter Red" tells him or her LOUDLY and in PLAIN VIEW of everyone "You're
not supposed to wear that! That's for the kid
only!"; and because that Cubmaster (whom, by the way, is a friend
and is why he volunteered to serve as a Den Leader...that is until "Red"
decided to embarrass him or her) gave the pin to them, he or she assumed
that "It must be right...the Cubmaster gave it to me".
We lose a lot of potential Scouters that way, you know.
>We aren't talking about handing out Eagle badges to anyone who >walks in
the door, we're talking about a very minor part of the >Scouting program.
Yes we are, Bruce. However, some folks *really want to know*,
hence the discussions here.
>Please, folks, put it into perspective before you engage in >fisticuffs.
I don't think that it will evolve into conflict, especially here
on this forum...but there are some Scouters that have some
*definate* fixated viewpoints on how these devices are worn, by whom and for
To finally place this to rest for a while (because it will come up again
*grinning*, here is what *I* have been reading and summarized (I hope I get
this all right! *grinning*):
* There are THREE TYPES of tenure (that's what started this round
of discussion, anyways):
* Unit tenure, which is dependent upon continuous
rechartering over a five or more year period (denoted on
the charter certificate by labels) and upon 25 or more
years, denoted by special "bars" which are worn between
the Council Shoulder Patch (CSP) and the unit number(s)
and appropriate emblems which are sewn on the unit flag.
Anyone registered during the period that the unit has
obtained tenure may wear the 25, 50, or other tenure bars
and continue to do so until they leave the unit, in which
they remove the bar when they change unit numbers.
* Individual tenure, which is dependent upon continous
registration with a program of the Boy Scouts of America.
For every year of registration, the member is entitled to
wear a "tin" year pin with an appropriate plastic backing
on the FIELD UNIFORM, above the left pocket and above any
square knot insignia (consult the Insignia Guide for the
precise placement). For the purpose of year pins, the BSA
last year has stated that Tiger Cub Partners are entitled
to wear the adult year pin to denote each year of service
as a Tiger Cub Partner (Partners can do so for more than
one year, since the Partner does NOT have to be a parent
of the Tiger Cub; in some situations, "Big Brother"
partners, guardians, or even teachers of the Tiger Cub may
serve as Tiger Cub Partner). This tenure may be combined
AT THE CONVIENCE OF THE MEMBER into one or two year pins
instead of separate year pins for Tiger, Cub, Scout,
Varsity, Explorer and/or Adult service.
* Veteran tenure, which is dependent upon the individual
service in the BSA for five years or more, either as a
youth or adult member, and completion and approval of the
Application for Veteran Status by the local Council and/or
the National Registration Service. Veteran devices are in
the design of the unit flag tenure emblems, and are
designed for the CIVILIAN WEAR of the individual only.
There is also something which "used" to be called a "Perfect Attendance
pin", now just called an "Attendance Pin". This pin and the corresponding
"year bars" may be awarded to members based on the criteria established by
the unit. There is NOT an "official" Attendance certificate to be awarded
with the pin, which is also worn on the field uniform (consult the Insignia
Guide for placement).
* There is some disagreement concerning the awarding of "half-year" service
stars to Cubs, Scouts, or Explorers whom have served in a unit for periods
less than one full year. Some use
a "Scouter's Sense" approach to this, and if a member is a couple
months shy of reaching their registration date, to go ahead and award the
pin; while others, taking a more stronger stance, say that that pin should
only be awarded when and if the member stays
in the present unit until the date of his or her registration.
Unfortunately, this is one of those issues that won't reach a satisfactory
conclusion, because for every "you must", there are
a laundry list of "exceptions" which can be made for a youth member.
However *you* decide, please insure that you do so with as much equality as
you can do it and be ready to justify to the parents (and to the Council
possibly) how you arrived at the policy. There is NO "BSA policy" other than
based on registration and there should not be because each and every unit
should design their OWN policy for the awarding of the year pins.
* Finally, there seems to be disagreement with the awarding of the ADULT
year pin to the adult member of the Tiger Cub "team". This
has been resolved by the National Insignia and Uniform Committee of the BSA
last fall, and announced in _Scouting_ and posted here
previously. The adult partner wears the adult pin because he or she is NOT
a "youth member", as the orange backing denotes youth
service, not adult service. There's not an exception for the Tiger Cub
adult partner. Yes, the TCP is a strange animal as far as the BSA and the
Pack is concerned, and changes to the overall
Tiger Cub program will address some of those problems of being "a
participant but not a registered adult member".
I hope that this all helps out!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle) (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Servics of Kentucky (502.826.7046) __)_
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