Re: quality unit badges
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Mon, 27 Apr 1998 10:31:19 -0500
Linda asked a very good question...I didn't see any answers, so...
She asked us all:
>Can anyone tell me why if Council says you are quality unit, you have to
>pay for the patches for your pack. It seems everytime I turn around I am
>paying for patches that end up eating my funds. We are not a rich pack >and
I have to put the money in myself. Which I don't have. Shouldn't >council
give you the patches for quality unit, popcorn and bowl-a-thon.
Not only do your Pack have to pay for the colorful patches, but your Pack
also has to pay for the civilian lapel pins, for the plaques and for
everything else EXCEPT for the flag streamer. That's free, and if your Pack
doesn't get one, you need to go and beat up on your District's Executive or
his or her boss to get your Pack one!!!
Now, *WHY DO WE HAVE TO PAY FOR EVERYTHING* was your question. There's a
simple answer to it: funding. There's also a longer explaination of why
this method of recognition is working.
The BSA has been doing this "Honor/Quality" unit thing since 1972 and until
1978, the BSA and it's local Councils pretty much footed the bill on the
patches. The only thing, a Council may order one Honor Unit patch for every
member in their Council, which became VERY expensive when not ALL units in
your Council became Honor (now Quality) units!! So what do you do with the
"extra bundles of patches"....especially when they all say "1996" and it's
You throw them out, at a BIG LOSS to the Council's budget or your try and
beg people to buy them, again at a BIG LOSS because you have to reduce the
cost of the emblems.
How much of a "big loss" are we talking about?? Let's say for grins that
your Council had 8000 youth members and 12,000 adult volunteers last year.
At $1 per patch, we're talking $20,000. And Councils do NOT get a
"discount" on purchases...they pay a set cost which is a little less than
retail but still very expensive! The way that the Council USED to pass that
on to you, was to charge you $1.10 for the patch and they got to put that
extra $2K back into the Council's budget....that is, IF they sold all of the
patches. Like I stated above, Linda, a lot of those patches NEVER left the
So, in 1987, the BSA decided that with the new Quality
Unit/District/Council/Region awards, that to CUT OVERALL COSTS and to make
the emblems available almost immediately to those meeting the requirements,
that units would pay for their own Quality items: the emblems, to which the
UNIT can decide how they are going to distribute them; the lapel pins, for
presentation to adults associated with the unit to wear on their civilian
clothing (a nice touch, I may add); plaques, to be personalized and
presented to those that "got us the honor" that year (and if your unit is
NOT getting at LEAST ONE PLAQUE AND PRESENTING IT TO YOUR CHARTERED
ORGANIZATION FOR DISPLAY, you're missing a really *good* PR event!!); and
other items (hats, teeshirts, and other items which can be purchased with
the "Big Q" and presented).
Quality Districts and Councils are responsible for doing a "project sale" to
get the funding neccessary for the purchase of Quality District or Council
patches, plaques and other items. Like with the Quality unit emblems, local
Councils and Districts are sent ONE flag streamer for their Council or
District flag (I've never seen a streamer on our Council's flag, but that
doesn't mean that they don't put it on it!!)
(A "project sale" is where the Field Director, a Program Director, the
Associate Scout Executive or even the Scout Exec him/herself will go out and
raise the monies by asking Council partners to "foot the bill" for the
patches in a similar manner that some Councils get a partner to pay for all
of the Eagle Scout badges or other advancements for a year. It's a very
effective way of getting the Quality District/Council patches paid for.)
Regions only get the plaque, which is purchased by that Region by "passing
the hat around" all of the key Regional volunteers. I have never seen a
Quality Region emblem.
In this way, inventory control can be accomphished, unused or extra patches
and plaques can be held to a miminmum, and only those units, Districts, and
Councils that actually EARN Quality awards get the awards and get to wear
I agree, Linda, that our Councils are asking us to help them to raise monies
and that those monies should somehow "trickle downward' to us at the unit
level....but I don't expect my Council to pay for my unit's acheivements
when they don't really know whom I want to give those patches and plaques
to. But believe me, Linda., if my District or Council becomes a Quality
Council or District, I'll be asking for MY free patch.
(Tradition is, Linda, that those Council\District volunteers registered at
the time of the attainment of Quality District or Council gets to wear the
QD/QC patches. You only get to wear ONE Quality patch, that's the one
corresponding to the highest "level" of quality -- unit, District or Council.
There isn't anything in writing that confirms this, but most Councils follow
this tradition set back with the older Honor Unit emblems.)
Sorry, I can't answer about the Popcorn or Bowl-a-Thon patches, because
those are NOT "National patches" but local Council patches that are
purchased or created for your Council's local fund-raising programs!
Hope this all helps, and thanks...it's a great question!
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
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