scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: The Recurring Official vs. Unofficial DS-Country Patch Thread
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blkeagle@USSCOUTS.ORG
Tue Feb 23 1993 - 17:58:05 CST
Once again, I'm here to talk about the Direct Service Council and it's insignia.
Based on my (few) years with DSC as a youth and adult:
>Direct Service Council produces ten different shoulder patches.
This is true. The Council makes available ten shoulder patches for areas of
the Council with LARGE populations of youth and/or adults. The policy has
been in place since 1976, and still continues....
At one time, the number of Scouts and Scouters in a certain "area" had to be
between 200 and 500 to "warrant" their own CSP. At other times, it had to
be above 100. In any rate, the ten CSPs (the official one and the nine
others), are produced and can be PURCHASED through the BSA's Direct Service
>One could claim that the DS-ATW is the true CSP while the others are really
>glorified District patches. Maybe, however DSC has no districts and they are
>produced by the council which tends to make them council patches.
The Direct Service Council has FIVE Districts. The district boundaries
coincide with the boundaries of the five World Organization of Scouting
Movements (WOSM) Regions. In two of the five Districts, there's actually a
District Executive which manages the programs of that District. In the
other three, volunteers serve as Paraprofessionals (the actual title is
"District Representative") in a likewise manner as they serve in similar
roles in Districts belonging to Transatlantic and Far East Councils.
>The question of official versus unofficial is equally moot.
Not to a true patch trader or collector. As I've stated before, the nine
OFFICIAL patches are the true official emblems representing the territory
served by the Direct Service Council. ALL OTHER EMBLEMS are considered
"unit emblems". Those other units you state which have "unit shoulder
emblems" have done so either on one of two basis:
*they have sought and obtained permission from the local Council to wear the
special emblem, and the Council has given that unit permission to wear the
That's not uncommon, for many Councils will grant the unusual permission if
they are not out the money AND if the emblem confirms to the BSA's standard
of indicia placement somewhere on the emblem.
*they have thumbed their noses at the local Council, and are secretely
hoping that nobody complains loud enough to warrant their attention...and
therefore telling the unit to "cease and desist" using the emblem until it
is approved by the Council's Scout Executive OR until all emblems are
destroyed or returned to the Council.
Councils CAN do this, you know, Phil...even though the patch is "legally
yours", they CAN inform your unit not to wear them anymore.
Will the DSC do this? Not a chance. There's too many DSC emblems out there
and other than to insure that those patches carry a BSA indicia to be worn
on the BSA field uniform, the DSC won't really care. They're not out the
money that would otherwise would have to be spent on the patches.
However, consider this: A unit in Guatemala creates their own "Unit
shoulder patch" and sells it to others. All of a sudden, the DSC isn't
getting any more orders for their OFFICIAL Guatemala DSC CSP, which they
made when the population of Scouts in Guatamala and neighboring countries
was really large....DSC may ask that Scouter or unit to stop
producing/making available the patch....citing that "Hey!! We ALREADY make
one for all of the Scouts in that area...if you want to help us make a new
design, then please feel froggy...otherwise, STOP!"
That's the kind of thing that *could happen* in your country's case. Will
it, though? Nah.
>We both sell and trade CSPs and not always at 1:1. Some units trade 1:1
>while others never trade at all. There are costs of production,
>transportation, and a scarcity value to be factored in. We never pretended
>to have asked for official DSC approval and never considered it necessary.
You should. The DSC is YOUR COUNCIL, Phil. Therefore, anything that goes
on the Council's uniform (the Council representing the BSA) SHOULD be
approved by them....the process is very painless, Phil. All it is needed is
two copies of the patch along with a letter explaining why you want to wear
it and that the costs will be carried by your unit. The letter goes to the
Council's Scout Executive (in our case, it's the Council Administrator), who
reviews it, approves it, and send you back a letter authorizing it to be
worn by members of your Lone Scout patrol.
(why two copies? One copy is retained by the Council; the other copy goes
to the BSA's National Uniform and Insignia Committee, who has the final say
on the approval....they VERY SELDOM DISAPPROVE a Council Scout Executive's
>The whole point of patch trading is to enjoy it in your own way without
>causing pain to the people around you. Let's not rain on what makes the
>other person happy.
The issue is, and I'm sure you're aware, of the "legality" of the emblem and
whether or not Scouters should pay for something not "legal" to wear.
That's up to each Scouter to decide on that, and it's not up to you nor I
nor anyone else to make that decision for them. If they want to pay for or
trade for a patch which is not official, let them. If they don't want to
pay for or trade for the patch, again, let them lose out. It's THEIR
DECISION, and not anyone's else's to decide...
They just CANNOT WEAR THE PATCH. The patch isn't official to wear with
anyone but your family. And to make sure that your family can indeed wear
it without a lot of "patch police comments", you should ask DSC to make it
official for yourself and your Lone Scouts to wear. In this way, when those
asking "is it official?", you can produce a nice letter and show it to them
That too, is up to you.
I hope this moves this discussion onward further...
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
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