“Only three of these patches were ever made. Baden-Powell’s granddaughter sewed each one by hand using thread from a jacket once worn by James E. West.”
Does that patch-trading pitch make your Spidey sense tingle?
In the past, you might have just laughed, said “no deal” and walked away. Now, verifying the claim is as easy as pulling out your smartphone.
The Boy Scouts of America’s official, free PatchScan app, available for iOS and Android devices, takes the guesswork out of patch trading and reduces your chances of trading for a “limited-edition” patch that’s actually 1 of 50,000.
The process is simple. You open the app, scan the QR code on the back of a patch and wait for the patch’s stats to appear on screen.
Why is this app necessary? Because while we all know Scouts and Scouters are trustworthy, some odious outsiders see creating faux BSA memorabilia as a way to make a quick buck.
PatchScan (which I first told you about during the 2013 jamboree) is one of two tools the BSA’s Supply Group has in place to help you identify authentic products. The other is a hologram, like the one seen above, that tells you you’re holding an officially licensed product. Look for it on BSA merchandise including headwear, apparel, patches and more.
The BSA isn’t the first to use these shiny identifiers. Sports leagues, for example, have for years used holograms to signify authentic jerseys, hats and T-shirts.
PatchScan, meanwhile, has already been used more than 100,000 times by Scouts and Scouters looking for a leg up in the game of patch trading and collecting. QR codes will become mandatory on council shoulder patches, jamboree shoulder patches, OA lodge flaps and pocket patches, and sets of flaps or CSPs beginning in June 2014.
Learn more and see some screenshots after the jump. Continue reading