Should an adult trade patches with a Scout?

Scouts trade with Scouts; adults trade with adults.

Along with “trade one for one,” “always shake hands,” and “don’t bring money into a deal,” it’s one of the central tenets of patch trading.

But does that age-old rule still make sense? Or should Scouts and adults be allowed to swap patches under certain circumstances?

I ask because I recently learned that adults will be able to trade with Scouts at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree — but only in designated, supervised areas.

Here are the facts:

Why adults and Scouts usually don’t trade patches

The rule of separation, as I’m calling it, has been about keeping things fair.

Russell Smart, a top-level volunteer and program group chairman for the 2013 jamboree, said some nefarious Scouters have tried to take advantage of Scouts in patch-trade deals at past jamborees.

“There are adults who have the resources to go out and fabricate cheap, nonofficial, but seemingly valuable patches and trade them to kids,” Smart says. It’s “the shiny lure where you entice a kid to trade a patch that does have real, official value for something that has none. Kids typically don’t do that. It’s the adults that do that.”

What’s worse, some adults (who somehow call themselves Scouters) might artificially inflate the value of their patch and/or deflate the value of a Scout’s patch — offering a giveaway district camporee patch for a collectible from the 1960 jamboree, for example.

Why trading at the 2013 jamboree will be different

A lot will be different next summer for the first Summit jamboree, and patch trading is no exception.

For the first time, Scouts and adults will be allowed to trade patches, but only in the “stadium” (the area known as the “arena” at past jamborees).

Here, representatives from the International Scouting Collectors Association will be on hand to answer questions and — more importantly — monitor deals.

“Anybody who operates outside of the rules is not going to be tolerated,” Smart says. “It will be a discovery experience for all of us.”

If there’s a concern about Scouts getting a raw deal, why allow Scouts and adults to trade patches at all? It’s simple.

“Adults have patches that kids want,” Smart explains. “And kids have patches that adults want. There are more kids that trade patches at jamborees than adults. Adults that are in the hobby can be very instructive with kids and help them learn how to trade and teach them about the value of the trading part of our hobby.”

Then there’s the practical side.

“You trust adults to take your children on a camping trip, but you don’t trust them to trade a patch with Scouts? That just makes no sense,” Smart says.

One for one encouraged

No matter how valuable you think your X-Men patch is, it’s still just one patch.

That’s why Smart encourages one-for-one trading only.

“That ought to be the ideal of the jamboree,” he says.”Whether it’s a kid or an adult. The abuses occur when somebody says, ‘My patch is worth five of yours.'”

Though some patches bear special designs or licensed characters, “all cost about the same to manufacture,” Smart says. “So there’s no intrinsic difference in the economic value of one patch over another. It’s only supply and demand and the enthusiasm of a certain design.”

Adults and Scouts trading outside the jamboree

Smart makes a good case for Scout-adult trading in the supervised jamboree stadium, but what about elsewhere at the jamboree? And what about Scouts and adults trading at weekend camporees, summer camp, or other Scouting functions?

That’s when it gets a little trickier.

So what do you think: Should Scouts and adults be trading partners? Why or why not? I welcome your comments below.

Coming in our November-December issue

In the next issue of Scouting magazine, read the story of one Scout’s patch trading protest at the Summit Shakedown. Find the issue in your mailboxes in late October!

Photos from the Summit Shakedown by W. Garth Dowling/BSA


  1. So am I to take that Scouts and Scout leaders are not being honest when it comes to trading patches? Why not just not allow it if it appears to clearly be such an issue?

        • You must have misinterpreted my previous comment. I in no way suggested that patch trading between adults and youth be allowed or disallowed. I merely pointed out that it does not matter if it is banned or not, there is nothing we can do to prevent it. Even if there is a complete and total ban, with active enforcers, the ones wanting to do it anyway are going to find a way. There was a ton of adult youth trading at the 2010 Jamboree even though the guidebook said it was not allowed.
          This is similar to units going to play laser tag even though it is expressly forbidden in the GTSS. Just saying it isn’t allowed does nothing.

      • Scoutmaster Chris your comments are right on and nothing we can say can change these facts. I firmily believe that patch trading at the National Jamboree must be an exception and must standup for the values of honesty and intregity. The National Jamboree is the largest gathering for exposing the values of Scouting in the United States therefore we adult Scout leaders must insist on being an example of strong and honest leadership at all times and in all places. I believe that patch trading between adults and youth will only bring about opportunities for moments of dissatisfaction and a loss of respect for that particular trader. At the 2010 Jamboree I saw adults trying to trade with the younger scouts and the reaction from the Scouts was an overwelming responce to no trading with adults because of the 2010 Jamborees rules and it was great moment to see the Youth Scouts reminding those adult leaders to follow the rules. That is what can happen when we are reminded to be obedient. Sincerely, Trenton Spears
        Scoutmaster Troop 144 Sothern Sierra Council

  2. Adults should be allowed to trade with youth without any rules or exceptions. It is a private deal between the two parties. Just because there have been dishonest people in the past does NOT mean that every adult (or youth for that matter) is that way. EDUCATE the youth, but don’t punish people for something that they didn’t do!

  3. I agree with adults beng able to trade with youth, but only on a 1 for 1 basis. Scouts tend to over value their patches. I have seen them ask 5 and 6 for 1 thinking their council or lodge patches are worth more than someone elses.

  4. My personal rule has been that I will trade with a scout only if they initiate the conversation and the trade. I will be honest with the scout on what I see as the value of his patches and what he is asking for. As stated above the cost of making most patches is about the same. It is the “WOW” factor that sets some apart. IF there is a concern, as expressed then we shouldn’t allow the trading at all. I have seen it between other kids where the trade is lopsided. So it is not just the adults.

    • The 1-for-1 concept is economic ignorance and idealism. I am surprised that otherwise intelligent Scouters would ever promote it. What, are they communists?

      Patches have intrinsic value of thread, cloth, and production costs. But it is the simple fact that patches have extrinsic value (or “attached value”) that makes a patch worth more to one Scout than another, thus setting up the entire purpose of trading as a fun activity. Otherwise, you might as well be trading identical metal slugs.

      A rare patch, or a beautiful patch, or a patch to which is attached special significance does have more value than common, ugly, or boring design. Is this not obvious? Why should a Scout be even slightly encouraged to part with a prized patch for a common patch?

      As for Scouters taking advantage of Scouts (a) it is despicable, (b) it is probably rare, (c) Scouts should be taught that they can be taken advantage of this way, and (d) making mistakes like this teaches real-world lessons. Trying to protect everyone from every harm, then we should just shut down Scouting as a movement to build character.

  5. I love how the BSA says that adults need to be watched to make sure trading is fair but trust these same adults to mentor and watch those same scouts hundreds of miles away from their parents

  6. Wow… That’s a very hard question for me to answer… I’m of two minds on the subject and here’s why:

    As a Scouting Heritage Counselor, I’d say that patches are really a form of our recorded history. They reflect so much of the styles and attitudes of those generations who made them that we really want to have our younger scouts get excited about collecting them and keeping the history alive.

    But too, there are those who know the value of history, and would otherwise prey on those who don’t which fully goes against the Scout Law…

    But as a youth, I remember a very senior Scouter asked me about a shiny new council patch that I had, and I commented about the very old “red and white” he had. By the end of the conversation, he was delighted to have a shiny new patch and I was thrilled to have that vintage one in return. And with that trade, he shared with me all the exiting places that patch had accompanied him. He wanted to pass along not only the patch, but the excitement of the history it saw too.

    If intereactions go as that one trade went for me, I’d think it is a good idea, but I know that unless we frame the objectives closely, we might see sad memories instead of fond ones.

  7. The problems occur Scout to Scout, and Scouter to Scouter just as much as the youth to adult occurs. The guideline is flawed to begin with. Whenever our troop goes to an event that will have patch trading, I explain what to look for. One for one trading is pushed, but two for one for a special one is sometimes acceptable. Always look for the BSA approved seal on the back. No money, and to find an adult they know if something seems wrong for advice. I constantly hear from other adults that adult to scout trading is not allowed, but after I explain to them what I explain to the boys, most of them are ok with it.

  8. Ran into this at the 1973 Jamboree (East) … I was a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster — and none of the scouts would trade with me, because they had no idea I was a Scout and not a Scouter!

    • I was there Growing Together in 1973 Nation Jamboree East. Most trades were done out by the pay phone banks, and outside of the trading post. As I remember it everyone seemed to be trading with no restriction of age. and there was more items than just patches traded, As it was more of making a collection of meeting new friends from around the other scouting troops in the country. I did get a vary nice I’m a Thumbody button given to me. from one of the preformer for the night show, during there afternoon warm up session at the big arena. also remember meeting the one that sung: I’d like to teach the world to sing song. It was a great fun time,
      Having just regular troops go instead of the now council troops was nice, as you had your own leaders and other boys you know from school there.
      would be nice if there was a yahoo group, or something set up for all that was there to post there rememberances too, or to fine some of the big jamboree game friends we made there. anyone need a red H? I’m sure I still have it in my memory box of photos.

  9. Scouting is about the boys. They should be trading with other scouts. However, if a scout is interested in a scouter’s patch and initiates the conversation, there should be some allowance for this.

  10. Unfortunately, we can’t trust all adults — even Scout leaders — as the news this week underscores. This means we have to protect Scouts from predators of all stripes. Some commenters don’t want any strings on patch trading, but one-for-one is fine with me. I’m not a patch speculator or memorabilia shark, so all I need is a friendly exchange of one patch. Let the speculators and sharks meet at a motel outside of the jamboree site.

    • And just as unfortunately, we can’t trust all scouts. I’ve seen many, many scouts (usually older, but still of scout age) attempt to take advantage of younger or less-informed scouts. I concur that the 1-1 rule is a great guideline for all trades, no matter the parties.

  11. I feel this is a good idea for the jamboree site itself, but am still concerned about those that prowl the off site points of gathering like the Air and Space Museum. In 2010, just prior to the jamboree, I was working at the ASM on a special project in conjunction with the museum, while the masses of scout tour groups were there. There were four adults showed up wearing scouting related t-shirts and set up a trading post of sorts, first in front before the doors opened, then inside towards the back out of the walk ways. They were ignoring the published rules to the troops about adult, scout trading. When challenged I was informed it was none of my business, and the scouts were not yet at the jamboree, so the rules did not apply. When I pressed the issue one, he informed me that he was a member of ISCA, and they did not agree with the stated policy, then called me a Nazi and other things, in front of some scouts. The guards at the museum chose to not be involved, as they were not blocking walk areas.

    The whole thing left a very bad taste in my mouth, so to speak. I wrote to the organization noted in this article, described the individuals, and so on; but their response was a NON-RESPONSE. I also contacted the group running the off site hotel trade-o-ree, hoping they might at least make an effort to do something; but again, they chose to simply ignore the issue. It is truly a shame that a few unethical, or egocentric so called Scouters would act this way; but we all have a few in our areas.

  12. Bryan I believe that Adults not trading patches with 18 and under Scouts at a National Jamboree is a good thing. I have attended a Jamboree in the past and the ideal that trading patches should be left to the younger scouts to trade among each other. As adults we must make sure that we are role models and prevent unfair trading practices. I have had complaints from my younger scouts at the National Jamborees of an adult taking advantage of less knowledgeable youth traders and also younger Scouts doing the same thing to adults. Sincerely,
    Trenton Spears
    Scoutmaster 2010 National Jamboree.

  13. En español: En mi caso muy particular cuando un niño inicia una conversación y me pide alguna de mis insignias o parches, no puedo negárselo, no importa si el parche es valioso o no para mí. Si tengo algún parche que definitivamente no quiero intercambiar, simplemente no lo exhibo.

    • Jose Your Spanish is very good and I am sure that many whom understand Spanish were very informed however English is the language of communication in America and this type of forum is better served by posting comments that everyone can read. Thanks for your interest in Scouting I am sure you are a very good representitive for the Boy Scouts of America. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

  14. Last year my family went to Disney World. My son immediately started collecting the many pins they had for sale. Late in our trip we found that there was a healthy pin trading community, which included the staff. Some members of the staff would display pins, and we’re required by policy to accept any 1 for 1 pin trade offer. They were instructed to not display any pin they didn’t want to trade.

    There are a few parallels we can make with our organization:
    -we see the value in children being comfortable with vetted adults
    -we recognize that rules about value are hard for children to understand
    -we recognize that some patches are “worth” more than others

    I say that as long as a 1 for 1 rule is imposed this is a good thing. Scouters that are collectors can have a display of non-tradable patches, which can be used as a teaching aid. They can also have a stack of modern patches from their location (council strips, camp patches, etc.)

  15. The BSA allowing it’s Youth members to trade with adults changes the entire face of the organization, including their own Mission and Methods. The BSA might as well take the word ‘boy’ off of their uniforms because they have watered down what that means. Boy Scouts is supposed to be for BOYS, we adult volunteers are here to guide, mentor and observe these boys, NOT to be full active participants.

    There is a reason why a 14 year old can’t vote, buy alcohol or firearms, drive a motor vehicle, enter into contracts, etc. There is a reason a Scout can only go to registered Merit Badge Counselor and that Counselor has to meet certain requirements. This is what the BSA’s mission statement, aim and methods are all about. How can a 14 year old from Montana fully understand the value of an item and the faith of a 53 adult from Rhode Island who is offering that item?

    How can the BSA require a Scout to be Thrifty if they have to dramatically change policy so that a youth member can obtain something by such means. How will the BSA, nationally and locally enforce this policy as long as the open door policy is in place. What is to keep a non-participant adult from entering an activity to trade with Scouts?

    What is next, allowing Adults to once again work on advancement, be Senior Patrol Leaders, create the Troop’s outdoor program,

    It seems like someone if forgetting that the BSA is supposed to be about the Youth and not a club for adults.

    • Since you cited them, let’s revisit the Methods of Scouting:
      #4: Association with Adults. “Boys learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of their troops. In many cases a Scoutmaster who is willing to listen to boys, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives.”
      Your reaction is kneejerk and a monument to hyperbole. The bottom line is that if you create a line between adults and youth in trading, then you do the Scouts a disservice: They either have no way of getting older patches, they have to break the rule, they have to thumb their nose at the rule by using an adult to make a trade “legal” on paper only, or they have to spend real money on the patch on eBay or some other commercial venue.
      Given a proper framework with education for the Scouts and monitors for the adults, there is no intrinsic moral barrier to youth-adult trading. The idea that allowing enthused hobbyists with the same interest participate in the hobby together will OH MY GOD MAKE BOY SCOUTS ABOUT ADULTS INSTEAD OF BOYS is just silly.

  16. I was at an OA social at summer camp this last July. A scout from another Lodge came up and asked our group if any of us traded patches. I have never been into trading or collecting patches but he was so expectant (and none of the Scouts from my Lodge was into trading) that I cut the Lodge patch off of my Class A pocket and traded it to him for one of his extras. Until now, I was totally unaware of the “adults don’t trade with Scouts” rule.

      • My first trade was like that at Camp Powhatan as a kid in the mmid-90s. They had a British scout on staff, and he had brought a lot of patches to trade, but, by the time I met him, he’d run out. I guess I had a really dejected look, so he cut a patch off his sleeve, a little 1×1 square with a trireme ship that said “Gosport,” the town he was from.

  17. Patch trading is brutal. When I became an OA Member and attended my first Conclave, a youth definitely took advantage of me. Not knowing trading rules was interested in Trading with each Lodge for souvenir purpose only. Today this is the onky way I have traded with youth. During AC5 and the Summit Trading was done ONLY with my Crew Members US Park/Forest Eangers and I-Corps Team whos friendship had also been traded. Usually with (a certain group of adults) my Lodge/Council just share. When one attends an Event another can’t we give a gift expecting nothing in return knowing what goes around comes around and usually with grand results. What I STRONGLY DISAGREE with is the sale of patches on Ebay. Understand sometimes an Adult needs to sell because of lifes big toe, but that’s different. Also realize patch value as the size of different Lodges and number of patchs in circulation.

    • One for One whether it be for full pocket for single flap. Full pocket is 2 patches. Up to trader on that one. If you’re trading one for one youth to youth, adult to adult, youth with adult, (IF) the one to one is followed how can there be a problem.

  18. Have seen adults who travel with a youth just to use him for trades. Gets around the letter of the law but abuses the spirit of the law. Few adults will cheat but always a few will. Experienced this at two Jamborees and a World Jamboree.

  19. I did not know adults were not allowed to trade patches with the scouts. How else would scouts get patches from the 90’s or earlier. This is also an opportune time for the youth to learn to be honest in their dealings with each other as taught by honest scouters. On the other hand I guess we need to watchful of inappropriate activities by adults like touching when a handshake closing the deal is made. Oh what we have come to because of the liberal thinking of others. Trade on.

    • Mike, I do not believe it is a written rule anywhere. If it is I would love to read it. This is one of those unspoken guidelines that have developed over the years. If it is written, please correct me someone and point me to the national document.

      • Well let’s put it out of our misery and get back to APPROPRIATELY interacting with our boys. We scouters have to give guidance and direction by BEING the example for the scouts to follow. Belly up to the bar boys and let’s deal.

      • I’ve never seen it written anywhere else, but it was published in the participant rules (both youth and adult) for jamboree 2010.
        At the time I thought it was the dumbest rule I had ever seen the BSA publish. I’m glad that someone saw the sense it removing it.

  20. If the “no adult trading with Scouts” was a rule at my first jamboree in 1981, no one ever mentioned it and there were spots along the roads where you could hardly walk for free-for-all patch trading amongst all ages of participants. We used to have lots of Scouts come up to our station (K2BSA) and ask if we had any patches to trade. I’d hand them a plastic bag filed with some leftover camporee patches and say, “take what you like, and leave a different patch behind for each one you take.” I came home with the same bag filled with different patches, which I gave to the Scouts in my troop to trade away or keep themselves. No problem, and I got a real kick out of watching some Scout walk off with one of the patches, a gleam in his eye, only to have another Scout ten minutes later walk off with the patch he’d left, leaving another for the next Scout, and so on – each one sure he’d gotten a great deal.

    We wound up banning patch trading at the station because it became too much of a distraction, and at later jamborees the “no adult-to-Scout trading” was announced (I don’t remember when it started).

  21. Patch trading has grown from a great way to know about the history of Scouting to a “High Dollar Business”. This has happened because Councils / OA Lodges use them as “Cash Cows” to get extra money. While I see the majority of Adult Leaders who trade with youth, being more than fair and honest in their dealings to the point of giving patches away. Sadly, there are those who take advantage of the youth (trading multiple Camporee patches for a rare Jambo patch from the 50s).
    It gets even worse when adults have patches made so they can scam a boy by thinking it is a rare/special patch!
    This attitude can rub off on the boys too. For some patch trading is all about the money. (Just look at Ebay after Jambo or NOAC.)
    I am very interested in seeing how trading at the 2013 Jambo will go.
    How the controls will work, how will problems be handled, ect.
    As far as I know this has never been tried before (controlled trading).
    As for allowing registered Adult Leaders trade, I have few issues.
    But non-scouting adults or “Visitors” are something different. They are not part of the event and they may not even be in scouting (thats where YP problems may occur).

    • I’ll agree with you, here. I pick up a patch here-and-there if I like it, but I stick to old uniforms and gear.
      So, 2 years ago when my council (Heart of VA) released a special strip with a limited run of 300, I bought two: one for my sleeve, one for my collection; it was a nice way to support the council and get a neat patch in return. Well, they sure got me good, because a month later they slapped a different color border on the design and made 300 more. I was absolutely LIVID and it will be a cold, cold day Down There before I fall for that one again. They didn’t get any FoS from me that year, either.

  22. Adults giving badges to help the Young person is fine, as scouting is all about encouraging and helping YP. but adults collecting badges and getting all exited over it is just a bit sad. The adults time could be spent doing something useful for the movement

    • What a narrowminded and pompous opinion. Are adults who collect coins, sports memorabilia, or stamps “sad?” Are adult aquarium-keepers “sad?” Are bird-watchers, horse-breeders, or dog-showers “sad?” If your opinion of Scouting is so low that you think it’s sad to collect Scoutisme, then maybe Scouting isn’t for your family.

  23. As an adult and a Scoutmaster I don’t see why there should be a difference in who trades patches. We are all scouts and SHOULD be trustworthy and fair. I have traded many patches with youth and I make it a point to be sure that the scout is satisfied that he is getting a good trade and is happy with it. As long as we as adults play fair then the youth will benefit from this.

  24. Actually, the whole patch trading idea has now totally blown out of its Scouting value roots. It was originally designed to be simple exchange of a gift (not necessarily a patch) between Scouts when they met to reinforce the the Scout Law of “Friendly”. And you would give a gift, even if the other Scout didn’t have one with them to reciprocate with.

    Now patches are manufactured in bulk for fundraising, celebrating such notable Scouting event as the opening of Hooters, and distracts many from the real goals of Scouting at the Jamboree.

  25. It is my understanding that there is no written BSA policy prohibiting trading between youth and adults, although there may have been rules established for particular events, such as the National Scout Jamboree. If there is such a BSA rule, I would like for someone to identify where it exists in print.

    • There’s no written policy one way or another, Mac, but many Scouters practice this policy anyway. Just like some Scouters and Scouts only trade one-for-one, others will swap multiple patches for another they deem to be more valuable.

  26. Of course they sould be able to trade.The adult should know that they are also teaching a leason about honesty. If the adult is a leader he should be honest.

  27. I am an Eagle Scout, and now a Commissioner. While I have always understood “no adult-to-youth trading,” I have used it as a guideline and not a hard-and-fast rule. I have built up a sizable collection from my youth days, continuing to now, and like the Scouting Heritage counselor from above, I view it as a part of our history. Generally, when I’m at camp, and I throw my patches out on a table, or the mugs, or the neckerchiefs, I get a crowd around me, both youth and adult. In that forum, everyone gets to see what is going on, and if a young man or an adult wants to trade something with me, I will be happy to entertain the offer. The best part: the group can say if we’re trading fairly. Along with “On my Honor” and “A Scout is Trustworthy,” I have had more positive comments from this arrangement from both youth and adults… it’s less a patch trading session, and more a history lesson. As a Commissioner, it’s my job to showcase the best history of Scouting, and this is a way of helping me to do that.

  28. It is sad that this even needs to be a policy. I do not even support a “one for one” rule. Like all things in life, it needs to be handled with education. I would rather teach people the value of their collection than give them another rule that they are going to ignore when they think no one is looking or see no value in obeying.

    Every troop, either a Jamboree or a local troop should hold work shops on patch trading every once in a while. Etiquette, value, security and preservation are things all scouts, scouters and PARENTS should be educated on when dealing with patches. Patch trading has always been a part of scouting, it is not going away.

  29. One for one can also have issues. If we are trading 2013 Jamboree “sets” (i.e. a patch set from a particular council) it should be one set for one set. Just because one council’s Jamboree set has 14 patches, and mine has 7, I shouldn’t have to trade two for one.

    • One set for one set would rarely be fair. The fair way to transact your example would be 14 patches for 14 patches.

      I am from a council that has a large contingent. At the 2010 Jamboree, our set was ~24 patches, and cost us $50 to purchase. Do you really think that would be a fair trade for a set from a smaller council that has 3-4 patches and is worth about $10?

      Where the 1 for 1 logic breaks down is when you have patches that are not of standard size/shape/stitching/quality/etc. A fully embroidered large jacket-size patch stitched in 25 colors is not equal to a silk-screened little patch from a district event, nor is it equal to a standard CSP/JSP. (Notice I did not say that any patch is inherently more valuable because of a cool picture/logo, or because more/fewer of them were made. That is a different subject/argument.)

      If they are really going to be picky about a 1 for 1 rule, then they better plan on people being upset that they can’t trade their cheap crap, or that so-and-so won’t trade his fancy jacket patch with me.

  30. I also was told by my dad that the “rule” of no Adult to Youth trading was to protect the adults. Those kids are sharks on the trade tables. I am very much for this as the adults that want to be scummy probably shouldn’t be in scouting anyways, so why ruin the experience for everyone.

    I like the 1 for 1 “rule” as much as I like price fixing. While the patch may be only worth X dollars to make, supply and demand and the secondary market say what the real price is. 1 for 1 is good if there aren’t any really hot patches out there that are of high demand and low supply. I’m not sure what would be a good way to handle it, but better education about trading is where I would start.

  31. As a seasoned adult trader, I enjoy trading patches with Scouts because I like to encourage the hobby. Scouts rarely have patches that I am interested in, but I will trade with them for the sake of trading! I usually have the boy ask another adult if they think it’s a fair trade, before completing the trade.

  32. i had a friend who has since passed away, I watched him traid with many a scout, & the scout all ways came out on top, i hav seen Dan give a patch that was worth something & get one in return from the scout that he all ready had,

  33. No, adults should not trade with youth .. ever. Adult / youth trades, even if done right, set the stage for drama and trouble. Frankly, I wish the concept of monetary value could be rooted out of patch trading entirely, it has ruined patch trading. Rare is the time that I want into a patch swapping area and don’t tablets, laptops, and smart phones being used to check current values, and ebay sales history …really! Not only do these devices not belong at a scout event, but it kills the “magic” of two scouts making a trade for the fun of it. A few years ago I started trading after a patch trading break of, cough, a few decades, and it just wasn’t any fun. As soon as I spread out my patches the vultures with all the gadgetry were circling, identifying, pricing, looking for buyers … I was so disgusted that I refused to trade and went off in search of fun.

    • i cannot agree due to the fact that it helps the fun of trading to trade between youth and adults what is the point of trading if you cant trade with the person with the patch you want? and also like it or not just like coins, stamps, antique plates, ANYTHING that has historical or visual value will be worth money to somebody, making a price for it

  34. I don’t understand the restriction on trading more than 1 for 1. The article mentioned that they all cost about the same to make, but with any collectible hobby, rarity is not based on the cost to manufacture. Rare coins, stamps, toys, etc all have a value than can be many times their manufacturing cost. I know that if there was a patch I needed to complete a collection, I would be more than willing to trade more than 1 patch for such.

    • I do trade with youth. However, I never complete a trade until they find another adult to advise them that the trade is fair. I always let the youth get the better end of a trade, so it’s never an issue.


  35. Well, as we are almost there, another comment. Kenneth’s comment about his friend above is right in all respects. I’ve traded with scouts (World Jamborees have no restriction on adult/youth trades) and I know what the patches are worth. I’ve never had a scout who wasn’t all smiles and off to tell his friends how he got over on the old guy who didn’t know what the patch was worth. That smile is better than a dozen great trades. I trade one for one, and event for event. Which I think is a great rule. In other words, a flap for the event you are at is equal to the same, a flap from an older jamboree is worth the same, etc. for csp’s jsp’s and etc. Its hard not to be fair with a scout — but frankly, I’ve seen some really dirtball “scouters” at jamborees. The worst I ever witnessed was the young man who designed the 2010 logo (the eagle behind the date). BSA had given him some unique patches just for him to trade. A visitor in a scout shirt was trading and convinced the young man that his patch “wasn’t worth much” because it only consisted of the logo and his autograph. The young man got taken. I tried like the dickens to even out the deal when he traded me one of the specials. Then I chewed hard on the other guy. Oh well, its probably best that the adults will be supervised in 2013.

  36. I see the source of the problem: The post-trade handshake in the photo is right-handed. The left-handed handshake is a sign of respect and honor among scouts. Lacking that, who can you trust?

    • when i have traded i always use left handed hand shake/oahandclasp depending on who im trading with but i dont think it should really matter which hand due to the fact that both tradee’s should be scouters who follow the scout law especially the trustworthy part……

  37. One for one does not make sense, the value of a patch has many variables. Knowledge of what you have and what you are trading for should determine its value. Disadvantage to youth is most do not know real history of Scouting, so in turn do not know a value of a patch.

  38. As an adult I have traded many times with youth. And with out fail i always make sure they get the better part of the deal. I also have seen more youth “sharks” than adults.
    Hope to see you at the Jambo!!!

  39. Adults to kids? My 17 year old soon to be Eagle will be staffing Jambo ’13. He wants to trade and build his already large collection. He’s staff yet not an adult. So where does he fit in? The adults in scouting is half of the reason my son is a Scout. Role models are needed in every venture.

    One to One: Again, my 17 year old staffing scout already sorted his patch collection. There’s no way his rare, foreign, world jambo patches are getting traded for a local district cub camp patch. We run a museum and my son works as a tour guide. He understands there’s value in collectable items and some things are of more value than others.

  40. I have seen patch trading at many local and national events, and the only place that youth/adult trading has been banned has been at the Jamboree. In all the places where I have seen trading occur the Jamboree is by far where I have seen the most unethical trading. Coincidence? I think not.

    Adults are trusted to take the youth on camping trips, teach them ethics, strong morals, and lead by example. Yet they are unable to teach ethical patch trading at the Jamboree because they are not allowed to trade with them. I am happy to see that Scouts and adults will be allowed to trade patches this year.

  41. I am a youth who was recently introduced to patch trading at a conclave which i attended, i immediatley became addicted its easy to do this is a concept which i am new too because i have never been to a national jambo or noac or anything much bigger than conclave but where i live ( not specifying where ) either the rule is nonexistent or is never mentioned nor enforced. during the time i was there i probably made 6-7 deals, i was trying to start a collection and bought a lot of the event patches availible only to my lodge to trade with others. However probably only 2 of the deals even involved other youth, mainly due to the fact that they do not have large ammounts for the most part, and the adults that were there had years of experience and many cool patches that i enjoyed trading them out of. Personally i do not see a problem with Adult to Youth trades they help to keep patch trading going if a scout wants a patch and does not know its worth he should always research it with somebody who knows the worths of patches naturally. I do not agree with a 1 for 1 policy either, patches are worth something due to what is on them, just like a coin, or a stamp, or a old coke bottle, or any other collectible item and naturally they will not always be the same. I also disagree with a rule of ” no money involved” due to the dificulty of begining a decent sized collection of patches. I am a huge supporter of online traders/sellers aswell due to the fact it can help newcomers to trading get started. several of my patches have been purchased off of ebay from people i do not know and have never met. However if they have a good reccomendation usually they are not scam artists. if you happen to be burned by somebody selling phony patches simply give large ammounts of feedback on the seller so that nobody else gets scammed, what is 10$? a piece of paper, just the same as a patch is a piece of cloth it is not a huge price to pay for experience. and for all the people out there who do scam kids with patch trading they are not truly scouts now are they? hope this helps somebody and sorry i went on so long idk when to be quiet sometimes hehe.


    • P.S. i didnt get to go to jambo this year and i know this post is like wayyyyy kinda late on this issue but i dont really care it is valid for future jambos still

  42. If the adult will trade fairly or give scout more than He receive. If I am trading with scouts new to the trading of patches I tell them what they have and what the value it is. I have been know to give a new scout 4 or 5 patches to get him started. My Scoutmaster did the same with me and I carry on with what He started with me..

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. New York OA Trader | Today’s Links September 19, 2012
  2. Which patches shouldn’t be traded? « Bryan on Scouting

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