New patch-trading app, official seal answer question: ‘Is it authentic?’

“No, dude, I swear,” a Scout said. “There were only 500 of these patches ever made.”

I heard similar claims all throughout the patch trading bazaar that has cropped up under the overhangs at the still-to-be-completed Scott Visitor Center at the Summit.

Everywhere, patch traders hawked their wares from zip-top bags or sprawling blankets while swearing that the patch they were offering was the rarest one around.

It was chaos. And then I spotted James, a Scout from C241 in the Mecklenburg County Council, who was calmly looking at his iPhone.

He showed me PatchScan, a new app from the BSA’s Licensing Team.

Here’s how it works: Any officially licensed 2013 National Jamboree shoulder patch must have a QR code or officially licensed product seal. Not all patches will have the QR code, but if they were issued in 2007 or beyond and don’t have a QR code or officially licensed product seal, chances are they’re fake. So check the back before making a trade, because fake patches are a real problem. I saw several unofficial patches sitting on blankets next to official ones as I browsed the patch bazaar today.

In the past, it was one Scout’s word against another’s. Not anymore.

Using the free PatchScan app, a Scout can scan the QR code and view the patch issuer, manufacturing specifications and other details. They’ll see, for example, that only 500 Western Massachusetts Council 2013 jamboree patches have ever been issued (see screenshots below for a closer look).

Now, this app won’t work on regular council shoulder strips, jamboree shoulder strips from past jamborees or other non-jamboree patches. That’s why the officially licensed product seal is a good secondary verification tool.

But the app will help a patch trader verify the authenticity and rarity of a 2013 jambo patch that does have the code before he or she makes a trade.

Or as James put it: “You can scan it to make sure you don’t get ripped off.”

Screenshots:

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Related post: 2013 Jamboree Scouts show off their favorite patches