When disaster strikes, Scouts step up.
They’ve been there after tornadoes, wildfires and hurricanes destroyed homes and uprooted lives in communities across our country.
This time, even though the disaster is a little farther from home, it affects the Scouting family all the same.
Scouts Australia is selling patches to benefit Scouts who lost their homes in the country’s devastating wildfires. Their goal: to make sure these Scouts can “remain connected to Scouting as they work through this traumatic period,” according to Scouts Australia’s official site.
Like the Boy Scouts of America, Scouts Australia is a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. There are more than 50 million Scouts across 171 countries, and these Aussie Scouts wear the purple World Crest just like we do.
Many BSA members were able to meet Australian Scouts at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree, held last summer at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.
About the patch
The patches cost 5 Australian dollars each — about $3.44. The patches themselves were donated to Scouts Australia by Snowgum, an Australian outdoor clothing retailer, meaning 100% of the proceeds will benefit Scouts.
But heads up: Shipping patches 9,000 miles isn’t cheap. Postage to the U.S. will cost you a flat 40 Australian dollars ($27), whether you’re ordering one patch or 100. If you do plan to order the patch, Scouts Australia suggests combining orders with other packs, troops, ships or crews in your area.
“Australian Scouts thank our international Scouting friends for your support during this difficult time,” a message on the order page says.
At least one BSA troop has already purchased patches. I heard from Jason Fish, Scoutmaster of Scouts BSA Troop 112, based in Paris, France — part of the BSA’s Transatlantic Council.
“Our troop in Paris has decided to buy a bunch to help them out,” Fish says.
In true Scouting fashion, even those Scouts who have been forced to leave their homes have been stepping up to serve.
According to a Jan. 12, 2020, blog post on the official site of Scouts Australia, Australian Scouts have served as volunteer firefighters, helped injured wildlife, distributed food donations, volunteered in evacuation centers and even hosted barbecue fundraisers.
“As Scouts, we help to create a better world,” the post says. “We’re there for each other during the good and bad times.”
As of Jan. 16, 2020, Scouts Australia has sold 19,500 badges and raised AU$97,500 — about $67,000. Together, let’s help get that number even higher.
Top photo by Steven Penton