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Question about patch placement

Hi, new Boy Scout mom here! The guide states that patches can be put on the back of the merit badge sash - just want to clarify that. For example, my Scout is about to earn the Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award - would that be sewn on the back of the sash? What about the Nova award - if he has more than one temporary patch and chooses not to wear that one on his pocket, does it go on the back of the sash, or just get left at home? Also, what about one of the recent council Coronavirus or Virtual Scouting patches - does that go on the back, or only the more official patches? Thanks for clarifying!

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The explanation I usually offer folks in our troop is that the Guide to Awards and Insignia says you can only display one temporary patch on the right pocket, whether that is by hanging from the button or attaching it directly. Other temporary patches may be attached to the rear of the merit badge sash. There isn’t a quantity limit that I have found, but my rule of thumb is to keep it tidy.

Most scouts and scouters have substantially more temporary patches than we could possibly wear at any time. Mine mostly live in a patch bag that comes out when we talk about cool places that we’ve been. A few are in regular rotation in my right pocket.

Very few people are sufficiently picky to complain about temporary patches, as long as they’re not offensive. I know a scout leader who has a novelty “Trained” patch on his uniform. None of us (to my knowledge) have complained, and it fits his personality far better than the actual patch.

he can either wear it as a temporary patch on the opposite pocket from his rank, put it on the back of his sash, put it on a dedicated patch blanket or you can create a binder with all of his extra patches.

Hi new Boy Scout mom! Step one is to change the phrasing from “would that be sewn” to “will he sew!” It’s his turn to take responsibility for patch placement. Teach him some basic stitches. I can attest that it’s a vital skill when a tent, tarp or backpack rips in the middle of a hike (or when a drum majorette on the back of the band bus needs a needle threaded :blush: ).

Anyhow, the Insignia Guide is intentionally vague on patch placement so as to give scouts and their troops some latitude. I usually suggest a scout sew the patch from their favorite activity on their right pocket. He/she can then sew patches that reflect his next-favorite activities or achievements on the back of the sash. They don’t all have to go there. Really, none of them have to go there. It’s the scout’s choice. Any patches the scout doesn’t have on his uniform can be stored at home in a myriad of ways. But, I encourage a scout to build up a small collection of loose patches so that he is prepared to give one away to a scout from parts unknown who he has yet to meet.

Here is a link to one of my favorite descriptions of temporary insignia http://www.scoutinsignia.com/tmppatch.htm.

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I definitely like the way you think - he hasn’t gotten a merit badge sash yet, but I had already decided that sewing the sash will be his responsibility. He’s not a little kid anymore - time to learn some life skills!

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Thanks everyone! I appreciate the help!


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