> updated 16/04/18
The Crest of Leadership (shown above) was designed by "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt as a replacement
for the various local Council youth leadership training courses. The Crest was used by the BSA (and is
STILL used by some 30 or so local Councils) to award to youth leaders for completing a set of
individual training application requirements (similar to a "ticket" which Wood Badge participants must
complete) in order to receive and wear the emblem. The emblem was originally designated as a "permanent"
emblem but that designation was removed by the BSA in 1980 with the end of the "ALL OUT FOR SCOUTING!"
leadership training emphasis.
There are several versions of the Crest out there. In 1981, the leadership of the Blue Grass Scouting Alliance
Club at Eastern Kentucky University asked and received permission to alter the Crest and to use it as its official
organizational crest. More information on the Crest of Leadership and the BGSA can be found
on a separate page.
Program Strip emblem
Carol, along with several Scouters and parents have asked:
I saw this shirt and when I saw it, it had a different strip than the regular "Boy Scouts of America" strip. First, what is it? Second, why did they stop making shirts with that patch on it -- or is it something special order? And finally, what is the difference between shirts with THAT strip on it and the ones which say "Boy Scouts of America" on it -- did I find a rare shirt by mistake?
This will get clearer as I explain it. Let's take it one program at time, however, starting with Cub Scouting...
Cub Scout strips
The Cub Scouting program -- called back in its infancy "Cubs" and not "Cub Scouting" -- started back in the 30s. The first uniform strips on the shirts simply stated "CUBS - BSA" in large letters.
In 1946, the uniform strip was changed to "Cub Scouts - BSA" as shown on the strip in the center above. In 1973, the Cub Scout field uniform was redesigned and as a result, all of the strips were also redesigned with a logo -- in this case, the diamond and wolf of the Cub Scouting program with the words "Cub Scout" as shown on the bottom. This remained as the defacto program strip to ID all Cub Scouts until 1994, when the Cub Scout field uniform was once again redesigned alongside all of the BSA's programs' uniforms and all programs had the "Boy Scouts of America" program identification strip shown in the top of the three strips above.
Cub Scouting adults wore strips which stated "Boy Scouts of America".
Boy Scout strips
The Boy Scouting program pretty well used the same strip since the introduction of the first field uniforms in the early 1920s. The strip at the top is the generic strip used since 1921. The strips remain with the same lettering even though different cloth was used with the uniform design. In 1954, the BSA combined all of their senior Scouting programs and gave the option for Scouts to remain as members of a Troop or to go to Air, Sea or outdoor (land) Exploring, each with their own distinctive uniform and strip identification. Those who chose to remain in a Troop would be eligible to wear the "Senior" strip shown in the bottom of the group above. In 1973, the Boy Scout field uniform was redesigned and as a result, all of the strips were also redesigned with a logo -- in this case, the reg fleur-de-lis emblematic of the Boy Scouting program with the words "Scout - BSA" as shown on the center. This remained as the defacto program strip to ID all Scouts until 1994, when all of the field uniforms were once again redesigned alongside all of the BSA's programs' uniforms and all programs once again had the "Boy Scouts of America" program identification strip shown in the top of the three strips above on khaki-tan (not shown). With the introduction of the "Centennial" field uniform, the BSA experimented with appliqued lettering instead of embrorded lettering on a strip. It proved to be a terrible idea, with the appliqued lettering falling off when laundered or dry cleaned. The BSA went back to sewn-on strips two years later, which is what is used today.
Senior Scouting programs
Senior Scouting strips
Older youth programs -- Sea Scouting/Exploring, Air Exploring, Rovering, Explorer Scouts, Exploring program -- emerged within the Boy Scouts of America as early as 1929. All of the uniforms initially had the "Boy Scouts of America" strip in the uniform's color on the shirt. Over the next few years, starting with Sea Scouting B.S.A., distinctive strips appeared to ID the specific program. In 1948, all Exploring programs less Sea Exploring were consolidated into a single Exploring program and the uniform strip was changed to a strip with the word "Explorer" as shown on the strip in the center above in red. In 1973, the Explorer field uniform was redesigned and as a result, all of the strips were also redesigned but in Exploring's case, there was no logo but instead the word "Explorer" in BROWN, against the green cloth as shown in the middle. Because the Exploring field uniform shirt was also worn by Boy Scout members of the Leadership Corps, a special strip with the words "Scout - BSA" and the fluer-de-lis emblematic of the Boy Scouting program was designed for them to wear. This remained as the defacto program strip to ID all Explorers less Sea Explorers (Scouts) until 1994, when the Exploring field uniform was once again redesigned alongside all of the BSA's programs' uniforms and the strip had the wording "Boy Scouts of America" in red as it's program identification strip. When the Venturing program became a uniformed program, the Venturing, BSA strip was also created using the red thread on a green background as shown here. Sea Explorers wore strips with the same wording on contrasting colors depending on uniform shirt worn.
A frequent question is "If I find one of those earlier shirts with the strips, can I wear it or must I wear the current Scout shirt?" The answers are as follows:
- please wear the CURRENT shirt with the appropriate program strip. This is to allow for uniformity among all members of a den, Pack, patrol, Troop, Crew or Ship however....
- if you wear an earlier shirt, you need to wear earlier matching pants. BSA uniforming policy do not allow for the "mixing" old and current uniform styles. If you wear for instance, a garbadine Scout shirt, you must find and wear garbadine pants or shorts with the shirt. If you wear the old collarless Cub Scout shirt with the "Cub Scouts B.S.A." you have to also wear the cotton or polycotton pants or shorts which matches it.
- if you remove the strip from an earlier shirt, you may wear it with similar - colored newer shirts. This means that if you find an earlier Cub Scout shirt with the "Cub Scouts B.S.A." strip, you may choose to remove that strip from that shirt and replace it with the newer "Boy Scouts of America" strip on a current Cub Scout field uniform shirt - or the reverse. The key is that the shirt color MUST match the shirt you are wearing.
This means for the time being, that strips which says "Scout - BSA" cannot be worn with the current tan or khaki-tan Scout field uniform. (There are a group of volunteers asking the BSA's national uniforming Task Force for permission to wear the older strips with the current uniforms, even though they do not match).
Individual pages explain each element found here:
OA lodge flap
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Credits: Scans courtesy of Mike Walton
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