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Nations Trails Heritage Awards SCAM

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  • Nations Trails Heritage Awards SCAM

    I just wanted to give a friendly warning to all scout leaders to avoid having your scouts work on the Nations Trails Heritage Awards. Our boys worked hard to earn their award & we sent in the $ for everyone back in May. As of now, 9/10 we have never received the awards, never received a reply to our numerous e-mails, nor been able to reach them by phone (they have it set to outgoing message only.) They cashed our check and simply ripped us off. Now, they note that they are busy during July & August, bu their turn around time is still within a few weeks. It has been almost 4 months. Also during this time, their website went down due to non-payment. Shortly thereafter is when they cashed our check & their website went back up. I now have to tell our parents that we have all been ripped off and that the boys will not get their awards that they worked so hard to earn. Please do not go through the same ordeal!

  • #2
    There are a variety of BSA awards Scouts may earn. The patches or medals can be easily obtained at the Scout Shop or the local council. And they may be worn on the Scout uniform, unlike awards offered by outside 3rd parties.

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    • #3
      Sorry to hear about that. It is an unfortunate situation. Maybe your troop can turn it into a positive learning experience. Maybe have the boys write letters of complaint to your state Attorney General. It won''t get your money back but it''ll make you feel better.

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      • #4
        Hey all,
        Have you thought about getting a custom patch done celebrating the event. Places like The Patch Place and others are very reasonably priced. Make something positive out of a negative, what they did to achieve the award is what is important, not the piece of cloth.

        Celebrate the Accomplishment!

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        • #5
          "And they may be worn on the Scout uniform, unlike awards offered by outside 3rd parties. "

          All the various trail medals and patches are largely put out by 3rd parties and I don''t think anyone says you can''t wear them on the scout uniform.


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          • #6
            allscoutingallthetime - I''m confused by your post. There is a Historic Trails Award that one may purchase from the BSA. Also, many Historic Trails have their own awards that one may purchase. For example, our unit just returned from Gettysburg and many will receive the Gettysburg Trail medal and patches that we purchased from the York-Adams Council. What exactly do you mean by Nations Trails Heritage Awards?

            P.S. emb021 - it says right on the Historic Trails Award application that, "Embroidered and leather awards are not worn on uniforms but may be attached to tents, packs, blankets."(This message has been edited by acco40)

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            • #7
              Acco40,

              The Heritage Award is offered by an organization called "Nations Trails".

              http://www.nationstrails.com/awards/index.html

              "Nations Trails" also keeps a listing of historical trails and the awards you can get for hiking each of them.

              The Heritage Award actually has nothing to do with hiking or any specific trail. It is an award given for learning about US history and heritage.

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              • #8
                Thanks. I see it has no affiliation with the BSA.

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                • #9
                  "P.S. emb021 - it says right on the Historic Trails Award application that, "Embroidered and leather awards are not worn on uniforms but may be attached to tents, packs, blankets." "

                  I was not speaking of THE Historic Trails Award.

                  I was speaking of the many many historical/hiking trail awards out there that have patches (usually small and intended for the right pocket) and medals. These are usually aimed at scouts and other youth groups. Some may have a scouting connection (offered by a council or unit or scout leader), others not.

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                  • #10
                    Even though it is not an official BSA award, it is geared strongly towards scouts. Also, their website links back to several official scout sites AND this scouter forum site. They make their money off of scouts. Because they are sketchy and have stolen our $ and did not send what our boys worked hard for, I wanted to caution everyone from using them. I will have to find some other type of patch to give the boys to replace these, but now we still out money that Nations Trails took from us. Thanks for the good advise.

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                    • #11
                      I also noted that many of the trails listed on the NTHA web site are BSA or GSUSA historic trails. Why not just get the BSA medal and patch and be done with it? If there is a potential trail in your area, it would make a fine Eagle project (I think) to develop it and the requirements for an award.

                      Also, as was stated before, the only non-BSA awards authorized for uniform wear are the religious medals/square knots.

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                      • #12
                        "Also, as was stated before, the only non-BSA awards authorized for uniform wear are the religious medals/square knots. "

                        Sorry, not true.

                        There are the many Community Organization Awards which are all non-BSA awards and all approved for wear on the uniform.

                        As far as I know, there is no prohibition to wearing the many historical trail award medals and patches, all of which are non-BSA awards.

                        Foreign events are all non-BSA awards, but you are allowed to wear the World Jamboree patch as well as these others.

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                        • #13
                          OP did you ever receive your awards? Suggest you try again- I have heard from several GS troops who did receive theirs druing the same time period as yours.
                          I am unfortunately waiting now 2 months for mine - if they scam me I will post the info everywhere I can

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                          • #14
                            I think their problem is that their address is a mail box drop business. I would guess that they only check their mail lock box once every 2 months or so. Then with the large backlog it takes them even more time to get thru everything.

                            From what I have heard, everyone has finally received their awards, but 3 months or more wait time is pretty much the rule. Also, they do not respond to inquiries by USPS, which is understandable as they don't check their mail drop), or by e-mail (which is NOT understandable).

                            While their medals are nice and fancy, I recommend doing the activities and then ordering a nice patch from a reputable patch company. It will be cheaper and faster.

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                            • #15
                              Like many of the uniform rules, this one is often ignored

                              From the insignia guide, "The general rule is that badges awarded by organization other than the [BSA] may not be won on an official uniform. . . . There are, however, notable exceptions. Among them are religious emblems and those special badges approved by local councils in conjunction wth the national Program Group Committee such as Historic Trails medals."

                              That said, getting ripped off leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Some one else suggested contacting the AG. I'd do that.

                              Maybe even the Postal Inspector since you mailed the check.

                              I'm pretty sure that this would be considered wire fraud (http://assembler.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00001343----000-.html). Maybe the FBI would be willing to spend a few minutes to help a Scout troop.

                              Check this out, http://www.ic3.gov/

                              I agree with the others, find a substitute patch and move on while the authorities handle it.

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