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Where do our patches come from?

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  • Where do our patches come from?

    So I had a few Scouts in my unit recently earn the Textile merit badge and in one of the boy's most recent Scoutmaster conference an interesting question came up. It was one I did not know the answer to, nor have I been able to successfully Google an answer to it either. The question is: where do the merit badge patches come from? I know where we buy them (the Scout , but where are they made? Where exactly do all the merit badge (and for that matter, the rank badges and other stock emblems) come from? Who makes them?

    I know they come from the BSA National Supply group (that's obviously who sells them), but does the Boy Scouts of America run it's own patch-making factory or is the production outsourced to some outside embroidery company? If so, who is this? Where are they made? I know there are many official licensees that make special and custom patches for special events and local BSA organizations and functions, but where do the national stock patches (like merit badges, ranks, position patches, unit numbers, etc.) come from?

    I'd love to be able to report back to my Scouts with some more information on where exactly their patches come from. Thanks!

  • #2
    I have seen scout patches in our Scout SHop with little gold stickers on the back, "Made in China".


    • jblake47
      jblake47 commented
      Editing a comment
      China's a pretty big place, could you be more specific?

      It's getting to the point where most stuff in America today is made in China. What kind of an omen does that bode?


    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      Time for the scout to earn textile MB. He might be able to parlay it into a trip overseas ...
      "Visit a textile plant, textile products manufacturer or textile school or college. Report on what you saw and learned. "

    • RememberSchiff
      RememberSchiff commented
      Editing a comment
      Could scouts take along execs from J.C. Penney, Kohl's, Sears, Target, and Wal-Mart?

  • #3
    Shenyang Plant #5. My standard answer for all chinese made goods.


    • #4
      When my troop went through Nat'l Supply for some custom patches 5ish yrs ago, I corresponded with a guy from National and the patches came from a licensee/contractor in North Carolina.
      National Supply does own/run it's own patch machines, they posted a video of Jambo stuff being embroidered on their Facebook:


      • #5
        Some might possibly be made in the states but the vast majority of things sold in the scout shop are made in china. For any of the groups i have worked with we order from companies that produce in china when we expect the lowest price and have sufficient lead time to order them and in the states when we are more pressed for time and don't mind around double the price. I personally order patches produced in Canada or the uk but in those cases i need something very specific and willing to pay a significant premium.


        • SSScout
          SSScout commented
          Editing a comment
          "Sufficient lead time".... I ordered some special patches from a local embroidery shop, emailed them the design on a monday morning, recieved the recept an hour later, received the hundred patches in the us mail Friday later from a shop in Hong Kong.

      • #6
        They are made in China, probably made by little Chinese kids in sweat-shops all over their country, just like everything else that has BSA written on it


        • #7
          Those Chinese Scouter truly earn their merit Badges


          • #8

            Just like your brand new I phone, or LED TV or most everything else you buy now.

            It is a little to late to get self righteous about being made in America, Our parents made that decision for us when they opted for the cheap chinese made car parts, and electronics.


            • #9


              • #10
                Saying "Made in China" can be deceiving. Taiwan is officially the Republic of China and labels much of of it's small factory and cottage industry stuff with those little gold stickers. Taiwan is also currently the largest producer of laptop computers and bicycle frames, among other things. To think that every small item made in China is from sweat shops or child labor is also very erroneous.