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Rip Van Scouter

Chartering Organization Shoulder Strip instead of Council Patch?

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When I was first in Cub Scouts in 1963 (Whew!) we had the old style red and white council patch (St. Louis Area Council). However, my older brother had been a Cub a few years earlier in the same pack. Instead of a council patch they had a curved shoulder strip with the name of our pack's chartering organization, a local public school. The strip was not a full semi-circle, but more of an arc, and it was white letters on red background, just like the numerals and the council patch which replaced it.

 

Were these common before the 1960's? Are they collectable? I still have it on my old Boy Scout patch vest, since our Troop was chartered by the same school with same unit number (my brother was only a Cub for a year or two so I got his uniform and his patches).

 

Thanks!

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These were known as "community strips" and were usually accompanied by a shorter state strip directly underneath. As the name implies, they usually represented the community, city, or neighborhood. I have never seen on representing the CO, but I guess it's possible.

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I'm origionally from just across the river from St. Louis, Cahokia Mounds Council. I was in scouts from mid 60-mid 70's. I also have a community strip from my town.

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Hmmm....

 

Well, the school is located in St. Louis County, which, at that time was still partly rural/agricultural, and just becoming suburbanized. The school may have been in an unincorporated part of the county, and the school, Mason Ridge, may have been named for the community. Heck, back then rural schools and communities were sometimes synonymous since the locals gathered only for church and school activities. Might bear some more research. I do not have the smaller state strip, but my 1967 Boy Scout handbook actually show the community strips you are talking about on the insignia placement guide, not a council strip.

 

Are these community strips collectable, or is its value merely sentimental?

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I got a few on ebay.

As scout I first had a Seattle, then we moved out just north of the city, still had a Seattle address, new unit sponsered first by the community club, the strip now read Innis Arden (the club and the area name). When the unit moved up the hill to my church, even though it was First Lutheran of Richmond Beach, we still had Innis Arden. Go figure.

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Yes, that makes sense. I found my old school district website and the history section was quite informative. Mason Ridge was one of the original elementary schools which consolidated to form a district in the 1950's. Before consolidation to form the Parkway School District and to build a high school, the Mason Ridge school district (included two other elementary schools)included an area of St. Louis County larger than the City of St. Louis itself! I guess if I want a complete display I need to find a MISSOURI strip to go underneath the community strip, right?

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Our troop still uses the community strip, with state and unit number underneath. The community strip is in our CO name, not our community. We have been chartered for over 60 years by this organization, and are proud of it.

There are several other troops in the same community, so in the long run it has worked out very well for reconition.

 

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the strip now read Innis Arden (the club and the area name).

 

Innis Arden, now that jogs some memories. I remember going there for a few invitational swim meets when I was growing up. I swam for Olympic View which was in Normandy Park, South of Seattle. "Pork chops, pork chops, greasy, greasy, we can beat your team easy, easy!"

 

Now back to your regularly scheduled topic...

 

SWScouter

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Hopewell - that is quite unusual! Do you have them custom made?

 

Are there other units that don't use CSPs but still use the red/white community strips?

 

A few months ago, I remember seeing a Boy's Life article about a troop in the Pacific northwest that used Roman Numerals instead of regular troop numbers. It was very odd looking (but I'll bet it gave those scouts a special sense of esprit de corps)

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Roman numerals might work for some, but my old troop would have had to shoulder CDXCVI while my current pack would have to wear CMDCCCIX!

 

Meanwhile, I found my old brag vest with the community strip sewn on. As I thought, no state strip. I am surprised how well those old patches held up. Of course, my Arrow of Light patch is a little the worse for wear, since it was always worn on all my scout shirts! My Star rank is a little worn also, since I held it the longest.

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Seems to be a sort of underground movement with putting community name on uniforms since council strips are quite general. Seen some troops with the oversized troop numerals (ala Jamboree style) with their town name on these number patches. Also saw a troop with sea scout dark blue numerals

rather than normal red ones (guess they come with white bg also). Also some seem to have oversized custom council strips with their troop number made into the design. My troop had a narrow strip made in our school colors to sew between council and numeral patch.

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I guess councils have a lot of latitude as to what they allow and do not allow on the uniform. In St. Louis, I was informed that in the GSLAC they do not allow the "Tiger Cubs BSA" strip to be worn under the right pocket of former Tigers, as shown on the national uniform inspection sheet. Yet, adult leaders are required to wear a district patch on their right sleeve below the flag and any den patch (if a Cub leader), but above where the "Quality Unit" patch would go.

 

I guess since there is no "Uniform Police" in the BSA and inspections are option (as indeed some uniform parts seem to be!) people can do just about whatever they want, which hardly seems "uniform"!

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