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Service Stars/Attendence Bars

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I had a question about the difference between the Service Stars and the Attndence Bars.


I presume that the Service Stars are for "years" of service and the Attendence bars are for the number of years you have 100% attendence?


Please correect if incorrect.




Scott Truax

...and a good 'ol Fox


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Service stars just indicate the years you been registered.


Please note, that you MUST use the color backings.


Attendence bars are a little different. I believe that its up to each unit to determine how they are awards, so that they can be used to indicate a minimum percentage of attendence.


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The name of the award is the Attendance Award, not the *perfect attendance* award. If you awarded it on the basis of showing up at every unit meeting/event, almost no one would receive it. Each unit sets its own criteria for the award - it could be 80%, 90%, or only 'excused' absences (but then you'd have to make a list of valid excuses, and require phone calls and there would always be some sort of exception - more hassle than it's worth to administer). Just be good about taking attendance, set a standard, and award the pin & bars on that basis. Remember to budget for this - we don't use it due to cost.

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The colored backs for the stars get a bit confusing and many ignore them. I once ran across a Scouter about my age wearing a star with an orange background. I said, "I didn't think that Tiger Cubs were around when we were kids." He said, "They weren't, this is to show my year as a Tiger Cub coach." I pointed out that wasn't quite correct and his was response was that of many Scouters, "I don't care. I want to wear this."


For years as :

Tiger Cub (old system) - Orange

Cub Scout - Yellow

Boy Scout - Green

Varsity - Brown

Explorer (old system)/ Venturer - Red



For years as:

Tiger Cub Coach - Blue

Cub Scouter - Blue

Boy Scout Leader - Blue

Varsity Leader - Blue

Explorer (old system)/Venturer Advisor - Blue



In addition, adults may roll all of their years of servies as a youth and an adult into one pin and wear it with a blue back.


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Thanks for the correct listing for the backing colors, GW. I have been trying to find out what the proper colrs are for a while now.


We just started this with the boys. They like having something else to put on the uniform.

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"One mo' ting. The stars are cumulative. So you if you have two years as a Cub Scout, you don't wear the 1 and the 2, you'd only wear the 2."


Too true. I see this a lot with cub scouts, because their pack hands out service stars each year, and you see them with a 1 and a 2 and a 3 year stars.


Also, people need to learn where they are worn.


Not on the pocket flap. Not on the lapel.


They are worn centered above the left pocket (or knot if you have them), with a certain amount of space between the backing and the pocket, and a certain amount of space between each star.


This is all shown in the Insignia Guide, and I believe is also stated on the back of the service star card.



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Back in the day before numbered stars, I believe it was acceptable to wear an unnumbered star for every year of service.


I can imagine numbered stars were developed to replace the chest full of stars that resulted w/o the numbers.

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Service stars should be placed 3/8" above the pocket flap, or top row of knots. If more than one star is worn, then the stars should be 1/8" apart. The row of stars should be centered across the pocket.

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The 1949 Handbook has numbered stars in it, so I don't think that's a recent innovation.


I've always seen multiple stars shown as 3/4" from center to center. In practice, that's probably not much different from what SWScouter says, but I'd just never seen it written that way. The latest Insignia Guide doesn't actually list this anywhere that I can find, but it's shown as 3/4" on the leader uniform inspection sheet: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34048.pdf

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"Back in the day before numbered stars, I believe it was acceptable to wear an unnumbered star for every year of service."


True. But unnumbered stars are very old. I think 20s and 30s or so.


I recall seeing photos of James West with a row of 10 or so stars.


They still had colored backings back then, but were colored cloth.

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