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When is it too much?

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We've only recently started using the brag vests again. I killed them 5 years ago because all the boys had a back full of segments but none of them could repeat the promise or law. We do give out patches for events (cub camp, district/council events, family camps, derbys etc.) which isn't too unlike Boy Scouts (patches here for summer camp and district/council events).


We're bringing the brag vests back this year but still will not be doing the segments.


So, for us, segments=too much, event patches=ok, brag vests=we'll see.

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Hi Folks,


Sashas point about the patches being mementoes and John-in-KCs observation that were talking about 8 year olds here kinda sums up my feelings.


Ill also add that its my experience that the boys want the patches. We recruited several new Cubs early in this past June and at the end of the month many of them marched in our towns Fourth of July (yes, it was in June) parade. As I stood with the new boys in front who were holding the Pack banner one of them asked me are we getting a patch for this? You can bet that at the first Pack Meeting in September all the boys who marched in the parade got a generic parade patch.


Keep in mind also that for most of these boys camping out or sleeping in a tent is a big deal because this is the first time that theyve done it. All of these new experiences are exciting for these young boys. My Wolf son was sad that he had to give up his New England Aquarium sleepover patch so he could wear his Progress Toward Ranks totem, but he felt better when I told him he could put it on his brag vest.


Yes, I am a fan of brag vests. A brag vest full of colorful patches makes a great ice breaker or conversation starter.


When is it too much? I suppose giving a patch for attending the monthly pack meeting would be too much, but I dont feel memento patches for the annual pack campout or the Blue and Gold Banquet is too much. Admittedly custom patches are more readily meaningful than generic, but can a pack afford them?





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Had a Pack Camp out end of October.

Sleep in a tent

It dropped below freezing

Boy participated in Halloween District event.

They cooked breakfast sunday.


The CM Awarded them the District camp patch, Sleeping in a Tent patch, Polar Bear Patch for freezing weather, and a Cooking patch.


Too much for one outing. Why not just award the District camp patch and let that be it? No need for the rest.....It isn't about the money.


But we had a blast at the event, it was cold and I think the boys learned an appreciation of a big campfire.


Here is a funny, Our den has been hiking monthly the last three years. We invite the rest of the Pack but usually it is the den leader, his son, a scout, my son and me. The boys just hiked two hundred miles. There is a 100 mile patch and 500 mile patch and local trail patches the boys earned. The CM refuses to allow these to be awarded at the Pack meeting, Because "the other boys don't have the opportunity to earn them."


Ok, fine, The SM from our CO Troop gets wind of it and invites the Cubs to his Troops Court of Honor and awards the boys in front of the troop. Pretty cool if you ask me. He was using the Cubs trying to motivate his troop, He told my son he can't wait for him to cross over. Put a huge smile on his face.


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I like the patches, but not multiple for a single event.


Our October District Cub-O-Ree commonly sees below 40deg for the overnight low. Haven't dipped below freezing, yet. The big problem is that a lot of families don't have bags to keep them warm that low.


I like the hiking award at the Troop meeting!!!!

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When is too much?

I think too much is getting a patch for paying attention, being quiet, listening to your Den Leader, following directions, or anything along those lines.

I have no isuue with a "First time camping" patch or badge if such a thing exists.

At our last family campout, you'd be surprised how many ( NEW )kids never ever even walked in the woods before, much less went hiking, camped in a tent anywhere, muchless camped in a tent IN THE BIG OLD DARK SPOOKY WOODS, ate in a campchair while sitting around a campfire or went night hiking. Some of these new kids (ranging from tiger to WEB II ) never participated in any kind of group setting other than a school classroom.


Now for these guys, a camping patch is a recognition of something they did. Not an award mind you, but a memento saying :" HEY! Look at what I did! I'll remember that event forever!"


But I would NOT give any badges or patches for things like "Cleaning up your mess, not burning yourself in the camp fire, following orders, policing the grounds.

Likewise, things like sleeping in a tent/ sleeping bag, campfires, cooking on a campfire , etc pretty much fall under "Camping".


Camping should cover it all, just as a "driving" badge would cover things like seatbelts, turn signals, using the brakes to stop etc.


Too much can definantly happen, but nothing wrong with giving a new scout a badge as a memento.


You know what I mean? Evena tiger can tell when you are being over patrinizing to him: "Here's your getting dresed all by yourself in an hour patch". Matter of fact, with an exception of one or two, you'll most likely insult the kids with too any patches.


(This message has been edited by scoutfish)

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Around here we sometimes get below 40F in the summer. How would cubs up north or in Alaska ever camp? I don't know what the rule is. I also understand that people in the area are used to different climates. If there is a line for the temperature I would think there would be for humidity as well. Neither would do well with the same line across the country.

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"Hmmm....has anyone in your pack completed BALOO training? didn't anyone know that cubs don't tent camp below 40 deg"


Please show me where that comes from. One night at our council Webelos resident camp last summer was below 40 and they didn't send anyone home. Most boys didn't seem to mind. Heck, if my wife would let me I would keep the house that cold at night.

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For the record It was a COUNCIL function. We had a tour permit and beyond that point every boy was under the guidance of a parental unit. It was cold but not terrible, We had extra gear and double bagged the young men and parents with inadequate sleeping gear.


Gotta love internet experts.



The hiking patch getting awarded at the Troop Court of Honor was fantastic. None of the boy scouts in the troop have earned it. The Troop isn't that motivated for out door activities and the SM was hoping to use this to help motivating them.

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I got pretty tired of the whole brag vest thing by the time my son finished Cubbies, but last Sunday, when I put it out as one of the decorations for the reception after his Eagle COH, it had a whole different meaning. (I just got a few tears thinking about it.) People who didn't know much about Scouts asked a lot of questions, my son told some great stories explaining some of the patches to some of the guests, it was a great walk down memory lane. So don't trash it, it could have an entirely different life in a few years.

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