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CrazieGhostie

Embroidering Uniforms at Home

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I know that for uniforms to be official BSA, they need to be bought from a licenced supplier. I have an embroidery machine and want to custom embroider my troop's class b shirts. Will we get called out by anyone for doing this? Last year, I made shirts with our unit number, the girls' names, and location, but we went to a smaller camp. This year, we're going to a larger camp, who is known to be strict on their uniforms, so I want to double check. 

We also came across a troop that said they have custom patches made for scouts who participate in activities every month for a year. If we wanted to do this, would it go on the right pocket of the class a? Is that also something I can make without getting in trouble? I'm donating both supplies and my time. I've been looking at the regulations and they seem a little vague for this exact situation

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Welcome to the forum!

Most troops have custom activity shirts and someone is printing them. My troop sure does. I have never heard of anyone getting upset. Honestly, I say go for it.

As for patches, some patches have a loop of the edging thread that makes for a button hole so the scouts can easily attach them to their uniform temporarily. If your serger can do that then that would be nice. I have no idea how those loops are made, though.

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Welcome to the forums.  Thanks for asking about licensing.  

Short version - if the shirt uses any BSA protected images or words/phrases, it must be produced by a licensed vendor to be legal.  Here is all the info you need:  http://licensingbsa.org/

They used to have a type of license for what you are wanting to do, and it was free (or very inexpensive).  I dont find that type of license now - I'd call and ask.  OR - just dont use protected images.

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Trademarks do not apply for personal use, because to infringe a trademark, you need to "use" the mark, and "use" in trademark law generally means selling an item that has the mark on it.

You're making your own shirts for your unit. You are not selling them, nor getting anything in return for this.  

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13 hours ago, CrazieGhostie said:

... This year, we're going to a larger camp, who is known to be strict on their uniforms, so I want to double check.  ...

Sounds like your issue will be with the camp. Call the camp director and let him/her know that your troop has home-made activity shirts. Ask if there are any guidelines.

Frankly, if they are not for sale, nobody should be bothered.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Sounds like your issue will be with the camp. Call the camp director and let him/her know that your troop has home-made activity shirts. Ask if there are any guidelines.

Frankly, if they are not for sale, nobody should be bothered.

Not bad advice, but still more effort than it's worth. Can anybody seriously tell me if they can tell the difference between an activity shirt purchased from Class B, one made up by the local screen printing shop, or one that is made at home on the Cricut?  Absolutely nobody has ever gone around checking tags and receipts to ensure our shirts were made by an "approved" vendor.

 

Edited by Pale Horse

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11 minutes ago, Pale Horse said:

Not bad advice, but still more effort than it's worth. Can anybody seriously tell me if they can tell the difference between an activity shirt purchased from Class B, one made up by the local screen printing shop, or one that is made at home on the Cricut?  Absolutely nobody has ever gone around checking tags and receipts to ensure our shirts were made by an "approved" vendor.

 

Well, a camp director who does make a stink might be justification for choosing a different camp. In general, I encourage troops to give the director of a camp they've never been to a call. It's usually always worth the effort.

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Thank you everyone for the feedback. I feel more confident after hearing the feedback. I've never been to this camp, but my scoutmaster has, with her old troop. I know she kept talking about them being extremely strict with the class a's and I remember a time when I was a kid that there were copyright issues with uniforms. I'm pretty sure I was just overthinking it

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My only thought, is there a way to get the scouts to do the production of the shirts?

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On 3/17/2020 at 5:51 AM, Pale Horse said:

Not bad advice, but still more effort than it's worth. Can anybody seriously tell me if they can tell the difference between an activity shirt purchased from Class B, one made up by the local screen printing shop, or one that is made at home on the Cricut?  Absolutely nobody has ever gone around checking tags and receipts to ensure our shirts were made by an "approved" vendor.

 

Class B is just a 3rd party vendor. Nothing they produce is official. I suspect they hold licenses to use BSA logos that your local vendor might not have, but I don't have any inside knowledge on that part. 

Other than the possibility that Class B might have permission to use certain trademarked images which may not be as readily available to you for home-embroidery, there is no difference. An activity shirt is an activity shirt. Other than general "appropriate clothing" guidelines, there are no rules governing your unit's chosen activity uniform, if they even have one at all. 

The unit my older kids were involved in never did have an activity uniform. Any Scouting related shirt at all was considered an appropriate activity uniform. So the kids would go to camp and buy previous years' camp t-shirts at a huge discount, just a few bucks a piece, and that was their "uniform" when not wearing a Class A. Nobody ever tried to coordinate everyone wearing the same shirt at once. Does it say Boy Scouts on it somewhere? It counts. A Scout is Thrifty. 

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