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Liz

Merit Badge Sash Length

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So the Sash now comes in 3 sizes - 30, 36, and 40 inches.

I think it only used to come in 30 and 36 inch sizes. Am I remembering right? 

So the 40 is probably only for fluffier Scouts? Is 36 still considered the best size for most kids? 

My daughter is 10 and is already 5 feet tall, and pretty slender. She will be crossing over in a few months. It's hard to know whether she'll stop growing in a few years like many girls do, or whether she's going to maintain her 100th percentile for height into her teen years. But I have a hard time believing she'll ever be tall enough to need a 40" sash. Thoughts? 

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I feel like merit badge inflation means many scouts are filling their sashes up faster. 40” gives you more space. 

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I suppose that's possible. I always figured you start going down the back side of the sash if you fill it up, and the sash length should have more to do with the height of the Scout. 

My daughter is unlikely to fill up even a 30" sash and I'll be (pleasantly) surprised if she is motivated enough to reach Life rank. But I think she'll do Scouting until she ages out, and then I'll let her decide whether to apply for an extension (she is autistic and has some very significant learning delays & moderate social delays) but I think at that point she probably won't be interested.  I'm more concerned with making sure I get a sash is long enough it won't look silly on her when she's 16 or 17 years old. 

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A rule of thumb for girls:  (I used this for Girl Scout badge sashes/vests).   The mom can estimate the daughter's eventual size based on the mom's size.  Girls will typically reach full height about the same age the mom did,  by about age 13 or 14, but will continue to fill out a little width-size.   So, as a mother,  if you wear the same size you did as a college student,  try on the sash, and pick the size that fits you for your daughter.  If you are a little larger than when you were a college student, then consider sizing down for your daughter.  If you are really petite and your husband is really tall, then consider sizing up for your daughter. 

Or maybe there is a female scout in the troop who is the size you were when you were a senior in high school -- find out what size sash that scout is wearing.

If unsure, err or the side of too long rather than too short.  You can always shorten it later.

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12 hours ago, Liz said:

I think it only used to come in 30 and 36 inch sizes. Am I remembering right? 

So the 40 is probably only for fluffier Scouts? Is 36 still considered the best size for most kids? 

Or it could be for the taller Scouts. I know I got my 3 hoodlums the 36' because it was the longest at the time. Oldest is tall and slender, and the 36 inch sash was a little short. Thankfully it didn't look too bad. Try having a 6'1" Scout with a 30" sash, comes under the armpit and looks ridiculous.

11 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

I feel like merit badge inflation means many scouts are filling their sashes up faster. 40” gives you more space. 

That too, although MBs are allowed on the back of the sash.

Personally, I go for the longest one available and "customize" the size. Folding and stitching to size, then letting the stitching out as they grow, is something I recommend. 

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The sash used to come in three sizes:  Two badges wide, and three badges wide  long and short.  

I never understood the two badge wide one, the Scout always needed the three wide one, eventually.  

My mom made me use the long three wide, and just safety pinned it up until I grew tall enough (that didn't take too long !) . 

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23 hours ago, Treflienne said:

A rule of thumb for girls:  (I used this for Girl Scout badge sashes/vests).   The mom can estimate the daughter's eventual size based on the mom's size.  Girls will typically reach full height about the same age the mom did,  by about age 13 or 14, but will continue to fill out a little width-size.   So, as a mother,  if you wear the same size you did as a college student,  try on the sash, and pick the size that fits you for your daughter.  If you are a little larger than when you were a college student, then consider sizing down for your daughter.  If you are really petite and your husband is really tall, then consider sizing up for your daughter. 

Or maybe there is a female scout in the troop who is the size you were when you were a senior in high school -- find out what size sash that scout is wearing.

If unsure, err or the side of too long rather than too short.  You can always shorten it later.

"If you are a little larger than when you were a college student, then consider sizing down for your daughter. " - You just made me spit out my beverage on my laptop. LOL.

I wish I were only a "little" larger than I was in college. ;)

I am, however, about 4" taller than my mother. I was teeny as a child, and I remember my mom tucking me in and crying on my 12th birthday because I was not yet 5 feet tall and she'd stopped growing at age 12 so she didn't think I'd ever hit 5 feet. I grew almost 3" the following year, and approximately another inch per year until I was about 16 or 17, then slowed down and finally stopped when I got pregnant with my first kid at 19. I topped out at 5'6" before a car accident and spinal injury took part of that last inch away from me. My sister is 5'5" but was tall as a child and followed my mom's growth pattern of stopping growth at age 12. I think my mom is 5'2". But my dad is 6'3" Or was, pre- osteoporosis.

Anyway, my girls aren't genetically related to me or anybody else I know, or to each other for that matter, so it's all guesswork anyway. 🤷‍♀️

I'm definitely not going to buy the 30". Just toying with the idea of whether to go straight for the 40" sash. I think I had a 30" for my oldest child, which was not real tall, and I ended up upgrading and moving all her merit badges to a longer sash very quickly. I started out with the 36" one for my 2nd kid, and he was 6'3" by the time he aged out of Scouting. I don't remember it ever looking too short on him. But I'm not real sure how often he wore it at that age. The older kids were very active in the OA and wore that sash a lot more often than their merit badge sash. It's also possible that he just stopped wearing it when it got too short. LOL.

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