Step TWENTY-THREE: On My Honor, I will... Sell My Scout Patches


Why do we keep things? For a memory? To impress? Fear of not being remembered? Reminder of a life lesson? I've got a pretty good memory and I feel adoration from my family and friends so why hang onto things that fill closets?

During my childhood I went through the ranks in Boy Scouts, eventually earning my Eagle Award, the highest achievement in scouting.  It was a fun adventure and I have many great memories from it. In fact, it's likely that those numerous outings gave me the confidence to not only continue to travel trails into adulthood, but to also seek my own unique place in life, contributing where I can.

A grocery bag full of old musty scouting patches wasn't required to keep that passion I now live.

Bought for $0   
 (not counting burnt dinners, frozen fingers, and snipe hunting) Sold for $311
Project Profit: $4,087.35
There were over 100 patches in my collection. Some were rank badges, such as First Class, Star and Life badges.  Most of the others were from the countless camporees my troop attended over the years. Each weekend event of several troops had a theme and the organizing troop designed a colorful patch to commemorate it.  There was the Polar Bear Outing of 1984, a winter camping trip where we practiced our cold weather skills by eating s'mores and pumping hot chocolate through our veins in the grassy yard of our host church next to the parking lot during a typically frozen Indiana January.

There were several patches from my attendance at the 1989 National Scout Jamboree, a fun filled week of 75,000 of my best scouting friends in Fort A.P. Hill Virginia.  It was such an event that Steven Spielberg and President H.W. Bush showed up.

But perhaps best of all in the collection were about 20 felt patches that had been given to me by an uncle who once was a scoutmaster in Illinois.  When it comes to serious scout collectors, and there are many, these vintage felt patches are textile gold.  By the time the 5-day auction ended I had come out ahead $311.

At the urging of my wife, I elected to keep my most recent scout uniform, merit badge sash, and hometown news correspondent I.D. badge from the National Jamboree.

                            Bought for $0   
                            Sold for $311
Project Profit: $4,087.35

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