Council Shoulder Patch Issues
by the various
Councils of The Boy Scouts of America
through July 1988
$11 Postpaid - I still have a few copies left as of 5/12/97. (SOLD OUT). E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright @ 1987,1988 by Kirk H. Doan, all rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. This publication may not be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in whole or in part in any form or by any means without the written consent of the author.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
How To Use This Guide 6
How CSP's Are Identified 6
Determination of Values 7
Identification of Known Issues 9
Shape Guide 13
Council Listings 14
Council Shoulder Patch (CSP) collecting took root in the collecting of the odd shaped council shoulder patches that were popular in the 1960's. Modern CSP collecting began in the early 1970's following the official sanctioning of shoulder worn council patches by the National Office of the Boy Scouts of America on April 17, 1970. With the wave of council mergers in the early 1970's, many CSP's quickly rose to spectacular values: Aheka, Chautauqua, Elk Lick, Lebanon, Seneca and Washington Trails are but a few examples. This created a great deal of interest in CSP collecting, and many hard-core OA collectors complained it was difficult to find people at trade-o-rees still interested in OA material. The pendulum has swung back and forth over the past two decades, and now there is a good mix of OA, CSP, insignia and memorabilia collectors at most trade-o-rees.
This is the first attempt that I am aware of to present a comprehensive guide to CSP values. I have purchased many collections and have sold at one time or another most of the issues listed. Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Presented here is nothing more than an expression of a moderately educated opinion as to the value of the various issues which are listed. No one will guarantee that you cannot find some issue listed here at a lesser price, nor will anyone guarantee that you can realize the values listed. By the same token, some issues are hard to find at any price. Rather, this list should be used for comparison of relative values. For example, is a Kaw more equivalent to a Pioneer Trails, or a Lebanon?
This listing should also be valuable to the advanced collector. There are many little known issues and varieties identified, as are twill directions and various background materials. I have erred on the side of listing everything, to allow each individual to decide what he or she wishes to collect, and cross out the rest. Most of the identified issues are in my personal collection and can be verified. Others have been brought to my attention by other collectors. If you learn of an issue not listed, please send me a photocopy so that it can be included in later editions.
Kirk H. Doan
Tamegonit Lodge 147 Adviser
Heart of America Council, B.S.A.
Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas
HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE
The Blue Book is set up as a checklist whereby you can simply place a "X" in the box which precedes the description of each CSP to indicate that you have it in your collection. You may indicate used or blemished issues, which you intend to replace, by making a slash ("/") and completing the "X" when you replace it. You may delete those listed issues which you are not interested in collecting, such as 75th Diamond Jubilee issues, shoulder activity patches (SAP's), or plastic back, color, twill or size varieties, by putting a dash ("-") in the box preceding the description.
HOW CSP'S ARE IDENTIFIED
Each CSP is identified by a series of letters and numbers. A typical listing might look as follows:
[X] T-01b TLR SS LT. BLUE BKG. PB 'A' $3
[X] S-02 BSA SS 86MM NAME PB 'A' $2
The "T" or "S" signifies whether the CSP has a twill ("T") background, or a solid ("S") background. If the patch has a twill background, the twill direction is indicated, such as twill left rough ("TLR"), no twill ("NT"), twill right smooth ("TRS"), and so on. A full description of the various abbreviations used in the Blue Book follows this section.
The number ("-01") indicates the issue number as generally recognized in the various trade publications. A letter following an issue number ("-01b") indicates a generally recognized variety of the issue. Where the same issue is repeated without a new issue number or letter, a minor variety is being recognized.
The letters "BSA", "SS", or "FDL" designate the presence of these symbols on the patch, and conformity of the patch to National standards. The difference between a Scout sign ("SS") and a fleur de lis ("FDL") is simple - the SS has a bar on it, a FDL does not.
If there is any necessary descriptive information to distinguish the variety identified from other similar varieties, that descriptive information is then set forth. For instance, if one patch has a light background when compared to another, the two will be identified as "LT. BKG." and "DK. BKG.".
Next, the presence of a plastic back on the patch is indicated by the abbreviation "PB". The absence of the abbreviation means that the CSP has a cloth back. No attempt is made to distinguish between the various types of plastic backs used, such as "waffle backs", "smooth plastic backs", or other apparent differences.
The shape of the CSP is indicated by a letter code ("A," "B," "C," etc.) which corresponds to a designated shape on the shape chart which appears in this guide. This relates to the shape chart circulated by National in 1970 to encourage councils to adopt CSP's in one of three approved shapes. The three shapes were demonstrated by the three samples sent to each of the then 450 Councils. The Circle Ten sample demonstrated shape "A", Columbiana-Johnny Appleseed demonstrated shape "B", and Paul Bunyan demonstrated shape "C".
Finally, a trade value expressed in dollars is assigned to each variety. A description of the method used to determine the value assigned to each variety is discussed below. There is also added at the end of each Council listing two blank boxes to use for new issues as they appear.
DETERMINATION OF VALUES
The purpose of indicating the values listed in this guide is to allow a comparison of the relative values of the issues indicated by reference to a common denominator: the dollar. For example, the value of the Kaw Council CSP is listed in the guide as being $12. Consequently, the Kaw CSP is much more equivalent to the Pioneer Trails CSP listed at $20, than the Red River Valley listed at $45, even though they all merged within a year of one another.
Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Assuming a perfect world, price would be the result of supply and demand. However, patch trading is not a perfect world, and we all have those holes in our collections which should easily be filled by some patch worth $3, but we just can't seem to find one! Similarly, the values indicated here may seem high or low depending on many factors. People find caches of previously hard to find varieties, some councils have hoards of traders putting their issues into circulation, and some councils sell their items to the public. There are always bargains to be found, and sometimes you have to pay through the nose for an issue because you just don't know when you will see another available.
The value of the same item may fluctuate over time. The Seneca Council CSP has become many times more valuable over the past 10 years, while the Lebanon and Aheka CSPs have remained constant, or even declined over the same period.
Finally, the values indicated in the guide are nothing more than an opinion of value expressed by the author. There are definitely some "investment grade" CSPs, as well as some expensive issues that are very risky. Some CSPs are so common that they are difficult to move at any price, which is why large collections sell for a moderate average price per item. Your opinions of value are solicited, so feel free to send them in.
IDENTIFICATION OF KNOWN ISSUES
The guide attempts to list all of the varieties known to me at the time of publication. Listed are twill varieties and plastic backs, even though few collectors collect them. Judgement has been exercised in limiting the identification of varieties, as some people consider very minute differences to be varieties. Plastic backs come in smooth plastic, waffle backs, thick plastic, opaque plastic, and others. Similarly, the same run of CSPs may have many variations in the shade of colors used in the patch because of lot differences in thread dye. No two people will always agree on what constitutes an issue or a variety, so again the guide is merely the opinion of the author. If you disagree, or have an issue or variety not listed, please send a zerox and a description of the difference.
I have attempted to list a lot of the minor varieties as I believe that CSP collecting will go the route that OA collecting has gone. As the number and value of the issues in existence increases, more and more collectors will begin to specialize. Collections of all issues from a single council, section, state or region will become more common. With such specialization comes a greater attention to detail. For example, consider the attention which has been given to the California OA issues.
In this guide the numbering system for issues and varieties has attempted to parallel that widely recognized in the various trading publications. Thanks must be extended to Prince Watkins and his work in Scouting Collectors Quarterly, and his editions of A Guide to CSP Collecting. These works have been the genesis of a standardized method of identifying CSP's. In this guide, the issue number: e.g.- T-01; is the issue number by which an issue is generally recognized. A letter designation: e.g.- T-01b; designates a generally recognized variety of the issue. Repetition of the same letter designation recognizes a minor change not rising to the level of being a full fledged variety. Thanks also goes to Nate Mercurio and Doty Sovers for assistance in identifying many of the twill and plastic back varieties not in my personal collection.
ABBREVIATIONS COMMON TO COLLECTING:
COMMON COLOR ABBREVIATIONS
Page last updated: 07/26/13.E-mail Kirk Doan at: email@example.com
Return to Kirk Doan's Ozark Philatelics & Collectibles Home Page.