Tuesday Talkback: What do you do when a Scout has a patch sewn on wrong?

Tuesday-TalkbackYou’ll notice it right away, of course.

You’ll see Tristan across the room at your pack or troop meeting this week and instantly spot the unit numerals on the wrong sleeve, the rank patch on the wrong pocket or the World Crest way too low on his field uniform shirt.

What do you do? Call Tristan out in front of the group so other Scouts learn from his mistake? Hand him a needle and some thread and send him out of the room? Email his parents after the meeting? Something else?

Leave a comment below with your answer, and let’s have a discussion about the best way to handle this common concern. This is the first of a recurring series of posts I’m calling Tuesday Talkback

15 years ago…

Look back in time with answers to a similar question from the September 1998 issue of Scouting magazine.

See also

For an excellent look at sewing on Scout patches, including tips you can send to parents, check out the rundown on Clarke Green’s unofficial blog.

Note: Just so we’re clear, the Life rank patch is on the wrong pocket in the image I used for this post!

111 thoughts on “Tuesday Talkback: What do you do when a Scout has a patch sewn on wrong?

  1. I just got back into scouting and had my son crossover last week. I have properly applied his patches to his uniform and properly have attached them to my leadership shirt. (I am registering to at our council to be a leader as well) My question is that can me and my new boy scout wear the centennial ring around the World Crest even though neither of us were registered scouts in 2010? I have purchased 4 centennial rings from ebay since our council store was out of them for our four uniforms, but the boy scout troop “sewing lady” mentioned the “ring” was ONLY for scouts who were actually boy scouts in 2010. From what I have read and searched on internet I have not found this as a restriction just a supply problem. I am in St. Louis Area Council in Mo. Could the council have its own ruling with its own stipulation that may be contrary to others? Yes I know I could call them in the morning but wasn’t just going to rely on the receptionist answering the phone.

  2. When you notice a patch on wrong or in the wrong spot, remember that the chance that the boy is the one that put it there is very slim. Friendly, courteous, and kind take precidence here. A great method is to have your scout book and show the sower of the patch the inside cover, chances are they never knew there was a specific place. Also do the best you can to have all your leader patches in the correct location.

    As far as the centenial ring, it was originally a limited time item but was brought back by popular demand. There is no restriciton that I am aware of regarding the wearing of this ring. I is simply a anniversary reminder of 100 years of scouting.

  3. R.D….there are TWO (three if one includes BOTH versions of the Centennial Ring patch; and FOUR if one includes the Jamboree ring patch — but I’m not going to even talk about that emblem because it’s not supposed to be worn any more…)

    The Messengers of Peace ring patch goes around the World Crest and may be worn by anyone — youth or adult — who have participated in a Messenger of Peace project. More about the Messengers of Peace world wide project can be obtained at

    There are TWO Centennial Ring emblems. The first version was created in connection with the Centennial of the BSA in 2010. This one has the wording “Boy Scouts of America”, “1910”, “2010” and “100 Years”. Wear it if you desire; it is designed for PERMANENT WEAR and does not depend upon whether a person was registered with the BSA in 2010 (the original idea), went to the Jamboree, or other silliness. If you were alive and a registered part of the Boy Scouts of America in 2010, you can wear that ring over (on top of) your World Crest emblem.

    The second version was released in 2013 because many people were “told” that the only people who got to wear the Centennial ring were those individuals who were actually *registered with the BSA* in 2010; or who went to the Jamboree; or some other silliness. The current version, which also can be worn by youth and adults, is IDENTICAL to the first version except for the removal of the “1910” and “2010” wording, replaced by stars; and the wording at the bottom “Since 1910”.

    You have to make a choice as to which one you want to wear. Personally, I like the second version — more permanent than the first version.

    I’ll update the Badge and Uniform Site with images of ALL FOUR “rings” so you can tell the difference between them. All of the rings (except for the Jamboree one, which was supposed to be removed by those who attended the Jamboree back at the end of Feburary 2011 and saved with your other Jamboree items) may be worn, ONE AT A TIME as a PERMANENT ITEM on your field uniform.

    (http://www.scoutinsignia.com/jambo100.htm is a page showing as many of the Centennial Jamboree items as I have)

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