Scoutmaster Musings - Spoof Merit Badges

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Scoutmaster Musings

Spoof Merit Badges
spoof merit badge
Have you ever purchased spoof merit badges?
I've looked at them and laughed at them online but was concerned the quality would be poor and they'd just be a waste of money. But, this past month the Boy Scout Store provided me with a selection of patches and they are great. My favorite is the one pictured here for 'finger carving'. :-)

My plan is to recognize scouts after campouts this year. Whether it's because they cooked a great dutch oven meal or were attacked by ferocious mosquitos or a few other occasions, I'm hoping the patches will be a bit of fun and maybe get a few more scouts to participate more.

Boy Scout Store also has Scout Coins which I started giving to new scouts last spring. They've been a very popular token with the scouts.

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Posted: 11:23 01-03-2011 552
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 Jan 05, 2011 - toomuchcountry
I bought several of the spoof patches last summer to award our scouts who went for a week of kayaking at Pamlico Seabase near the Outer Banks, NC. They had a grueling week but didn't earn any specific merit badge - other than the BSA kayaking patch. So I recognized each of them at a troop meeting back home with a spoof patch and a specific anecdote as to why they earned it. All had a great laugh. I think some of them appreciated the 'earned' spoof patch as much as some of the legit ones they already had.
Jul 11, 2012 - John Nicolay
These spoofs are a lot of fun. I don't suppose it would be 100% proper to affix them to the sash. Is there an OK method for wearing them? I know there are no sash police, but there are always "purists" around.
Jul 12, 2012 - Scouter Paul
John - they should not be worn on the uniform.  They're just for fun.
Jul 12, 2012 - Charles Featherer
I've both given and received them.   They're a great treat, especially when it can recognize someone in a fun way who may not have had a great time (Poison Ivy Horticulture, anyone) because of a specific challenge.   There are a few I would shy away from using because I think there could be hazing implications (who wants to be acknowledged for 'Public Farting' under any circumstances?) but most are good for a laugh.   They can't be worn on uniforms, but no one said anything about patch jackets or other display pieces...Patrol Flags, perhaps?

Aug 06, 2012 - Ambulancedriver
I plan on using an old scout shirt, and affixing spoof patches on it.. They will look like original patches from afar  but up close they will bring a laugh. Like potty trained,  y knot.I plan to use for roundtables!
Sep 08, 2012 - John Nicolay
Our boys love the spoof patches. I wrote a guide to all of them, but did not necessarily use the label attached at the Boy Scout Store. Public "farting", right, does not work. But embarrassing yourself does. Dumpster diving? Visit the landfill and learn how it is built and managed. Ambulance chasing? Visit the local EMS/911 center. WalMart? Talk to the store manager about why WalMart is so successful. So only. had purple sashes made. I think you can be quite creative with this awards, and we use it to have safe competition and esprit d corps.
Jul 01, 2014 - Alex H.
Where would you get the requirements for spoof badges like the ones offered at boy scout store .com
Jul 01, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Alex - There are no requirements for them.  They are just for fun.  You could make up requirements, if you wanted.
Nov 02, 2014 - BSA Since 1957
Spoof patches can be funny, but often are unkind toward the recipient.  A Scout is Kind, so those are inappropriate and should never be presented.  If someone wants to poke fun at themselves, that's different.  I have no problem with Untrainable or Curmudgeon trained strips for yourself, nor do I have a problem with adult patrol patches (e.g., Dinosaur, Old Goat).  Brag vests are more appropriate places for spoof patches, as they are not part of the uniform.  Keep it fun and please do not make fun of others! Thanks!
Apr 24, 2015 - Sandra C
Things like the Pet Rock, Citizenship in the Universe or Walking Spoof Merit badges could be fun for the boys.  Couldn't these be placed on the back of the merit badge sash? just like camporee, event or other patches?
Apr 24, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Sandra - The back of the merit badge sash can be used to display merit badges or 'temporary' emblems.  Page 10 of the 2012 Guide to Awards and Insignia states that.  On page 31 of that same document, it says "miscellaneous patches" instead, but I'm told that will be updated in the next version.

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