Boy Scout Uniform
Placement of insignia on the uniform is important.
The Uniform Inspection Sheet has insignia placement guides.
There is also a Male & Female Leader Uniform Inspection Sheet.
If you wonder where a patch goes, it is probably a 'temporary' patch. See Scouting FAQ page for help - they can be displayed on a blanket, vest, wall display, shoebox, or the back of the merit badge sash.
See the BSA Insignia Guide for more information on uniforms, patches, and such.
The Scouting program in America has always included uniforms for its members and volunteers to identify members and show they are part of the Boy Scouts of America. Scouts and leaders should wear their uniforms to all patrol meetings, troop meetings, and scout outings.
The tan and green Scouts BSA uniform is a well-known symbol of American scouting. All scouts in the program wear the same uniform with the major differences being the badges each scout has earned and the troop specific neckerchief.
Most scout troops also have an activity uniform which is often a t-shirt customized just for the troop. Activity uniforms are worn for work projects, sporting activities, and other events in which the dress uniform might get damaged. The official dress uniform is commonly referred to as the 'Class A' uniform and the activity uniform as 'Class B' even though these are not correct BSA terms.
The best place to buy customized scouting t-shirts is the ClassB.com web site. ClassB.com is an official licensee of the Boy Scouts of America and is actually run by a few Eagle Scouts.
Each scout belongs to a patrol within the troop. To foster patrol identity, each patrol chooses a Patrol Patch and creates a patrol flag, name, and yell.
Sashes and Such
The BSA Insignia Guide discusses all the uniforming, patch placement, and other insignia use.
Merit badge placement on the sash is up to the scout. The badges can be displayed in rows of two or three, starting three inches down from the top of the sash.
There is no required ordering of badges. The scout can put all silver-bordered Eagle-required badges first, followed by green-bordered elective badges. Or, display them alphabetically, or by favorites, or by color, or in the order earned (which is most common).
When the front of the sash is full, additional merit badges can be displayed on the back or on a second or third sash.
The merit badge sash is worn draped over the right shoulder and left hip.
Only ONE sash is worn at a time.
A second sash is NOT worn over the shoulder, nor tucked into the belt.
The same is true for Order of the Arrow sashes. The scout wears either a merit badge sash OR OA sash, but not more than one sash at a time.
These two sashes show merit badges in rows of three. They belong to my two Eagle sons. One has all his Eagle-required badges on top, the other just has them as earned.
|Boy Scout Uniform Costs|
|(BSA zip-off pants give you long and short pant uniforms, plus a belt)|
|World Scout Crest Emblem||$2.30|
|Council Strip||$1.50 - $6.00|
Total Uniform Cost
|about $150 to $185|
Uniform details, price changes, and other scouting gear is found at ScoutShop.Org - and you can now purchase online.
Retrieve a list of Scout shops and distributors in your area at this Scout Store Locator
Scout Uniform Savings
These uniforms are a significant cost for many scouting families. Some possible ways to reduce costs are:
- Have your scout earn the uniform or part of it.
- Purchase only minimum expected items in your troop.
- Check with your troop or district about a Uniform Exchange where you can pick up or drop off uniforms.
- Buy used Scout items at local clothes store.
Feb 19, 2012 - Julie Schmidt
See this page for more info.
1. If I was in OA as a youth, do I put my youth lodge badge or the lodge badge where I am currently a leader?
2. I had the honor of representing the BSA and the United States at the World Jamboree in Australia in 1987. Is it acceptable to have that patch on an adult uniform? I would love to be prompted by scouts to share that amazing experience by having the patch.
2. Yes, you can wear it.
I hate to use adhesives since these patches will be swapped out as the boy attains new rank. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
See this page for more info.
I am registered with my local troop and will be sending my application form in to be a registered merit badge counselor. I volunteer with my sons troop and go to all the camp outs and meetings with him. My son is Autistic so he always wants me at the events and meetings and I like helping as well. My question is should I be wearing a class A adult shirt as a volunteer? Thank you.
You can wear your OA pocket flap if you are a member in good standing of the OA - meaning you are paying your annual dues. Please see this OA page.
I also don't see value in wearing an outdated patch when the current ones are expected to be used. It sounds like the old patch is being used to draw attention to the scout, or his family's history, rather than to help identify his current role.
The NYLT patch is worn only with the position he was trained for during NYLT (if he changed positions he should remove the patch)
Hope this helps,
BSA uniform shirts should have an official BSA logo on the label and the buttons should have tiny fleur-de-lis symbols on them.
I have a round camp badge about 2 1/2" in diameter.
While at camp they earn individual tiny badges (curved on the inside and outside). These tiny ones are to go around the big badge to surround it.
If the scout placed his hand over his heart instead, because he felt that he was not in uniform, he's being respectful and there's no problem with that.
He can wear his Venture uniform, or borrow a better-fitting Boy Scout uniform from a friend.
If you follow the link to the BSA Insignia Guide in the page content above, you'll find the official BSA policy - which does not mention when to wear and when not to wear the sash.
I checked and there is no specific mentioning of this in any of the BSA guidelines that I checked.
Thank you! Our troop doesn't wear (or require) a neckerchief's with the uniform which makes certain tees, well...awful as a choice. With no guidance the boys tend to go for any tee, often their brightest neon colors from their dresser, which keeps them warmer and more comfortable wearing a tee, but looks yucky... Of course easiest answer is to just wear neckerchiefs which hides the tees, so hopefully the troop will reconsider one day!
If their lack of appropriate footwear causes their patrols to perform poorly in contests with other patrols, then maybe their patrolmates would encourage them to change. For example, some simple recognition for the patrol with the highest percentage of scouts climbing the tower or participating in the game - their patrol could never get it without them participating.
Or, maybe there is some other reason besides laziness why they wear what they wear. A caring adult volunteer might try to find out the reason.
If your scout is interested in earning it, he should ask his Scoutmaster what requirements the troop has for earning it.
Some shirt pockets are now flat, rather than pointed. Some are billowed, rather than sewn flat. So, the exact vertical center is different on different pocket types.
Centering the patch in the available horizontal and vertical space is the goal.
I understand that pockets have changed, but in this instance Scouts BSA specifically demonstrates two different ways to vertically "center" the patch on the same pocket. I will make a judgment call so that my son can wear his rank, but Scouts BSA can't expect an exacting result quite in accordance with it's unexacting instruction. Centered between the top and bottom of the pocket would result in the flap overlapping the rank on a "square" pocket. The official guide to insignia and the inspection sheet depict the same pocket but with the rank insignia in different positions, one centered between the flap tip and the bottom, and one just below. I stand by the notation Scouts BSA is disseminating conflicting information.
Thanks for your work on this question, but it appears we get to pick individually what it means since vertical centering isn't even well defined by official Scouts BSA rules and literature.
But just to be clear, am I to take away that we can't trust the official Scouts BSA insignia rules and guidelines and instruction sheets, nor the inspection sheets, since they are just "artist's interpretations?"
I think our kids and we as Scooters deserve better than that for direction on badge placement
I think the BSA is not too concerned about a patch being 1/4 or 1/2 inch off center, but if you feel that this lack of specific information needs correction, please contact the BSA at this address.
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