Taughannock District
Baden-Powell Council, BSA
Virtual Patch Collection - Adult Patches


Adult Leader Patches

Originally, all BSA position patches were purely symbolic, as was true of military patches from which the tradition was derived. The same patch design might be used for multiple positions,  differentiated by the color of the background and the colors of the details on the patch. A First Class emblem in silver on a green background meant "Scoutmaster". This design, with variations, was used until 1970.

Around 1970, a transition from "coded" patches without titles to those with titles was begun. This patch was released in 1969, and was the first attempt at the Scoutmaster patch with “Scoutmaster” on it, with a similar appearance to the previous "coded" patch, but with the Tenderfoot emblem and "Scoutmaster" title of the newer design. It lasted for a year or two (or maybe even longer in small council shops), and was then replaced with the slightly larger patch without the Boy Scouts of America lettering.  

Bill Fischbach collection

This version, introduced in 1970-72, was used until about 1989 when the background was changed to tan. 
The First-Class emblem on the older patches was changed to the Tenderfoot emblem at this time, and the size of the patch was increased to the current size. The color coding of the embroidery was retained, so Scoutmaster was still a silver-bordered patch, and Assistant Scoutmaster was gold. 

Trained Scoutmaster (mylar thread)
Between 1972 and 1989 Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters who had completed their basic training were eligible to wear position patches embroidered with sparkly mylar thread, which was the last use of a "code" in leader patches. After 1989, all trained leaders wore a "trained" patch under their position patch instead.

Assistant Scoutmaster - pre-1970 version
Gold on green background. 

Troop Committee
Post-1989 design

District Committee
1972-1989 design

The Layman patch was used by committee members at unit, district, and council levels from 1929 to 1972. This is the 1943-1956 version - it's the same basic design as the Assistant Scoutmaster patch from the same era, but with a blue background. 

1972-1989 design
Bill Fischbach Collection

Pack Committe Chair
1972-1989 design
Bill Fischbach Collection

This patch would have been used from 1972-1989, when "Den Mothers" became "Den Leaders"

Webelos Den Leader
1972-1989 design
Bill Fischbach collection

A rare patch worn by BSA employees who didn't have any other position patches for their job. 

The ScoutParents Unit Coordinator position became official June 1, 2008. I can't find much information on the position, or when or if it was dropped. 

This "Trained" strip indicates that a leader has been trained in his or her currently-registered position. 

Veteran Insignia

Five-year Veteran - issued 1924-1945. 

Ten-year Veteran - issued 1925-1945

Twenty-year Veteran - issued 1930-1945

Veteran Pins

Veteran pins have been issued in various forms since 1916. Years-of-service pins are issued in single year denominations, and as can be seen above, in the past they were available in numbers at least as high as 40. Today, year pins are available up to five years, with Veteran pins issued for ten years and up, in five-year increments. Pins had the years in Roman numerals until 1940. From 1940-1971 pins spelled out the years above the Scout emblem. Since 1972, Veteran pins have had a blue border with the number on the bottom.


Commissioners are the only adult leaders "commissioned" by the BSA to work with multiple units. Unit Commissioners are enrolled the District level to act as friends and resources for individual units (usually around three units per Unit Commissioner). District Commissioners recruit and supervise Unit Commissioners and other District-level Commissioners. Thre are also Commissioners at the Council, Area, Region and National levels, each responsible for recruiting and supervision of Commissioners at the next-lower level. All commissioner patches have a wreath around the Scout fleur-de-lis, signifying the commission held by the wearer.

In the early Commissioner patches the color of the wreath, the outline of the First Class badge and the Eagle indicate the level of the position. Because Scouting considers Silver to be higher than Gold, the more silver, the higher the position. This was not followed in the 1972-2010 designs, but can be seen on the post-2010 versions of the patches. The level codes are as follows:

Wreath 1st Cl Border Eagle Position
Silver Silver Silver Council Commissioner
Gold Silver Silver District Commissoner
Gold Silver Gold Asst District Commissioner
Gold Gold Gold Unit Commissioner (after 1972)
Neighborhood Commissioner (pre-1972)

District Commissioner - Early version of the patch

District Commissioner
1972-2010 version

District Commissioner
Post-2010 version

District Commissioner
Special 2010 Centennial patch
Assistant District Commissioner
Special 2010 Centennial patch

Scout Roundtable Commissioner
Special 2010 Centennial patch

Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner
Special 2010 Centennial patch

Unit Commissioner
Special 2010 Centennial patch

Neighborhood Commissioner
1932-1956 version of patch
The Neighborhood Commissioner position was eliminated in 1972

The original professional Scouters were considered paid Commissioners.
Therefore, patches for professionals had the same wreath as Commissioner patches had. Professionals were distinguished from volunteers by the color of the First-Class Insignia - Commissioners were blue, Professionals were red.
The red background on the First Class badge on this patch denotes a professional, and the silver wreath, eagle and outline indicate the highest level. Hence, this is a Council Executive's patch. The black background patch would have been worn on a blazer rather than a uniform.

University of Scouting


College of Commissioner Science

National Training Centers

Schiff Scout Reservation was located in Mendham, New Jersey, from 1932 to 1979. It was the first National Training Center, and hosted the first Woodbadge courses held in the USA. Schiff was closed when National Headquarters moved to Irving, Texas, in 1979. . 

Bill Fischbach Collection

Philmont Training Center was established as National Training Center after National HQ moved to Irving, Texas. 

Lots of Scouts and Scouters collect patches - your Webmaster is no exception. So, I've put up a Virtual Patch Collection for the district. It's by no means exhaustive, but it's what I've got. If you felt like contributing pictures of some patches we don't yet have in the collection, please e-mail them to Mike Brown at wb2jwd@gmail.com - the scans should be between 450-600 pixels in width and height(no multi-megabyte scans, please, they crash my e-mail program) and in JPG or PNG format if possible. Of course, if you wanted to give me the actual patches, I won't insult you by refusing...

-Mike Brown

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