When you have been involved in Scouting for as long as I have (over 32 years) you end up accumulating a lot of patches. Some are earned by simply attending a Scouting event. Others are earned by being on staff for an activity. Others have requirements that must be completed before being awarded. And finally, there are those that you buy just because they look cool. There is a lot of truth in the saying, “A Scout (or Scouter) will do anything for a patch.”
I probably have nearly 200 Scout related patches. For many years I stapled them to a four foot by four foot sheet of paneling and hung it on the wall. The patches were placed in rows, by year in the order I received them. I was fun to be able to view all the patches at one time. It was a colorful item used in some of the Scouting displays I would place around town during Boy Scout anniversary week in February.
Unfortunately, a few years ago, I ran out of room on the patch board. I had teased the Boy Scouts that when the board was full it would be time for me to retire from Scouting. The last patch was stapled to the board in 2005. I remained as scoutmaster (until the end of 2011) and currently serve as a committee member. I guess you could say the board really did not have any say on when I would retire from the Scout program.
I now have a problem. I have a lot more patches that need a home. I also need wall space to hang photos, art prints, and other items. It is time for the old patch board to come down off the wall, but I really have no place to store it. It may be time to do something I have wanted to do for a long time. It is time to create a patch blanket. Or two. Yep, definitely two blankets.
Several Christmases ago my sister gave me a Scout blanket as a present. A few years ago a couple Eagle Scouts gave me another Scout blanket as a gift. Last year I received a third Scout blanket at another Eagle court of honor. I guess I have enough blankets to make this work.
Tonight I began taking patches off the board and started placing them on the first blanket, which happens to be a Boy Scouts of America 100th anniversary design. I am placing more patches on it them I originally thought I would be able to place on it. I think it is going to look pretty sharp. I am far enough along to see that I will need two blankets for all the patches.
There is one major problem with my plan. I do not sew. I hate sewing. I am not good at it. And I do not plan to get good at it. I think I will use some Badge Magic to hold the patches in place and take them to a person in town has a sewing business in her home. I realize it will cost me some bucks to have this done put I think it is going to be well worth it. I plan to ask her if she can put a couple loops at the top of the blanket so that I could hang it on a wall or rod. This way I could continue to use it as part of Scouting displays.
What do you think about my first blanket? Do you have a patch blanket? I would appreciate hearing your comments.
Here is what is left on the board yet.