If you or your son are new to Cub Scouts, you may notice at some pack meetings that some scouts are sporting red felt vests with many different kinds of patches attached. You see, yet another fun perk of Cub Scouts is getting to collect colorful activity patches for many of the adventures they go on. For instance, when they turn in their take-order popcorn sales sheet, they earn a patch. When they attend the USS Lexington, they get a patch! Just for joining Pack 1910, we provide boys with their FIRST patch -- a circular Pack 1910 patch to start their collection.
From there, for every Pack activity they participate in, they will earn a segment (unless it's a special activity, then they'll likely earn another specialty patch to add to their collection along with their segment). The segments are grouped along the edges of the circular patch so that it's a history of their Scouting career. After a wonderful, industrious Cub Scout career, their vests could look something like this...
The question most parents have is -- what in the world do we DO with all these things? To that I say, you have options!
The easiest option is to just collect them in a box (but what fun is THAT!) or let him pin them on a bulletin board. The downside of that is that they may get lost and the segments are small so it does require dedication to keep up with them.
Another way to display these is on a red vest also called a "brag vest". These can be purchased at the Scout Shop, online at ScoutStuff or you can use THIS PATTERN to make your own. There is another online company called www.PatchVest.com that has free shipping and charges $10 per red vest. Since these aren't official BSA uniform components, you can get them anywhere you want!
Yet another option is a blanket. This is a way that you can carry the patch collection display into Boy Scouts as well.
Again, please know that the red brag vest is not part of the official BSA uniform, but they just look really cool -- especially when they are full of Scouting adventures!
To note -- most patches do not have an iron-on adhesive backing so sewing is the preferred method of attachment. If you're not one who likes to sew, most dry cleaners have a seamstress that will do this for a nominal fee of $1-2 per patch for the large ones.