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3 Ways To Ramp Up Your Patch Trading

The 2013 National Jamboree is all about action, right?

Well, right, as long as “action” includes patch-trading action.

Just like in past jamborees, and in addition to all the high-adventure activities that will be available to you, 2013 will include classic jamboree activities that you have grown to love, including the ever-popular, vastly competitive patch-trading experience.

Patches, You Say?

Yeah, have you ever seen a patch before? You know, the kind you can wear on your uniform? Although it’s been around in Scouting since 1920, and made its first appearance at the national jamboree in 1937, it’s not unique to Scouting. In fact, there are a lot of different subcultures that trade patches, including police and other emergency professionals—even punk rock enthusiasts.

What’s Different in 2013 From Previous Jamborees?

According to the program guy, Russell Smart, things will be a little different in 2013.

“At the Summit, for the first time ever, trading will become an ‘official’ jamboree activity, taking place each evening on the upper deck/lawn of the AT&T Summit Stadium,” said Russell Smart, volunteer team leader for programming at the 2013 jamboree.  “Also for the first time ever, trading between youth and adults will be allowed as long as it occurs in this official area.”

The staff for this official area will be members of the International Scouting Collectors Association. They will also assist in teaching the Collections merit badge.

It’s My First Time at Jamboree; Got Any Tips?

You bet we do. Here are three excellent tips for coming to the jamboree ready to trade:

  1. Build your inventory. One of the best ways to be a veritable bartering wrecking ball is to accumulate a handsome stock of patches from which you can trade. Some of the folks you might meet at the jamboree have been trading patches for decades, so come prepared with something cool and unique. It takes a long time to build up a good stock of patches to trade, so if patch trading is your gig, you’d better get started now.
  2. Know your collection. Are you interested in OA lodge patches? High-adventure activities? Councils? You have to know what you’re looking for and what your interests are. It helps you develop a better inventory that you can trade away, and also helps keep you focused while you’re bartering with other people at the jamboree, ensuring you get exactly the kinds of patches you want.
  3. Maintain your kit. Nobody wants to trade for patches that are tattered, dirty, or worn out. Do your best to make sure your inventory of patches is shipshape at all times. One of the best ways to do this is to keep your patches in a watertight plastic bag, like a zippered freezer bag. It not only protects your patches but provides an easy way for potential traders to get a quick glimpse of what you bring to the table.

Which patches are you most interested in seeing? Jamboree? The Summit? Patrol Z? Let us know in the comments.

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