Scouts on Assignment: Peter Slater's Jamboree Report

Boy Scouts take part in one of the Jamboree’s most popular “unofficial” activities: trading patches. Each Boy Scout Council from across the U.S. creates a group of patches; the boys are given one set but can buy additional sets to trade. Scouts also bring their patches from past Jamborees to show and trade.


During the days we mostly worked on activities like scuba, pioneering, BMX, rifles and snorkeling. Though, while we were out and about we had a chance to meet some people from different countries, and trade patches with them. The best thing that my brother, Robert, and I did was going to scuba where we had a chance to look under water in a swimming pool for cool prizes and souvenirs.

Also, we had a chance to go to pioneering and build wooden hammers using methods that would have been used during pioneering days. The worst part of these days were that every morning and night we had to pick up, cook, eat, and clean up our meals which in some cases were very difficult to do. None of us were good cooks and we burnt things a lot, which made clean up a lot harder. So far Jambo has been fun but a lot of work.

Patch trading is big at Jamboree. I left home with six sets of our Central Region, Cleveland Council patches ready to trade. Most of our patches were of boats but there was one ghost guitar patch. Many other council patches include current movie and video themes including Halo, Avatar and Star Wars. 

You are supposed to trade one patch for one patch but that is not always how it works. The value of the patch is based on personal liking. Our patches were not well liked by the kids but the adults liked them. The only problem is that they only allowed kids to trade with kids and adults to trade with adults. 

After looking at the many different patches out there, I decided I wanted to get a set of the Northern Star Council patches but I never could find a kid to trade for my patches even though I offered multiple sets of mine for one of theirs. With my patches not being worth much to any kids, I finally found an adult that had the set I wanted and wanted what I had.

As you can see, that posed a problem. The only way an adult could exchange with a kid was to find your Scout Master and have him do it for you. I hurried back to camp to find Mr. Madigan, my Scout Leader, but he and the assistant leaders were all busy so I had to wait and wait. Finally, our Assistant Scout Leader was free and he helped me do the trade. These patches actually glow in the dark because they are images of the constellations. There is a Pegasus and an Aquarius as well as others. They are neat because not only do they glow in the dark, they also show the layout of the constellation and in the background is an image of what the animal of the constellation looks like. These patches are my most important Jamboree souvenir.

Read More on Scouts on Assignment
Volume 2, Issue 16, Posted 2:19 PM, 08.03.2010