I’ve always believed that when you wear a uniform, you should have all the badges in the right place and they should look nice. This is especially true when you go to an Eagle Board of Review. When I was a Scoutmaster, I would often get comments about how nice my Scouts looked when we attended District events.
In Venturing, Crews don’t typically fully uniform as they do in Boy Scouts. But when one does, I think wearing badges that match the uniform make one look that much sharper.
When Venturing was introduced in 1998, the Venturing community asked BSA if they would reintroduce square knots with green background as they had from 1966-1979. As you know, BSA said no. In 2002, while I was attending Powder Horn, I said to my Powder Horn Crew that I was thinking about making square knots with green backgrounds. Everyone in the Crew fully supported the idea. So, I had them made for the common knots and they were in high demand. Scouters no longer had to pay a premium for the original ones on eBay.
I also introduced two additional knots that have been well received. One for the Ranger award (a copy of the original knot made in 1950-51) and one for the Girl Scout Gold Award. When Venturing was introduced along with the Ranger award, many were asking for a knot. The Girl Scout Gold Award knot was motivated by the fact that one of my Crew Presidents had received the award.
Another quality that my knots have is the fact that the knot itself is the same design between all types of square knots; no extra material outside of the border of the square knot; and all are the same size. BSA has about a half dozen different configuration of square knots and the size of the patches vary. The point is that BSA square knots are not uniform, mine are.
As a result of my knots being uniform and color coordinated, I have also had many requests to make knots for the Sea Scout uniforms, along with traditional Cub and Boy Scout knots.
In addition to square knots, I’ve had requests for various TRAINED awards. At one time, BSA made these patches to match the uniform but now there is only one that matches the Boy Scout uniform. I stock them for the Venturing uniform in two colors; green and white, and a red one. I also made them for Sea Scouts, Commissioners, OA, Philmont, NYLT and Cubs. Thru 2010, I also made trained-like patches for Kodiak and Kodiak X.
One of my more interesting patches is the one I developed for the Venturing Officers Association (VOA) from a request from Joe Garrett in 2006. In 2008, Northeast Region requested that I make one for the Area VOA. And then in 2009, the National Cabinet Advisor asked for a design. The Cabinet was only able to wear it on their pocket that year. What was really interesting is that BSA came out with the same designs in 2012, while decreasing the quality but increasing the price by 67%. My standard VOA patches could be used for both Councils and Districts but BSA added the word Council on their patch so there is no longer a patch available for District VOAs from BSA. Of course, you can get some from me!
I do not do the patch thing as a business. I use some of the profits to pay for the scouting web sites that I maintain for the benefit of the scouting community. However, I give most of the profits to international scouting because that is where I spend most of my time. My most recent donation is going to a project for the street children of Uganda called Scout Donation Platform started by a Canadian Scout group. You can read about the project here: https://donate.scout.org/project/97b92a84-5cc5-44ea-9872-30eb1916ac21. If you can donate to this project, it would be appreciated and I know many would benefit.