BSA Patch Patrol I'm sure you've met one by now. He might just make a quiet comment to you that your new square knot is sewn upside down. Or, he might point out paragraph 4 on page 5 of his Insignia Guide where it says that patch hanging from your right pocket button is 1/4 inch too wide. Or, he might complain to others when you're not around about how your 5 medals and all those knots are excessive. He's the Patch Police.

Recognition of efforts by volunteers is important. And, of course, we should follow the guidelines when displaying recognition. But, those people with experience and knowledge about the guidelines should use empathy and tact in a helpful manner when a discrepency is noticed. If you find it important enough to correct others, please do it respectfully and off to the side.

Many new volunteers receive recognition items but no immediate guidance regarding proper display. If your role includes distributing recognition, make it a point to also provide instruction about placement of the recognition item. Even if you don't present the items, you can always ask "Do you know where that goes?" when you congratulate the recognized volunteer. This will solve nearly all patch police cases before they occur.

Did you know the BSA actually does have a Patch Police program? Well, it's actually Patch Patrol, but close enough. The program is intended to promote BSA licensed patches rather than unauthorized knock-offs. And, it's a simple way to get another patch to add to your collection.

Officially endorsed BSA patches have a special backing so you just "Flip It" to see if its official. If you send the BSA an email telling them what you're doing to teach others to "Flip It", they'll send you a free "Real Deal" patch. See