Your Guide To Collecting Boy Scout Memorabilia
Collecting scouting memorabilia is a fun and affordable pastime of many former boy scouts who are now adults.
The 19th Boy Scout jamboree just wrapped up. In addition to the food, fun, and fellowship, a small side aspect to scouting is the people who collect the rich history of the Boy Scouts of America organization.
In the world of collectibles we often talk about how age doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to value. Well that adage isn’t exactly true when it comes to boy scouts memorabilia. The scarcity of highly collectible items like merit badges and award medals is all based on supply and demand. These items were obviously awarded in much smaller quantities when the Boy Scout organization was in its infancy in the 1910s and 1920s. So really the older items are, the more valuable they are.
The most valuable types of boy scouts collectibles are prestigious awards from the early days. Eagle scout medals can be especially valuable; you just have to have one from before 1920 if you really want to cash in. There are even some eagle patches out there that are rare and collectible. Merit badges usually aren’t tremendously valuable. Once again though, it is all about age and scarcity.
Both boy scouts and adults involved with their various programs were in the running for some awards. Boy scout silver awards aren’t always especially rare, but they are very popular. Silver beavers, buffaloes, antelopes, and fauns were all given to deserving recipients as early as 1925. The most available silver award to collectors is the silver beaver, followed by the silver antelope, faun, and finally the buffalo. Most of the more common silver awards sell for around $100. Other medal awards can be worth in excess of $1,000, such as the various explorer medals.
Another subset of the boy scouts is known as the Order of the Arrow. One of the most valuable types of awards is the order of the arrow distinguished service award. It is a silver (or Rhodium) arrowhead. You also want to look for first flaps or flaps from lodges that existed for a short period of time. Once again, these are valuable because they were either issued for a very short period of time or in a very limited quantity. Generally speaking though, most Order of the Arrow flaps will be especially common and issued by the thousands.
Most collectors aren’t surprised that rare awards and badges can be valuable. What is surprising is the prices that some early literature related to the Boy Scouts can sell for. Even early uniforms can sell for lots of money. Once again, boy scout handbooks and uniforms are only rare and collectible if they are very old and used during the 1910s.
What To Learn More?
If you want to know what your Boy Scout memorabilia is worth then you should probably talk to a collector or dealer. Dale Fenton is a specialist and he can be reached at Dale@BoyScoutCollectibles.com. He is available to answer any value and appraisal questions.