Wednesday, April 22, 2015
I did shoot a lot of pictures and video of the patch trading at the conclave last weekend. However, instead of making that into a video yesterday I got sucked into working most of the day on the fundraiser project that I'm helping to chair at my daughter's school. So keep en eye out for the video that I hope to crank out later today. I'll post it on social media.
One of the interesting patterns from patch trading was how much 2013 jamboree stuff was still in circulation. Some councils are getting to the point now where they are dumping their sets. I noticed from at least two of the councils represented that there seemed to be a flood of those in the trading shelter. Of course the 100th anniversary issues were there but not always easy to trade for.
I talked to several adults at the conclave who "got the boot" like so many others and won't be part of a delegation. One guy told me he had been on staff for multiple NOACs and was told no thank you. Finding a hotel bed in Lansing is going to be near impossible this summer but for those with a car they can always go the next town over to find a room.
One of my patch collecting friends is looking to unload a big collection of early Boy Scout handbooks. He told me it's maybe like 75% off retail for the whole collection. Send me an email if you have any interest and I'll forward it to him.
I've got a lot of OA in my store and some of that may find it's way onto my NOAC tables this summer. I'm still working out my strategy for the TOR but that's one possibility. Click over to www.ScoutPatchHQ.com to see what I've got up.
I have been talking to the other collectors that help me run www.CarolinaOA.com and we are trying to shake things up. One of those ideas includes involving some young guns in the hobby and letting them run with some ideas. There is a pretty good generational gap between those of us who started the site and our target audience. So stay tuned and let's see what comes out of these discussions.
Monday, April 20, 2015
I am putting the finishing touches on today's newsletter while sitting in a Waffle House on the way home from Camp Tuscarora and the SR-7B Conclave. I think I spent 15 hours trading patches Saturday so I'm ready to get home. I'll take today's issue to tell you a little bit about the action in the trading shelter.
Friday night is always a slow start to the patch trading because along with arriving and pitching a tent there is a show and Vigil Re-dedication on the schedule. We also had crossed signals with some people trading in the traditional shelter that has the been the spot for years and others going to the dining tent. I was one of the lonely people in the tent so I had to push Saturday to make up for lost time.
Literally as I walked out the dining hall from breakfast there were already patch traders sitting at tables hard at it again. I was set up by 9 AM and traded until midnight only breaking for meals. It was a marathon but if you get to trade patches non-stop for just a few days out of the year why not take advantage of it. It's not an Olympic sport but it is a whole lot of fun!
There was a great mixture of adults, seasoned youth and brand new traders under the shelter. I swear their was one youth that came and traded with me more than 2-dozen times usually with a single patch in his hand each time. I told him I was easy to trade with and apparently he agreed. The other great thing about an event like this was the fellowship of being around other Scouters and collectors. I talked to many folks who get the newsletter and their kind words were much appreciated.
Maybe to the annoyance of some I took lots of pictures and video of the patch trading Saturday. My plan is to put together a big compilation video later today and have it ready by Monday. When I told some of the Scouts they were going to be on YouTube some of them thought they were hot stuff. In five days I get to turn around and do it all again at the SR-5 Dixie Fellowship. In fact I have a Scouting event every weekend until Memorial Day. Life is good!
Sunday, April 19, 2015
I read online that there are nine different conclaves happening across the country this weekend. In a few hours I'll be pushing off to my the SR-7B Cardinal Conclave which be the largest in the country this year. What is the magic sauce? I thought I'd share a little in today's issue.
There are some obvious advantages in this section that are not things you could duplicate. The section is compact with 1/2 dozen lodges covering the central to eastern parts of the state. Most of the lodges are in councils that are very strong with great Scouting traditions. Plus you have a monster 1000+ member lodge to stuff the numbers (love you Occoneechee!). So what can others duplicate without these natural advantages?
One thing is registration. In my home lodge that attends the Dixie Fellowship our registration was due by the first weekend in January and had to be submitted to the lodge. In SR-7B you could register up until a week ago and it's all done online as an individual. Using a slick online portal you can register and preorder memorabilia all while wearing your pajamas at your laptop. I didn't register until March and was able to get most of the items I wanted. Each lodge gets updates on this central registration process makes plans from there.
Another thing that the Cardinal Conclave does right is promotion. Not only do they kill it on Facebook and social media but each individual lodge is promoting the event year round. I remember going to a lodge winter banquet in November and there were placards at each table that were professionally printed promoting that April's event. So six months out it was already being promoted and that's just one anecdote but they use many more strategies.
So I shared these tips today not to boast but because I believe in the idea that sharing new ways of doing things makes everyone better. If your conclave is getting stale or only has 200-300 attending start thinking about next year and asking questions to make things better.