Tuesday, May 26, 2015
I got word this week of a new resource book in the hobby and I want to take today's newsletter to mention it. I can't say "review" because I have not yet purchased a copy but I think as you hear about it you can be rest assured of its quality.
Mike Gosling has been collecting since 1961 and he puts his 50+ years of experience and collection of more than 180 different countries into his new book: Boy Scout Insignia. It features the the National strip, National flag and National emblem along with Membership, Second Class, First Class and Cub Scout Membership from Scout organizations around the world.
As you can see in this sample page from the book Mike did the book in full color. He is selling it as a book through a website called Createspace.com. Mike told me that many of the patch scans come from his own collection but he did have to reach out to other members of the badgers to get certain images. The International Badgers Club is a worldwide group focused on collectors who are interested in swapping for badges from each country in WOSM.
I am happy to help share resources for the hobby in the newsletter. If you have a similar project and want a free plug send me an email and I'll see if we can work it out. I think Mike has done the hobby a great service (especially in a World Jamboree year) and I hope he gets a good response.
The first victim of downsizing my project list will be my own off-eBay store at www.ScoutPatchHQ.com. I know that come August I will be struggling to keep my head above water with lesson plans and grading papers. So keeping two Internet stores open won't be possible when I will have precious little time to devote to the hobby. I'll probably keep it open for a couple more weeks but this is definitely a priority for June.
Monday, May 25, 2015
About two weeks ago I shared a preorder form to get the new lodge jacket patches being ordered by my home lodge. The deadline is coming this week so I figured everyone (including me!) who has not placed an order could use a reminder. The big Centennial jacket patch is going to be something like 15" across so it's a monster. This is the first time the lodge has shared an order form on social media with Scouters from around the country so I hope we can field enough orders to get to the minimum order size of 100 patches. They will be mailed to you when ready before NOAC.
In my experience I've often heard people grumbling that they would like to directly fund a project at camp but usually the patch auction or whatever fundraising patch usually just ends going in the big old pot. Well for a Wood Badge ticket item a Scouter in my area may have cracked the code on this. He has launched a GoFundMe campaign trying to raise $2,000 to renovate an adirondack campsite before this summer. I chipped in $50 and have been sharing the link this weekend. If you would be willing to chip in $10, $20 or more for a Camp Coker improvement project check it out: BSA Camp Coker Shaw Campsite Repair.
I've had a few of you ask me if my lodge was going to issue a Centennial flap. The answer is yes, but... So we have had a design for a long time and as of the end of March the decision was made to get a preorder form together so lodge members could order them. So far that hasn't happened. So to all of you that are chasing these down YES I will try and get extras but at this point it's likely to be NOAC before they are issued if then.
I made this panoramic photo after a recent stop at my antique mall booth in Florence, SC at Palmetto Peddlers. I recently learned that my buddy Todd Kelly has closed down his two booths so I guess this is one of the last ones standing in this part of the country. If you get a chance come check it out right off Interstate 95.
I appreciate the dozen or so readers who reached out to me with words of appreciating and encouragement after I announced Friday that I'll be returning to the classroom to resume my career in education in August. I've enjoyed playing cheerleader and news correspondent for the hobby and I'll continue to do some of that on a more limited basis moving forward. In the coming weeks I'll announce some of my projects that will be retired but as I said before this newsletter is not on the chopping block.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Next year will bring some changes for the Swapper so I'm going to start the process of prioritizing things within my online business. My son is going to Kindergarten which means it's time for the "work from home dad" to get back into his career as an educator.
Patrick was born in September of 2009 and when my school year ended in June of 2010 I became the "eBay dad" who stayed home to raise him, chase after his older sister, and enjoy turning my favorite hobby into a business that could support the family. It is pretty crazy all the projects that I got into during that time period including a podcast, multiple websites, online publishing, creating the Scout Patch Collectors Facebook Group and more.
The good news is that I've already been offered a job teaching 7th grade social studies that I will likely sign a contract for later this afternoon. This summer I can begin dusting off lesson plan ideas and getting my brain wrapped around being in the classroom 5 days/week. However, it also means that I'll have to spend this summer downsizing or reassigning some of my online projects because it won't be sustainable with everything I'll have going on.
I have been publishing this email newsletter every week since January of 2009. I can promise you that won't change going forward. This newsletter has become the cornerstone of my "work" in the hobby and when people see me at Scouting events often the first they say is "hey I get your newsletter". So that means everything else is up for consideration. There will be some hard choices made over the coming weeks but narrowing my focus is probably long overdue.
Change is good. I recently flipped through one of my Prices Realized Guides from 2012 (another project!). In the back I had a run down of all the websites I had up. Funny thing is many of those websites are no longer active or have changed their focus. Anybody remember Top 10 Videos or the old forum at Patchblanket.com or my pushing twitter on BoyScoutTweet.com. That was all BEFORE I helped create the Facebook Group with Brad England, launched an off-eBay store, opened two antique mall booths, etc. So like I said there will have to be some prioritizing going on but I anticipate I can spin off some of these things to other collectors rather than closing them down. Thanks for being a reader over the years and I'll keep pushing out this newsletter as my Job #1. Middle school awaits so a prayer for me!