Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

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Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby WVBeaver05 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:39 pm

Just today I was asked (seriously) by a Scouter - which shoulder the merit badge sash was worn on. Clearly the answer is the right shoulder. He asked where that reference could be found. So, upon reaching home I immediately hit the computer to grab the info and send to him.

What I found was .... no reference to which shoulder. The Uniform Inspection Sheet talks about merit badge placement, Varsity letter, and temporary insigna but not the actual wearing of the sash. So, off I went to Scouting.org and the insignia guide and again found no reference. I did find a picture showing the sash on the right shoulder (and, of course, showing the rows of 3 placement of the merit badges - somewhat famously referred to in a previous thread).

So, the picture shows it - but where is it spelled out? Am I missing it somewhere?

YiS
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Re: Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby smtroop168 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:00 pm

Other than the obvious pictures here is a couple of places, albeit old, HB Refs


From:
http://www.scouters.us/homemb.html

1959 HB with illustration:
At the bottom of the right sleeve, starting 3 inches above the edge, you may wear up to six merit badges. If you have more than six, sew them on a sash; wear this over your right shoulder.

1965 HB with illustration:
Up to six merit badges may be worn on the right sleeve of the long-sleeve shirts starting 3 inches above the bottom of the cuff in rows of two. No merit badges may be worn on the short-sleeve shirt. Merit badges are also worn on the merit badge sash.
Wearing the Merit Badge Sash: Most Scouts wear their merit badges on a merit badge sash which is worn over the right shoulder. The merit badges are sewn three across starting from the top as illustrated on page 361. Wear your merit badge sash at courts of honor, troop inspections, flag ceremonies, and when you are on special service projects.
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Re: Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby Billiken » Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:27 am

I received a large "table top" book on the 100th anniversary of the BSA.

Of the several pictures on the cover, one shows a Scout wearing a sash over the left shoulder.
(Picture could have been mirrored to fit in the photo collage)

Another picture shows a sash with Env. Science sewn on upside down.
(Base of the triangle is at the top.)

I mention at nearly every COH that the sash goes on the right shoulder.
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Re: Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby WVBeaver05 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:43 am

I have a copy of the '65 handbook. :-)

What I am being asked for is current, written policy that can be used to show Scouts and leaders (specifically ones that were not involved .....uhmmm .... several years ago). I know the correct answer but it isn't an unreasonable question.

I think it is being a bit difficult to say that the picture from the current web based Insignia Guide (at Scouting.org) isn't conclusive - but we live in that kind of world today. The argument that because of the level of detail that the Uniform Inspection Sheet goes into on some items is inconsistent with not describing which shoulder the sash goes over is a better one.

I'm going to guess that the reference got dropped either as an oversight over the years or conciously because "everyone knows" where it goes. Since I don't have a copy of the printed Insignia Guide, I am hoping it spells it out clearly. Anyone have one?

If not, didn't someone here point out the problem re: arrangment of merit badges on the sash to someone at National? Anyone remember who?

YiS
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Re: Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby smtroop168 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:35 am

WVBeaver05 wrote:I have a copy of the '65 handbook. :-)

What I am being asked for is current, written policy that can be used to show Scouts and leaders (specifically ones that were not involved .....uhmmm .... several years ago). I know the correct answer but it isn't an unreasonable question.

I think it is being a bit difficult to say that the picture from the current web based Insignia Guide (at Scouting.org) isn't conclusive - but we live in that kind of world today. The argument that because of the level of detail that the Uniform Inspection Sheet goes into on some items is inconsistent with not describing which shoulder the sash goes over is a better one.

I'm going to guess that the reference got dropped either as an oversight over the years or conciously because "everyone knows" where it goes. Since I don't have a copy of the printed Insignia Guide, I am hoping it spells it out clearly. Anyone have one?

If not, didn't someone here point out the problem re: arrangment of merit badges on the sash to someone at National? Anyone remember who?

YiS



That would be me. The thread on the whole issue is still on the forum. She wanted to place MBs in a mosaic pattern on the sash because her boys liked it that way. She claimed someone at National told he she could do it that way. One quick call to Bill Steele (who was in charge of that division at the time) solved that. The printed copy of the Insignia Guide says three across "as shown" which was the wording they added when the book was reprinted. Why it isn't in the online version, I don't know. I guess the "as shown" could also be used to show that the sash goes on the right shoulder.

The incorrect pictures in other books are obviously what folks will hang their hats on but the Insignia Guide is the official reference.
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Re: Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby RWSmith » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:11 pm

Billiken wrote:.... Env. Science sewn on upside down.

Yeah; that one happens... a lot... heh, heh. This is typical of any MB that have no "obvious" vertical/horizontal frame of reference, esp. to the ground or a structure. e.g., American Labor, Archery, Art, Astronomy.

WVBeaver05,

The Insignia Guide does not always "explicitly" describe, in writing, the exact placement of (or manner of wearing) a uniform item. In almost* all cases, however, there is an accompanying image "visually" depicting such. Item descriptions may, or may not, refer to an image; but regardless... accompanying images (if present) should be considered just as "directive" as written descriptions, whether the description specifically refers to an image, or not.

Insignia Guide, No. 33066 (2009-2010 edition) wrote:Merit badges, required, cloth, silver border, Boy Scout, right sleeve, position 4 limited to six, merit badge sash, maximum of three per row as shown, no limit.... [emphasis added]

mbplacement.jpg
mbplacement.jpg (17.34 KiB) Viewed 9684 times

So, while "over the right shoulder" is not explicitly stated, in writing, the accompanying image is still "directive" guidance.

We can all probably credit smtroop168 for getting the "maximum of three per row as shown" added to the last edition. :mrgreen:
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Re: Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby Mrw » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:16 pm

You might want to point out to anyone who thinks the left shoulder would be appropriate that this would cover the boy's rank badge. I have yet to meet a boy that would want that.
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Re: Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby WVBeaver05 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:30 pm

Mrw wrote:You might want to point out to anyone who thinks the left shoulder would be appropriate that this would cover the boy's rank badge. I have yet to meet a boy that would want that.

Interestingly, one of the arguments that I was provided with was that over the right shoulder would cover the rank badge so the left makes more sense.

Naturally, I challenged that and await a response. :-)

YiS
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Re: Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:07 pm

RWSmith wrote: [We can all probably credit smtroop168 for getting the "maximum of three per row as shown" added to the last edition. :mrgreen:


We'll see how successful I am in seeing any of my suggested revisions to the ACPP actually making the book.
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Re: Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby wagionvigil » Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:14 pm

smtroop168 wrote:
RWSmith wrote: [We can all probably credit smtroop168 for getting the "maximum of three per row as shown" added to the last edition. :mrgreen:


We'll see how successful I am in seeing any of my suggested revisions to the ACPP actually making the book.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :twisted: :roll: :wink:
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Re: Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:06 am

I'm pretty sure that there will be wording stating that an Eagle project is considered a unit activity, and must be conducted according to all the applicable youth protection and risk management restrictions.

Not sure how but I understand the "Active" and "Actively serving in POR" language is going to be tweaked.
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Re: Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby lifescoutforlife » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:19 am

I have seen the BSA sales book with a boy that has 2 camping merit badges on his sash, the first issue of Eagle Scout my son ever received on page 2 had a boy wearing his OA sash over his left shoulder. The thing that gets me is seeing boys wearing a sash on their belt and not their shoulder or wearing both sashs at the same time.
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Re: Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby alex gregory » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:29 pm

I think two sashes crossed like bandoliers looks really cool! Especially if you also have the OA sash tucked in your belt or around your head like Rambo do-rag. Just kidding.
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Re: Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby Billiken » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:37 pm

lifescoutforlife wrote:I have seen the BSA sales book with a boy that has 2 camping merit badges on his sash, the first issue of Eagle Scout my son ever received on page 2 had a boy wearing his OA sash over his left shoulder. The thing that gets me is seeing boys wearing a sash on their belt and not their shoulder or wearing both sashs at the same time.


What bugs me is when I see OA sashes at non-OA events.

Look at the collection of Eagle COH pictures in the NESA Newsletter.
You'll see OA sashes galore, some on belts.
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Re: Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:02 pm

Solve the problem by not publishing and picture that is non compliant.
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Re: Merit Badge Sash - Which Shoulder?

Postby wjturner » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:39 am

lifescoutforlife wrote:a boy wearing his OA sash over his left shoulder.


Of course there was a day when that was correct, but that day is long, long past us now! :D
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