History of the Council Patch
George Washington Council
by Larry Gering
(Thanks to Dr. Larry Gering for the following material. Larry is an Eagle Scout from Troop 11, Trenton NJ, awarded the Vigil Honor in 1974 and Sanhican Lodge Chief in 1974-1975.)
I believe GWC had the very first council strip in the country. The early twill ones with Washington's profile came out well before the BSA standardized all council strips as red and white (late 50's or early 60's, depending on when the local council first ordered them). The GWC CSP began in mid 1940's with the twill white background with red and blue design depicting Washington's head and was manufactured until the mid 1950's. I have family photos from about 1944 with Scouts wearing this patch.
Next came the twill red and white strips supplied through National Supply, BSA in mid 1950's. These were a nationwide issue and replaced the unique colorful design used by George Washington Council. (In GWC, it was usually worn only by professional scouters and never by boys.) Finally, in the early 1970's with the approval from National Supply, BSA for the modern CSPs, George Washington Council issued the first in the ongoing series of current CSPs.
Dad was Camp Pahaquarra bugler in 1943 and 1944. Then he dropped out of Scouts until I got in around 1968. I have his shoulder patch which I cut off his original uniform. Plus, a photo of him wearing the patch when he was 13 (in 1943). Therefore, I'd have to conclude that the white twill patch with blue Washington head was available in 1940's.
I was a patch collector during the 1970's and accumulated a pretty respectable collection. Collecting changed in late 1970's and became much more dollar-oriented rather than trading. I ended up selling late in 1978 and got enough cash to pay for a brand new pickup truck and my last year at University of Maine.
I did keep all of the local GWC and Sanhican stuff so now I'm in the position of having just about all of the old stuff and very little of the more recent issues. Ever see the Lodge Dance Team backpatch? I helped design it and have the one I earned and a few extras. Or the Vigil backpatch. My design. Got a couple somewhere. How about the '61 Area 2C Conference held at Pahaquarra which has a map of the camp on the neckerchief? Didn't have anything to do with it but it is a nice item.
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September 2, 1999