Camp Patch Classification
Central New Jersey Council

This material was published originally on the website. I express my appreciation to Doug for granting permission to use his excellent discussion of Camp Patch Classification.

Currently there is no single source classification guide for camp patches as there is for the more popular OA and CSP patches. The main reason for this shortfall is that there is a lack of camp patch history. OA and CSP collectors have the benefit of multiple references with the most popular being the Blue Book for OA collectors and the An Aid to Collecting Selected Council Shoulder Patches with Valuation Guide for the CSP collectors. Camp patch collectors do have a general reference book which list all known council camps, The Camp Book - A Listing of BSA Camps, but there is nothing available that will list each known camp patch for a given camp.

Even though most scouts attended a camp during their stay in scouting the history of their camps was not maintained by individual scouters nor it seems by a majority of Council Historians. Most OA members can quote the history of their Lodge from memory but can not tell you very much about their respective camps even though the OA is a group of Honor Campers.

With the explosion of the information age, the history of scout camps are begining to appear on the Internet with regular frequency. More people are begining to reseach and publish on the Internet their findings about scout camps and are including the camp history along with pictures and/or descriptions of all types of items from those camps, i.e. patches, neckerchiefs, mugs, T-Shirts etc.

This sharing of information on the Internet has given rise to more and more scouters begining to collect camp patches, specificly Summer camp patches. With a camp patch guide equal to the professionalism and information displayed in the above OA and CSP guides the hobby of collecting summer camp patches would explode overnight.

Requirements for Camp Patch Classification
If we analize the OA and CSP references we will see that there are 2 main pieces of information that each contain:

1. A complete list of Lodge Names/Council Names
2. A complete listing of issued patches

For camp patches the first piece of information, complete list of names, can almost be obtained with use of The Camp Book. The second piece of information currently does not exist for every camp nor in one central location/document.

The website of Camp Images,, is currently one of several sites attempting to gather together the information required to fullfil the requirements of a complete listing of issued camp patches in graphical format. Scattered thoughout the Internet are other sites that have completed this requirement for individual camps and the sharing of information/scans is bringing more and more information to the forefront.

Individual Camp Patch Identification
If we look again at the OA and CSP guides we will note that there are some common Patch Identifications assigned to each patch, for example:

X=Odd Shape

One of the major benefits that those guides have that camp patch collectors do not is that a vast majority of the OA and CSP patches are one shape, i.e. Flap for OA and Council Shoulder Patch for CSP. Yes, in the early years of OA patches there are a number of Round and Arrowhead shapes but a very large majority of OA patches are flap shaped while CSPs have stayed with one common shape and 2 piece event patches becoming common.

With a common shape, both OA and CSP patch Identificaiton became very easy. T1, S2, T3, S4, S5 within the CSP community became the 1st thru 5th issue of CSP for a given council with the makeup of the patch either Twill or Solid, T and S, and the sequence is as they were issued. OA collectors used R1, F1, S1 to indicate 1st Round, 1st Twill Flap and 1st Solid Flap reguardless of the year of issue.

This same patch classification can be applied to camp patches once we are aware of the different types and shapes of camp patches. For that information we require the basic manufacturing process for patches that were utilized by councils throughout the years.

Introduction    1920s-1940s
1950s-1960s    1970s-today
CNJC Historical Site Home Page