Troop 28 Uniform Guidelines

Tip: Make sure you label ALL uniform pieces with your Scout's name. At most scouting events, everyone will be in uniform and lost pieces will be impossible to find without a nametag!  This includes sashes, neckerchiefs, and the zip-off legs from scout pants!

Scouts are expected to wear “Class A” (beige “dress” shirts) to all troop meetings, en route to campouts, and at all other scouting activities including day trips, service activities and non-troop scouting activities (e.g., Council events and merit badge workshops). “Class B” scouting-related T-shirts may be worn on campouts and during service activities as appropriate and authorized by the Scoutmaster.

Scouts wear a combination of patches on their uniform shirts (and eventually, for most scouts, on their merit badge sashes). These included “insignia” which help identify the scout and troop, as well as earned awards and advancement patches.

Scouts wear their scout shirts a LOT. Shirt patches survive better if sewn on (rather than affixed with Badge Magic or other fabric adhesive).  Also, patches should be sewn on ONLY in the BSA sanctioned locations. Failure to do so may result in insufficient room for a patch earned at a later date. You can DIY, use a local seamstress, or a local service that specializes in scout patches. Velcro can also be handy.  See below for details.

Where To Buy/What to Buy

Scouts will receive a Troop Class B T-shirt after joining, and may receive/choose to purchase additional Class B T-shirts throughout their scouting career (e.g., at summer camp or at the Scout Shop in Vernon Hills).

For Class A shirts, most Troop 28 scouts choose the short-sleeved microfiber Class A shirt since it is comfortable all-season and can be worn with a long-sleeve T underneath during colder months. BSA recently discontinued this model, and the local shop is sold out of Youth Large, but some Adult sizes are still available.  The newer model is a cotton/poly blend.

Most scouts entering in 5th or 6th grade will choose at least a Youth Large to allow room to grow. It is not unusual for younger scouts to be wearing very large shirts!  Adult Small is similar in sizing to a Youth XL, but is longer.

Scouts are always expected to look neat and presentable, with Class A shirts tucked into bottoms. For formal events (e.g., Courts of Honor, Scout Sunday) scouts are asked to wear scout pants, scout shorts, or any color khakis (long or short); NO sports pants, sports shorts, or PJ bottoms.  Scout pants and shorts are available with zip-off legs for convenience and can also be purchased at the local Scout Shop or online.

On formal occasions (e.g., troop Courts of Honor, Scout Sunday, scouting events where representing Troop 28 like the First Aid Meet), scouts should also plan to wear their troop neckerchief and slide (both provided by the troop at the scout's first Court of Honor).  Lost neckerchiefs and slides can be replaced from the troop web store).

  • Shirts and other uniform pieces can be purchased at the NEIC Scout Shop in Vernon Hills.  If you tell any store staff member, they can advise on the required “insignia” (identifying patches) that you will need as a member of Troop 28. If you know what size you want, you can place an order by phone or email and pay by credit card over the phone.  You can then pick up the order curbside, or the order can be picked up by another Troop 28 parent during one of the troop's occasional Vernon Hills runs.
  • Shirts and other uniform pieces can also be purchased from the BSA's online shop.  Pricing at the local Scout Shop generally matches the online pricing.  Some of the insignia may not be available online.

A typical youth shirt will run about $35, with the insignia adding another $5-10.  Sewing from the patch services is about $5 as well, and local seamstresses may charge as much as $10.  Financial assistance is available through NEIC to assist with the cost of purchasing uniform shirts and from Friends of Glencoe Scouting for purchasing and sewing on insignia. Please contact the troop Treasurer or Financial Assistance Coordinator in confidence to make a confidential request.

Starter Shirt Insignia
These are several patches scouts will need when joining the troop. With the exception of the Patrol patch, these items will never change as long as a Scout remains with Troop 28.

Troop Insignia
Every Scout uniform should have a Council Patch, Unit Number, Epaulets, World Crest, and an optional Anniversary Circle. The NEIC Scout Shop in Vernon Hills will be able to set aside the required items for you if you tell them you are from Troop 28.
The troop will provide a Patrol patch each Scout's assigned patrol.  Patrol names are selected by the member scouts. Recent Troop 28 patrols have included the Tough Bananas, the Do-Ways, the Legit Llamas, the Flaming Arrows, the Lightning Patrol, and the Killer Cobras. Patrols may periodically be shuffled to every few years to accommodate the troop's changing demographics. You may wish to use Velcro to facilitate this change (see below for more information).
If a Scout earned an Arrow of Light as a Webelo Cub Scout, that patch should be worn on the Scouts BSA uniform as well.

As your scout participates in the troop, additional patches may be earned (merit badges; rank, position, and patrol patches; various awards). These will be provided by the troop as earned, but it will be the family's responsibility to get them onto the uniform.  The troop will coordinate occasional trips to the patch sewing service as a convenience for troop families (see below for details).

Patch Sewing
Please see the troop's new Patch Sewing resource page for details on local services. If you use a service, they will be responsible for ensuring proper placement of patches.
Patch Placement for Basic Troop Insignia
Patches should in general be sewn on only in the locations as noted in the BSA Guide to Awards and Insignia. The troop's recommended local patch-sewing services will know these official locations and will not honor requests to deviate from the official locations.

Note: NEIC has recently changed its council patch design from a multi-color one to one with mostly black and white. Both are correct and you do not need to remove the older style and replace it with the newer style unless you choose to do so.

Patches Placement
Council Patch and
Unit Number
(Left Shoulder — leave room underneath for future patches)
World Crest and Anniversary Ring
(Above Left Pocket)Arrow of Light
(Below Left Pocket)
Patrol Patch
(Right Shoulder, Under Flag)
Epaulets (no sewing required)
(Button Into Shoulder Straps)
Journey to Excellence Coming Soon!
Veteran Bar Coming Soon!
Position and Rank Patches, and Velcro
If a Scout remains active for more than a few months, they are likely to advance in Rank and, eventually, take on a Position of Responsibility. A Scout may change rank 4-6 times in their first 2-3 years with the troop; they may change responsibility every year for the duration of their scouting career.

Each time a Scout advances or changes positions, they will want to replace their patch. The troop may also periodically adjust the patrol groupings based on the troop's changing demographics.

Badge adhesive is not at all conducive to removal; if you do not wish to re-sew patches, Velcro is an good alternative.

The troop periodically offers pre-cut khaki Velcro for sale to Troop 28 families via our web store.



Tip: If using Velcro, please make sure the soft fuzzy side is sewn to the shirt, and the prickly hook side is attached to the patch, and remove the patch when laundering to maximize the life of the patch.

Patches Placement
Position of Responsibility
(Right Sleeve)
(Left Pocket)

Tip: The left pocket (the one with the Rank) comes with stitching for a pen compartment. The first time a Rank is earned (Scout Rank), if you choose to use a local patch sewing service, the seamstress may ask if you would like the pen compartment seam removed. If you have the seam removed, it is easier to center and sew the (often frequently replaced) Rank patches on. There is typically an extra charge of a few dollars for this.

Merit Badge Sashes

Merit badge sashes are like wearable trophy cases, worn at formal scouting occasions (Courts of Honor, Eagle Boards of Review, etc.). Most scouts start with sashes that are too long that they can fill and grow into.

IMPORTANT! If the sash is worn too long (with more than 3-4″ excess length, it is really to catch on door knobs and other obstacles, which could be dangerous or result in a ripped sash. If the sash is too long, the excess length should be pinned shorter to avoid accidents and to neatly show off the scout's accomplishments as intended.

Some sash considerations:

  • The front of the sash is reserved for merit badges that the scout has earned. Some display their badges in chronological order as earned; others will reserve space for all the Eagles at the top and then position their elective badges further down the sash. Still others will just periodically sew on earned badges in random order.
  • The back of the sash can be used to display temporary awards, or additional merit badges when the front is full!  Ambitious scouts who earn too many badges to fit on a single merit badge sash (!) may need to put sew them on a second sash. However, BSA rules are clear that a scout may not wear more than one merit badge sash at at ime. Those accomplished scouts will need to alternate between sashes.
  • BSA offers two lengths of sashes – 30″ and 36″.  For the vast majority of scouts, the 36″ sash is the right choice. A 30″ sash will lie flat with the end on the hips of a scout up to about 5'4″ to 5'6″ (depending on weight and torso length).  A 36″ sash comfortably fits scouts as tall as 6'+ and provides enough room to make sure the typical scout can fit all their merit badges, with room to spare. You really don't want to have to move all those badges if they outgrow a 30″ sash, and it is far easier to temporarily shorten a sash than to try to lengthen one! If you use a no-sew method, you can easily let it out a little at a time the scout grows. NOTE: BSA as some variation in sash length, and some nominal 36″ sashes are as short as 34″.
  • A 36″ sash will fit AT MOST about 63-65 merit badges on a side, starting at the top fold (when folded in half) and including 3 in the triangle at the bottom.
  • If not full, the front of the sash generally looks better with 3″ to 5″ of blank space at the top. This still leaves room for 30-40 badges before it starts looking awkward.

To shorten a sash without sewing or visible pins:

NOTE: This method will work to shorten the sash by up to 5 inches or so (the width of the sash) from the bottom. If you need to shorten it by more than 5″ you may want to consider temporary stitching to ensure the excess fabric stays out of the way, in place, without being bulky.

  1. Turn the sash inside out and insert a single medium safety pin to pin, parallel to the diagonal (bottom) end of the sash. Flip it right-side out and have the scout try it on for length. The diagonal end should comfortably sit on the hip, without bunching or bending of the sash. Re-pin if necessary
  2. With the sash outside-out, lay the sash flat. You will see there is a triangle of extra fabric sticking out.
  3. Take both layers of the triangle and tuck it back into the sash. Pin it inside to hold it in place, but make sure you pin it to the excess length and not the sash itself so the pin will not be visible.
  4. When wearing the sash, position the extra fabric in back so it will be less visible in photos or if it comes untucked, and check to make sure the sash is lying flat and resting neatly against the hip.
1. Pin to length on the inside. 2. Flip outside-out and lay flat.
3a. Fold the extra “tail” across. 3b.Tuck the tail inside the sash

For more information, please see this handy Bryan on Scouting blog entry on “Everything you wanted to know about Merit Badge Sashes.”

Polar Bear Award, Snowflakes, and Other Temporary Awards
“Temporary” awards are completed achievements for scouts that are intended to be displayed “temporarily” on the uniform. They may be earned for achieving a skill (e.g., firebuilding, knife safety, internet safety), or for attending a scouting program like a summer camp, a merit badge fair, Klondike Derby, or First Aid Meet. Generally the troop or event organizer will supply these patches.  In practice, most scouts/families pick a location and don't swap out temporary awards (aside from the ones on buttonhole loops).

Most temporary awards are worn on the right pocket (or, if they come with a buttonhole loop, hooked over the button and tucked under the flap of either pocket). However, this means that a scout typically can only display one temporary award at a time.  Additional awards may be sewn onto the back of the scout's merit badge sash.

There are two optional placements that Troop 28 accepts. We are not aware of any circumstances where a scout has been called out for incorrect patch placement; however, patch sewing services may not honor requests for unsanctioned placement):

  • The Firem'n Chit and Totin' Chip awards are both shaped like pocket flaps. The BSA says that even though they look like pocket flaps, these awards should still be sewn on the center of the pocket. Many scouts nationwide wear these patches on the right pocket flap.
  • Many Troop 28 scouts and adult leaders wear their Polar Bear award on their right sleeve.  This facilitates the addition of “snowflake” stars which are awarded for additional nights spent camping in cold weather (under 32 degrees overnight).  One former Troop 28 Scoutmaster has over 50 snowflakes on his Polar Bear patch!
Patches Placement
All Temporary Awards, including
Polar Bear, Totin' Chip, and Firem'n Chit
(Official Placement, Right Pocket)
All Temporary Awards, including
Polar Bear, Totin' Chip, and Firem'n Chit
(Alternative Official Placement, Back of Merit Badge Sash)
Button Hook Awards
(Either Pocket)
Polar Bear Award and Snowflakes
(Troop 28 Optional Placement, Right Sleeve)
Totin' Chip and Firem'n Chit
(Optional Placement, Right Pocket Flap)
Position Trained
(Official Placement, Left Sleeve below Position patch)
Recruiter Strip
(Official Placement, Below Right Pocket)