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!

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 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.

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
Coming Soon!
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 or knife safety), or for attending a scouting program like a summer camp, Klondike Derby, or First Aid Meet. Generally the troop or event organizer will supply these patches.

Most temporary awards are worn on the right pocket (or, if they come with a button hook, 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 exceptions that Troop 28 accepts (however, patch sewing services will 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 pocket flaps.
  • 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)
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)
Recruiter Strip Coming Soon!
Position Trained Coming Soon!
Patch Sewing
Scouts are hard on their scout shirts, so sewing is definitely the way to go. You can DIY, go to a local seamstress, or use one of two local services who specialize in patch-sewing.  These home-based services specialize in scout uniform patches, and will typically be more cost-effective than a local dry cleaner and will also know more than most parents about appropriate patch placement (there have been a few occasions where multiple badges have had to be removed and re-sewn because of poor placement by local dry cleaners).

The troop occasionally organizes runs to the patch service with local pick-up and drop-off in Glencoe. These trips usually coincide with new scouts joining the troop, or with upcoming/recent Courts of Honor. Please keep an eye out for notices if you are interested in participating, or if you are able to drive one of the legs to drop off or pick up from the unattended drop boxes.

If you would like to participate, please do the following:

  • Detach any attached paperwork from patches (e.g., for Rank patches, Merit Badges, or troop awards).  Please keep the Rank and Merit Badge certificates for your records.  There may be an additional charge for removing cards.
  • Write a note or complete an order form indicating what you would like done. If you want Merit Badges in a particular order, please say so.  Please include contact information in case there are any questions.
  • Enclose cash to cover your purchase.  It is best to include $3-5 extra dollars (round up) to avoid having to make extra trips or settling with another troop family.  The patch service will make change.
  • Place patches in a shirt pocket or Ziploc-style along with your order form or note.
  • Place all items in a bag and tie or fold shut if possible.  Please include the shirt, sash, patches, and note.  If including orders for more than one scout or scout and parent, please use a separate bag for each order (you can combine payment; just note it on your note/form).