Patch Collecting – Holding Back the Forces of the Apocalypse

In an earlier post about becoming a patch dealer I linked to a column by the owner of Mile High Comics.  Further along in his series about opening up a retail shop is some of the philosophical reasons to become a comics retailer, which I think, can also be applied to our hobby of Patch Collecting.

Another very positive task you will be taking on if you decide to become a comics retailer is safeguarding the future of comics as an institution. We are both blessed and cursed at this moment in the history of comics. Our blessing is that the comics being produced today are among the best ever created in the entire history of the medium. Never have we had so much wonderful talent producing comics of all kinds. This truly is a era which supersedes even the Golden Age in terms of brilliance.

Our curse today is that print runs have fallen so low that there is significant risk that the entire business and culture of comics may lose critical mass, and implode. At this very moment there are perhaps 1,000 dedicated comics retailers who are holding back the forces of the apocalypse.

What are you doing to hold back the forces of the Apocalypse?

In comics it is the demise of the independent comic retailer, the graying of the comic reading audience and the reduced print runs which could spell the end of the comic book.  A graying fan base and the failure to bring in new younger readers, sound familiar?   

If you have looked around the room at any number of recent trade-o-rees, you see too many gray beards and not enough youth.  While it seems that many of the youth who attend NOAC’s and National Jamborees get bitten by the patch bug, for too many,  it is a one-time occurrence.

What can you do to promote collecting amongst today’s Scouts?

  • Provide patch displays at parents nights and other troop level, district and council level events.
  • Become a counselor for Collecting Merit Badge – include displays at merit badge fairs
  • Provide venues to encourage trading at summer camp.
  • Visit local Scout Museums as part of the troop program.
  • Use memorabilia to explain and illustrate the history of scouting in your troop and local camps.
  • Provide a trading venue at OA Lodge and Section events.
  • Host, sponsor or help staff a Trade-O-Ree.
  • Educate the scouts you come in contact with about the patches they have or seek to acquire.

Perhaps most important, bring Scouts with you to events where trading will occur.

What else can you do to hold back the forces of the apocalypse? 

Creative Commons License photo credit: DominÖ


Anyone nit-picking enough to write a letter of correction to an editor doubtless deserves the error that provoked it.
Alvin Toffler

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