Direct Service Information for Newbies

Gene Berman recently posted the information below to Patch-L regarding collecting Direct Service issues and has agreed to it being reposted here in its entirety.

Take it away Gene,

As Direct Service Editor of the Aid to Collecting “Guide Book”, from time to time I get questions about patches that say “Direct Service” on them. Veteran collectors know all that will follow and probably should hit the “delete” button now. Recently, I received two emails, separately, asking about two patches on Ebay that say “Direct Service”. I believe the seller, who is selling two New Zealand CSPs is mistaken in his listing, giving him the benefit of lack of knowledge rather than deliberate intent. But to be sure I checked myself and believe these CSPs to be from the New Zealand Scouts and not Direct Service.

Now what is the difference? There are well over 150 different countries and probably much closer to 200 that have their own Boy Scout organizations such as Boy Scouts of Canada or BSJ for Boy Scouts of Japan. These are in no way part of the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) and make a nice collection for those that collect Foreign patches from one or more countries that are part of World Scouting.

In the United States, All Troops, Packs, Venture Crews, etc. belong to a local Council. So, my local council in NYC is Greater New York Councils and if I lived in Los Angeles it would be Los Angeles Area Council or South Florida if I lived in Miami, FL. Some overseas units belong to Councils as well. Troops, packs etc. located in Japan or Taiwan or South Korea, etc. are part of the Far East Council and Units located in Germany, France, Great Britain and Italy, etc. are part of the Transatlantic Council. You have these councils because they serve many units in somewhat of a geographic cluster.