Friday Scouting Hot Finds Newsletter September 25, 2015

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There was a really interesting article in the ISCA Journal that just arrived in my mailbox by Fred Duersch regarding merit badge collecting. He was focused on values which I think is a very interesting topic for collectors. Essentially Fred has written about merit badges for more than a decade and some of his early work was probably responsible for the increased attention this niche in the hobby received.

However, now that interest bubble is on the other side of the graph in decline he freely admits the situation that faces collectors of vintage insignia. If you have advanced collectors selling their pieces back into a market that doesn’t have enough new interest to absorb them then something has to give. So at what point does that $1500 merit badge became a $400 merit badge because there aren’t enough collectors left to drive up the bidding?

Fred shines a light on an issue that I’ve watched for years with fascination and somewhat bought into myself. Can these collections we have assembled rise like the stock market and act like “investments”? I used to try and track the “value” of my entire collection on a spreadsheet so I could watch it climb. However, I haven’t tried that trick in years and I think now it would be a waste of time to do so. It’s only worth what you can sell it for and more and more that is less and less when it comes to collections.

So I’ll close with a simple truth that I and many of you probably already subscribe to. Collect Boy Scout memorabilia for fun, to share the history of the program we love, and to make friends. Don’t worry about the investment rate or whether your kids will give a damn about this stuff when you’re gone. Otherwise you might be setting yourself up for a big disappointment.

 

CLICK HERE TO OPEN THE SEPTEMBER 25, 2015 ISSUE OF THE SCOUTING HOT FINDS NEWSLETTER

 

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