When I was a Scout Leader we had
"Full Dress" - official Uniform - Sea Scouts so blue pullovers, bottle top caps, black trousers and necker - leaders in blue shirts with Naval peaked caps
Activity/undress uniform - old sweater/blue shirt with unit badges, Navy/black beret with cap badges from Scouts around the world or a Lemon Squeezer hat with badge collections, knecker
Activity wear - battered clothing plus necker or clothing suitable for the activity (canoe kit, caving gear, etc
Event Wear - for special events - such as our road trip to Hungary - we had a special uniform made ...Navy Blue shorts and short sleeved shirts with our normal uniform badges, Welsh necker and Bottle top caps
As there was no official jacket a Navy/Black Jacket with Scout Badges was accepted.
For an Undress jacket I wore a Navy Blue Ventile windshirt with personal and Scout Badges.
Camp wear was generally as you like plus necker and saw bits of uniform from around the world plus Lemonsqeezer hats complete with badge collections and camp blanket ponchos with badges from around the world.
Full uniform was generally reserved for monthly parades and special events so that it did not get trashed in our very active general meetings and weekend events
If you want to wear it, wear it! We are all volunteers, do whatever makes you happy.
If you are involved in regular parades (eg. QS at Windsor), then i probably wouldn't wear anything unofficial, but for anything else, who really is going to care? And frankly, if somebody small minded enough to care came and said something to me, I would choose to ignore them. I wear an unnoficial badge on my uniform which i worked very hard to earn. It took my fellow scouters several years to notice it, not that any of them gave a hoot.
One of the leaders in our area has about 17 unofficial badges on his uniform (from past camps etc) and is very active in cubs - his view as that scouting is supposed to be fun and you can take it all a little too seriously if you're not careful. Personally I think the BCUK badge looks great, I'm one of a very few who has anything to do with bushcraft in the district and we're looking at setting up a bushcraft fellowship/SAS unit to spread it around. It's interesting to see other peoples point of view - I'm thinking of underneath my First Aider badge and NSRA badge (again, I believe this is unoffical as well...)
You can wear occasional badges for about 3 months providing you have county approval (AFAIK). We are a uniformed organisation, with rules and guidelines with regards to what we can and cannot wear. I think these rules should be adhered too, what example does it set if we flout the rules?
Badges can be sponsored, maybe that is an avenue BCUK would like to take? I know there is talk of bushcrafty type activities coming back 'officially' (unofficially) to Scouting. If there was a 'bushcraft' badge, it could be sponsored by BCUK.
Rule 10.33 Occasional Badges Worn with
a. Occasional badges in respect of national
programmes, activities or events may be
worn as directed and for such periods as
decided by Headquarters.
b. Occasional badges for wear by Members of a
Group, a District or County in connection with
a special gathering, camp, event or
anniversary must be approved by the County
Commissioner to whom a drawing or
specimen of the design must be submitted.
c. Such badges must not be worn after a period
of three months from the date of the
conclusion of the occasion unless
exceptionally authorised by the County
Commissioner in respect of special
circumstances for a further period not
exceeding nine months.
personally I don't like leaders wearing unofficial badges on their uniform (and yes that includes GNAS and YPS!) mainly because I'm trying to get the kids to stick to the rules. But thats my troop and my rules, whatever floats your own boats!!
And PS, QSA parade participants are actively checked by the badge police and they will stop you parading!!
on the other hand, I'm not keen on the current batch of sponsored badges that are available, the name of the business is bigger than the icon on the badge!!
the only patches I ever wore which where not standard scout issue where patches related to a spesific scouting event. these would go above the left side pocket, and might be related to a camp, competition, expedition or similar. these would be worn for a while, and then removed after a set period of time, usually about 3 months, sometimes longer depending on the situation, or replaced by a newer patch.
these never related to events, activities or groups outside of scouting, but could be related to one of the semi-autonomous groups within scouting (scout archery teams, bands, expedition teams ect)
only other bending of the rules was some of the guys like myself, who where linked to two seperate scout groups. for example I was a young leader at a local group, as well as being a member of a county level explorer unit, so wore both name-tapes.
I went along the other night to give a knot tying session for my Daughters Brownie group...
I've run sessions before for scout groups and they have been fun and high energy
The Brownies had all sorts of badges for all sorts of things but all of them were 'official' no one had an Hanna Montana badge or an Angry birds stick pin the leaders had a couple of badges each and not much more...
As an outsider to the scouting movement my simplistic understanding on the purpose of badges was to mark an attainment of some type or to mark a special event attended or participated in...???
As the BCUK badge is not really earned as such... Doesn't sticking it on your uniform sort of convey the wrong message to scouts and defeat the purpose of badges. Effectively to my simple mind it undermines the ethos of the whole badge thing.
If as a leader you can say hey I can stick this badge on my uniform which I haven earned but I got because I subscribed to a website or bought it off of mil spec monkey. Then surely the scouts or cubs or brownies or guides equally have a 'right' to stick whatever badge they like on to their sleeve??