The Badge Catalogue

The catalogue is the basis of the Badgers Club. The Catalogue lists all known Scout (and Guide) badges for Zones, Districts and Areas/Provinces. It also lists national events such as Jamborees.
All new members of the Badgers Club are issued with the New Zealand section of the catalogue. Other parts of the World Badge Catalogue can be obtained through the Club.
Badges are coded to reduce the space which adverts take up. The codes are easy to follow and the first part generally tells you the country you are dealing with.

For example:

NZ = New Zealand AUS = Australia CAN = Canada

The second part of the code tells you the area/province inside the country:
NZ/CANT - a badge from Canterbury in New Zealand
AUS/QLD - a badge from Queensland in Australia
CAN/BC - a badge from British Columbia in Canada.

Next comes a number which tells you which badge within the appropriate area/province:
NZ/NLD 3 - is badge number 3 in the Northland list, i.e. Far North
NZ/CANT 23 - is badge number 23 in the Canterbury list, i.e. Selwyn

After this code are small letters which describe varieties. To find these you will need to buy a Varieties Catalogue. For example:

NZ/NLD 2a - is the first issue for Bay of Island District (gold on black name strip).
NZ/WELL 12e - is the fifth issue for Wellington West District (backed and bound red badge with an archway and lion)
NZ/OT 3d - is the fourth issue for Bruce District (white ribbon badge for 25th anniversary of this district).

The Star Code

If you look at the Badge Catalogue you will see some badges have EXT or stars beside them. (Stars are written as +). EXT means extinct.
In 2007, Scouting New Zealand replaced Areas and Districts with Zones, so all District and Area badges are now extinct.

Most current Zone badges and many recent former District badges should be reasonably easy to obtain, (although a few Areas had restricted the issue of their badges,
eg- Bay of Plenty, Rangitane and Mohua). No NZ Zones (or recent former districts) restrict their badges, although some allow their members to buy badges only at Jamboree time.
Aoraki U.S.I. (Region) restricts sales of its badge though it has made a swap badge for collectors.

If the badge of a current Zone isn’t easy to collect, it is usually due to the small size of the Zone and/or the Zone has no people in the Badgers Club.

For badges with “Extinct” noted beside them, it means the District or Zone does not exist anymore.
For example, Ngatahi District (CANT 17) has disappeared and this badge is no longer being used.
However, as it was being worn until a few years ago it should still be fairly easy to obtain.

As a badge gets harder to obtain more stars are allocated to it. So, a badge with four stars (++++) is very difficult to get. In general,
a collector starting out could reasonably expect to get badges which are current varieties or have two stars (++) or less.

If you are very lucky and have inherited the badges of your father, uncle or grandfather you might expect to find some +++ or even ++++ items among them,
especially if they went to one of the early NZ Jamborees such as 1954 Motukarara, 1959 Auckland or 1962 Dunedin.

Mounting your Collection

Most New Zealand badge collectors mount their badges in a collector card album – the type that have little pockets to put trading/baseball cards in.
These pages are plastic and commonly have 9 pockets. These pockets are an ideal size for most NZ badges.

Thin plastic envelopes can also be used to encase badges. If you cut a piece of card to fit the pocket then the (encased) badge can be slid in.
There should be enough room to write the Club Code for the badge on the top of the card. These albums can look very effective and do protect your collection very well.
As your collection grows, it is very easy to move your badges around to the appropriate pocket.

If you use the Club’s ‘Red Book’ to mount your collection then you will need to use double sided tape.
However, this can stain the badges over time and some collectors seal the badge in a plastic envelope so the tape goes onto the envelope rather than the badge.

Clear page albums are another way to mount badges, but again the badges have to be stuck in somehow so you have the same problem that the ‘Red Book’ has.
The advantage with a clear page album is that you can fit a lot of written information about the badge and its design. Some of these badge albums are very effective (and have taken years to produce).

A blanket is another way to show your collection. The only problem with a blanket is that you have to sew the badges on and this marks them.
(Machine sewing marks the badges worse than badges sewn on by hand).
Many collectors save their blanket for a ‘second’ collection or for putting on Event or Group issues, while keeping their main collection (of District and Zone badges) in albums.

Whatever method you choose, remember it is your collection and you can mount your badges in a way which pleases you.
Do try to look at some of the ways other Club members use to mount their collections.
(Deciding to remount one’s collection is a major undertaking).

Collecting Jargon

As with any hobby, badge collecting has its own terms and jargon. There are many words in use in different countries and here is a selection to get you started:

    • Backed and Bound - Ribbon badge which has its edges overlocked
    • Bulk Swap - trade involving large quantities, e.g. 10 of the same badge for 10 other badges
    • Council - The USA equivalent of a District or Zone
    • CSP Council shoulder patch – badge of a US Council worn on the shoulder of a Scout uniform
    • Device - Design on a badge showing the Scout Arrowhead in between the letters ‘NZ’
    • Embroidered - Badge with heavy stitching in the design
    • End Cut and Folded - Ribbon badge that has been cut and folded in the factory
    • Extinct - Describes (a badge of) a District or Zone which no longer exists
    • Fold Lines - small lines on a ribbon badge to show Scouts where to fold the badge when it is sewn onto a uniform or blanket
    • Fully Woven - Describes a badge where the ribbon does not usually show in a backed and bound badge
    • HD - High definition
    • Indaba - Jamboree for Leaders
    • Jamboree - Large gathering of Scouts. Usually has International Scouts in attendance
    • Mint - Describes a badge that is spotless and not used/stitched
    • Moot - Jamboree for Rovers
    • Patch - The name for a badge in the USA
    • P.S.A. - ‘Please state alternatives’. Term used in adverts when you only have a few of one badge.
    • Reproduction - Replica badge. This can be issued privately or officially. (Sometimes as a fake for monetary gain)
    • Ribbon - Badge produced on a long roll and then cut off
    • Trade - Means swap in USA
    • Variety - Any badge that is different from other issues from the same District

Using the Internet

Internet auction sites ( and also have sections selling Scout badges.
Items can be found by typing “Scout badge” or “New Zealand Scout” into the search box.
If you are bidding on eBay remember that most of the badges are priced in US dollars, so the final price will be more expensive.
Descriptions of badges might not be totally accurate, so take care.

Club Auctions

The Club runs badge auctions in the Club magazine "Swap Box" and on this site (Information and rules are published in both).
The descriptions and conditions of the badges are accurate.
If you are not happy with a badge obtained from a Club auction, getting a refund is not a problem.
Internet auctions do not offer the same guarantee.


In general the rule is ‘like for like’.
This means that most collectors expect to trade a bound (District) badge for another bound badge, and a ribbon badge for another ribbon badge.
Extinct badges should be traded for similar extinct badges.
Note that two ++ badges, do not equal one ++++ badge. (Refer to The Star Code section above).
If you have any questions about the value of a badge you want to swap, you can always contact a senior member of the Badgers Club for some advice.

Replying to mail

As this is a ‘swap-by-mail’ club, members are expected to reply reasonably quickly to mail, (say, within a fortnight).
If, for any reason there is going to be a long delay in replying, it is only polite to let the other trader know you have his or her badges.

If you send badges and do not get a reply inside a reasonable time, (say three weeks inside NZ and five weeks overseas),
then the first step should be to send a brief ‘reminder’ letter setting out what you have sent and when you sent it, and asking if your letter and badges have arrived.
Be polite as there may be a very good reason for a person not replying promptly.

If there is still no reply after another month then you can write to the President of the New Zealand Badgers Club and the matter will be followed up officially.
The Club reserves the right to cancel a person’s membership if there are unresolved complaints.

Getting Started

Most New Zealand collectors start by trying to get one of every current NZ Zone badge.

A good way to get started is to place a free advert in the magazine.
Usually you have your own Zone badge available to swap, and also have a list of badges you want.

If you were to start out your advert might look like this:

9999 Jimmy Badger, 12 Sett Place, Collectville, Waikato
Swaps: ZONE A1, E1, M2, WAIK 27
Wants: ZONE C3, M6, WAIK all but 27.

(The number in front of your name would be your unique Club Number).
This advert means you would have Akarana, Eastern Waikato and Mania-O-Roto Zones and also the old Central Waikato District badge to swap
and you need the Coastal Otago and Murihiku Zone badges and all the old district badges from the Waikato Area, except Central Waikato.
If you have only a couple of badges from a list an “all but” advert works well.

You might want to begin your collection with a complete set of the 32 Zones.
Most collectors then move on to one of each recent District badge from their Area, and then all of New Zealand.
The next step might be to collect some recent varieties and some of the rarer NZ Districts.

Or you might decide that you want to collect Jamboree Troop badges.
If you start your collecting at a Jamboree then you might like to collect as many Troop badges as you can while you're at the Jamboree.
The Club gives all members an illustrated list of all Troop badges soon after the Jamboree, so you can place an advert for any you missed.

An advert can easily result in 15-20 replies, (especially if you are from a District or Zone which does not have many members).
Remember that you will have to be able to afford to buy enough badges to complete trades and pay for the postage.
While a letter within NZ is only $1.40, an overseas letter costs at least $2.60, so be careful as costs can soon add up.

You can limit your trading by stating a limit in your advert of no more than (say) 5 badges per letter.

Probably the best way to get started is to reply to adverts in the magazine.
You know that people who advertise in the Club magazine are keen to trade badges so it is worth writing or emailing them.
When writing to members it is worth putting a short letter together…a bit more than “I’m sending you…. And I want….”.
A friendly letter or email helps you build up a trading relationship with other members of the Club.

Picking names from the membership list, (which is distributed each year with the February magazine),
can be a little risky as many members can be inactive and don’t do much swapping and collecting.
These members may take some time to replying to emails, and then may just send the badges back.

Placing an advert in the magazine can bring a variable response. It is best to have a general advert seeking many current badges.
There is little use advertising for a lot of ++++ badges if you do not have something equivalent to trade; (even so, it is very unlikely that many replies will arrive).
A bulk trade along the line of 10 of your district badges (or 10 different badges) lets you move your swaps around and increases the size of your collection and swap box at the same time.

Now, get swapping – and best of luck with your collecting!