Collecting scout memorabilia is one of the most extended hobbies among the members of Scout movement. Scout badges, as they are very easily manufactured, are the most popular collectible items. So I followed the herd, and started collecting scout insignias as soon as I joined my local scout group, back in Argentina, … about 29 years ago. Insignias are so colorful!!! Certainly, one does not need to be gifted with an artistic flair to know how to embellish their poncho with them.

Soon after starting my collection, I realized that I had gathered many more insignias than I could fit on my scout poncho to display around the night firesides!!

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However, I solved the display problem by incrementally buying more and more ponchos, which I would wear on a roster, so that every insignia would get their fair share under the fireside limelight.

Something very special happened when I attained my first scout belt buckle, in 1981. Notwithstanding the length of time, I still remember it very clearly. It was an INSA (Argentinean National Scout Association) insignia. INSA was one of the two scout association that co-existed in Argentina. It is not easy for me to explain how much I treasured that first belt buckle. Back then, belt buckles were manufactured in very small batches, which would be very few and come far between.

I even remember that many scout mates had to wait up to three years after joining, until a fresh series of buckles was issued. So that they could have theirs.

Even though I continued collecting insignias, a new passion had born in me. Probably fueled by the difficulty that it meant to obtain a new belt buckle, I could not help but to start my scout buckle collection.

I took me almost three years, until I could add the second one to my collection. I also remember this second one very well. It was a Russian buckle. I had never even imagined that living in Argentina, I would be able to get hold of a buckle coming from the other end of the world!!!!

The third one came a lot sooner, as a catholic priest, who I had met through my involvement in scoutism, sent me an Italian belt buckle from The Vatican City.

I spent more than 15 years gathering just a few belt buckles. However, those few were enough to make me embrace this life-time hobby with a passion. These were hard collecting years, when my collection grew slowly, mainly thanks to friends who would travel overseas, and who would very kindly agree to bring me at least one buckle from the places they would visit.

Then, the Internet breakthrough came about. And contacting other collectors, who would kindly swap their buckles became a lot easier.

There are many things that I owe to my passion for collecting international scout buckles. This has been a great means to learn about other associations and cultures. In my collecting endeavor, I learnt that for members of quite a few groups worldwide, affording their first (and often, only) buckle could mean quite a heavy load on their family economy. And that often, they have to devote quite a time to save towards that simple, first, and only belt buckle.

This realization prompted me to work towards helping members of different associations worldwide to access their traditional belt buckle more easily. And to help make them available in proper numbers and at reasonable prices.

Thus, I developed, and still maintain a cooperating relationship with scouts around the world, who also share this urge with me. This urge, which is of ensuring that scouts who live in places where owning a uniform is a luxury, can obtain their belt buckle for free.

Not only has my hobby given me friends worldwide, but has also giving me the possibility to help other scouts around the world.



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This page was last updated on Tuesday, November 30, 2004