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
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
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
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.