It’s a small red strip of cloth, but its significance is massive.

The Founder’s Bar lets youth and adult leaders show off their status as original members of a new pack, troop, crew or ship. It’s a way to honor the hard work of these Scouting pioneers.

Any youth or adult who joins a new Scout unit within its first year of existence is eligible for the patch. The white-on-red strip is worn on the left sleeve — just below the unit numerals.

You can present the Founder’s Bar and accompanying pocket or wall certificate whenever and however you’d like. I suggest a special ceremony — with cake, if possible.

And what if you were a founding member of a unit formed years — or even decades — ago? You can wear the Founder’s Bar on your shirt for that unit, as well.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about the Founder’s Bar.

Who is eligible to wear the Founder’s Bar?

  • Youth and adults whose names are on a new-unit charter
  • Youth and adults who officially join a new unit before the unit recharters for the first time
  • Members of veteran units still in operation who were on the original charter

How is the Founder’s Bar worn?

Sew the strip on the left sleeve — just below the unit numerals. Only wear the Founder’s Bar with the appropriate unit numeral.

Let’s say you’re a founding member of Scouts BSA Troop 123 but not Cub Scout Pack 456. In that scenario, you’d only wear the Founder’s Bar on your Scouts BSA uniform — right below the numbers 123.

What recognition items are available?

Purchase these items online (using the links above) or at your local Scout shop.

What about volunteers who organize a new unit?

The process of organizing a new unit requires dedication and commitment from adult volunteers.

Recognize those efforts with the William D. Boyce New-Unit Organizer Award. The award is represented by a gold, green and red square knot.

Review the official requirements here.

What about long-tenured units?

Has your Scout unit been around for 25 years or more? You’ll want the Veteran Unit Award, also available at your local Scout shop or

The Veteran Unit Award goes above the unit numeral. Any member of a unit that has been chartered for 25 years or longer may wear the award.

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