On this page I present my collection of real license plates that promote or are otherwise related to the Boy Scouts.
Latest noteworthy updates to this page
Well, there isn't much on this page yet, and I don't know if that will change any time soon. Many U.S. states issue a generic Boy Scout special interest plate, but so far I have mostly resisted the temptation to collect these. What I am currently collecting, and show on this page, are some of the more unusual license plates related to the Boy Scouts.
As far as Boy Scout-related license plates go, my primary collecting interest is specialty plates for Eagle Scouts. Eagle Scout is the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America, and is attained by very few young men who ever join Scouts. I was one of those few, however, having earned my Eagle Scout rank at the age of 16 in 1975.
As far as I know, Eagle Scout plates are issued by only seven states: Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Carolina. Only those from Ohio seem to be relatively easy to find.
North Carolina – Eagle Scout
I'm fortunate to live in North Carolina, one of only a handful of states that issue Eagle Scout plates. As an Eagle Scout, I can order these plates from the NCDMV for my own vehicles. In fact, all of the plates shown at left were once assigned to my vehicles.
The evolution of the North Carolina Eagle Scout plate is evident from these three examples. Initially, the Eagle Scout medal graphic was high on the plate, crowding the month sticker, and the serial suffix letters "E/S" were relatively small. Also, for unknown reasons, these plates were made with the wide serial number dies normally only used on non-passenger plates and vanity plates with six or fewer characters.
The background sheeting was eventually changed to lower the medal graphic and enlarge the suffix letters, and the plates began to be stamped with the same narrow serial number dies as other specialty plates. Then, along with all other specialty plates, vanity plates, amateur radio plates, and various other low-volume plate types, the Eagle Scout plates were made flat with screened serial numbers for about three years between 2008 and 2011. Since then, North Caorlina has resumed producing embossed plates.
Beginning in July 2015, North Carolina began offering a second standard plate design, in addition to the long running First in Flight design. The second design shows a small graphic of a quill pen and has the legend First in Freedom across the top of the plate. As far as I know, all plate types that are made using the Flight design are also now available on the Freedom design. Obviously, I had to have an Eagle Scout plate on this new base. They apparently just allocated a yet-unused block of numbers for these.
Ohio – Eagle Scout
Ohio Eagle Scout plates have been issued on five different base plates thus far. All of them have the plural legend Eagle Scouts at the bottom of the plate. Shown at left are the first four of these base plates:
The third-gen plate is a front plate and so doesn't have a month/year expiration sticker. The stickers in the lower left corners of these plates identify the motorists' counties: "24" is Fayette County, "25" is Franklin County, "48" is Lucas County, and "78" is Trumbull County.
This is the second category of Boy Scout license plates I'm collecting. I'm just getting started on this category, but I'll be looking for additional plates I can add to it.
Philippines – Golden Jubilee of Scouting
This 1973 Philippine plate celebrates the Golden Jubilee (50th anniversary) of both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in that country. In many countries outside the U.S., the Boy Scout and Girl Scout or Girl Guide programs are run by a single organization. I'm not clear whether this was a legitimate vehicle registration plate or just a numbered booster plate – I know that the Philippines issues lots of various special event license plates, so I'll assume the former unless I learn otherwise.
Pennsylvania – Valley Forge Council Diamond Jubilee
I'm not sure whether this was a street-legal special event license plate, or just a numbered souvenir plate. In any case, it's clear that it was made in the Pennsylvania license plate manufacturing facility – the dies used to stamp the state name are unmistakable. At least a few hundred of these plates were made, so it's cool that I managed to get one with a one-digit plate number. The plate would seem to be for a weekend event commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, founded in February 1910, or of the Valley Forge Council, founded in 1911, or both.
Illinois – Ulysses S. Grant Boy Scout Pilgrimage
Illinois makes a multitude of special event license plates for all kinds of events. These plates are valid for use for the 60 days up to and including the day of the event, or the last day of a multi-day event. Illinois has issued a number of Boy Scout-related event plates, including a few additional years of Grant Boy Scout Pilgrimage plates besides the 1991 version shown.
New Mexico – 100 Years of Scouting
The Boy Scouts of America was founded on February 8, 1910. As far as I know, New Mexico is the only state that acknowledged their 100th anniversary on a license plate. New Mexico and the BSA have a special relationship, because Cimmaron, New Mexico is the location of Philmont Scout Ranch, Scouting's premier High Adventure destination.
Arkansas has issued a plate type called "Boy Scout & Orphahage" since 1960. Such plates are issued to buses used by Boy Scout troops and camps, orphanages, as well as other youth organizations. In the early years, Arkansas Boy Scout & orphanage bus plates had a BSO serial prefix; later, they had the legend B S & O at the bottom of the plate. That legend is screened onto the 1993 expiraiton plate shown.
Many states issue specialty plates that promote the Boy Scouts and have the graphic fleur-de-lis Boy Scout emblem. I think of these as "generic" or "regular" Boy Scout special interest plates. I haven't yet determined which states have issued such plates, nor am I actively trying to add them to my collection. However, I'm not opposed to obtaining them if someone has one available. So far I have exactly one of these, shown above.
|•||Illinois – Eagle Scout plate. (I believe the example shown is a vanity plate, but I'd prefer a sequentially-numbered plate for my collection.)|
|•||Maryland – Eagle Scout plate.|
|•||Michigan – Eagle Scout plate.|
|•||Missouri – Eagle Scout plate; these are only issued as vanity plates.|
|•||Missouri – Order of the Arrow plate; these are only issued as vanity plates.|
|•||Ohio – Eagle Scout plate on the current "slogans" base.|
|•||South Carolina – Eagle Scout plate.|
|•||Plus any others I don't know about!|
|•||Illinois – I know of several additional Scout-related special event license plates, including additional years of Grant's Pilgrimage plates, and also Lincoln's Pilgrimage plates. There are certainly others as well.|
|•||Michigan – 1957 Boy Scout Jamboree, Valley Forge.|
|•||Plus any others I don't know about!|
I'm not opposed to obtaining "generic" or "regular" Boy Scout plates with the graphic fleur-de-lis Boy Scout emblem from additional states, if someone has one or more of these available.
Related pages on this site
Thanks to those who have directly contributed to the information on this page: Kenneth Best.
Best photograph is presumed to be copyrighted by Kenneth Best, and is used with permission.
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