[IBC Logo] The International Badgers Club
Code Of Conduct

Child Protection Policy

It is inevitable that members will come into contact with young members in the Scout and Guide Associations in the normal course of Club Activities, e.g., Meetings, Jamborees, Camps etc. indeed many of our members are themselves young people. In order to safeguard the welfare of young people by protecting them from harm, the Club has accepted as its own policy the Child Protection Policies of The Scout and Guide Associations. It is the responsibility of members to ensure that their behaviour and their relationship with young people is appropriate at all times. Any member found to be in breach of our Child Protection Policy will have their membership suspended or withdrawn subject to the Club's appeals procedure. All members will be the subject of a Headquarters Enquiry and a Criminal Records Bureau Enquiry.

Advertising Swops

Now that you have started collecting, you may wish to advertise in the Club magazine. Advertisements are free, but are limited to 25 typed lines. They are printed in order of receipt, and copy should be with the Editor no later than the 1st of the month prior to publication. If possible, please ensure that your entry arrives at least seven days before the deadline. No advertisement is repeated, as they quickly go out of date, so if you want yours to appear in consecutive issues, you must rewrite it. Members may only advertise in consecutive magazines if space allows. When you offer badges for exchange, you are expected to reply promptly to letters received. Bear this in mind, if you are going away on holiday. Depending on what you are offering, you may receive a lot of replies, so "Be Prepared"! If you are offering bulk swops, it may be prudent to limit them in some way, and you can state that you want a particular type of badge, e.g. Guides or Canada. Be specific, otherwise you may end up with unwanted badges, and should anyone send you something you have asked not to receive, you can return it without any embarrassment. Please note that at all times the Editor reserves the right to refuse to publish advertisements, and no reason need be given. Such refusal should be referred to the Executive as soon as possible.

Sale of Badges

Although you will find that your collection increases in value with time, you should not set out to make a short-term profit out of trading, unless you join the very small band of known dealers. The Scouting and Guiding ideals of helping others applies very much in the direction of assisting Members to improve their collections by mutually advantageous swopping. From time to time, you will see Members offering badges for sale in 'The Sett' on behalf of their local organisation. Any profits from such sales are ploughed back into Scouting and Guiding. In all cases, cheques must be made payable to the Scout or Guide Area concerned and not to any private bank account. The Editor reserves the right to refuse advertisements and no reason need be given. Such refusal should be referred to the Executive as soon as possible. Under no circumstances is any individual to make a profit through selling in the magazine or via web pages.

From time to time at the discretion of the Executive, a list may be issued whereby members may offer badges for sale.

You will also find Members selling at the meetings that are held around the globe. These Members are usually the ones who have been collecting for some years and are now after the rarer items, which may only be found in auctions, so they sell their surplus badges to raise funds with which to buy. The selling also helps other Members to build up their swop-boxes or collections.

The Club Directory may not be used to circulate items for sale by individuals.


The Club currently organises two auctions a year on behalf of its Members worldwide. Occasionally, depending on the number of lots received by the auctioneer, additional 'postal only' auctions may be held. There are other auctions taking place, but these are not run by the Club, but by its sections and branches around the World. The Club auctions are usually arranged in May and November, the exact dates being decided by the Executive and announced in the January magazine. Any Member can send badges for auction, and those who have paid the auction fee with their annual membership fee may bid. The prices realised depend on a number of factors, mainly rarity and condition. If you win a postal bid, you only pay one increment above the second highest offer, e.g. if you bid £10 and the next bid lower is £5, you are charged £5.50.

The auctions were started to enable Members to obtain some of the rarer badges that they perhaps could not get by swopping. It was found that Members who wanted to dispose of their collections had no real outlet, and the only reasonable way was to auction the badges, as it gave everyone the chance to decide what would be the price for any particular item. The Club accepts not only collections, but it also allows Members who have the odd "gem" to dispose of to put in just one badge. Those wishing to dispose of parts of collections may offer badges worth more than £2 to the Auctioneer, for inclusion in the next available Auction. The Badge Sales Co-ordinator may be consulted regarding the remainder. Whole collections can be purchased by the Club. Details should be sent to the General Secretary, who will arrange for the collection to be seen and valued. A detailed inventory is to be presented to the Executive, who will approve an offer. A copy of the auction rules is to be found in this booklet.


In the magazine you will find details of meetings held all around the World. Members are welcome to attend any of them. These are organised by two or three local Members getting together, hiring a room with tables, chairs and tea/coffee-making facilities. Here you will probably find Members with whom you may have corresponded for some time. It's great to meet the faces behind the pens, and to look through their swop-books first hand. Don't be frightened into not going to a meeting because you only have a few "common" badges. Somebody will want one of yours, and you will find that many of the long-established Members will swop with you, whatever you have, even if they do not need it themselves. This is not just charitable - it is in their long-term interest to encourage new Members! The organisers usually raise the cost of hiring the premises, etc., by charging a modest entry fee which entitles you to free beverages, and/or holding a raffle or auction of items donated by the Members present. A useful guide to running your own meeting was written by Eddie Clark and published in the November 1999 edition of 'The Sett'. If you are interested in holding a meeting and have not seen the article, contact Eddie or the General Secretary. There are now meetings around the world on most Sundays throughout the year. Experience shows that too many meetings in the same country on the same day leads to a poor turnout at each. A diary of meetings, which are published in the magazine, is kept by the Editor, who should be consulted at an early stage, before committing yourself to a date.

Fair Play

Fair play in swopping, whether face-to-face or by letter, must prevail at all times. By this we mean that you should not knowingly seek to swop your current badge for someone else's hard-to-get one. Doing that gives you, and the Club, a bad name. Swopping is usually on a one-for-one basis for items of a similar nature; however, many Members will discuss the relative values of the harder-to-get badges, and very often come to an arrangement that is fair to both sides. However you swop, the idea is to ensure that both parties are happy with the deal.

Members are warned that some Districts or Counties have given permission for unbound versions of their badges to be sold at campsites as souvenirs. The Club regards such badges as "ribbon replicas" and, as they are spurious, lists them with 'X' codes in the varieties catalogues. The Executive reserves the right to discipline any Member attempting to pass them off as genuine uniform badges. The Club will not allow badges that are currently worn and can be earned by Guides or Scouts to be advertised or sold through the magazine or the Club auctions.

Members should not offer as a swop or sale any badges that they know or have reason to believe, are not genuine, (e.g. reproductions, replicas, ribbon versions of bound only badges, manufacturers rejects etc.). Or, where there is no intention of the badge being worn on uniform. Or, it is not being used as an official badge by the Association to which it refers, e.g. jamboree, contingent, camp badge, unless this fact is made clear at the outset. In the case of Jamborees, participant, fund-raiser, Join-in, JOTA and JOTI badges should be described as such.

There are no restrictions in most countries about who swops with whom, but it is a sad reflection on the integrity of some experienced collectors that they have occasionally taken advantage of novices. For this reason, certain Associations running Jamborees have prohibited adults from swopping with younger Members of the Movement. Defiance of these rules can result in those concerned being banned from the site, fined or facing even more severe consequences. A report may also be sent back to their Scout or Guide Association Headquarters, asking for disciplinary action to be taken against them. Whilst the Club promotes sensible and fair swopping between adults and minors, the rules of the Associations concerned must be followed. Ignorance is no defence; you must make sure of the rules before any swopping takes place. To protect Members from any accusations of unfair swopping, it is always advisable to have someone else present.

Stamped Addressed Envelopes

Current practice is to send a stamped self-addressed envelope, when writing a speculative letter to a Member, especially to a younger member. One is not needed when replying to advertisements (unless the advertiser is still at school or college, in which case they may request one). For overseas correspondence, you can purchase from larger Post Offices an International Reply Coupon, which is now exchangeable in most countries for air mail postage.

Replying to Letters

Some Members are able to reply to letters by return of post, and this is obviously appreciated by the sender, but everyone should try to despatch an answer within a week. If a swop cannot be completed and there is likely to be a delay for any reason, a brief note of acknowledgement and advice of the delay is called for, especially if you are already late replying because, for example, you have been away on holiday. People writing to you for the first time will be anxious to hear from you.

The Executive and other position-holders in the Club will aim to answer all letters as quickly as possible. They will try to reply within seven days, and always within twenty-eight. Even if they cannot answer your query or problem, they will acknowledge your letter, advising you when you can expect a full reply.

If you hold any resentment that Members have not replied to a letter from you, see the paragraphs on complaints below and write to the General Secretary. Do not write to the Editor of 'The Sett,' as this type of letter will not be published; they are a matter for the Executive.

The Catalogue

This invaluable document lists all badges throughout the World known to the Club. It is divided into sections by geographical areas, plus one for World Jamborees, Moots, etc., non uniform badges - and another for non-recognised associations (not members of WOSM or WAGGGS). These could be Scouting or Guiding organisations that have never joined, have left, or that have just started or restarted in their country. They may also include Scouts in exile from their homeland. Countries are listed in alphabetical order in their relevant section. Guide and Girl Scout Associations' badges are listed separately towards the end of their continent, followed by National and Regional Jamborees.

You will soon find your way around the catalogue, but there are one or two more things to explain. Badges for Districts, etc., that are no longer active are designated Extinct. This may result from closure, division, merger, boundary changes or government policy. Badges with greater rarity are given a 'star' rating from + to ++++, according to the judgement of the Cataloguer, advised by Members with local knowledge. These ratings are intended only as a guide; if both parties to a swop are happy with the deal, that is all that matters. Two ++ badges do not generally have the equivalent value of one ++++, because the latter may be almost impossible to obtain. The catalogue is updated regularly by amendments in 'The Sett' and an updated catalogue is issued annually in mid-October and advertised in the November magazine.

The club also produces illustrated varieties catalogues of the UK and other countries, showing the various varieties that are known of individual badges. Similar catalogues are produced by other collectors clubs, relating to their country.


If the Executive receives complaints about a member from other members and in certain circumstances from other sources, they will write to the person concerned, asking for an explanation of their conduct. The Executive has the right to take no action, issue a warning about future conduct, suspend and withdraw membership from a member who is the subject of a complaint or is in breach of any part of the Club Handbook / Code of Conduct. The member has the right of appeal at the next Annual General Meeting and members will vote on this matter.

Under no circumstances will the Club magazine or website publish letters from Members or other sources dealing with complaints or problems concerning another person, whether they are Members or not. The same applies to any General Meeting; complaints and problems will not be heard. The appropriate course of action is to advise the General Secretary in writing, who will bring the matter before the next Executive Meeting.

Items of 'Any other Business'

For any General Meeting, these must be raised in a form that can be discussed by the Executive beforehand. No additional item will be accepted.

Telephone Calls

Please be considerate when telephoning other Members of the Club. Generally calls made between 0900 and 2100hrs. are acceptable, but please remember that this applies to the time zone you are calling, not the one you are in! Obviously calls can be made outside these hours by prior arrangement.

Chain Letters

Under no circumstances is the Club membership list to be used for chain letters and similar types of mail. Neither should Members' lists be used for the distribution of sales or promotional material, or any type of advertising without the prior approval of the Executive.

Contacting Badge Secretaries

The practice of contacting Badge Secretaries and Commissioners for badges should be carried out very tactfully, if at all. If it is done in the wrong manner, it gives you and the Club a bad name and causes all sorts of problems and bad feelings in the future. Complaints received about Members from Badge Secretaries, etc., will be dealt with by the Executive.

Data Protection Act

As the Club Directory of Members is held within the U.K., it is governed by the Data Protection Act, 1984. All Club Members' details are held in computer records. When you joined the Club, you were asked if you agreed to this. Under the Act, you are entitled to ask for a printout of the information that the Club holds on you, and for explanation of any coding in that data. Queries on this should be addressed to the General Secretary.

New Members

All Members are encouraged to recruit others. Membership forms and posters can be requested from the Membership Secretary, Recruitment Secretary or your local Club Representative. If you require large quantities, please give the Club plenty of notice, to allow time to have them printed. Any Member recruiting a further ten new members in any twelve-month period is entitled to a year's free membership.

Scout or Guide Association Events

No Member may attend a Scout or Guide Association event, or make contact with any organiser, event committee or person, claiming to be acting on the Club's behalf, without the prior approval of the Executive. On approving the applicant, the Executive will issue letters to both the Member concerned and the event organising committee, and provide identification badges, if they are required.

Life Membership

For exceptional service to the Club over a significant number of years, the Members at the Annual General Meeting may, on the recommendation of the Executive, elect anyone a Life Member.

Inetnet / Web-site / Mailing List

The Webmaster maintains an Internet web-site, giving details of the Club, with the intention of attracting new Members, together with news and reports from around the World, and information on meetings.


We also have an electronic mailing list that is used to publish information in the months between the publication dates of The Sett, i.e. February, April, June, August, October and December. Items for inclusion should be sent to the Webmaster. Please do not try posting to the mailing list yourself, as it will not work. The electronic mailing list is also used to send out messages from the Club Executive, such as announcements of new appointments, etc.

Branches and Other Collectors Clubs

There are Branches, Chapters and Sections of the Club scattered around the World. They normally organise meetings in their local areas. To become a Member of one of these, you must first be a Member of the Club.

There are several other badge and memorabilia collectors' clubs around the World, most limited to a particular country. The Club enjoys good relations with them and we work together as closely as possible; some are affiliated to our Club.


All rights are reserved. No part of any publication of the International Badgers Club may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any other information storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission from the Club Executive. This includes the numbering system in the Club's catalogue, which may not be used for preparing auction, illustrated or varieties lists without authority. This is not intended to preclude members from producing a wants list for their own use. For information, contact the General Secretary. A number of members produce publications on behalf of the Club. If a member feels there is a need for a certain type of publication and would like to get involved in its production then the Executive should be contacted with the idea. It is important that the approval of the Executive is given before commencing on any work. A draft copy should then be referred to the Executive for final approval.

All publications so produced will come under the control of the Club for sale and distribution purposes.

Club Image

The club has been in existence for many years, and as such a good working relationship and rapport has been built up with various Scout and Guide Associations. No member should communicate to the Headquarters or Branch of any Scout or Guide Association or indeed any other body, purporting to represent the views of the Club on any matter appertaining to the Club Constitution, Policy or any other matter which can be construed as affecting the image of the Club. Only the Executive should deal with such matters.

It is the responsibility of all members to ensure the good name and image of the Club is maintained at all times.

Guidelines for Club Representation at Jamborees, Scout and Guide Events, District Camps

  1. Volunteers to notify the General Secretary, agreeing to abide by the guidelines below, to gain the approval of the Executive.

  2. Representatives to be seen to provide a service in the form of:
    • a badge display
    • a Display of Club literature
    • badge swopping activities
    • activities, i.e. a quiz or competition with tick boxes or multiple choice questions

  3. The aim is to provide a good public relations exercise for the Club by:
    • talking to interested persons of all ages
    • providing Membership Forms when appropriate and assisting in their completion, afterwards forwarding them, along with payment if possible, to the Membership Secretary

  4. Protecting at all times the reputation of the Club, particularly from recent accusations of commercialism

  5. Persons representing the Club will be provided with Membership Application Forms and posters by the Membership Secretary. At least TWO WEEKS notice to the Membership Secretary is required before the commencement of the Jamboree.
© The International Badgers Club, 2023.