At some point everyone going to the 2017 National Scout Jamboree that is planning to trade patches has to answer a simple question....what am I going to take to trade? Those going to the Jamboree on staff or a contingent have space constraints because you are typically limited by how much room is on the bus. With sleeping quarters shared with others in a tent that also puts some constraints on keeping your trade stock safe and secure.
As a visitor going in for 7 days to the event I can only bring in what I can carry on my back. Again making a choice about what to bring is to trade involves placing some bets on what you can trade and how much of it to pack. So it's with all that in mind that I share this photo of my basement (I like to call it the patch cave). What you see in this mess is my attempt to find the right mixture of trading stock to bring. For me that means going through totes containing parts of collections I've purchased through the years. Some of these totes contain sets that I've been holding onto since the last Jamboree four years ago. However, the bulk is random JSPs, CSPs, OA and other Boy Scout patches that I think might work. They all share a common factor though - they are all paid for.
Some people tend to think you need to go out and buy all brand new 2017 sets in order to have anything to trade. They might be tempted to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars sending payments all over the country to councils that are selling their patches. That's just not my game.
What I've learned from trading heavily at the last six Jamborees (my first was 1989) is that anything will trade. I might get my feelings hurt if my hopes are to score the red hot popular sets that all the kids will be asking about. Nobody is going to trade this year's Minecraft or Norse Gods or Monsters Inc. set for what I have on my blanket. But again that's not really my plan. I just want to trade 1:1 all day long. My goal is to turn over as much inventory as possible getting patches from all over the country whether they be 2017 Jamboree or not.
So don't believe those guys that suggest you can't win with this strategy. You might not bring home the trophy sets that everyone is chasing after but if you just want to shake lots of hands and do that classic 1:1 trading you can't go wrong at a Jamboree. I hope to see many of you there!