The Mom’s pin

When I was a young Scout there was no better moment at Courts of Honor than being able to pin the “Mom’s” pin on my Mom.  Having earned a rank and being able to share that with Mom was a special thing.  Today the “Mom’s Pin” is called the Parent Pin, and I suppose that is a relection on the times that we live in.  Everyone must be included and in many cases Mom or Dad may not be in the picture.  When I was a Cub Scout we lived in an apartment building.  My Den was made up from the boys that lived on the 8th and 9th floors pretty much and we met in someones apartment (ours).  My Mom was our Den Mother and she had a few ladies that helped out.  It was always fun to wear our uniforms to school and then come home for Scouts, and the gang I hung out with were all great friends.  We were close as you can get and Scouting was not really a once a week activity.  We lived with each other, played, ran, and went to School with one another.  And our Parents were all friends too.
I never knew what divorce was until I got into High School, and even then it was rare.  My best friends parents divorced, but were remarried, so he still had a mom and a dad, so it all seemed “Normal” to me.  When I became a Cubmaster, I noticed at parent meetings that there was always drama about sharing time with the kids or who’s dropping off little Timmy, or “It’s my Dad’s weekend to have me, so I can’t go on the outing”.  Moving up to Boy Scouts was much the same, but at least the Scouts were older so they could just be dropped off and picked up.  But it really hits me at Courts of Honor.  When I see our Scouts that are torn between sitting with Mom or Dad, and who gets the pin?  the struggle that is forced on the 10 and half year old boy as he stands in front of the crowd and is asked to place the parent pin on …  I see the confusion in their faces and the angst of their little bodies as they turn to one parent or the other.  9 times out of 10 though.. the pin goes on Mom.
There is still something special about that pin going on Mom.  Sure Dads help and guide that young man, but at the end of the day we all just want to be able to pin that pin on Mom.
I am a product of a set of parents that celebrated their 46 wedding anniversary on Friday.  I know nothing else.  My kids know that my wife and I have been married for 19 years and that their Grandparents (all 4 of them) have been together since the beginning of time.  I enjoy the fact that I never have to see that worry, confusion, or troubled look on my two sons as they turn to pin on the “Mom’s Pin”.
To all the Mom’s out there… HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. It’s Mothering Sunday and I know that even though it is celebrated on a different date depending on your location, I just want to greet our mothers on this day! Happy Mothers Day to all of the loving mothers on the Earth!


  2. I’d like to see troops come up with something different than calling it a mothers pin. There are a couple of reasons. I know some boys who either do not have mothers at home or who have mothers who are not involved. There is a boy in the pack my son was in who lives with his grandfather as dad was missing and mom was a mess. I’m more comfortable with calling it a parents pin but quite frankly what I’d be in support of is having each kid being handed 2 pins. They can pin one one each of 2 adults present. Typically it would be mom and dad but it would not be a requirement. If they don’t have 2 adults there then perhaps they have another adult they may want to give the pin to later. Maybe it is because of divorce, maybe it is because of active military duty, maybe it is for a grandparent out of state.

    I will admit that I have a personal interest in this as well. When I was married, my son’s mother was not at all involved with scouts. She couldn’t even be bothered to show up for pack meetings where he received his rank awards and so my son pinned the “mothers pin” on me. Not only was I the parent supporting him in scouts and most of the stuff at home too, I was also his cub scout den leader for years. When I finally filed for divorce, his mother suddenly started showing up at pack meetings right up until when custody was finalized at which point she quit showing again. With boy scouts I’ve had to fight her every step of the way to allow my son’s participation in scouting (at a time when I think he needs it the most). So at our last court of honor, “mom” shows up after the ceremony was basically over, confronts me and demands “her” pin which had been pinned to my shirt by my son during the ceremony. It was a painful thing to have to decide if I should take the pin off my shirt and hand it to this person who has actively tried to interfere with his participation in scouts. On one hand it is just a silly piece of metal but it represents a lot of work on the part of my son and a lot of support from me. It was painful for my son to have to watch his mother show up and demand “her” pin (without not so much as a hello to me first). It is also painful to watch other boys whose mothers don’t come for whatever reason to see the pins called “mothers pins” for everyone else.

    Besides being a boy scout leader, I’m also an active girl scout leader. We have a number of girls who come from less than picture perfect homes and so I try very hard to not set up language or tradition that becomes a problem.


    1. The Parent Recognition pin is not from “Troops” it is from the National Supply Division and is purchased at local Scout Shops.
      Further, while we all refer to it as a “Mom’s pin” that name has been officially changed to the “Parents Pin” the only exception being the Eagle “Mom Pin and Eagle “Dad Pin”.
      Refering to the Parent Pin as a Mom’s pin is essentially tradional and used by some of older Scouters that have been in Scouting since we were 7 years old and remember the days of pinning that Bobcat Mom pin on the blouse of my mom.
      I do not find it offensive nor do I look to make sure that my language is correct when refering to the pin.
      When we are at a court of honor and the Dad comes up with the Scout its a Dad pin.. when it’s mom.. it’s a mom’s pin and when Both Parents come up.. it is a parent pin and the Scout gets to choose who is going to get to wear it.
      Thanks for the comment


  3. Maybe too late to comment, but I’m happy that my son’s troop gives parent pins, as his Cub Scout Pack did not & I didn’t even know these pins existed for parents until my son became a Boy Scout. His troop gives 2 parent pins, they happen to be different sizes, but i won’t hold that against them! Guess who gets the smaller one? I suppose it is up to the scout, actually, but maybe the smaller one is the “mom’s pin” because it is a daintier… 😉


  4. I’m YEARS late to the party, but just had to comment on such a sweet post. My scout is about to pin his very first “mom’s pin” to my lapel.
    It was very touching to read about the lasting meaning of this tradition!


    1. Thanks for the comment. Scouting is rich with tradition. Sometimes it gets lost in the all of the stuff, but when examined is touching and meaningful.
      Thanks again… and you are never to late as long as you show up.


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