US Stamps

John M. Hotchner

What do you suppose this scout is thinking?

June 26, 2018 11:30 AM

  • The cartoon caption contest stamp for July is the 1985 22¢ stamp showing Boy Scouts on a hike. What do you think the scout with the backpack might be thinking or saying about philately, the issues of the day, or another subject? The rules to enter the contest are in the accompanying article. Entries must be received by July 27 for a chance to win a prize.
  • The United States has issued many stamps related to scouting. Shown here are 1950, 1960, 1962, 1987 and 2010 issues for the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts.

U.S. Stamp Notes — By John M. Hotchner

As a former Boy Scout (New Delhi, Troop 1, Cobra Patrol, 1955-56) I have followed the news as the organization has been subjected to the culture wars of the last dozen years.

It seems the wars are over, and the Boy Scouts have seen the wisdom in surrendering unconditionally. Scouting will never be the same, a situation that disgusts some and pleases others. Also, it will alter how postal services deal with future stamp designs related to scouting.

Over the years, the U.S. Post Office Department and its successor the U.S. Postal Service have honored scouting and its organizations on about a dozen stamps.

A few of them are shown nearby: the 1950 3¢ Boy Scouts (Scott 995); 1960 4¢ Boy Scouts Jubilee (1145), 1962 4¢ Girl Scouts (1199), 1987 22¢ Girl Scouts 75th Anniversary (2251); 1998 32¢ Celebrate the Century/1910s stamp honoring the Boy and Girl Scouts (3183); and the 2010 44¢ Boy Scouts of America, Centennial (4472).

A particular favorite of mine is the block of four 22¢ stamps issued in 1985 for International Youth Year (Scott 2160-2163). The stamps commemorate anniversaries of four youth-oriented groups: the YMCA youth camping centennial, the Boy Scouts 75th anniversary, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Federation 40th anniversary, and the Camp Fire Inc. 75th anniversary.

The Boy Scouts stamp from that issue (Scott 2161) brings back memories of hikes in India.

That stamp will be the cartoon caption contest stamp for July.

Put yourself in the scene, carrying a backpack full of all the things you need to “be prepared,” and tell me what you think the scout might be saying about philately, the issues of the day relating to scouting or other political issues, or other matters.

There will be two prizes given: one for the best philatelic line, and one for the best nonphilatelic line.

The important thing is to use your sense of humor, because entries with a humorous twist have the best chance of winning a prize.

Put your entry (or entries) on a postcard if possible and send it to me, John Hotchner, Cartoon Contest, Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125, or by email. If you send an email, it is essential that your include your postal mailing address.

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For each winner, the prize will be the book Linn’s Stamp Identifier, published by Linn’s (a retail value of $12.99), or a 13-week subscription to Linn’s (a new subscription or an extension).

To be considered for the prizes, entries must reach me no later than July 27.

Why not enter now while you’re thinking about it?