Subgroup signs 




In order to determine subgroups (like patrols, nests, round, tribes, etc.) in course of time different sign of recognitions arose.


A troop of scouts was divided in patrols. Each patrol was named after an animal or a bird, f.i. curlews or antilopes or so. To show this, ribbons were worn on the left shoulder, named patrol ribbons. These were four ribbons of 15 cm each in one or a combination of two colours. Each colour or combination stood for a specific animal. F.i. green for curlews or red-yellow for antilopes.




A patrol leader had a khaki flag on his staff with an image of the patrol animal in red on it.



A pack of cubs was divided in nests. Each nest had a colour, f.i the red nest, the black nest, etc.

There are 5 colours: red, black, brown, white and grey. For recognition cubs wore a felt triangle in the corresponding colour on the left sleeve.

A herd of cubs was divided in nests. Each nest had a colour, f.i the red nest, the black nest. Etc.

There are 5 colours: red, black, brown, white and grey. For recognition cubs wore a felt triangle in the corresponding colour on the left sleeve.


Since 2005 the triangles are replaced by square nest signs with wolves heads in the colour of the nest.


A troop of girl-scouts was divided in rounds . The rounds were mostly names after flowers or plants, f.i. poppies, but names of animals were also used. At the N.P.G. you could recognize them by a round blue badge (Ř ± 5 cm) with the picture of the flower or plant. Before 1941 these badges could be bought at the “Gildewinckel” (the ScoutShop for girl-scouts in the Netherlands)




After 1945 only empty blue round badges were available, so the girls had to embroider the picture themselves. These signs were worn above the left pocket of the blouse.


The guides of the N.G. were ribbons, just as the boy-scouts, on the left shoulder, but only 12 cm of length. The colours of the ribbons correspond with the flowers, the subgroup was named after.



A troop of brownies was divided in “tribes”. With the N.P.G. they were named after imaginary figures like elves, dwarfs, etc. Originally there were nine figures, but after 1945 only six of them were used. With the brownies of the N.G. animals were used as names: rabbit, blackbird, etc. There were also 6 different figures.  The signs were worn on a khaki background, above the left pocket. Later a light beige background was used with the N.G.




After the merge in 1973 new subgroup signs for girl-guides en scouts replaced the old ones. For land-groups they had a white background and for water-groups a blue one.







Star signs










Each of these subgroup signs was produced in four colours: yellow, green, red and blue.

Wind directions





Besides the general subgroup signs there were animal figures, for land-scouts with a white background, for water-scouts with a blue background.




The shoulder ribbons were still available in the ScoutShop, so many groups still used them at the scouts. As the abstract en styled general subgroup signs were only popular by a small amount of groups, they disappeared gradually from the assortment en only the animal signs remained.


A new story was developed for the Brownies. They now play in a imaginary country called “Bambilië”, where something specific could be experienced in every town, f.i. baking bread in Haverhoek, going to Bromberg on animals day, etc. On each of the sub-group signs is a symbol that represents one of the seventeen towns.




The “Esta’s” play in the “Land van Esta (Country of Esta)”, whey go on adventures with “Het kind met de hoge hoed (the child with the high hat)”. This child wears a feather on its hat. An “estar” (that is how a troop of Esta’s is called) is divided in “stellen” (subgroups). Each of the “stellen” uses another colour of the feather. There are six colours: blue, yellow, green, orange, red en white.


The “dolfijnen” (dolphins) who play around the water, have the fin of a dolphin as a “flipper sign” in the colours yellow, blue, orange, brown, red, white and black.


The beavers play in “The house of Lange Doener” (Hotsjitonia) and aren’t divided in subgroups. Therefore they don’t have subgroups signs.





After the modernisation of the Scouting program new subgroup signs are created.



Cub scouts:



The Cub scouts have new nest signs in the background colours:

Blue, yellow, brown, green, orange, purple and red.










The scouts have 16 new subgroup signs with a picture of their subgroup animal. For each animal there is a different background colour.

Badger, Bear, Crocodile, Falcon, Fox, Hawk, Heron, Lapwing, Panther, Porpoise, Seal, Swallow, Tiger and Wolf.





The museum is always interested in "old" Dutch scouting stuff.
Are you considering removing your old stuff, please contact us.