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Discontinued Square Knots

Welcome Mike Walton (Settummanque) as a guest editor!

Imprompu photo for a Scouting event. I have learned since then that I need to have someone more professional to do these photos!! This was taken in the summer of 1992.

Okay. Looking at the Scout shirt attached to this note, one can tell that I’ve been around Scouting a long, long time; that I’ve saved a life, protected the outdoors, gave some money to Scouting (actually, someone else gave some money to Scouting in my name). Earned the highest youth awards in each program — Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting and Exploring.  Did some other things as an Exploring volunteer.  Did some other things as a Boy Scouting volunteer. Church things, community things, international things.

Well, the BSA wants to consoldate some of the more than 40 or so square knot emblems — those little things on the left side of my shirt which resemble military ribbons — they are the Scouting version of ribbons — and I’m okay with this. Not all together cool, because under the plan I will technically be unable to wear one of those things for saving the life of a kid when I was a kid. Oh well… the BSA says that the things I and others have earned or received will continue to be valid for the life of the wearer/receipient.  Just that those “coming up” won’t be able to earn/wear/display those awards — because they will be “discontinued.”

Two people from the BSA’s Supply Group tell me that while the plan was to remove anywhere from 12 to 15 of the square knot insignia, that the current plan is to remove eight initially, with another four to be removed in 2014 or 2015:

This year (2012), the five former Cub Scout “Training” Awards — the Cubmaster, Cub Scout Den Leader (Training) Award, the WEBELOS Den Leader (Training) Award, the Tiger Cub Den Leader (Training) Award, and the Pack Trainer (Training) Award — will all be CONVERTED to other training recognitions, to make thing consistant across all programs.  The Cubmaster (Training) Award will be discontinued and new holders will earn the Scouter’s Key Award and wear a small Cub Scout program device on the ribbon of the medal as well as on the square knot insignia (as it was prior to 1987, when the new Cub Scout awards was first introduced).  The three Den Leader awards will be rolled up into the Scouter’s Training Award recognition, with program devices to be worn on the medal’s ribbon and on the square knot insignia signifying the program in which the award was earned within.

The Pack Trainer (Training) Award will be discontinued and a new Trainer’s Award will be developed for all programs, with Cub Scouters wearing the small Cub Scout program device to signify that they met the requirements as a Pack Trainer.

Additionally, the two remaining Exploring Awards will be discontinued — the Spurgeon Award and the “Universal Exploring Award” square knot will be no longer available in 2014. The red/white/blue and silver square knot insignia represented some six former Exploring awards (the first two versions of the Silver Award; the Ranger, Ace, Exploring Achievement Awards; and the the Growth Opportunity in Leadership Development (GOLD) Award) as well as holders of a local Council or national Young American Award.

Several of the awards formerly presented to segments of the Scouting community will be rolled up in 2014 and a new Scouting Community Awards square knot emblem will be created to replace the:  George Meany Award, the Young Service Award, the Pena Award and the Asian Scouting Service Award.

The Philmont Training Center Award square knot and device will be discontinued in 2013 along with the Doctorate of Commissioner Science and the Commissioner Award of Excellence (which, as you stated, was just introduced last fall).  The Commissioner Award of Merit will be rolled up into the Scouters’ Award of Merit and a small Commissioner emblem is to be attached to the square knot signifying the attainment of the award.

(I am pettioning the BSA to reinstate the Doctorate of Commissioner Science Award as a special shoulder insignia — perhaps fully embrordered with the shiny Mylar thread since we’re going back to the 70s with this stuff…)

The Speakers Bank and Alumni Connections Awards have become local Council-based awards and their square knots will continue to be available until exhausted (like, perhaps, in the next few months).

The Sea Badge cloth emblem also is going away and the BSA is not allowing the Sea Scouting community an exception — the metal Sea Badge will continue to be the highest training recognition in that program; it just will no longer have a  “knot emblem” — official or otherwise. (not a big loss there, because the official “knot emblem” really sucked and the unofficial ones never could get the size right to match the other square knot insignia.

And…I have been told that the Heroism Award is being discontinued, so that square knot insignia will go away as well as the medal.

First version of Pack Trainer Award square knot. Didn’t fly because the blue knot was similiar to other knot emblems.

Holders of all of the previous awards — and their square knot insignia — will continue to be able to wear them on the official uniforms; however, your best bet is to make friends with someone who has several of those knot thingys so that you can have replacements as the uniforms go onward.

And just so I can keep the rumor going; part of the reasoning for the reduction in the number of square knot insignia pieces is so the BSA can start re-manufacturing the knot insignia with the green backgrounds to match the Venturing field uniforms as much as they do the current “Universal” field uniforms.

Why to do away with these?  Two big reasons: low demand (not enough people were actually earning the awards) and a need to stem the tide on “we need a square knot for the X award because otherwise it wouldn’t get any traction”.  In both cases, one sees that this is NOT the case (exhibit “A”, the Alumni Award.  Less than 200 people earned the thing since its introduction two years ago) (exhibit “B”, the PTC Trainers Award. Less than 75 people have earned the award since it’s introduction three years ago) (exhibit “C”, the Spurgeon Award is no longer awarded to BSA members and only four Learning for Life/Exploring leaders received the award whom are also eligible to wear the knot as BSA volunteers).

There’s a rumor that it’s mainly because there’s a bunch of Scouters out there who have, like, fourty billion of these knot thingys on their shirts and the BSA is jealous that with the number of things on the shirt, the more “power” one has.  Stupid. Even with the reduction and consolidations listed above, there’s still going to be something like 15 or so square knot items in which a 40-year BSA volunteer will be able to wear.  Most BSA volunteers are going to continue to wear many of the discontinued ones way into the ’30s.  The impact of these awards will mainly be limited to Cub Scouters who will not be able to wear two rows of training awards and instead two square knot emblems with Cub Scouting program devices on them.

This is all I know…the official announcement about many of these awards has already been made — check out SCOUTING and Training Times, the BSA’s online training e-zine for more details.  Other discontinutions will be announced during the BSA’s Annual meeting in Florida this spring.

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About Settummanque

Mike Walton (otherwise known to Scouters on and off the Internet as “settummanque (set-tum-man-quay), the blackeagle”) has had a long and quite exciting life – in and out of Scouting. The son of a professional beautician and a second-generation Army soldier, Mike has been involved in various youth programs since age 8. One of the first regular contributors to the Scouts-L youth programs discussion list in 1990, Walton continues to offer advice, support and information to Scouters around the world.

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46 Responses to Discontinued Square Knots

  1. avatar
    Jerry January 16, 2012 at 23:57 #

    Some of the knots I can live with, PTC, Speakers, etc. but the Heroism Award???? That makes no sense whatsoever. That’s kinda like DOD saying they will no longer award the MOH b/c there are not enough folks getting it.

    • avatar
      Mike Walton (Settummanque) January 20, 2012 at 09:19 #

      Hi Jerry!! I have some concerns about the Heroism Award and don’t know where the idea came from. However, the National Court of Honor (which controls all of the meritorious service and heroism awards) plainly wants to streamline the awards and my best guess (because I have no real access to the committee — just some committee members) is that they want to utilize the existing Certificates for Heroism and Certificate for Meritorious Service instead of a medal and square knot.

  2. avatar
    Chris Snider January 17, 2012 at 06:02 #

    Can you post a link to the BSA “Training Times” e-zine? I’d like to start reading it, but I can’t find a link for it anywhere on the BSA website, or a mailing list to sign up for… I’m big into training in my area, and I’d like to find this as a resource to use.

    Thanks,

    Chris Snider, UC
    Occoneechee Council
    Raleigh, NC

  3. avatar
    Dennis January 19, 2012 at 09:43 #

    The knots to be discontinued in 2013, does that mean they will not longer be available after Dec 31, 2012 or they will be discontinued on Dec 31, 2013?

    The loss of the Ph.D. in Commissioner Science will have a negative impact on Colleges of Commissioner Science. Yet I see in an article by NetCommish that the curriculum has been revamped. If discontinuing the award, why any courses at all?

    Please explain the Alumni Connections Award as counci-based. How does this impact the current requirement sheet? I know the Speakers Bank was discontinued on Dec. 31, 2011. Is this date applicable to the Alumni Award, too?

  4. avatar
    Mike Walton (Settummanque) January 20, 2012 at 09:28 #

    Hi Dennis:

    Right now, the square knot insignia which will be discontinued will become effective with the 2013 calendar year (1 Jan 2013).

    Someone else wrote me and said that the BSA is “bringing out” yet another square knot insignia piece — and then a few months later, cancelling everything? What gives? The only answer I can give is that Volunteer Training is not talking with the Program and Supply folks, as what frequently occurs when national staffers have great ideas but don’t bother to cross-walk it over to other divisions and their volunteers.

    The way my Scout Executive and others were told about the Alumni Connections and some other “national-level square knots” back in the spring is that the local Council will be encouraged to take more proactive roles, with the national Alumni Connection team supporting them. The requirements will be revamped over time but I see the program slowly being tapped out as most local Councils have their own plan for bringing/maintaining Scouting alumni and will continue onward with their own plans. The Speakers Bank *program* was discontinued on 31 Dec of last year; the *square knot insignia* will continue to be available from local Councils until exhasted. The Alumni Connections *program* continues, but after the National meeting in the spring and the All Hands meeting in early June, the emphasis will shift from national to local Council.

  5. avatar
    Lynn M. Alexander Jr. January 22, 2012 at 10:10 #

    To whom it my have entrest about the squire knot issue i wear 15 knots and people ask why do i wear so many, to me the purpose of the awards we wear is we all like to be reconized for our good deads. And since im a Dist. Commish for the last 15 yr. and a 50 vetern in the scouting program the knots help give that leader asking a question about a unit problem reassurance that you know what you are talking about becouse you have searved in the same position as them and not getting something out of a book but from experance, This is just my thought of the subject, so i feel that they need to leave the knots as they are now. Thank you for leting me sound off on thia issue. WULAMHITTAMOEWAGAN

  6. avatar
    Lynn M. Alexander Jr. January 22, 2012 at 10:15 #

    Sorry for some mis spelling i just notice it.

  7. avatar
    Toni-Lee Crawley January 25, 2012 at 17:12 #

    With the exception of the Herroism Award, I completely agree with the streamlining. I have like a million knots and I hate to not wear some of them because they are all important to me, but the devices are much simpler. I have the Leader Training Award knot with a device for Sea Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing, and Cub Scout Roundtable Staff…Can you imagine if that was 4 separate knots. Plus I have the Scouter Key with Commissioner and District Committee devices. That’s 2 knots for all that stuff. Now by comparison in the CS program I have TL, DL, WL, CSer, DL Coach and on and on. One knot for all that makes sense to me. BTW- Sea Scouts limit knots to 6 on a uniform.

    • avatar
      NetCommish January 28, 2012 at 21:12 #

      Toni-Lee – sorry for the delay in approving your comment.

  8. avatar
    Toni-Lee Crawley January 30, 2012 at 12:03 #

    If it were me designing the new CS award, I would use the current (2011) Cub Scouter knot and call it the CS Leader Award (not Den Leader) and I would use a standard device to indicate the area(s) of service. Webelos device for year(s) as Webelos Den Leader, CS divice for year(s) as CS Den Leader, create a Tiger device for year(s) as Tiger Den Leader and no device for Committee Member or other leader position. CM would have the new Unit Leader Award knot they just created. I think that would look great and would elimate all the old knots except one.

  9. avatar
    Mike Walton (Settummanque) January 30, 2012 at 12:30 #

    Toni-Lee:

    There’s some backstory with regard to the Cub Scouting awards. It is the way that the BSA was *before* the introduction of the six Cub Scouting (training) Awards.

    Back in the day, there were only FOUR Cub Scouting Awards: The Den Leader Training Award, which could be earned by either Cub Scout or WEBELOS Cub Scout Den Leaders and Assistants; the Den Leader Coach Training Award, which could be earned only by Den Leader Coaches; and the Cubmaster Key Award (which was earned only by Cubmasters and their Assistants). That’s it.

    The Cubmaster Key shared the same award medal with other “key leaders” (Scoutmasters, Advisors, Skippers). The difference was the tiny Cub Scout program device on the medal’s ribbon and square knot emblem.

    The Den Leader and Den Leader Coach Training Award square knots both had blue backgrounds because most (female) Cub Scouters wore blue tunics or yellow blouses and the patch emblem “matched” or “contrasted” with the uniform.

    Cub Scouters could also earn the Scouters’ Training Award, like Boy Scouters and others.

    The BSA is wanting to consolidate the current six awards into three awards:

    - a return of the Cubmaster Key Award which removes the Cubmaster (Training) Award and places the Cubmaster in line with other “key leaders”.

    - a consolidation of the three Den Leader (Training) Awards — Den Leader, WEBELOS Den Leader, Tiger Cub Den Leader — into one single Den Leader Training Award. The BSA hasn’t decided if they will incorporate this into the former Scouters’ Training Award or retain one of the square knot emblems and create a new medal for the Den Leader Training Award.

    - a removal of the Pack Trainer (Training) Award completely — it is rumored that there will be a new Trainer Award certificate and square knot for all programs.

    - and finally the old Cub Scouter (Training) Award’s requirements would return back to the Scouters’ Training Award with a program device to the medal and square knot emblem.

    So what’s old is new again…with some twists to it.

  10. avatar
    Craig Bailey February 1, 2012 at 16:24 #

    Hi everyone: I was a member of the team that recently developed the Commissioners Award of Excellence in Unit Service.

    This is not a “training” award. As evidenced by the “authority” who needs to sign off: both the Council Commissioner and the Local Scout Executive. NOT the “training committee.”

    The award was designed with several components: a. it defined some of the ambiguous language surrounding the expectations of a unit-serving Commissioner, b. it describes what “excellent” service looks like, and c. ties into the Journey to Excellence program.

    In fact, the award was approved by the National Council only AFTER specific metrics were tied into the “new” JTE program.

    Further, there is no person who is eligible to even earn the award until June 1st 2013, due to the required minimum 24 month time span needed to identify unit retention values as of two rechartering cycles.

    It would be absolutely crazy for the National Council to discontinue this award this soon.

    Please provide the reference material that stated this award is to be discontinued.

    Thank you very much, both to Mike and to the NetCommish.

    Craig T. Bailey
    Assistant District Commissioner
    Arrowhead District
    Daniel Webster Council
    New Hampshire

    • avatar
      Mike Walton (Settummanque) February 2, 2012 at 11:08 #

      Hi Craig!!

      The “reference material” is the decision from the BSA’s Task Force on National Awards which met for the past couple of years. They made the recommendation last spring to the National Executive Board that the 47 or so *official* square knot insignia pieces be REDUCED to something around 30 by 2013; and further downward to 26 or so by the end of 2015. The NEB accepted and approved the decision.

      I am agreeing with you on many of the decisions which were made: to eliminate the Heroism Award (not because *I* earned it, but rather because the Heroism Award fit a good “plug” between the Council providing certificates and letters and the National Court of Honor providing the Honor and Merit Medals for situations which, while shows heroism and/meritorious service, doesn’t *hit* that high standard established for those awards.

      I also agree that the Commissioner Award of Excellence is NOT a “training award” but rather a “service award”. When the Task Force looked at “service awards”, there are like 7 or 10 “service awards” for various segments of Scouting — not including the Silver Beaver, Antelope, Buffalo and World — which by the way, the Silver World is considered for removal in 2015. The problem, Craig, is NOT the ‘usefulness’ of the award but rather the “numbers of individuals earning the awards”.

      I think that in consolidating ALL of the various Commissioner Awards into ONE award (which I still feel that the Commissioner Award of Excellence *will remain* as one of the awards with an associated square knot emblem…just that the other two Commissioner Awards (the Commissioner Award of Merit; the Commissioner Key Award) will somehow be included into your award.

      Let’s see what the NEB and the National Council puts out at this spring’s National Meeting, but the writing’s on the wall: there is simply TOO MANY square knot insignia pieces representing awards which need to be consolidated — or eliminated — simply because there are too few people out there eligible (or even *care about earning or nominating someone*) for those awards.

      And there’s some “awards” which NEVER needed a “square knot” in the first off-start but because “it’s cool to get one of those”, we got those.

      Thanks for the feedback!!

      Settummanque!

  11. avatar
    Mike Walton (Settummanque) February 2, 2012 at 11:13 #

    Hi Craig!!

    The “reference material” is the decision from the BSA’s Task Force on National Awards which met for the past couple of years. They made the recommendation last spring to the National Executive Board that the 47 or so *official* square knot insignia pieces be REDUCED to something around 30 by 2013; and further downward to 26 or so by the end of 2015. The NEB accepted and approved the decision last spring; and I first reported the changes as soon as I got a copy of the transcript over last summer.

    I am agreeing with you on many of the decisions which were made: to eliminate the Heroism Award (not because *I* earned it). The Heroism Award fit a good “plug” between the Council providing certificates and letters and the National Court of Honor providing the Honor and Merit Medals for situations which, while shows heroism and/meritorious service, doesn’t *hit* that high standard established for those awards.

    I also agree that the Commissioner Award of Excellence is NOT a “training award” but rather a “service award”. When the Task Force looked at “service awards”, there are like 7 or 10 “service awards” for various segments of Scouting — not including the Silver Beaver, Antelope, Buffalo and World — which by the way, the Silver World is considered for removal in 2015. The problem, Craig, is NOT the ‘usefulness’ of the award but rather the “numbers of individuals earning the awards”.

    I think that in consolidating ALL of the various Commissioner Awards into ONE award — which I still feel that the Commissioner Award of Excellence *will remain* as one of the awards with an associated square knot emblem…just that the other two Commissioner Awards (the Commissioner Award of Merit; the Commissioner Key Award) will somehow be included into your award.

    Let’s see what the NEB and the National Council puts out at this spring’s National Meeting, but the writing’s on the wall: there is simply TOO MANY square knot insignia pieces representing awards which need to be consolidated — or eliminated — simply because there are too few people out there eligible (or even *care about earning or nominating someone*) for those awards.

    And there’s some “awards” which NEVER needed a “square knot” in the first off-start but because “it’s cool to get one of those”, we got those.

    Thanks for the feedback!!

    Settummanque!

  12. avatar
    Craig Bailey February 3, 2012 at 11:48 #

    Hi Mike:

    Thanks for the reply. It is much appreciated.

    I now understand the issue at hand: the “small numbers” of certain awards being presented across the board.

    Obviously some folks at the National E Board are taking this very seriously. We’ll all have to keep our eyes on the official word coming out of the National Meeting, which I believe is in Orlando, this year.

    Thanks again, and keep up the good work keeping us informed!

    Craig Bailey

  13. avatar
    Danny Douglas February 7, 2012 at 15:38 #

    As a Cub, Scout, Explorer, and adult Scouter of some 63 years, I too am sad to see some of these go. The knot for heroism is extremely important to maintain there. It is really all that one can display, for unselfish service of that kind. Especially a boy or young man earning the award must be allowed to wear it into adulthood. Indeed, like the medal of honor is not worn around the neck in daily uniform use, but those military personnel with one do have a service medal indicating they are a holder of the highest medal the government can bestow.

    Others, such as a knot for giving money, have always smacked of “pat me on the back” medals and simply, in my view, are not needed. The money is, but not to receive such uniform recognition.

    • avatar
      Mike Walton (Settummanque) February 27, 2012 at 14:45 #

      Hi Danny!!

      The Heroism Award medal can indeed be worn formally by Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers and volunteers/professional Scouters just like the Honor Medal and the Merit Medal.

      The only difference is that after this spring, only the Honor and Merit medals will be available with most Scouts and Scouters receiving a certificate or letter — nothing for the uniform. This is the way it was BEFORE the Heroism Medal was created (prior to 1987) — either you received a Certificate of Heroism, a Certificate of Merit, or a letter signed by the Scout Executive saying “good job”.

      A “square knot for giving money” first got giggles and some laughter from Scouters; however, as the number of people who “wanted to wear a square knot” increased, so did the amount of money coming into our local Councils (the West Fellowship isn’t a national award; it’s “national award with local scope”, as several of the awards which are now being either consolidated or going away are catagorized as).

      Those just “wanting to get a knot to wear” do not “get it.”. The knot emblems REPRESENT actual awards — medals, plaques, medallions, and yes, some certificates.

      Settummanque!

  14. avatar
    Lee Perez February 26, 2012 at 21:32 #

    I am late to this conversation but still wanted to share some thoughts from a relatively new Scouter. My son is an Eagle Scout and I watched him as he came up the Scout ranks until he achieved his Eagle Rank. I was not really involved with my son until he joined a Troop. Once he joined the Troop I really started to get into scouting and became a leader in his Troop. I have been very active for over fiver years now so I really do not have the background you gentlemen have. Please forgive me I sound ignorant. I am disappointed and saddened to hear the BSA is getting rid of the leader knots. I guess I just don’t understand the rational behind the decision. If the knots are not being earned is probably because leader knots are not something you really hear about. In all the trainings I have been to and received since I started Scouting, I have not really heard about the leader knots. I do not think the BSA has done a good job in advertising the fact that adult leaders can earn knots just like the boys can earn merit badges and awards. Once I heard that I could work on knots just like the boys can earn knots themselves, I started to work on some myself. I found it interesting and am having fun with it. Now I hear that BSA has decided to delete leader knots for whatever reason. I must tell you I am very disappointed to hear that. Like I said maybe I am just missing the rationale. I know that I am in Scouting for the boys, but I also enjoy working on silly knots just like the boys get to work on merit badges and awards and I find it fun like Scouting is suppose to be!

  15. avatar
    Mike Z. February 27, 2012 at 01:16 #

    Thanks for the great article as to what’s coming up. As a relatively new Cub Scouter, I have to play Devil’s Advocate with those who want to get rid of most of the Cub Scout leader recognition and just have a single badge represent all levels of “Den Leader Training”. First, there are performance requirements involved, so it can be debated how much each of the current awards is a “training” award vs. a performance award. Minimizing the recognition available at each level will discourage high performance. Yes, sure, we all do this for our sons, but sometimes there’s that extra effort that comes with working toward recognition. For instance, why should I attend University of Scouting every year if it’s not going to help me get recognized for my work? Or the District Roundtables? It’s time and money that might be better spent actually doing something with the boys. It’s also not quite fair that these options were available but are now essentially going away. Cub Scouts get recognized incessantly at the lower levels for everything they do (e.g., belt loops, progress toward ranks beads, etc.)–that is the nature of the program and it is age appropriate; it’s part of the culture of Cub Scouts and the leaders are part of that culture and should be recognized more frequently as well. You need more adult leaders to run a Pack than you do a Den, and you need to encourage volunteerism through recognition. Chances are, I will only be with the program the 5 years that my son is in Cub Scouts, since the Boy Scout Leaders here are well-established. I had envisioned the satisfaction of earning enough knots to make a single row before I am done. I’m sorry that you folks have too many knots, but you should also think about us who don’t have any.

  16. avatar
    Mike C. March 2, 2012 at 16:10 #

    As a culture…we have gotten accustomed to getting more and more recognitions as motivators.

    Look at the military … WWII…Admiral Nimitz and General Eisenhower after that war had… 5 ribbons each. Now there are many military with 4 years in with 4 or more ribbons.

    47 knots?

    Seriously…there are a lot of adults that have so many patches and knots on their uniform…how can the scout “shine” in front of their peers?

    I am not against recognition for adults, I do have some knots, but I am for more youth focused awards and recogitions (…like Nova and Supernova).

    Lastly…”When everyone is super, no one will be”… From that movie “The Incredibles” … Kids movie, but it fits.

  17. avatar
    Mike Kelly March 7, 2012 at 12:29 #

    Settummanque,
    I’ll address this to you to avoid seeming to pick on any one respondent, also you seem to see the absurdity of what’s gone on with these knots, as I do, so..

    I just today was mailed the Speakers Bank knot and I could not be more pleased about it. I plan to wear it at the top row alongside my AOL and BS Training knots for some very good reasons. I sincerely hope my tone does not betray the level of upset I felt in reading a few, thankfully, of the posts here.

    I originally looked for ways to do more via the knots and their service aspects, these led me to take a huge amount of training and retraining to stay current, to compose service projects within the Cleveland Metroparks system here in OH, to compose really nice Tiger handbooks for the new Den Leaders in our former pack, and on and on. I found that after I had done everything I could do for and with my boys, then exhausting all I could do with my son, these requirements provided and additional outlet for my Scouting impulses (I should add I’m a holder of the The President’s Volunteer Service Award-Lifetime
    .) These knots are a recognition to myselfin some cases, a recognition of the work of my boys in others, where the Pack struggled to even get guys to do their basic training. Many times I got odd looks from the Pack leadership as to why I was doing all this, ignorant of the obvious answer ‘if not me then who?’. Saved their butts when they realized I was the only BALOO trained Scouter in the whole Pack for a Family Campout, and not a word of thanks, ever in four years. Woulda been nice but like I say, I recognized myself and kept my mouth firmly shut, not expecting anything more than what I got.

    Sorry, to my point…I cannot believe that anyone would question the need for a knot, even an excess of knots, for anything BSA choose to award them for. Regardless of whether the impetus for the activity was the actvities themselves, the accquision of the knot, the service to the Pack/Troop or any combination of those and more, WHO CARES? Why in the world would anyone question the need for those activities, or the self-recognition the knots sorta represent, or the need for a knot or the wearing of it in the first place?

    In particular, I was red-in-the-face over the comment, several actually that I’ve over heard, regarding the Speakers Bank. Now please realize Mr. Mike W. that I’m not crabbing at you, far from it, I’m speaking to you as a way not to directly
    address the Scouters that questioned in any way the knots. I have no wish to make anyone feel defensive, as I do now, so again, sorry for the tone.

    Do any of the people who dismissed the Speakers Bank knot off-handedly actually know what went into the prep, arranging, performing and closing of the 22 speeches I did, or anyone’s speech for that matter? Any idea what it took in took in terms of speaking ability, audience appraisals, printing costs, transportation costs, selling the idea to people tasked with arranging speakers for their groups, making up engaging jokes for Pete’s sake, etc? My suggestion…TRY IT, just once, then 19 more times for a knot, and you’ll never question that knot again, and hopefully not any other knot.

    No one paid me, only the Council Exec asked me personally to do it, I am no one special even in Scouting, just an ASM in my Troop and a Wood Badger is all. I was an AOL Cub in 1970, dropped due to divorce and regretted it forever, I did a stint for two years in 81-82, received the Coach award and wear it proudly, now I’m 4 more years into the Pack/Troop and in no way will I allow anyone who doesn’t hold a particular knot tell me that I should consider not wearing it, or trying for more knots. Who else, in the case of Speakers Bank, is talking to the groups I talked to? (Eagles, Kiwanis, AFL, MRDD Camp Councilors groups, the elderly, etc.) My speech to a Navy Vets group lasted 15 mins., the reminiscing about the Sea Pups (their fond nickname for the Sea Scouts) lasted an hour and a half. There were three recruits from that group alone, many others returned or joined as a direct result of a speech I or others have given. The Master Chief that arranged the whole thing re-joined as a Leader in his local Troop.

    As for my Cub knots, the boys understand instinctually, have told me, that they know the knot represents them and that I wear it not because it’s recognition for me but my pride in them, which thought I reinforce at every opportunity. I will be VERY sorry to see those individual knots go away; we have plenty enough issues already getting parents and guardians involved without the lame discussion of whether or not a knot is valid. FAR from taking anything away from the boys recognition-wise (was that comment thought out prior in the least??), it establishes instantly one’s dedication to the youth in the minds of the youth and makes them all the more likely to want knots themselves. All 7 of my WEBELOS had stated to me at one time or another they plan on becoming adult Leaders themselves, and I proceed to tell them which of their youth knots may be worn the ‘rest of their lives’ (AOL, Religious knots, etc.) They positively light up and without fail their eyes move down to whatever knot they happen to have and you can see the wheels turning…

    OK, I‘ve vented. Again, apologies for the defensive tone. My last word would be one of caution for all, just please never assume that you know why someone is desiring a knot or why they’ll wear it, they may be the most dedicated Scouter you’ll ever meet.
    Mike

  18. avatar
    Daniel Brewster April 30, 2012 at 18:13 #

    Change is inevitable in all things, I suppose. I think it’s downright silly to do away with recognition for acts of heroism so would hope that this one be reconsidered.

    The knots are an interesting phenomenon, that’s for sure. If we were talking about military service ribbons, I get the passion around the discussion. My military service ribbons and awards are as much a part of me today as they were when they were earned 25 years ago. From a Scouting perspective the knots do not have the same meaning to me as my military awards but they do memorialize service or specific accomplishments in the Scouting program. It wouldn’t kill me if we all had to stop wearing knots tomorrow.

    Having said that… it’s kind of nice to see which of your Scouting peers are putting forth considerable effort. When I see “a general” I typically understand that this is someone that has invested a lot of time and effort in a volunteer program. When I see a pair of beads I fondly recall the words from Back to Gilwell. I suppose we could do away with all of those types of recognition – but a big part of the Scouting experience is recognition – Webelos pins, Boy Scout rank badges, merit badges, etc. As long as the award criteria is consistent and not abused, I say go for the awards, knots, beads, and pomp and circumstance.

    As a quick aside, I recently earned the Speaker’s Knot. I like to talk (can ‘ya tell?) and the 20th speech I gave was to a Rotary Club. Within minutes of arriving I had someone pull me aside and tell me that there were three Silver Beaver recipients in attendance. Two more people shared that fact with me before I took the stage to talk about Scouting. When I considered the fact that the average tenure for a Silver Beaver recipient was ten plus years, it struck me that we had at least forty years worth of Scouting volunteers in the room. Those folks were proud of their accomplishments and the many young men and women that they had supported in the Scouting program over their lifetime. That’s pretty special in my mind.

  19. avatar
    M. Savage May 12, 2012 at 16:49 #

    I’ve been in and out of Scouting since 1975, as a youth and adult. Here are my points for consideration:

    1) How many knots one wears has nothing to do with being right. All one needs to do is read the myriad of AskAndy questions on this site to see how (often “experienced”) people do NOT know correct answers.

    2) Scouting is about the boys (and ladies in the venturing/LFL programs). Yes, it is very nice to be recognized, but I try to wear as little of that stuff as possible around the youth. Roundtable, district and council dinners, fine. I wear my fruit salad on the uniform then, but even then, the real measure of how I’m doing as an adult leader is the awards my troop, patrols, and boys wear! I claim no credit for this concept. I just know my scoutmaster (when I was a youth) never wore his awards. Council strip, unit numerals, scoutmaster patch down one sleeve, american flag on the other, and BSA strip over right pocket was all he ever wore on his uniform around us. Now that I’m older and get most satisfaction from seeing the youth develop, I get it! I only wear the awards I earned as a youth, because I hope it motivates the youth to work towards their own AOL and Eagle.

    3) I freely and openly admit I have a touch of OCD and really like to organize things into an orderly and logical fashion. BSA does not suffer from this affliction!! I agree that the square knot situation is out of hand a bit. I just hope the BSA powers-that-be on this issue get their heads together and do it right in an organized, logical fashion! For what it’s worth, I think BSA is on the right track with consolidating and eliminating, but should do the following changes to what Mike “announced” in this article:

    A – Keep the heroism knot.
    B – Keep/Add knots so each program has a knot for its highest youth award. (Eliminating the GOLD Award knot is fine, but there should be knots for Varsity, Venturing, and LFL’s highest awards. – Yes, this would add knots, but its for the youth programs.). BTW, Mike, you didn’t mention the Sea Scouts’ Quartermaster. Is that knot being retained?
    C – Something should be cleaned up with the Commissioners awards. Once beyond the Arrowhead and Commissioner’s (Scouter’s) Key, there are the Distinguished Commissioner, Ph.D, and new Commissioners Award of Excellence. In my opinion the last one could and should be the criteria folded into the proposed combination to the Scout(master’s)er’s Award of Merit. I’d have to sit down and look at the criteria side by side, but the connections between J2E and service to youth over time are good parallels. I like Mike’s idea to incorporate the Ph.D into the badge of office for commissioners. Another idea is the Gold version of the Arrowhead award could be brought back (for either the Ph.D or Distinguished award, if there’s a desire to eliminate the knots).

    Otherwise, I can’t see much illogical thoughts about the proposed knot consolidation/elimination. I like eliminating the sea badge knot too. After all, there’s no knot for wood badge. I don’t know enough about sea badge, but I hope there’s something similar to wood badge beads for the sea scouters.

    • avatar
      M. Savage May 12, 2012 at 17:20 #

      OK, went back and looked at the Scoutmaster’s Award of Merit (which is what I presume Mike is talking about being converted to a recognition for Cubmasters and Commissioners as well, with the addition of various program pins, and I presume they’ll add some criteria for Crew Advisors too) and see that it’s actually easier criteria than the Scouters Key. Either the Commissioners award criteria need lowered, or the Scoutmaster/Cubmaster criteria should be raised if we’re incorporating these together. — I suggest they incorporate J2E into the CM & SM criteria… The mere presense of the program pin isn’t strong enough to demonstrate a great difference in the criteria, if they don’t make the criteria more parallel.

    • avatar
      Settummanque May 14, 2012 at 12:36 #

      Hi Daniel!

      Thank you for your kind words, but I really didn’t have anything to do with any of these changes. As a matter of fact, I was blindsided when a Scouter on that Task Force wrote to me back in December of last year and asked me to “change my website please” because a lot of the awards are going away. That is what started me on my quest to find out exactly what the “ground truth” is with regard to those awards and the square knot insignia they represent.

      You wrote in part:

      “A – Keep the heroism knot.”

      I would keep the Heroism AWARD but I can stand with “losing the knot emblem” and allowing those who have earned the Heroism Award to wear the Merit Medal square knot instead. We can’t use the red and white square knot (because it is being used for the Silver Buffalo Award) but perhaps a small Boy Scout program device on the Merit Medal square knot would solve the issue.

      (the square knot emblem was *originally designed* so that Sea Scouts/Sea Explorers can wear the Honor Medal representation on the Sea Scouting whites. As most Sea Scouts/Explorers chose not to wear the whites in the 70s — looked too much like Navy whites, and we were in a period of our history whereby anything which looked “military” was out — the knot emblem stayed on shelves collecting dust bunnies until the Heroism Medal was designed and distributed to previous holders of the Certificate for Heroism (like myself) ).

      “B – Keep/Add knots so each program has a knot for its highest youth award. (Eliminating the GOLD Award knot is fine, but there should be knots for Varsity, Venturing, and LFL’s highest awards.”

      We already have a square knot emblem representing the Silver Award. As far as Varsity is concerned, their highest award is Eagle. Learning for Life is NOT a part of the BSA’s “uniformed programs” and therefore they do not have a “highest rank or award”.

      The old Growth Opportunities in Leadership Development (GOLD) Award is another version of the Exploring Awards available back when we had an Exploring program (instead of Venturing). The square knot not only represented those who have earned that award, but also those who have earned the Exploring Achievement Award, the two previous versions of the Silver Award, the Ranger Award and the Ace Award. Most of those people are either dead or are extremely old (Ranger and Ace along with the first version of the Silver Award was back in the 40s and early 50s; the second version of the Silver Award was back in the 50s; and the Exploring Achievement Award was from 1978-89).

      As a minor point, the Venturing Leadership Awards square knot is being discontinued as well. There were very few people receiving the awards anyhow in the past ten years of the program.

      “BTW, Mike, you didn’t mention the Sea Scouts’ Quartermaster. Is that knot being retained?”

      The Quartermaster Award, Sea Scouting’s highest youth rank, is being retained — therefore the square knot and cloth badge representing the honor has also been retained.

      “C – Something should be cleaned up with the Commissioners awards. Once beyond the Arrowhead and Commissioner’s (Scouter’s) Key, there are the Distinguished Commissioner, Ph.D, and new Commissioners Award of Excellence. In my opinion the last one could and should be the criteria folded into the proposed combination to the Scout(master’s)er’s Award of Merit.”

      No, there will be a Commissioners’ Award of Excellence which will incorporate the three Commissioner Awards (the Distinguished Commissioner and PhD of Commissioner Science Awards along with the Philmont Trainer Awards will be going away also…) in a few years.

      “I like Mike’s idea to incorporate the Ph.D into the badge of office for commissioners. Another idea is the Gold version of the Arrowhead award could be brought back (for either the Ph.D or Distinguished award, if there’s a desire to eliminate the knots).”

      You know…I had forgotten all about that gold version of the Arrowhead Honor Award which was awarded to Assistant Scoutmasters way back when (the silver version was awarded to Scoutmasters and Commissioners). That’s a great idea to recognize those PhD honorees instead. I’ll suggest that to the Awards task force this week — but I’ll give them your name; after all, you made the suggestion!!!

      “I like eliminating the sea badge knot too. After all, there’s no knot for wood badge. I don’t know enough about sea badge, but I hope there’s something similar to wood badge beads for the sea scouters.”

      There’s no necklace for the Sea Badge — and Sea Scouters are discouraged from wearing the Wood Badge, especially aboard vessels — because of a choking hazard, not because someone doesn’t want the Wood Badge to be associated with Sea Scouting.

      No, the “square knot” emblem is going away because very few Sea Scouters wear it. It was poorly designed — if the Trident was better made, similar to a “private issue version” made by some Scouter in Maryland — perhaps more Sea Scouters would wear it. But the Sea Badge itself speaks more toward the recognition than the square knot emblem would. It was a great idea — just was not designed well and nobody took the time to redesign it better.

      Thanks for your comments!!

      Settummanque!

      • avatar
        John Green June 7, 2012 at 07:44 #

        Settummanque May 14, 2012 at 12:36 #
        “if the Trident was better made, similar to a “private issue version” made by some Scouter in Maryland — perhaps more Sea Scouters would wear it.”

        I am that scouter who made the better designed Seabadge (all one word) knot.

        YIS
        John

        • avatar
          Mike Walton (Settummanque) June 13, 2012 at 09:48 #

          Hi John!!

          Before your design, there were popular designed Seabadge (the BSA’s editorial guide has it as two words like Wood Badge) “trident cloth emblems” in both dark blue and white. It was designed and sold by a Sea Scouter (Sea Explorer) Skipper in the Baltimore, Maryland area and that was the only way you could get one or two for your uniform.

          When I participated in Sea Badge in the late 70s (79, to be exact), Raffi came in during the uniform and insignia “slice” and took orders. In subsequent years, the question always came up “why don’t we have an official knot like all of the rest of the BSA’s awards?” and finally the BSA relented — only that the person tasked with designing the “uniform item” didn’t take Raffi’s design and said “use this — only make it the size of the other “square knots”. No, this guy cut a trident out of something, colored it blue, and said “we need this on a grey background. Can you guys do this?” and we got what we have officially presently.

          There’s an example of Raffi’s knot emblem on my Badge and Uniform Site in the square knot insignia area.

          Settummanque!

  20. avatar
    Settummanque May 14, 2012 at 12:12 #

    Hi M!!

    You wrote and commented in part:

    “OK, went back and looked at the Scoutmaster’s Award of Merit (which is what I presume Mike is talking about being converted to a recognition for Cubmasters and Commissioners as well, with the addition of various program pins, and I presume they’ll add some criteria for Crew Advisors too) and see that it’s actually easier criteria than the Scouters Key.”

    The old Scoutmaster/Coach/Advisor/Skipper Award of Merit has gone away.

    Replacing it is now a new Award called the Unit Leader Award of Merit. This award can be earned by Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, Varsity Coaches, Venturing Advisors, and Skippers. It is NOT earned by Commissioners.

    This has always been designed as an “interim” or “in progress” award toward the Scouters’ Key Award in those same positions — because the Scouters’ Key Award should take between three and five years to earn if done and managed right.

    The Unit Leader Award of Merit is also unique because special position emblems (featuring a star above the program emblem) are also worn as part of the recognition.

    “The mere presense of the program pin isn’t strong enough to demonstrate a great difference in the criteria, if they don’t make the criteria more parallel.”

    The program device signifies the program in which the Unit Leader Award of Merit was earned within — nothing more.

    Settummanque!

  21. avatar
    Sean September 19, 2012 at 15:32 #

    I came across this page while argueing with my local council and trying to determine if the Unit Leaders Award of Merit is or is not discontinued ? Can any one here answer my question.

    • avatar
      Settummanque September 19, 2012 at 15:42 #

      Hi Sean!

      We are talking about TWO DIFFERENT AWARDS here:

      The SCOUTMASTER/COACH/ADVISOR AWARD OF MERIT was discontinued by the BSA a year and a half now ago. Those holders of that award may still continue to wear the backpatch and the square knot insignia on any uniform until the holder can no longer obtain the square knot insignia pieces.

      The UNIT LEADER AWARD OF MERIT *replaces* the old award; and is the CURRENT award for CUBMASTERS, SCOUTMASTERS, COACHES, ADVISORS AND SKIPPERS who meet the new requirements. This Award was made available in Feburary of this year and should still be stocked in your local Council’s Scout Shop(tm) or trading post.

      You can see full color examples of both by going to the Badge and Uniform Site (http://www.scoutinsignia.com) and in particular by going to http://www.scoutinsignia.com/tngknot.htm

  22. avatar
    Sean September 19, 2012 at 15:56 #

    Thank you for your time

  23. avatar
    Alex Adkins October 10, 2012 at 14:24 #

    Very glad to see the adult awards start to get streamlined. It was getting WAY out of hand.
    Considering the consolidation of the Scouter’s Training Award, it would have been a good time to also discontinue the newer Unit Leader Award of Merit knot and return to the older white on khaki knot. Just from the heraldry perspective, it would have made loads more sense. (Still does and it is not too late).
    The unit leader award of merit position patch issue is a little more complicated. IMO, the general prohibition from wearing two awards that mean the same thing is a good one. Use the kiss method and just create a medal for it and be done. OR even more KISS eliminate the whole award and just rely on the Scouter’s Key to recognize unit leaders! Yes!
    Sidebar rant > We also need to do something about the silly Trained badge. That is easily the most misplaced and most misunderstood badge in the system (with the possible exception of NYLT badges). The Trained badge is also counter to BSA’s entire ethos about training being a continuum-It sends the wrong message. Simply eliminate it. REQUIRE basic training for a Scouter to WEAR a position badge, period. Have presentation of the position badge upon completion of training BE the recognition itself. Done. No money spent. Point made.

    • avatar
      Settummanque October 10, 2012 at 15:08 #

      Hi Alex!!

      You wrote in part: “it would have been a good time to also discontinue the newer Unit Leader Award of Merit knot and return to the older white on khaki knot. Just from the heraldry perspective, it would have made loads more sense. (Still does and it is not too late).”

      No Alex…that train left the station a long time back. It’s not coming back at all, not as a unit leader award…

      “The unit leader award of merit position patch issue is a little more complicated. IMO, the general prohibition from wearing two awards that mean the same thing is a good one. Use the kiss method and just create a medal for it and be done. OR even more KISS eliminate the whole award and just rely on the Scouter’s Key to recognize unit leaders! Yes!”

      Or bring back the fully embrodered unit position emblems and forget about the square knot emblem — the “Cornerstone” emblems were available to Scouters who have completed basic training…it could be brought back as the Unit Leader Award of Merit. Problem is that unlike back then when the BSA could have them made for a dollar and a half and resell them for $3.25 a piece; such an emblem today would run for about 8 or 9 dollars. Don’t see a lot of Scouters rushing out and purchasing two or three of those to wear on their uniforms!!

      About your rant: I agree with you, Adam but the question remains: how do you tell a TRAINED, say, Troop Committee member from one which is NOT trained?
      Scoutmaster? District Committee member? Assistant District Commissioner? See, that “Trained” strip DOES serve a purpose — it, below (or in some cases above) the position emblem tells *other people* that this person has been trained for *that particular position* to the BSA’s standards.

      Settummanque!

      • avatar
        Alex Adkins October 11, 2012 at 12:24 #

        I see your point, Mike. However, I think basic training represents the bare minimum amount of knowledge a leader must have to serve in that position. Without that core knowledge, he/she really can’t fulfill the obligation for that position at all. (They can absolutely be a Scouter but it is impossible to actually function as a Scoutmaster or Committee Chair if you have no training at all.) Ergo, simply withholding the position badge until basic training is complete would make far more sense.
        Imagine a brand new Scout parent encountering a Scoutmaster for the first time. Wouldn’t they have a reasonable expectation that anyone wearing the “brand” of a Scoutmaster have at least rudimentary training? Of course. Imagine the new Scouter. Would he be more motivated to earn the Trained badge or the position badge he registered for? How many Scouters simply transition from one position to another without ever removing their Trained badge.
        The Cornerstone badges were good ideas and the Unit Leader Award of Merit is a marginal execution of a similar idea. However, I think the Centennial position badges simply default to a generic FDL way too often and should have utilized older SM/ASM heraldry.
        But, the real point is that if training is to be a continuum, how do we create a logical pathway for the training awards. For a brand new Scouter thrust into the unit leader position, do we really serve the youth better by recognizing that Scouter with four separate awards in a 3 year span (Trained, ULAM, STA, Key)? Maybe – but the past tense verbiage on the initial award is counter intuitive to the entire continuum. The position badge itself is plenty and could be awarded in a wonderful and meaningful experience in a variety of unit, district, or council ceremonies.

  24. avatar
    John Ross October 11, 2012 at 16:25 #

    So I’m hearing rumors that sometime soon all the basic training will be required when you register (ie trained to position) like Youth Protection is now. If they do that I completly agree – time for the “trained tab” to go.

    • avatar
      Settummanque October 11, 2012 at 16:35 #

      The only problem is that how do we tell when you, an Assistant Scoutmaster, has been trained now as a Troop Committee member? There will still be some “lag time” between the time you register as an Assistant Scoutmaster and the time you complete the basic training sequence. Same goes when you change from being an Assistant Scoutmaster to a member of the Troop’s Committee. It’s not as easy as swapping out one badge of office for another…

  25. avatar
    Alex Adkins October 12, 2012 at 16:16 #

    I guess I dont see the lag as an issue. The lag is itself the impetus to get trained. In a program that is entirely predicated on the idea of fulfilling requirements to get a badge, this doesnt seem counterintuitive. Not wearing a position badge will not hinder any rookies in those slots from trying to fulfill their role one iota. However, wearing the badge is an immediate sign that this person is QUALIFIED to hold that position. Same lesson we teach the boys with badges of rank.

    I appreciate your time and thoughts in running this rabbit a little bit. It is an interesting discussion overall.

  26. avatar
    Todd December 18, 2012 at 20:46 #

    I only wear a handful of my knots because I reached a bling threshold. And I banned all temporary patches too. The knots I wear are ones that my kids were told they earned FOR ME. When a Wolf asks “where’s your Tiger Badge??” I wear the knot. But please don’t tell Sea Scouts that our only knot – our trident – “sucked”. We white-shirts work just as hard as the tan shirts but for about one-third the recognition. And BSA just threw us under the bus again by putting one more nail in our coffin while we bang and say “not dead yet!”

  27. avatar
    Gary December 30, 2012 at 22:24 #

    As if it’s not hard enough to get volunteers …. now taking away the awards for doing what they do? It is the crazest thing I think BSA has done. Take away from adults but had badges for the biys. aaaaaadon’t get me wrong I think it’s great they are adding badges for boys but totake away from the one that lead them is just not right.
    I understand what a few of you have said about having so many but the new leaders that we try each year to get to do a job and not award them for it. I my opinion just like the military a lot work hard to get the awards/ ribbon to only have the discontinued is not right.
    It is as if the BSA is trying to make it harder each and every years for the leader and the boys by keep changing things that have worked.

    • avatar
      Settummanque December 30, 2012 at 23:31 #

      Hey Gary!!

      I feel that you forget the idea behind the Scouting program… The program is designed *for the youth*. We adults serve as coaches, mentors, and advisors to the youth…but it’s *THEIR PROGRAM*. That’s why the majority of the badges and insignia was designed for youth…not for adults.

      The BSA isn’t “taking away badges from the adults”. It is merely aligning the insignia for adults to reflect what adults do to support youth.

      The adult awards are designed to encourage adults to continue to support and assist the program. There are plenty of awards which adults can earn.

      Final words: adults can still be recognized for their Scouting experiences; just that the awards are more streamlined to permit one set of awards to cover all five Scouting programs equally.

  28. avatar
    Bill S. April 11, 2013 at 14:44 #

    I dont understand why the cubscout leaders get screwed on this deal. My wife earned all the training knots with our oldest son, and I had planned on earning them with my youngest son. Guess maybe I will just get out of cub scouts, let the pack fold, and wait till he is a boy scout. Or better yet, I am going to pre buy the knots, follow the rules for earning them, and sew them on to my uniform four years from now. What is the BSA going to do about it, fire me.

    • avatar
      Alex Adkins May 10, 2013 at 15:09 #

      Bill S. wrote: “What is the BSA going to do about it, fire me.”

      With an attitude like that……..you can probably expect a good charter org rep to do just that. Once a Scoutmaster figures out you are there for the knots and not the boys, chances are you wont last long there either.

      This is exactly the reason I would not shed a tear if we scrapped adult service and training awards altogether. Instead of helping to illustrate a useful pattern of service to others, they cause some to focus on service to self.

  29. avatar
    Mike Walton (Settummanque) April 12, 2013 at 12:13 #

    Bill S. wrote:

    “I dont understand why the cubscout leaders get screwed on this deal.”

    They didn’t. If you want to earn the Cub Scout Den Leader Training Award, you can. It’s just been streamlined so that now you wear ONE medal instead of being awarded three separate medallions.

    OH…you mean “screwed” on wearing three square knot insignia pieces for the *same role*? Yeah…in that case you did. Sorry.

    But it’s that’s thought process — “having to get that knot” — that led to the decision to “stop the insanity” dealing with “getting a knot.”

    As a reminder, you EARN THE TRAINING AWARD — which consists of a medal or medallion for formal wear; a certificate; and a square knot piece which you may choose to informally wear. The “knot emblem” is NOT the award!

    Consolidating the three Den Leader Awards into a single Cub Scout Den Leader Training Award — and providing devices to go with the medal — is a good cost-saving method. More importantly, it places it in line with the existing training awards for Boy Scout, Varsity and Venturing volunteers.

    You know, you can still earn the Scouter’s Training Award as a Cub Scouter; and earn the Scouter’s Key Award as a Cubmaster (which was not available to Cub Scouters previously for about 20 years…).

    Now, when someone “looks at your uniform”, instead of rows and rows of colorful “knot things” which basically recognizes the same work; they see a common level of training accomphishment which places you on the same level as other Scouters who have similar training accomphishments.

    After all, Cub Scouting IS a part of the Scouting family, right?

    “My wife earned all the training knots with our oldest son, and I had planned on earning them with my youngest son. Guess maybe I will just get out of cub scouts, let the pack fold, and wait till he is a boy scout. Or better yet, I am going to pre buy the knots, follow the rules for earning them, and sew them on to my uniform four years from now. What is the BSA going to do about it, fire me.”

    So let me see if I get this right.

    You’re okay with parents of a Cub Scout going to the Scout Shop(tm), buying all five of the Cub Scout ranks, and then getting out of Cub Scouting and your Pack; and that you stop by their home later to see if he’s interested in trying Scouting again — this time as a Boy Scout. You just happen to notice his framed Cub Scouting “awards” including the Arrow of Light hanging on the wall.

    “He wasn’t a Cub Scout was he?” you ask.

    “No but we bought the books and the patches and as he worked on everything, we signed them off and gave him the patch to wear. We had them all framed later. Don’t they look great?”

    Only in America… *weak smile*

  30. avatar
    Bill Rosich May 9, 2013 at 00:37 #

    Mike,

    Thank you for you long and distinguished service to Boy Scouts.

    I’m a den leader in my son’s Cub Scout pack and I currently wear my AoL, Lifetime NESA and Tiger Cub Den Leader square knots with pride. I am of the opinion that the adults devoting their time, money and energy to leading boys and young men down the path of scouting should be recognized with the occasional square knot and/or certificate.

    If I were you, I’d wear that Heroism square knot until someone held me down and cut it off my uniform. As far as I’m concerned one act of heroism that results in a saved life is worth a thousand square knots for monetary contribution, Tiger Cub leadership new unit organization, Philmont training, etc.