Recently I was asked: “Do you have any updates on the knots?” The Scouter asking wanted to know the new knot requirements and get a complete list of which ones are being phased out. Then more and more emails started coming in, so I thought I’d share with you what I learned at the National Meeting.
There will be specific information along with glossy handouts given out during All Hands. In the meantime, the BSA approved the following changes, most of which we have posted on the U.S. Scouting Service (USSSP) Facebook page.
- The six Cub Scouting (Training) Awards are history. They end as valid training/service awards after 1 Jan 13. Those who have earned any of those awards may continue to wear the medallion(s) and the associated square knot insignia until it becomes no longer serviceable. There is no “grandfathering” — if you are still working on tenure, the tenure for the old award ENDS 31 Dec 12 and you must start over with new tenure anytime after the release of the requirements for the new training awards/key (which is planned for 1 Nov 12 now).
- Cubmasters will be able to earn the Scouters’ Key Award as a Cubmaster. The Scouters’ Key was previously only available for Scoutmasters, Varsity Coaches, Venturing Advisors, Sea Scout Skippers, Unit/District/Council Commissioners, and District/Council Committeemembers. There are new requirements for the Key which incorporates current standards (Journey to Excellence, participation in civic and community activities, Roundtable attendance, etc.) which are DIFFERENT from the old Cubmaster (Training) Award. It will take a Cubmaster between three and five years to earn the Key — same standard as earning the Key in other programs.
- Assistant Cubmasters and ALL OTHER CUB SCOUTING VOLUNTEERS may earn the Scouters’ Training Award as a Cub Scouter. The requirements for Cub Scouters has been revised to include Journey to Excellence goal attainment, outdoor activities, community activities and other items. This award replaces the Pack Trainer and Cub Scouter (Training) Awards. This award will take two years (like other Scouters’ Training Award catagories) to earn. It may be earned once as a Cub Scouter.
- Den Leaders (without regard to specific types of Dens) may earn the Den Leader Training Award. There is a new blue and gold medal which will match the gold on blue square knot insignia which will be used for this award (but there is discussion about using the existing Pack Training square knot insignia instead, so stand by there since it contains the colors of the medal’s ribbon better). This award is unique is two regards: one, it will take ONE YEAR of tenure as a Den Leader to earn the award; and two, it may be earned three times (as a Tiger Den Leader, as a Wolf/Bear Den Leader, and as a WEBELOS Den Leader) with appropriate devices to be worn on the ribbon of the medal as well as on the square knot insignia.
- There will be a “Unit Trainer Award” but there are still discussion on what form it will take and whether or not a square knot is the appropriate personal recognition for the Award. It was not designed to go away until 2014 anyway. **The Cub Scout Pack Trainer (Training) Award will be discontinued 31 Dec 12.**
- The old “origami” folding tracking/progress cards are also history. Replacing them will be single sheets, with more space for signatures and more explaination (no more “eye chart” type) which fits better in folders and binders.
- Somewhere around November of this year, the Guide to Awards and Recognitions (or GAR) will be released to the field. There are significant changes in that publication which I’ve highlighted (again, if you are a holder of one or several of these awards, you may continue to wear the award and it’s associated square knot insignia until they become no longer serviceable).
- The four “Relationship Awards” will all be represented by a single square knot insignia, currently referred to as the “Relationship Awards square knot emblem” (the Meany Labor, the Young Rural/Urban, the Pena Hispanic, and the Asian Service Awards). Small lapel pins/devices will be made to represent each of the four awards. With that, the older square knot insignia will be discontinued.
- The fourteen “Community Service Awards” will continue to be awarded through outside organizations, but there will continue to be ONE square knot emblem representing the various awards. Also, the decision on whether youth members who receive such an award can wear the knot emblem will be lifted (finally — it just made sense).
- The Heroism Award we previously announced was going away has been restored and will continue to be presented. The issue has been the “level of heroism” between the four heroism awards (Certificate of Merit, Merit Medal, Heroism Medal, Honor Medal). **This will remain in place until discussion within the National Court of Honor is complete**
- The three Commissioner Service Awards will be consolidated but because the effective date of it is down the road (2014), there will be a little discussion about “in the future this award may be consoldiated with other Commissioner Service Awards” in the publication.
- The Spurgeon Award along with the second version of the Silver Award, which is currently called the “Exploring Award” to avoid confusion with the current Silver Award will be discontinued. The Venturing Leadership Awards and the associated square knot insignia has already been discontinued as of this spring; and the Boyce Organizer Award’s square knot insignia will be discontinued in 2014 although one can still receive the Organizer lapel pin and/or tie bar as personal recognition pieces. Same goes with the Sea Badge — the Sea Badge will continue to be the Sea Scouting training recognition but there will be no BSA-manufactured “cloth patch” to go along with the emblem.
- Finally, you already have seen the information about the discontinuance of the Speakers Bank and the local adaptation of the Alumni Award. There is a new certificate for the Alumni Award.
All of this will be explained during All Hands coming up, either in person or via electrons/paper. Once the status of most of the awards have been made, I’ll be adding an additional catagory piece on my Badge and Uniform Site called “currency” or “status” along with this information and in the case of those awards being discontinued, why and when.
Hope this helps out!!