Mar 08, 2012 - Richard M. Misanko
This is a very good site and very thorough with requirementes listed for all of the BSA knot awards. Good presentation.
Mar 09, 2012 - Ed DePinter
I have 2 questions:
1: is there a limit as to how many knots a leader may wear on his uniform ? I have heard some say 9 others say 12.
2: which knot does a leader earn for being on RT staff?Some say its the Scouters Key award ,while others say its the Scout Leaders Training award.
Mar 09, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Ed - 1. no limit as to the number of knots that can be worn.
2. Scouters Training Award - see scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34169-60.pdf
May 25, 2012 - Marcy Owens
As per BSA Insignia Guide:
"Wearing medals and embroidered knots
Only five medals may be worn at a time pinned in a single row immediately above the seam of the left pocket. Knots are worn above the left pocket in rows of three. The order of wearing of medals and knots is at the discretion of the wearer. It is suggested that the medal or knot deemed most important by the wearer be worn on his or her own right. Embroidered knots are representative of pin-on medals or around-the-neck awards and are designed for the convenience of the wearer. In the case of the District Award of Merit and Professional Training Award, the knot is the only wearable insignia."
Jun 15, 2012 - Ric C.
If knot awards were earned as Cub Scout Adult Leader (Den Leader, Cub Scouter) and now I am a Boy Scout Adult Leader (Troop Committee) for a Troop in a different area, do I still wear the knots?
Jun 15, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Ric - Yes, recognition earned as an adult volunteer in any position can remain on your uniform as long as you are a registered BSA volunteer.
Jun 23, 2012 - David C. Hirtle
This is a great resource page. I have a question, however. My dad (late) was an Eagle in1933 in the Boston area, He would later earn his Palms. While a Missionary in the Canal Zone in the late 40's he was a Scouting Executive. I have his Eagle and Key Awards as well as a bronz colored, octagonal on a blue ribbon that I can't identify. Any suggestions?
Jun 23, 2012 - Yukon Jack
The bronze octagonal medal you describe sounds like the old BSA archery medal. It is a pre-1950 award in bronze, gold, and silver (see raremedal.com/boy-scout-archery-contest-medal for confirmation). There is no knot for this medal, as it is more akin to a modern cub scout pinewood derby medal. If not, there are many other similar medals from the first few decades of scouting that are now incredibly rare. Mitch Reis is an excellent refrence online as he is one of the nation's top BSA memorabilia collectors. Good luck in your search.
Jun 23, 2012 - Yukon Jack
Also, if not the archery medal, there are many many other 'contest medals' if the same era of the same design, each with different markings on the medallion itself, but all with blue ribbons. Nowadays, all BSA boy scout 'contest medals' use a generic design and are very common and can be found in any scout shop. A quick google search or email to Reis should get you a final answer.
Jun 28, 2012 - Nick Tavassoli
I have a question: I see the sea badge conference trident-knot is very easy to obtain. I know adults can earn this award, but I was wondering if a venturing scout could earn it. I would very much so like to wear such an odd knot on my uniform but I will not until I know for sure it is approved/legal. thanks
Jun 28, 2012 - Yukon Jack
Easy is in the eye of the beholder. Very, very few Seabadge conferences are held every year in the nation. I do not believe that youth can attend Seabadge, as you must be a registered adult to attend. Youth sea scouts CAN however, take/earn/wear the Sea Scout Advanced Leadership Training (SEAL) qualification pin (which resembles a silver US Navy submarine warfare qualification badge, the double dolphins). While youth cannot earn the Seabadge trident, the SEAL dolphins pin is likewise only earned by youth and does not transfer to the uniform of an adult sea scouter. Hope this helps.
Jun 29, 2012 - Nick Tavassoli
Ok, thanks, I was clueless! Also, there is a scout in my troop wearing some knots that I did not recognize here. I looked up the colors and saw that they were unofficial. One was the BSA Lifeguard knot, one was a Friends of Scouting volunteer knot, and one was a Historic Trails award knot. Are any/all of these knots okay/legal to wear? Or should I tell him to take them off? I also saw that the historic trails one is a real patch, but it is meant for equipment decoration. The text was a little unclear, but it sounded like the BSA Lifeguard one was for your swimming trunks.
Jun 29, 2012 - Yukon Jack
There are between 20 and 30 "unofficial" knots floating around. Some knots are genuine (called 'locally authorized') and approved for wear by the National Council, but only for certain councils or districts to award. These councils went through the proper process to get them approved and may be worn if earned in the right council. However, most unofficial knots are not approved by National and therefore should be removed. The three you mentioned are all not approved (see www.scoutinsignia.com/fakeknot.htm for verification). George Crawl has compiled a complete list of all official, locally authorized, private issue, & spoof knots at: www.sageventure.com/history/knothist/
Jul 18, 2012 - Mike
I know the Cub Scout religious knots can be worn on an adult uniform if it was earned as a youth. However, it doesn't seem appropriate to wear them as a youth on a Boy Scout uniform for two reasons. It implies it was earned as a Boy Scout which would be untrue if there is no device with it. Second, it is stated that the Arrow of Light patch is the only award earned as a Cub Scout worn on the boy scout uniform. Does that sound right? If that is correct is it stated officially anywhere?
Jul 18, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Mike - There are many knots that can be earned as a Cub and worn on a Boy Scout or adult uniform - Arrow of Light, Religious Emblem, medal of merit, medal of heroism, honor medal, James West Fellowship Award. Wearing the recognition doesn't imply 'when' any of them were received.
The Arrow of Light is the only one that is Cub Scout specific that can be worn after Cub Scouting. The others are not for any specific age, rank, or program.
You can find the official insignia information in the Insignia Guide ( currently at scouting.org/scoutsource/Media/InsigniaGuide.aspx )
Aug 06, 2012 - Yukon Jack
I think everyone would be interested to know that the BSA just announced this summer (scouting.org/Training/TrainingUpdates.aspx) that all 6 of the cub scout leader awards are going away, though one knot will remain. If you already started the old ones, finish them up, but the new awards for cub leaders use the Scouter's Key knot, the Scouter's Training Award knot, and the Den Leader knot. Sorda big news, as this reverts cub leader awards to pretty much what they were prior to 1989.
Aug 06, 2012 - Jared Stoddard
This is in response to a previous statement "I see the sea badge conference trident-knot is very easy to obtain... I would very much so like to wear such an odd knot on my uniform." Sadly, this is sometimes the case--that it is "easy to obtain" and is sometimes obtained because it is "odd" or "cool." Normally this is for Sea Scouters to/who promote Sea Scouting (as an analog to Wood Badge). Before you pursue such an award, I would suggest that you 1) become well versed in the Sea Scouting program, 2) Contact your region Commodore, and 3) ensure that any training you attend is authorized. Finally, although I realize that often badges are sought for the sake of the badge--this saddens me deeply as I remember a time when a rank/award was "pinned" on a man's character before it was ever pinned on his uniform. IMHO.
Aug 06, 2012 - Yukon Jack
One more cool knot thing: the Universal Exploring knot (silver on silver ropes with red/white/blue background) can still be earned. That knot has represented 7 different awards and the council-level Young American Award can still be earned. The other 6 and the national YAA are all discontinued, but the knot itself does still represent a current award.
Aug 06, 2012 - Yukon Jack
And one last thing... the 3 old cub scout awards with 2 year tenures (pack trainer, cub scouter, cubmaster) don't end until December 31, 2013 so people can still finish them. Similarly, the Speakers Bank knot can still be earned, but no new speakers can register as such. Ergo, if you're not a speaker, you cannot earn it, but the award itself is not discontinued as current speakers can still earn it. Just some fun facts (I love BSA history).
Aug 09, 2012 - EagleCliff 95
I was checking the status of some of my young leaders service advancements and noticed that the retirement of the cub scout knots later next year was posted, why is this taking place, I feel this has been a effective tool in recruiting parents to get trained along side of there young boy? Any ideas as to why?
Aug 10, 2012 - Scouter Paul
EagleCliff - See scouting.org/Training/TrainingUpdates.aspx for details on the changes. The national awards committee reviewed the awards last year and made recommendations. The recommendations were reviewed by the national training committee and a task force of unit leaders.
So, WHY? - well, you'd have to ask the national committees to know for sure, but possibly:
- reduce chest clutter
- reduce expensive of manufacturing and stocking patches
- simplifying the recognition structure for adults
The parents you mention can still receive recognition, just different patches.
Aug 12, 2012 - Stephen White
My question concerns the PTC master track award. I see that all of the requirements have to be completed after June 1, 2008. Why is this? Many of us completed the requirements prior to this date and are not capable of getting back to PTC due to a number of reasons.. I feel there should be a Grandfather clause for those of us that meet the requirements prior to the established date.
Aug 13, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Stephen - in the description of the PTC award, it says a purpose is to promote return trips to Philmont. The award was created in 2010, so grandfathering training from many years ago wouldn't fulfill its purpose. That's what I think anyway, but you'd need to contact the award committee to find out their specific reasoning and I expect that would be challenging.
Aug 14, 2012 - Ron Murphy
Great site! Great info too!
You need to add info about the devices that are worn on the knots to indicate multiple awards in different programs.
Aug 15, 2012 - Yukon Jack
Ron, I've found that the knot devices fall into one of three categories: a, multiple awards, b, program an award was earned in, c, a different award from the basic knot. I have a single-page powerpoint slide with every device for the 15 knots that are authorized devices if you want.
Aug 17, 2012 - Stanley Chang
I met all but one requirement for the Alumni Award. Serve on a local council alumni or National Eagle Scout Association committee for one year. I'm not an Eagle Scout, made it as far as Life Scout. Do you have to be an Eagle Scout in order to be on the NESA committee? There's no Local Alumni Council in the Greater New York Council. How can I complete this last requirement?
Aug 17, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Stanley - You need to be an Eagle Scout to be on a council NESA committee - see nesa.org/guidelines.html
Without a local council alumni relations committee, you can't get approval for this award since it needs to be approved by both the council Scout Executive and alumni committee chair. You would need to contact the national headquarters to find out if there are any ways to get around that requirement. Maybe you could start the alumni relations committee in your council - scouting.org/filestore/alumni/pdf/Alumni_Committee_Structure.pdf
Aug 21, 2012 - Jason Parker
Is the requirement to attend a Pow-wow or 4 round tables waiverable for Cub Scout Den leaders? In our Pack we have Den leaders who have been leaders for a few years, have completed the youth protection and den specific training and some have also organized major events like Pinewood Derbys and Space Derbys but they have no knots to show for it. As Den leaders we already commit a large volume of time to our Dens, organizing activities, tracking achievements, coordinating with other Dens, etc…and to have to take out even more to attend this other training seems a bit much to me. I'm confident BSA appreciates their volunteers, especially those that lead the Dens, and getting rid of or wavering the Pow-wow/round table requirements will open up the leaders to official BSA recognition. I would also request that if you modify this requirement that you back date it to recognize service that has been accomplished.
Aug 21, 2012 - Yukon Jack
I'll answer the last question first, yes you can backdate the cub scout leader awards. I did so as a pack trainer a few years ago in a pack with superb leaders with years of tenure and many got awards quickly. However, the PowWow/UoS/4 Roundtable requirement is not waiverable. Leaders have to attend SOMETHING beyond the pack to receive the award. Attending 4 roundtables is very easy and both OWL and BALOO training is part of the University of Scouting and only 1 will meet the requirement. The one requirement you discuss has indeed held up many cub scout leaders from their awards and I used that to push my leaders to expand their scouting careers beyond the pack to district and council committees. You get better longevity that way. Hope it helps.
Aug 21, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Jason - No, requirements are not "waiverable" for any awards. Some requirements have options from which to choose, but you can't just say "Aw, he did most of the requirements so that's good enough."
Every den leader gets to wear a Den Leader patch - that's their basic recognition. Those that complete training for their position get to wear the Trained patch. Those that complete the minimal requirements for the Den Leader Award get to wear that knot patch.
I blieve the UoS, PowWow, Roundtable requirement is to promote interaction with other scouters and is an important part of earning the award.
Aug 21, 2012 - Tim
I always come away with something fun and new to help my boys from our Pow Wow. I would recommend that you try it out before trying to waive the requirement. Scout U is more for Boy Scout Leaders, but still worth the effort. Like a watered down Pow Wow for Cub Leaders.
Aug 22, 2012 - Yukon Jack
If your district doesn't have cub scout leader Pow Wows, or they are too infrequent, consider volunteering yourself to the district committee (or one of your superb den leaders) and host them. I'm sure your district would love the support.
Aug 22, 2012 - MikeKNR
I wear my knots proudly and encourage others to do so as well, and the Cub knots provided excellant opportunities to keep active in the winters in Cleveland however my one beef would be with the 'devices' that seem to have been put forth as a replacement for legitimate knots. These devices are going to prove a pain I'm sure. They will increase 'chest clutter' (???!) and will prove to be more snaggy than snazzy, i.e. they're going to grab everything in sight from jacket liners to other people's flag patches to each other if you get enough of them, guaranteed. Cases in point, how many of your Chbs have lost the pin-backers to their CS pins? My boy made a symphony if pings every time he untucked his shirt after a Pack meeting. Really, knots invited questions from the boys, whereas one lonely knot with multiple, tiny, little gobs of easily lost fake gold will invite snags and lost pins and nary a glance or question from anyone. And bottom line for me, what was the purpose of the knots?
Aug 22, 2012 - MikeKNR
The remainder of my comment was...And what have we lost now that theiy're gone? To you folks that deplore knots for some reason I would say you should be silently proud to have served and let the knots speak for themselves to the Scouts that will inevitably ask 'What are those patches for Mr. Smith?' This the only inarguable reason to wear them, I believe. Just refer them to this excellent page for an explanation of what you did to earn them. Tells the youths that Eagle is far from the end of their trail if nothing else...
Aug 23, 2012 - Brian Shore
The dates at scouting.org/training shows that the old training knots must be completed by Dec 2012. You show Dec 2013. Can you explain? Love your site, and all the help over the years.
Aug 23, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Brian - The two den leader awards need to be completed in 2012, the cubmaster, trainer, and scouter awards in 2013.
Aug 27, 2012 - Marjorie Moore
Two words: Excellent!!! Outstanding!!!
Aug 28, 2012 - Dave O
Now that the Cubmaster Award has been retired, are active Cubmasters who have received the Cubmaster award able to receive the replacement "Scouter Key Award" as well?
Aug 28, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Dave - The idea of replacing the previous knots is to reduce the number of knots, make them more consistent across programs, and use metal device pins to show the program in which the knot was earned. Displaying two knots for the same recognition defeats that purpose, and seems silly to me. But, I don't see anything written that says a cubmaster can't earn the Cubmaster Award and the Scouter's Key award as cubmaster. If s/he completes the new requirements, s/he could replace the Cubmaster Award knot with the new Scouter's Key knot to move ahead with the evolving program.
Aug 30, 2012 - Nick DeMarco
And.... shouldn't you be listing the William H. Spurgeon III Award under the discontinued knots section?
Also, I don't think the three sea badge conference knots are the BSA issues....they look like a "private issue"....
Aug 30, 2012 - Yukon Jack
No, the Professional Training Award hasn't been discontinued. Neither has the William H. Spurgeon III Award for that matter...but now that it only applies to the Learning for Life Explorer program (no BSA style uniform), it might as well be. A few that ARE discontinued are: Ace Award, Ranger Award, Silver I Award (all from the old Explorer program), the old Skipper's Key (from 1949), and the Den Leader Coach Award (ended in 2008). A new one that hasn't been released by BSA for purchase yet (though commissioners can start working on it) is the Commissioner Award for Excellence in Unit Service (due to release in May 2013). It looks just like the commissioner college knot, but with all yellow gold thread.
Aug 30, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Nick - The Professional Training Award is called the Professional Circle Training Award and I don't have it listed here because it is only for BSA employees.
Sep 01, 2012 - Stuart Lind
I have a question about the requirement on wearing the NESA square knot or the Eagle Scout square knot: Why is this requirement in existence? I think that it makes no sense at all. Why can't both square knots be worn? I became an Eagle Scout a while back, and I do want to be an NESA member, but I don't want to wear either my Eagle Scout or NESA Membership knots. I want to wear both, to prove to people that I am an Eagle Scout, and an NESA member.
Sep 01, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Stuart - you should contact NESA about "WHY" since they're the organization doing it.
The only thing you need to do to get the NESA knot is pay $250 for a lifetime membership - does that warrant wearing yet another knot?
Wearing the NESA lifetime member knot DOES say you are an Eagle and a NESA member - you wouldn't be wearing it unless you were both - so you don't need to wear both knots to prove it.
Sep 08, 2012 - Stanley Chang
I was a Jr. Webelos Leader in September 2011. I'm a Sr. Webelos Den Leader September 2012. Do I qualify to receive the yellow on yellow Webelos Knot? My boys will crossover to Boy Scouts and receive their Arrow of Light in March 2013. I'm not sure if I meet the deadline Dec. 2012. I assume the last webelos leaders to receive the yellow webelos knot would be the ones coming up.
Sep 08, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Stanley - If you complete the necessary requirements by Dec. 31, you qualify for the award. I can't tell you if you qualify because I don't know if you've done the requirements. That's what the tracking card is for - fill that in and turn it in. Plenty of den leaders have earned this award after the 4th grade year of Webelos.
There is no distinction between Jr. and Sr. Webelos - they are just Webelos scouts.
Sep 09, 2012 - Stuart Lind
Thank you Scouter Paul. I just needed a little clarification on why.
Sep 11, 2012 - Joesf Patterson
@Stuart Lind The NESA knot is a lot different than the regular eagle knot. It is very distinguished with a silver border that stands out vs a tan border that blends in. There is no reason to wear both of them.
Sep 11, 2012 - Larry Green
So...as on who has his Scouter's Key as a Scoutmaster, and the blue on yellow Cubmaster knot, I can now remove the Cubmaster knot and get a Cub Scout device and a Boy Scout device and afix both to the Scouter's Key knot?
Sep 12, 2012 - Yukon Jack
While you can remove the Cubmaster Award knot and wear two devices on the Scouter's Key knot, they are not really the same award. People are advising others to do what you're suggesting Larry, but they're doing so to 'reduce clutter' as many have expoused. The Cubmaster Award is not the same thing as the Cubmaster's Key...which you can now earn seperately of the Cubmaster Award and continue to wear both knots. Frankly, I agree with MikeKNR. This decision is silly and not a 'new program' at all, but returning to the pre-1989 cub scout leader recognitions. If they didn't like the 7 different cub scout leader knots, they shouldn't have introduced them. Wear both and wear both with pride!
Sep 12, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Larry - The Cubmaster's Key has a bit different requirements than the old Cubmaster award, so you may not have completed the requirements yet. There is a 3 year tenure rather than two, and you need to participate in extra council or higher training.
Sep 17, 2012 - Eagle Mike
This is in response to a previous comment about the Sea Badge Trident knot. The knots displayed respectively are similar to Woodbadge participant/staff recognition. The single trident is = participant, double = staff, triple = course director. However 2012 is the last year a participant can earn the knot as they have been phased out as well.
Sep 17, 2012 - Stuart Lind
I'm just throwing this question out there. Since the National Medal for Outdoor Achievement is a fairly new award, is there talk about making a square knot for it, or will it be just another award without a square knot?
Sep 17, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@Stuart. There should not be a knot for the National Medal for Outdoor Achievement as the BSA policy is to make a knot only for the top rank of each program and little else. That is why the new Venturing Ranger medal does not have a knot but the old Explorer Ranger did.
@Eagle Mike. You are the second person I've heard that rumor from but it's always on internet sites. I've seen the BSA press release on the cub leader knots and its been discussed for a year. Where did you hear about the Seabadge knot ending? Be careful about rumors if www.scouting.org hasn't made any official statement.
Sep 17, 2012 - Yukon Jack
Also, the only BSA approved Seabadge knot is the single trident. The double and triple for staff and course directors are 100% private production and not used by the BSA.
Sep 19, 2012 - michael
After being out of scouting for many years, I am now jumping back into it with both feet this year. I had planned to ease into it with my new tiger cub serving as a quarter master, assistant den leaders or some other smaller entry role, but a shortage of adults and an increase of boys at the roundup placed me taking a den leader spot. I have been trying to get my uniform in order. I was running through the many various knots that are available, many I didn’t even know existed to have worked on them before. I am a little disappointed I will miss out on getting the knots for the different dens. I am an Eagle Scout, and get a knot for it; I also had an Eagle palm. How is that displayed? I don’t see a knot for the three levels of palms you can earn past Eagle. Also I see there is a knot for the arrow of light too, which I also have; as an adult leader can you wear the arrow of light and Eagle patches on the uniform or is the knots the only acceptable way?
Sep 19, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@ Michael. The knots are the only acceptable way, you'll never wear your AoL or Eagle badges again (though the Eagle medal can still be worn for ceremonies). Eagle palms are worn on the knot if you wish. Wear the proper combo for how many palms you earned. If you earned a bronze, gold, and silver palm as a kid and have all 3 pins, you only wear the silver to represent 15 extra merit badges...not all 3 pins, which would improperly represent 30 (5 bronze, 10 gold, 15 silver). I say improperly, as 30 extra merit badges are represented by 2 silver palms, not 1 of each. I too am sorry you'll miss out on all the cub leader knots. This is a foolish change.
Sep 20, 2012 - Eagle Mike
Yukon Jack. I am not one to develop rumors or subscribe to them. I have direct information, which is why posted the information to be beneficial to those who utilize this site. I have served on numerous SeaBadge courses throughout my BSA career.
Sep 20, 2012 - Yukon Jack
Mike. Sorry, I didn't mean for you to get upset. I still ask though where the BSA official release of that data is? If 2012 is the last year this patch can be earned, why hasn't there been a notice on Training Times, given that there is only about 3 months left in the year? When they cancelled the cub leader knots, first notice was in Fall 2011, with the knots not fully expiring until the end of 2013...fully 2 years later. I find it hard to believe that they would announce the cancellation of this trident knot with an end date of less than 3 months.
Sep 20, 2012 - Joesf Patterson
So a question for the community. I'm right in the middle of my tenure for earning the Cub Scouter knot and will earn it before the cut off date, would that tenure also go toward Scout leader training award? Or would two more years be required? I'm sure in the spirit of the award two additional years would be required, but I'm just wondering everyone opinion
Sep 20, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@ Josef. Under the old system of awards, there is a little clause under the tenure block that reads "tenure for this award cannot be used for another key or award." The new awards have no such clause (with the minor exception of one on the new Den Leader Training Award that disallows using tenure multiple times to receive multiple DLTAs at the same time...say if you are the wolf and webelos DL at the same time). Ergo, you cannot use tenure that was already used for your current Cub Scouter Award for the new Cub Scouter Training Award... but you can use the same tenure within the new awards (the easy example is how cubmasters can use the same 2 years tenure from their new CSTA towards the 3 required for the CM Key).
Sep 21, 2012 - Old Tiger Cub Leader
I looked over the requirements for the Den Leader Knot (and the old Tiger Den Leader Knot) and I qualify for both awards (whichever one I want, since the Tiger Leader knot is being abolished). So what should I do to get it? Do I need cubmaster approval (or someone's approval) or can I just buy it myself on my honor?
Sep 23, 2012 - Overseas Pack Chair
Thank you for the invaluable information! 3 questions:
1. AoL Knot - ONLY worn by Adults or is the square knot presented at the same time as the AoL patch and both can be worn on the Boy Scout uniform?
2. Den Leader Award - how do Overseas Packs participate in the Pow-Wow/University or 4 Roundtable meetings? We have monthly Committee Roundtable meetings, but we are the only BSA registered Pack in the country. Would Pack Committe Roundtables apply? It would appear not - and therefore I can't see how best to recognize the outstanding service or some of our dedicated Den Leaders, at least for this year. IS THIS AWARD BEING DISCONTINUED?
3. Cub Scout Training Award seems to be replacing the Cub Scouter award previously given to leaders. Same question really, in addition to the Pow Wow or Roundtable Requirement, there is an additional MUST which is to do one additional training at council, area, regional or national level. Overseas travel to attend doesn't seem likely.
Sep 24, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@OTCL. My advice is to get the Tiger Den Leader Award now and get the new Den Leader Training Award next. Use the old progress record form (plenty available online) and have it signed by your pack's cubmaster/committee chair. Final approval is your district. You should not just buy it yourself until the certificate is signed. Then buy many knots as supply will eventually run out.
@OPC. 1: Knot only. Adults never wear the eagle or AoL badges. 2&3: Good questions! If you are the only pack in your foreign country, contact your higher district and ask their policy. Most councils count BALOO or OWL cub leader training as part of the University of Scouting, so you chould use those trainings to qualify if you've done them. Good luck with this, an unusual situation.
Sep 24, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@OTCL. Sorry, I may have misunderstood your question. The AoL knot is only for adult scouters. Youth boy scouts wear the AoL badge carryover from the cub scout uniform. The AoL knot is never presented. It is merely bought by an adult scouter who has the AoL certificate.
Sep 24, 2012 - Eagle Mike
Additional information pertaining to Venturing Leadership Award. National and Regional Awards have been eliminated and only awarded on the Council level.
There are three levels of award:
Council: Medallion suspended from blue and white ribbon and worn around the neck. (For unit-, district-, and council-level recognition.)
Area/Region: Medallion suspended from green and white ribbon and worn around the neck.
National: Medallion suspended from red and white ribbon and worn around the neck.
Sep 25, 2012 - Overseas Pack Chair
Thanks for the clarification on the AoL Knot. I will be in touch with my Council regarding the other requirements for Den Leader Awards, etc...
Oct 01, 2012 - Randall Huber
Is there a knot patch for Distinguished Eagle recipient?I can't locate one on the internet. Thanks.
Oct 01, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@Randall. There is a privately manufactured DESA knot that is unofficial and highly discouraged (looks like an eagle knot with red border). The NESA provides a gold eagle pin device to wear on the knot to indicade that the individual is a DESA recipient. Again, officially from BSA there is no special knot for DESA or NOESA recipients; just devices.
Oct 02, 2012 - Scouter Chris
My boys have been involved with Scouting since thy were Tiger Cubs, but I did not get involved with the Pack as a Cub Scout Leader until my oldest was a Webelo Scout (earning the Den Leader Award - Webelo Knot). As they each crossed over into the Troop, I remained very active as a Boy Scout Leader, eventually becoming Assistant Scoutmaster (earning the Scout Leaders Training Award Knot). Due to a lack of adult leaders in the Pack, I was asked to assist as a cub leader, & currently serve as the Assistant CubMaster, as well. This position wiill qualify me for the CubScouter Award Knot for my 2012 & 2013 tenure (prior to it it being discontinued in 2013). My question is, can tenure as the Tiger Leader during 2012 also allow me to earn the Tiger Cub Den Leader Award Knot (prior to it being discontinued in 2012). The leadership positions qualify for both awards, but the time frames overlap. Can service as a Tiger Leader & an Assistant CubMaster be used during the same calendar year?
Oct 02, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@SC. Short answer, no. Now, if you did more than 1 year as a Webelos DL (or any other position for that matter), then you can apply that 1 year, plus the 2013 year to the Cub Scouter Award, and apply 2012 to the Tiger DL Award. Bottom line, to get the Webelos DL knot, Tiger DL knot, and Cub Scouter knot, you have to have 4 years in cub scouts.
Oct 02, 2012 - Scouter Chris
@YJ - Thanks, yes, I served as both Jr & Sr Webelo's Leader from 09/07 - 04/09, when my big guy crossed over, & when I became an active Leader in the Troop. (The Webelo's knot was earned during that timeframe). I then became Asst Scoutmaster in 2010 - present. (The Scout Leaders knot was then earned). I simultaneously remained as a "Cub Leader" with no real title, assisting the person that had been my little guys Tiger, Wolf, & Bear Leader, when she moved into the Webelo Leaders Position from 09//09 through 02/11. (This was when his group then crossed over into the Troop). I returned to assist the Pack in 2012 as Asst Cubmaster due to a lack of adult leadership all the time retaining my position as Asst Soutmaster. I wasn't sure if my time as a cub leader (with no real title), during my little guy's Webelo years qualified me for the CubScouter Award, but if so, then by your explanation, I can backdate one & use 2012 toward the Tiger Leaders Award. Am I making sense? Thanks Again.
Oct 02, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Chris - To earn the Tiger Den Leader award, you need to be registered as a TDL for a year. Being the Asst CM in 2012 does not count towards a TDL award. You can't be registered as both ACM and TDL in the same Pack during the same time - that's against BSA policy.
From your explanation, you received the Webelos Den Leader award for being a WDL and that makes sense. Your time from 09 through 12, if you were officially registered with the Pack during that time, could be applied towards the Cub Scouter award or the Scout Leader's Training award. If that is at least 4 years, then you've accumulated enough time for both those awards. Of course, there are a bunch of other requirements to be met during the tenure used for those awards.
Oct 02, 2012 - Scouter Chris
Got it thanks. Technically I am the Assistant Cubmaster, but I was taking care of the Tigers out of necessity since there was no other adult stepping up. Time well spent, but thanks to your explanation, qualifying for the CubScouter Award only & not the Tiger Den Leader Award as well. Thank you for clarifying.
Oct 03, 2012 - Stanley Chang
The NOVA AWARD Knot, how does that look? Is there a site that has a picture of it?
Oct 03, 2012 - Yukon Jack
The N.O.V.A. awards for cub and boy scouts, as well as the Supernova Award do not have square knots.
Oct 04, 2012 - Lee Rubel
Is there an order of precedence for wear of knots like military awards? If I have the Arrow or Light, Eagle, Tiger Cub Den Leader Award and Den Leader Award which is worn on the bottom row and from the wearer's left to right?
Oct 05, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Lee - Nope. You can wear them in any order you prefer. Most folks just wear them in the order earned, but it's up to you.
Oct 21, 2012 - Nicole S
If you earned your religious award as a youth, what knot goes on your adult uniform? Silver background with purple knot or purple background with silver knot? And.... Can former Girl Scouts now BSA leaders able to do this? Thanks!!
Oct 21, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@ Nichole. Youth religious knot is silver knot on purple. As for the girl scouts question, it depends. If they earned a religious emblem from a church recognized by the BSA, then yes. Use the P.R.A.Y. website to see what all the BSA recognizes. Remember, the BSA youth religious knot is not an award, but represents a non-BSA award given by a religious group. The more apt question, is did the girl scout earn a religious award that a boy scout can also earn. Lastly, if a girl was in Explorer Scouts (pre-1998) or Venture Scouts (1999-present) and earned a youth religious award, then she can wear the youth religious knot, as the award was earned while in the BSA.
Oct 22, 2012 - Don E
There are a series of discontinued knots for den leader, tiger leader, cub master etc. are they totally unattainable now? Why were they discontinued / retired and when?
Oct 22, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@ Don. They can still be earned, but if you haven't started them yet, then you're outa luck. Read this page carefully, they're all listed. Bottom line, the discontinued den leader knot awards must be finished by Dec 31, 2012, and the cubmaster/pack trainer/cub scouter knot awards must be finished by Dec 31, 2013. Again, if you haven't started them at the beginning of this year, too late. Start earning the new awards (no new knots).
Oct 23, 2012 - Mr Greg
Re: Ed DePinter's Q about how many knots can be worn and the following two answers. True there is no actual specified limit. Marcy's quote from the book skipped a sentence though. "It is recommended that the number of knots be limited to three rows of three knots (a total of nine knots)." - quoted from both 2009 and 2012 printings of the insignia guide - the two copies I have siting here to look at. Food for thought. Love this site, what a wonderful resource to have.
Oct 24, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@ Mr. Greg. While I too have heard the recommendation of 9 knots, I find it funny that I was once chewed out for wearing my 10 knots (3 rows plus 1) by a guy with 6 full rows on his uniform. When I pointed this out, he defended himself by saying that someone told him he had to wear all of his. Silly rationale aside, his uniform looked quite good and professional with 6 rows, but I think much beyond that would have been extravagant, as they would start hiding behind the collar corner. Just some thoughts.
Oct 24, 2012 - Scouter Paul
The new "Guide to Awards and Insignia" which replaces the Insignia Guide also recommends up to 9 knots.
At boyscouttrail.com/i/knots.jpg or on page 16 of the current Scouting magazine, you can see a scouter with 22 knots on his uniform. That's the most I've seen.
Oct 25, 2012 - Julia
I appreciate your fine, detailed work! Thank you for your service in simplifying this complex area of recognition for me!
Paperwork for the Cubmaster Award and the Cub Scouter Award both say "Dates of service used to earn this award cannot be used to earn another key or award." The paperwork for the Unit Leader Award of Merit does not have this same limitation listed.
My question is whether with 4 years of service as Cubmaster, we can award all three to our Cubmaster, or just two of them. She will be moving on in December and we would like to recognize her with some knots before she goes. Are these the best ones to consider?
She never attended advanced training, so Cubmaster's Key has a missing requirement, but she has done all for Cubmaster, Cub Scouter, and Unit Leader Award of Merit.
Oct 25, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Julia - The Unit Leader Award of Merit fits with the Scout Leader's Training award and Scouter's Key award. The Cubmaster and Cub Scouter awards do not fit into that award scheme. Based on the explicit limitation stated in those two awards about not using the tenure time for other awards, your Cubmaster can receive the two awards, not three, assuming she has completed all the requirements for the awards.
Oct 25, 2012 - Yukon Jack
Actually Julia, because your cubmaster has 4 years tenure, she can get all three awards, because the Unit Leader Award of Merit explicitly states that its 18 months tenure can overlap with the training awards. The UL AoM is an award like the District AoM, or the Council AoM (properly called the Silver Beaver), etc and not a training award of any type. I've been in four councils and they all award the UL AoM concurrently with any training awards.
Oct 25, 2012 - Yukon Jack
I took a look at the picture you listed of the guy with 22 knots. At least 2 are unauthorized knots, 2 have incorrect devices on them, and 1 is an aftermarket of a real knot. If you're going to be that extravagant, at least be correct about it. (The unauthorized knots are the two in the upper left, the silver wreath on red is a council-specific knot for the commissioner's college and the red/black/green knot is for service in starting up a scouting program in Baghdad, Iraq back in the 2004-2008 time frame.)
Nov 05, 2012 - Scouter HB
I started as a new bear den leader this August. The Den Leader Award requires 1 year tenure at that position. Since my den will become Webelos in the spring/summer, does that mean that I will not be able to earn the den leader award until I have completed a full year as a Webelos den leader?
Nov 05, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@HB. Most community packs that I've heard of conduct their summer program after the school year, not before. If you den is no different, then your bear den will not cross into a webelos den until after the summer program in 2013, which would end in August. Therefore, you should get your Den Leader Award (there is a new medal now to go with the knot and certificate) with cub scout device in July 2013(your 12th month) and immediately start earning it again with the webelos device, in July 2014. Seperately, look into earning your Cub Scout Training Award (2 years tenure) in the same time (Aug 2012-Jul 2014). These new awards DO NOT have the tenure restrictions that the old cub leader training awards had (excepting that overlapping tenure cannot earn multiple Den Leader Awards) so you can earn the CSTA concurrently with the DLA or the CMK.
Nov 12, 2012 - Andrew
There is no recognized knot for Denali. If you look at the progression there is one for Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout, and Venture Silver. When you include the religious knot every level of Scouting participation is represented via knots with the exception of Varsity Scouting. Why is this gap allowed to continue? Is Varsity Scouting the proverbial red headed step child of the BSA?
Nov 12, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@ Andrew. The Denali Award is not considered the top rank in Varsity Scouts, Eagle scout is. Additionally, the Quartermaster Award knot is the top rank for Sea Scouting. Same for Arrow of Light and Venture Silver. The Youth Religious knot is a catch-all for all religions and levels of scouting and does not play into this question. There will never be a knot for the Denali Award for this reason--it is not a rank of any type. This same rationale is why the Venture Ranger award does not have a knot, it is a separate award and not a rank.
Nov 13, 2012 - Jay Kuivinen
The things tend to say "Nine square knots," So that's ten, my nine square knots and my District award of Merit, which is not a square knot.
Question: My Webelos Den leader, my Den Leader, and my Tiger den leader awards. Can they be replaced by three Cub Scout devices, worn on my Boy Scout Leader's Training Award knot? on the Medal ribbon?
Nov 13, 2012 - Jay Kuivinen
Oh, my thinking now is, put two devices on the Den Leader award, one for Tiger and one for WEBELOS...The Den Leader award is not discontnued (?)
Nov 13, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@ Jay. First, while the District Award of Merit is not a square knot (the award itself is a plaque), the silver overhand patch is considered of the 'square knot' style. It is one of three (Seabadge and Silver World) 'square knot' patches that are not square knots.
As for your second question, you may wear three devices on the Den Leader Award knot (not the Scout Leader Training Award knot) if you desire: webelos, cub scout, and the yet-to-be-designed Tiger devices. Or you can continue to wear the three seperate knots from the old system. Remember, the knot is not the award, just the uniform patch for it. The old den leader award was discontinued with the rest, but the patch still exists for the new Den Leader Training Award for all DLs. Finally, a new medal is being designed for the new DLTA, so you may purchase and wear it with three devices if you so choose. I advice continuing to wear the old knots, as they were earned under the old system and will soon be rare.
Nov 13, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@ Jay. Cub scout leaders who earned the old PAck Trainer or Cub Scouter Awards may trade in for the green/green knot, or keep the old. You can also earn the new awards seperately from the old if you so desire.
Nov 15, 2012 - Brian Hughes
I stumbled across this page recently, and was fascinated with the information. I am a Class of 89 Eagle Scout with about 20 years of activity in scouting. I recently gor re-involved due to my youngest son wanting to join cub scouts, so as an "old timer" I am sorry to see these awards discontinued. Thanks all for the information, I found it very interesting.
Nov 26, 2012 - Gerald McNew
I was recently awarded a District Committe Key and a Unit Commissioner Key. The knots are one and the same same. How do you wear these knots on your uniform? Do you wear both or just one? I have other people asking me, but I have no idea.
Nov 26, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@ Gerald. You only ever wear one of a particular knot (with a single exception in BSA history...this isn't it). To distinguish between two different keys, you wear the tiny gold device (a pin with a clutch back) for each on the knot just like oak leaf clusters or service stars on military ribbons. You can also wear your two devices on the suspension ribbon of the key medal too. In your case, the commissioner device is a circle with the tenderfoot badge wreathed in laurel leaves (commissioner logo) and the district committee device is the same, but without the wreath. Congrats on your two key awards, most impressive!
Nov 26, 2012 - Yukon Jack
Also, the one time that two of the same knot can be worn is the current blue/gold knot that represents the Cub Scouter Award (CSA). This knot used to be the Den Leader Coach Award (DLCA) from 1975-88. In 1989, a new knot (blue on blue ropes, blue background, blue border...as blue as the Webelos DL Award is yellow and not pictured on this website) was made for the DLCA and the old knot accidentally became the CSA. BSA acknowledged their mistake, and scouters who earned the DLCA from '75-'88 and the CSA from '89-2013 can wear the same knot twice (or could exchange the first one for the 'newer' all blue knot).
In theory, a recipient of the Honor Medal (HM) and the Honor Medal with Crossed Palms (HMCP) could wear the red HM knot twice (one with the HMCP palms device), but there is no record of such a double-recipient in BSA history so such a uniform configuration will remain theory and speculation until one happens.
Nov 29, 2012 - Eric Hagglund
question. If a scout leader joins the Boy scouts of America and has honor and awards knots from another scouting organization. Can he ware the knots on the BSA uniform?
Nov 30, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@ Eric. Short answer, no. I assume you mean the knots from other countries' scouting programs (Scouts Canada uses figure-eight knot patches the way BSA uses square knots as an example). The only other national scouting programs in the USA are the Girl Scouts, American Heritage Girls, Campfire USA, and Indian Guides. Officially, the BSA only has a partnership with AHG and none of the other American programs have square knots as far as I'm aware. There are some UNOFFICIAL square knots made to BSA dimensions to symbolize the Girl Scouts Gold Award and the AHG Stars & Stripes Award (and others), but none of them are recognized by the BSA National COH. You are safest to only ever wear the knots approved by BSA nationally or the VERY few approved by National for specific councils. Venturing down that path is a sticky and inadvisable choice. The BSA has made 53 knots in its history, stick with them (43 of them are shown on this webpage).
Dec 02, 2012 - Yukon Jack
Today my research led me to find the name of one boy scout, J. Fred Roming of Maryland, who received two Bronze Honor Medals in 1912 and 1913. However, this youth predates today's Honor Medal (1923) and the square knot (1946) by 33 years and would not affect the 'two of the same knot' question. Its still cool to know though.
Dec 03, 2012 - Yukon Jack
Further research shows Scout Paul Victor Magee received a Silver Honor Medal in 1916 and a Letter of Commendation (the LoC became the Certificate of Heroism in 1923 and the Heroism Medal in 1977) in 1917. Also, Scout William Baird received two Medals of Merit in 1976 and 1977. While fantastic feats, not to mention lost nuggets of BSA history, there remains no record of a recipient of the modern HM and the modern HMCP to raise the wear-two-of-the-same-knot question. Cool history though. Sorry if I'm boring anyone.
Dec 07, 2012 - Rick
How many cub scout dens actually award their leaders any of these awards? I have been involved for two years and have never seen my Pack give any awards out to it's leaders. I think it's because the emphasis is on the kids achievments and not the adults. I am interested in this as we have several leaders that have been involved for quite a while and should/could be recognized. Thoughts?
Dec 07, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Rick - Much of the giving of awards has to do with the culture of the individual Pack. If no adults are aware of the awards and they've not been earned, tracked, and presented in the past, they will tend to not be awarded now or in the future.
When an adult steps forward to volunteer, I explain that recognition is available and important, give him the tracking card for the awards for that position, and then hope he tracks the requirements. After that, it's up to him to complete the requirements. Some folks enjoy collecting trinkets, patches, and certificates - others couldn't care less.
Dec 14, 2012 - Joe
Does anyone know if the national office is going to be putting out new cub scout devices? There are two right now, a Webelos device and a Cub Scout device. Since they are combining the Den Leader awards are there going to be separate devices for each den?
Dec 14, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Joe - Yes, a Tiger Cub device is being developed. The Cub Scout device will be used for Wolf and Bear den leaders. I've heard nothing of a Lion device.
Dec 19, 2012 - Yukon Jack
FYI, the new Den Leader Award medal and Tiger Cub device are now in scout stores everywhere.
Dec 24, 2012 - kbsig106
I started as a Tiger Den leader in August 2012 and the Tiger knot says work must be finished by 12/31/12. I'm half way in at this point, can my Council or pack decide to allow for the knot to be earned at the end of this year in June '13?
Dec 24, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@ kbsig106. Sorry, but no. Knots are nationally designed and controlled (with few exceptions that are not listed on this webpage) and the TDLA knot ends in a few days by NCOH edict. Beyond that, the new den leader awards system was fully introduced in July 2012 and any new leaders after that point MUST use the new system. Ergo, you may begin work on the new Den Leader Training Award with a Tiger Device and complete it in July 2013.
Dec 26, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@ kbsig106. The closest I've heard about anyone doing what you describe, is den leaders who began service after Jan 1, 2012 but paid a full year's registration fee for 2012 (thus being officially registered for a full year tenure prior to Jan 1, 2013). However, this was done very early in 2012 (Jan or Feb) and well before the new award forms were introduced in July which precludes any new volunteers from beginning the old training awards. Just letting you know that is the only workaround I've heard about in my council.
Dec 29, 2012 - kbsig106
@Yukon Jack - thank you for the insight and comments. Bummer... I signed up with my son at the August round up and paid my fee for the year and through 2013. I have such a great Den, 11 Tigers strong with over 90% retention and only one black bead away from their badge. Was hoping to mark the success with the nice looking tiger knot, looking nice next to my AL knot. My issue with the devices is I already have two in my Religious knot and now I could have as many as 4 more pushing in to my chest on a hike.. hah Thanks again, this is a great site.
Dec 30, 2012 - Yukon Jack
@ kbsig106. I agree with you completely about the devices being a comparatively horrible idea when the 6 cub leader knots already exist. Also, you'd only every get 3 devices int he DL knot. BSA seems to have overlooked that there is only a single cub scout device that covers wolf and bear DLs when used on this knot (I say overlooked because they designed a brand new tiger device with this adult award change, but forgot a bear device). The good news is you'll still get a new knot to go with your AoL and youth religious one next year. Also, look into your faith's adult religious award program. Shoot me any knot-related questions (email@example.com) and good luck.
Jan 02, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ kbsig106. Also, if you dislike the devices like me, just don't wear them. The knots alone are enough. If I wore all my devices, I'd have 9 pins poking in my chest during hikes...which hurts. Frankly, the gold devices make a scouter look more cluttered than knots ever could. I don't wear my service stars for the same reason (or any pins at all on my field uniform). It helps make the shirts last longer and looks better to not wear pins. Not a big deal for a cub scout (maybe 3 years in the same shirt) but for we old scouters, years matter.
Jan 18, 2013 - Ron
For many years I was a Committee Chair and Member, and earned a Leader Training Award. Well more recently, I have been serving as an Assistant Scoutmaster and thought I would be eligible for another award (I think you are calling them devices) for that position shortly. However, with the new requirements it appears that is no longer possible. Is that correct?
Jan 18, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Ron. Assuming you were on a Troop Committee and are now an ASM, then you are correct, the Boy Scout Leader Training Award is all you would receive. You may receive another training award in the cub program, varsity program, venture program, sea scout program, or district committee, but you can only earn each one once. Sounds like you've got it for the boy scout program. Sorry.
Jan 19, 2013 - Erica N
For some leader awards, it says "be a registered leader"...we have double-duty leaders. If they are OFFICALLY registered as say a Committee Chair or other BUT they are also a Den Leader, can they still get a den leader award?
Jan 19, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Erica N. Short answer, no. Base unit leader training awards on what they are registered as. Granted, sometimes it takes paperwork a while to catch up, so if a person changes positions, I go ahead and start their new award form (if applicable) the day they begin their new position even if the registration doesn't clear for a few weeks. Again, only one registered position per unit (you can be, say a scoutmaster in a troop and a den leader in a pack at the same time) and unofficial double duty doesn't count.
Jan 22, 2013 - ASM
Personally, I think the knots awards program is just wrong. The failure to recogonize Asst. Scoutmasters for all the hard work they do is unacceptable. I can't be a Scoutmaster because the one we have won't leave (and he shouldn't, he's very good). But I likely will never have the opportunity to be the SM. Yet I work very hard and am very active as I used to be a Scout myself. I fulfill many of the requirements for other knots, but because I'm an ASSISTANT, I can't be awarded the knots. In fact our SM just received the Unit Leader Award of Merit, and I did most of the work. Not right. Assistant Scoutmasters should qualify for every knot the Scoutmaster can earn because we all work together to lead the program. If the knots are not going to be distributed fairly, then they shouldn't be distributed at all.
Jan 22, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ ASM. You are eligible for the Boy Scout Leader Training Award medal and the corresponding knot. The only ones the SM gan get that the ASM cannot are the Scoutmaster's Key and the UL AoM you mentioned. Nearly every religion has a medal (and corresponding adult religious square knot) that can be awarded regardless of registered position. And those are just the training awards and the UL AoM. There are literally dozens of other knot awards you can earn. Volunteer a couple of years at the district level and be eligible for the DAoM. Also think of this, if there weren't any awards for only the scoutmaster/cubmaster/etc, then there is no mark of recognition beyond any other leader, and that's not fair to that key leader in the unit either. I have never been a SM (ASM twice), yet I earned my Scouter's Key as a commissioner for three years. You can do it, find a way.
Jan 28, 2013 - Marc McFall
I would like to see you also list and show some of the old discontinued knots, such as the Silver Award from Exploring. I earned it as an Explorer, and proudly wear it. I'm sure there are other old knots from the 50's and 60's that can still be worn, but not earned.
Jan 28, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Marc. There are. The 'Universal Explorer Knot' was authorized in 1978 to be retroactive for several then-discontinued Explorer ranks and knots. The old awards are: Explorer Ace Award (1942-54), Explorer Ranger Award (1944-49), and the Explorer Silver I Award (1949-55). The knot discontinued knot shown on this page was originally the Explorer Silver II Award (1954-66) knot (it is now the universal knot and represents many Explorer awards after the Silver II). Additionally, the original Sea Explorer Quartermaster knot is also now obsolete but was directly replaced by the current Venturing Sea Scouts knot. The last two I'll mention are the Skipper's Key knot (1949 only) that now uses the generic Scouter's Key knot and the old Den Leader Coach knot that was all blue (1989-2008).
Jan 30, 2013 - Dan Deaver
It's too bad that so much emphasis is put solely on the Scoutmaster for recognition. In the Troops I know, the ASMs do just as much work. It's a team effort where they back each other and share the workload. I would recommend allowing the ASMs to achieve the Scouter Key. Unit Leader Award would be reserved for SM/CM.
Jan 31, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Dan. While I understand your point, you have to realize that the Scouter's Key and the ULAoM are different categories of awards. The former is a training award, the latter a meritorious service award for distinction. There are toher training awards available to ALL unit volunteers. Some are restricted FROM the unit's key leader. There is something for everyone here. If you want ALL the knots, try volunteering for many different positions over a lifetime of service. It'll work, I guarantee it (especially if you progress from den leader with your son thru his scouting career).
Feb 07, 2013 - Mark
I am currently SM in the troop and our past SM is now ASM. Can he be nominated for SM AoM? He stepped down about 1yr ago but fulfilled all requirements. The process to nominate him started prior to him stepping down but never was finished.
Feb 07, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Mark - Too bad someone didn't just finish the paperwork a year ago. That's often the reason someone is not recognized, scouts and scouters both, because the applications aren't done.
I'd fill out the form and turn it in. The SPL needs to create a statement supporting the nomination but the current SPL wasn't SPL a year ago. So, I'd have both the past and present SPLs add a statement.
Feb 07, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Mark. To add my 2 cents, there is no BSA rule restricting awards from being back-processed at council level (some, like Eagle Scout, the Hornaday awards at National, and lifesaving medals have time limits to finish the paperwork). I recently processed a UL AoM for a past cubmaster (your situation minus the SPL requirement) and it was approved by council without question. I've even seen training awards approved years after service was concluded when all documentation was easily found (recipient was ex-military and kept meticulous records). I say do it, and the former SPL's letter is the most important in your situation. Good luck!
Feb 10, 2013 - Todd Cerny
Where can I purchase the rope patches I have completed?
Feb 11, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Todd. Any scout store, or scoutstuff.org. This goes or all patches. Some square knots require proof of receiving the award (lifesaving awards, eagle scout, silver beaver, etc), others are on your honor (all training award knots, religious award knots).
Feb 11, 2013 - Tiger Don
Recently I encountered a Female Scout leader wearing an arrow of light sash and patch. Is this an appropriate honor? I was under the impression that the arrow of light is only earned by WEBLOS.
Feb 11, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Tiger Don. There is no such thing as an Arrow of Light sash. There is an Order of the Arrow sash. If the sash you saw was a red arrow on a white sash (~2" wide), that is the OA, which adult female scouters can indeed be voted in by the youth members who know her under certain circumstances (the same circumstances for electing adult male scout leaders). Most adult male scouters in the OA were elected as youth and maintain their memberships.
A AoL patch or knot would be inappropriate (if that's what it is and not an OA patch) for a female scouter.
Feb 21, 2013 - Marty
Would they ever consider having a knot for the basic "Order of the Arrow" and "Wood Badge"? It would be an incentive for youth and adults which might give them at least one knot on their uniform.
Feb 21, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Marty - There is already recognition for OA (a sash and pocket flap) and WB (woggle and neckerchief). There are also gifts and other trinkets that can be used as incentives - coins, knives, stuffed animals, patchs, ...
There are lots of ways to get a knot on a uniform if that is what someone is looking for. You can buy one for a $1000 contribution. Youth have Religious Emblems, Arrow of Light, and Eagle - all with knot patches, but the Eagle knot is not worn until and adult.
Feb 23, 2013 - Sqyire21
Why are the Community Organization Award and the Unit Leader Award of Merit so similar. Both are Gold on Gold! BSA works hard to ensure none of these awards look the same, and it was pointed out to me today...there is almost no difference between these two knots. (I happen to wear one)
Feb 24, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Sqyrie21. Actually, they're not. The Community Organization knot is actually yellow/yellow ropes on a dark purple background with yellow border. There is no metallic thread anywhere on it. The UL AoM is gold/gold ropes on black background with gold border. Sadly, this page, as well as most square knot pages on the internet, have very poor quality images for this particular knot. Similarly, the William Spurgeon Award knot (not shown on this site) looks like the two you mentioned, but is on an olive green background that is often erroneously called black due to poor internet images as well. If you saw all three in person next to each other, you'd have no problem differentiating between them.
Feb 26, 2013 - MichaelM
If the hornaday is earned as a boyscout, can you where it as an venturer? Also, if you are involved in boy scouts and venturing concurrently, can you wear venturing awards on your boy scout class a? Then, can sea scouts earn venturing awards? And finnally, is this all of the knots out there, because i see a lot from time to time, and if so what are some examples? Great Site.
Feb 26, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ MichaelM. Wow, lot of questions! First, a Hornaday award earned as a Boy Scout can be worn as a Venturer or even an adult. Second, you can wear Venture knots on the Boy Scout uniform, but only if you are 18, as rank knots (Arrow of Light, Eagle, Venture Silver, Quartermaster) are for adult wear. Third, Sea Scouts can earn ALL Venture awards, but Venturers cannot earn any Sea Scout award except the Venturing Bronze for sea.
This is not all the knots. In BSA history, there have been 52 knots, 45 are on this site. Of the 7 missing; 4 are obsolete explorer awards from the 1940s-60s, 2 are obsolete training awards, and 1 is an Exploring award for adults. Additionally, there are 2 BSA awards (the two Hornaday badges) that are not knots, but worn with them, and one international (i.e. not BSA) award that has a knot patch that BSA recognizes, but does not administer.
Feb 28, 2013 - Dale
For the District Committee Key award,what knot is presented/worn upon completion?
Feb 28, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Dale. The District Committee Key used the knot for the Scouter's Key award (white/green ropes on khaki background with khaki border) with the committee device--a round gold pin with the tenderfoot insignia on it. Be careful, it is NOT the gold tenderfoot insignia device (for the boy scout program) nor is it the round device with the tenderfoot insignia encircled by a laurel wreath (for commissioner awards).
Mar 10, 2013 - Vic
Has the requirement of "being registered at time of incident" ever been waived when an adult scouter has been recommended for any of the Honor awards? If not, is there an appeal process with the National Court of Honor like exists for Eagle Scout Boards of Review?
Mar 11, 2013 - Justin
Does anyone know of a Scouting event that covers the requirement for the Cub Scout Leader's Key? As in, what activity is the equivalent of a pow wow or University of Scouting? I have a Cub leader in a pack I'm commissioner for and he has completed everything for the Cub Leader Key, except for the Pow Wow/University of Scouting or Attend Roundtables, because of other committments. I am just trying my best to help, as he put in 3 1/2 years as Cubmaster and has completed the requirements, except this one. Thank you!
Mar 11, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Vic - The recognitions are for BSA members, not for the general population. If a recommendation for an award was submitted and rejected, the submitter could certainly contact the local or national BSA council with questions s/he might have.
Mar 11, 2013 - Justin
One more question! Is there a time limit on the Scouter's Key and Scouter's Training Award? Also, is there a time limit on the ULAoM?
My old SM started a troop in 1992, and was SM for 10 or 12 years. He completed WB and a ton of other training. He was eligible for all of this, but the committee chair never turned any of the paperwork in like she was supposed to. I was a youth at the time, but just found this out. He is now serving as the Charter Rep for the same troop. Just wanted to see if it was too late to recognize him. I can get letters from at least 10 of his Eagles if that helps.
Mar 11, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Justin - The (or equivalent) part allows other scouter training and interaction events that might not be called University of Scouting or Roundtables. If your district has roundtables, or your council holds University of Scouting each year, then that is where the Cubmaster should participate.
The idea is for the unit leader to put in effort to meet, interact with, and learn from other scouters from other units in the community, every year while serving in his role.
If he's not attended any of these events over the years as Cubmaster, then he's not completed the requirements for the recognition.
Mar 11, 2013 - Michelle
Question about the NESA Life members' knot patch. Are Boy Scouts allowed to wear this new knot on their uniform, or is it strictly for adult members? I have two current Eagle Scouts. Also, we paid for the lifetime membership when our oldest son earned Eagle in December 2011. He did not receive a lapel pin, just the certificate and card. My middle son earned Eagle December 2012. We paid for his lifetime membership, and his certificate, card and lapel pin arrived today. Was my oldest supposed to receive a pin, too? Who do I need to contact about that? Thanks!
Mar 12, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Michelle. All rank knots (AoL, Eagle, NESA life Eagle, Venture Silver, Quartermaster) are for adult uniform wear only. Adult is defined as 18+ in cubs, boy scouts, and varsity and 21+ in venturing, sea scouts, and explorers.
Mar 16, 2013 - Christine
I just have a comment on those devices. First of all they are too tiny for some of us to even read what they say! Second of all, I don't like them at all since you have to remove them every time to wash the uniforms whereas the knots and emblems/patches can just go right in the laundry no problem! And there is always the danger of losing the backers while wearing them as well. I can't tell you how many meetings where we waste time looking for those things (I also noticed that scoutstuff.org just came out with a pkg of backs to sell). I enjoy giving these awards, but if people find them inconvenient they will not wear them. Just my opinion.
Mar 16, 2013 - Christine
By the way, are you allowed to back date forms and apply for these things for past years? My husband and I restarted a defunct Cub Pack and are now in Boy Scouts and we'd never even heard of this stuff and there was no one to guide us. This is a great site that I wish I had discovered long ago.
Mar 16, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Christine - Typically people complete the recognition requirements, receive the recognition, then move on to other things.
Completing paperwork now for a role done years ago, so a patch can be worn, seems like extra work to me, but there is no time limit of which I am aware. You could complete the forms, turn them in, and see what happens. Or, contact your district training chair or district executive and find out what the local feeling is on this, since they're the ones that would push it through or let it wait.
Mar 22, 2013 - Droz
Any info on when the Commissioner and PTC knots are being retired?
Mar 23, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Droz. At present, that is still largely a rumor, but one that will likely come true. Given that the cub leader awards were announced for cancellation in Fall 2011 and a few are still active until the end of 2013, once the announcement comes, they will still stay in the inventory for a while at least. Most rumors right now are saying 2014 but nothing on any official BSA site or bulletin board or memo has even hinted at it.
Mar 24, 2013 - Tim
If it is the Distinguished Commissioner knot, what would be the replacement? The other retired knots were not eliminated they were consolidated with knot devices. The Commissioner - Unit Service Award was introduced summer 11 and takes two years to earn and is soon to be retired? It seems kind of disingenuous to introduce an award then retire it very shortly after the first few were able to earn it. That does not make me very confident in our direction. Sure, this is just a knot issue, but under it all this shows a lack of cohesion. Either way there are much more important things that they should be concerning themselves with.
Mar 25, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Tim. You are absolutely correct. The problem is that many committees at BSA National wanted to make square knots, and no one crosstalked or verified anything with the insignia department. The result is about 10-12 new knots in the last 10 years. In Fall 2011, scouters complained that uniforms looked 'cluttered' with too many square knots (never anyone mind that several had already been retired, many were very rare, and so few people earned more than a dozen that the 'clutter' was rare indeed and normally showed a lifelong scouter). The result was the nixing of the cub leader specific knots and the resultant rumor/plan/theory of several more getting cancelled. Both commissioner-specific knots may get cut, or the newest one get consolidated into the old. The PTC knot may also get cut, but remember, all of this is still rumor. Don't believe internet posters unless thet can show a link to a reliable source (i.e. a BSA National press statement on Scouting.org). Good luck.
Mar 27, 2013 - jon mathrole
Is it okay to still wear my arrow award, since it is no longer given.
Thanks from an old timer
Mar 28, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Jon. Which arrow award? The Commissioner's Arrowhead is still awarded (not a knot), the Arrow of Light is still awarded (adults wear the knot, not the rank patch), and the Order of the Arrow still wears its sashes (also not knots). Any OA pocket devices (also not knots) can be worn though all but two of them (Founder's Award and standard OA membership) are no longer awarded. Lastly, the OA Distinguished Service award medal has an arrowhead and is still awarded (knot as well) and can be worn.
Any particular knot patch you are thinking of that could be considered an 'arrow award'? I'm at a loss for what award you are talking about specifically.
Mar 30, 2013 - Yukon Jack
As I stated before, I do not subscribe to rumors and always want an official statement/notification from BSA National before I accept rumor as fact. Here it is.
According to Scouting.org (www.scouting.org/About/FactSheets/Lifesaving_Action.aspx) the Medal for Heroism was DISCONTINUED on Dec. 31st, 2012 after 6,077 awards from 1923-2012. I found this as I always download the BSA Fact Sheet on the lifesaving and meritorious action awards when it is published each year (Feb/Mar or so) for my research project on Honor Medal recipients.
I have not confirmed this from any other OFFICIAL source, but this is from the proper BSA website. I hope this is not true, but it seems reliably to be A piece of BSA valor is no more.
Mar 30, 2013 - Yukon Jack
I just noticed, and while this doesn't change the implications of a discontinued Medal for Heroism, the 2012 fact sheet has two mistakes.
When compared to the 2011 fact sheet, the MH total awards should read 3,506, an increase of 155 from the 3,351 in 2011. Where 6,077 came from I have no idea. www.scouting.org/Media/MediaKit/Awards.aspx shows the right numbers, but fails to mention the discontinuance.
Also, the 2012 Hornaday Award totals should be more akin to 6,800 with an increase from the 6,600 last year. Where 4,433 came from is also a mystery.
The other tallys are correct as I cross-refrenced them.
Mar 30, 2013 - Yukon Jack
Another official source on the recent topic: blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2013/01/23/holding-out-for-a-hero-how-the-bsa-honors-lifesavers/
Yes, its a blog, but the editor's blog for Scouting Magazine, which is more official than most things out there in internetland. ;)
Apr 04, 2013 - AUScout
It looks like the requirements for the Boy Scout Leader's Training Award changed sometime. I was working on this and I'm coming up on my 2 year tenure as an ASM so I was trying to complete the last requirements. Can I still complete this using the old requirements?
Apr 04, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ AUScout. Yes. The Scouter's Training Award (STA) requirements for most of its variants changed the same time (June 2012) as the sweeping change in the cub leader awards. The Scouter's Key (SK) award requirements for most variants also changed. A couple did not, but the boy scout and venture scout ones definately did.
As with any phaseout/requirement change, you can finish the old award you were working on provided you (a) started before the change was announced (again, June 2012) and will finish before a set deadline (for example, Dec 31, 2012 for the old Webelos DL Award). I am not aware of any such deadline for the STA or SK as their insignia and awars did not change, only the requirements. Fortuniately for you, the STA medal, device, and knot did not change so you will lose nothing by way of insignia like the cub leaders lost with these changes.
Apr 04, 2013 - Yukon Jack
...of course AUScout, don't forget the rules of tenure. Even if you did have to use the new form, your tenure from the past two years will still count, as did anything you completed for the new requirements in that time, because you didn;'t use that tenure for 'another key or award'. Either way and either form, congrats on your upcoming award. Well earned.
Apr 09, 2013 - ND Scouter
So with the old system, you got a knot for Cub Scouter , and one for Boy Scout Leader. Now it's the Scouters Key Training award, once you get the cub Scout, you don't get recognition for serving in Boy Scouts, or you get a second identical knot?
Apr 10, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ ND Scouter. You do not get/wear a second knot. You wear two gold device pins on the knot...one for the cub program and one for the boy scout program. Also, the Scouter's Key is different (white/green ropes) from the Scouter's Training Award (green/green ropes). Only a cubmaster, scoutmaster, varsity coach, crew advisor, or skipper can earn the key in a unit. ALL adult leaders can earn the STA.
Apr 10, 2013 - DRL
In previous years, I earned four knots, all of which have ben discontinued and replaced by other knots. I currently wear the Tiger Den Leader Award and Webelos Den Leader Award (Both consolidated with the Den Leader Award), the Cubmaster Award (replaced by the Scouters Key Award) and the Cub Scouter Award (replaced by the Scout Leader's Training Award). Should I remove the four old, discontinued knots and replace them with the three new knots?
Apr 10, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ DRL. This is the confucion. You can choose. However, bear this in mind before you do (and yes, a lot of my opinion comes through).
The CM Key is NOT the same award as the CMTA. The Cub Scouter Award is NOT the same as the STA. The WDLA and TDLA are the next generation of the DLTA. With that in mind, you still can replace your old 4 knots with the new 3. I would advise against it for two reasons. (1) BSA says you can earn the new awards in addition to the old. This implies wearing both once you do. (2) The requirements are very different (3 vs 2 years for the cumbaster awards).
Of course, in the same breath, the BSA says you can swap them out if you want and use devices (you'd wear 4 pins on 3 knots if you did). It's very confusing and poorly done. I too have 6 of the 7 old cub leader knots (all but Cubmaster Award). I bought about 4 of each before they're out of stock and will wear what I earned...not the training awards I didn't earn. That's how I feel about it.
Apr 11, 2013 - Hunz
Help me out here please. Where you say "the BSA says you can swap them out if you want..." I respect your opinion above but I actually do want to swap out knots. Trouble is, I have other Scouters in my area telling me I can't do this. Can you direct me to the source so I can defend my decision? Thanks.
Apr 11, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Hunz. Check the Spring 2012 commissioner announcements page on Scouting.org. This site updates each quarter with training information and other data. The initial announcement that the cub knots were being consolidated was Fall 2011 with the decision coming in Summer 2012. It explains the 'consolidate your old awards as new knots and don't earn the new awards' option or the 'wear the old knots and earn the new ones' option.
Apr 12, 2013 - Hunz
Okay, I would like to try to clear this up based on what I just read. You should read the newsletters and form your own opinion.
I can't find the initial announcement in Fall 2012, but I do find theses references in the Spring 2012 edition "The Training Times" on scouting.org:
"Scouters who have earned the awards previously will still be able to wear the OLD KNOTS as long as they are available."
"Scouters who have begun work on the awards using the previous requirements will be able to finish with the old requirements, or can choose to use the new ones."
However, the second quote refers to the the awards that have NOT been discontinued, but rather the ones where the requirements have changed.
Nowhere can I find any verbiage that indicates that you are allowed to consolidate your old knots into the new ones. I'm forced to the conclusion that if you have completed the requirements for the OLD Cub Scout Awards, you are only allowed to wear the OLD knots if you can get them.
Apr 12, 2013 - Yukon Jack
Cool. I like your interpretation better. My council interpreted the announcement to mean either way was acceptable though many of us old timers advocated against it. I like the concise way you put it. Thanks.
Apr 22, 2013 - monty
Why is there no knot for the National Certificate of Merit? My son received one for performing the Heimlich on his brother; pretty significant I would say! Yet there is not one thing that he can put on his uniform to indicate his award. I understand there might not be enough recipients to make such a knot, but there are not a lot of recipients for a reason; it is a hard award to get.
Apr 22, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Monty. You are right to a degree, it is a hard award to get. But look at the big picture, there's also not a knot for the Council Certificate of Merit. When it comes to heroism and/or meritorious action, there are knots/medals for the HMCP, HM, and Heroism Medal, and MoM. There has to be a cutoff somewhere. Most likely, it is here as the BSA, back to 1911, used certificates and not insignia to recognize lesser acts of heroism.
Similarly, look at the Hornaday awards (there are 7 different ones). In 2012, only 216 Hornaday awards were presented (all three medals, two badges, and two certificates). Substantial and rare too, right? Yet the badge recipients get no knot and the certificate reipient groups get no insignia either. Not all awards have insignia, no matter how rare. If they did, why have certificates at all if everyone gets a patch? There'd be no cutoff between acts (heroism/merit/conservation/etc) of different degrees of significance. Hope it helps.
Apr 27, 2013 - John Mount
It is considered "in bad taste" to load your left pocket with knots clear up to your shoulder seam. Still, there are those who do it. If you work in any official capacity (i.e. Scout Summer Camp Merit Badge Instructor) the Council may dictate how many you can wear. UNPC suggests no more than 6. I have 12 and have earned bore but refused to wear them so I don't look too ostentatious. Remember, this program is FOR THE BOYS, not for us.
Apr 29, 2013 - Aaron O.
I couldn't possibly agree with you more. I remember my first summer camp as an adult a couple of years ago and standing in line at the dining hall behind a gentleman with General's equivilant of knots/awards on his uniform. I asked him what they were all for and I heard over and over, "I did this..." and "I did that..."
All I could think about was, "What about the boys?!? Are they inspired or demoralized by your bravado?"
Glad I'm not alone.
Apr 30, 2013 - Yukon Jack
I respect y'all's opinion on this, but please remember a few things. That gentlemen wasn't showing 'bravado'. He never said a word until you asked. Two, I've worked with thousands of boys and many never notice, and the few that do are inspired, as you would say. Many have said to me they want to be adult scouters now that they know the appreciation doesn't stop. Three, while I agree that too many can look strange, remember that a scouter's knots are his resume (just like a soldier's ribbons). I can't count all the times a quick glance at a scouter's knots let me know their experience and who to go to for advice. Four, 6 is way to low a 'limit'. I knew a scouter (6 years or so) a few years back who had no knots but qualified for 7. When he got them, everyone (youth and adult) were proud of him and his son even exclaimed that he didn't know his dad was such an avid scout (same son who saw him in scouts for 6 years). All were inspired and he's since earned more knots...
Apr 30, 2013 - Yukon Jack
... Five, how many of those sentences that began with "I did this) ended with "for the boys" or "with the boys"? Most knots are designed so you don't earn them if you're not a good scouter and don't do good for the kids. Six, every scouter I've ever known with "too many" knots normally has his time in service measured in decades, not years. If you see a "general's equivalent of knots" then he's probably done a general's equivalent of service and led a general's equivalent of youth. You shouldn't judge. And before anyone asks, I wear a maximum of 15 on my 'court of honor' uniform, 9 on my field uniforms (different for cubs, boy scout, council), 1 on my camping 'dirt' uniform, and have earned 19. The most I've ever known someone to have is 26; he wore 18 and it didn't look to be in poor taste at all (the guy was built like a gorilla) and had more years in scouting then most of us have alive.
Good luck in our scouting venture, and I'm sure you too will have many knots before long.
May 01, 2013 - LDH
I recieved the Silver Wreath award from NESA in 1978; is it still awarded? Thanks.
May 03, 2013 - Yukon Jack
Interesting question. I've found records of it still being awarded as recently as 1992, but the NESA website makes no mention of the Silver Wreath Award being still awarded. There is no unique knot or device I can find to represent it, but still congratulations on such a rare achievement!
May 10, 2013 - Phoenix
Does anyone know why and when the knot for Heroism was retired? Does a recipient of the medal for heroism wear the Honor Medal square knot? I'm baffled that BSA would retire a knot for saving someone else's life using skills developed as a Scout.
May 10, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Phoenix. Read the above posts, they detail very clearly when it was retired. No, you do not start wearing the Honor Medal knot. BSA uniforms and insignia never 'expire' so you can buy and wear the Heroism Knot forever...as long as they're available. Once you have none, there is no longer a patch to show that award. Simple as that. Especially in this case, where the knot and medal and overall award were all retired at once, so its not like there will be future award recipients that get no knot...the whole shebang is gone now.
May 15, 2013 - Robert
The Seabadge knot also has been retired, the course is still available, after completion attendees receive the trident pin. The George Meany Knot has also been retired, reciepients can now wear the Community Organization Award, as shown here www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Membership/Recognitions/CommunityOrganizationAward.aspx.
As a side note, the Woods Service Award reciepeants may now also wear the Community Organization Award
May 27, 2013 - Jack Atteberry
Being memorial Day I have a question . Is there a knot for Veteran's of Foreign Wars to acknowledge those leaders on there uniforms that they were Veteran of Foreign Wars. If not where would a person go to see about adding this knot to our leaders who served?
May 27, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Jack A. Sort of. There is not a knot to acknowledge military service (any more than there is a knot to recognize doctors, or cops, or firemen, or lawyers...). Nor will there be, BSA knots are to recognize BSA service or ranks, not outside professions.
However, there is a knot-the Community Organization Award knot-that can be earned by VFW scouters who earn the "VFW Scouter's Achievement Award". This is the same knot earned by any of 18 awards given by non-BSA organizations for service to the BSA and is a BSA knot for a non-BSA award. A bit confusing, but it works. I do not know if the VFW awards this to all eligible VFW scouters, or has a limited annual quota (I am not a VFW member), but your local post should be able to help you out. Good luck.
May 30, 2013 - FinalStu
Question on the new knots. I've earned my Cubmaster Award an by the time I leave the pack will have met the requirements for the new Cubmaster's Key. Can I earn both knots and if I do, can I wear both at the same time?
May 31, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@FinalStu - You can wear any knot for which you've completed all the requirements and received the patch. If it's important to you to wear both knots, then you may.
In my opinion, in this case, it would signify that you've been a Cubmaster or Asst. Cubmaster for 5 years since counting the same tenure for both awards doesn't seem correct.
Jul 08, 2013 - Medic Ken
There are several knots that I have earned in the past, but didn't know about until recently. Can I still get those knots or is there a time limit? Thank you
Jul 08, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Ken. Short answer, yes, you can still get them. It may be tricky, if you can't prove all the requirements were done-especially for knot awards that are now cancelled. I myself have processed cub scout leader awards 7-8 years after the fact with ample proof (this was before they cancelled most of them). I even had someone look out for me and process my Den Leader Coach Award nearly 10 years after I earned it (had no idea about it at the time) and 5 years after it was cancelled. It was tricky getting the knot patches, but he did it for me. The key is that the requirements were completed before the knot was discontinued. Good luck.
Jul 21, 2013 - Scouter D
I heard there was a knot for former GSA Gold/First Class recipients is that true and can it be worn on the BSA adult uniform?
Jul 21, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Scouter D. Short answer, no. The BSA does not have, manufacture, recognize, or carry such a square knot for former girl scouts. However, such a square knot was designed as an aftermarket and an image is available at: <www.sageventure.com/history/knothist/IllustratedPrivateIssueKnots4.pdf> This knot is improper for wear. Similarly, a knot was designed (but not accepted by the BSA) for the American Heritage Girls' Stars & Stripes Award (same website as above). Due to the partnership the BSA had with AHG, this knot might have been accepted, but in the light of recent events and the breaking of the BSA/AHG partnership, it never will be. Remember, with the exception of any 'locally authorized knots' that BSA National doesn't administer but DOES ALLOW, the wear of any non-authorized square knot awards on a BSA uniform is improper.
Oct 01, 2013 - Marc McFall
I earned the Exploring Silver Award in 1974 with Post 29 in Seymour, Indiana. I have my National Office letter, medal, and the records at the Bloomington, Indiana Council office in the Post file. I even have a letter from the National Office Exploring Executive when they finally sent my medal to me, (The supply division was temporarily out at the time I earned it). The confusion comes when I wear the knott. Some say the award was discontinued before 1974. If so, how was I awarded the rank? I got my Eagle in 1972, and transfered to Post 29 and started working on the award then. Was I the last to earn it?
Oct 01, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Marc McFall. The old Explorer awards program can be tricky as it is filled with variety and history. Your confusion is warranted, as the Explorer Silver I award was only available from 1949-55, and it's replacement, the Explorer Silver II, from 1954-66. There was no official Explorer Silver program from 1967-1980...however, all programs were allowed to continue until stock was gone. No master records exist, so no one will ever be able to say for a fact that you were the last person to receive the medal and knot, but you seem to have ample proof that it was awarded. You certainly are the only person I've ever heard of earning that award in the 1970s.
Oct 04, 2013 - Jim
Commissioner Award for Excellence in Unit Service. Does anyone know if there is a certificate for this award available? I was able to find the knot.
Oct 04, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Jim. Your local council can make a certificate for this award if they please. Like the distinguished commissioner award, it is controlled at the council level. My council couldn't afford the plaque for my first DCA, so they made a certificate to go with the knot...I believe this would be similar as I have seen nothing on ScoutStuff listing any product but the knot for sale.
Oct 09, 2013 - Neil Selmer
Are Assistant Den and Webelo Leaders eligible to ear the Leader's knots?
Oct 10, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Neil. Yes. All DLs can earn the new DL knot and the Cub Scouter Training Award and knot.
Oct 29, 2013 - Wes
I've recently agreed to become the District Chairman after being out of scouting for a decade. Having raised three boys, I've been in every position from Tiger Cub Coach to Scoutmaster (times 3!!), and have a dozen square knots, many of which are discontinued.
With the recent revisions to the square knots, is it all right to wear the Unit Leader Award of Merit knot, with the appropriate devices, instead of the older knots?
I understand the new requirements are different than the older ones. But if the intention is to remove clutter rom the uniforms, this would work. I just haven't been able to find a definitive answer. It's as if no one wants to address such a question for us old-timers coming back around.
I have to admit that my shirt is quite colorful with all the older knots attached, and frequently invokes questions from parents, boys, and other Scouters - especially since so many of the knots have been discontinued.
Oct 29, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Wes. No. The ULAoM is a different award from the Scoutmaster AoM. Also, given that the ULAoM and the SAoM would be 1 knot in either case, switching them out would do zilch at 'reducing chest clutter'. And assuming you have a bundle of training awards as well (different category from an AoM), see the above discussion about just swapping them out. To paraphrase, some councils "advise" it, but they are distinctly different awards (i.e. the Cubmaster's Key is not the same as the retired Cubmaster's Training Award) and should not be swapped out.
Of course, you have discovered what most of us old timers know. The older knots invoke questions and curiosity which can lead to great discussions and inspiration. I'd say stick with what you've got, and the recently retired ones aren't that old that they're not still available in some scout stores if you need to fix up a new uniform. Good luck.
Jan 02, 2014 - Jodi
With the Cub knots, if a Den is sponsored by a school and only does activities during the school year, would the 9-ish months of the school year be considered a year of tenure? I was a den leader for an entire school year, but moved in the summer after that so was not technically there for an entire calendar year, more like 10-11 months, yet the cubmaster later mailed me a knot and I did meet all other requirements. Is this inappropriate & should I not be wearing it (I'm now involved, where I moved, as a MB counselor, not in Cubs)?
Jan 02, 2014 - Yukon Jack
@ Jodi. The requirement says be REGISTERED for a year, not active. The rest of the requirements for the old cub scout leader knots hint at a 9 month program (requirements like 'host den meetings for your den for 9 months). If you were active for 10-11 months but registered for 12, you're fine. This really doesn't matter much anymore, as it's 2014 now and the last hints of the old cub leader knot system are gone as of two days ago. Now, only one knot is one year, the rest are two or more, so a bit more longevity is required. Good luck.
Jan 19, 2014 - Bill
What a great reference site! Thank you so much for making this available to everyone. I think it's sad that the BSA has retired or consolidated a great many square knots that the average den leader or scouter can earn while so many of the council level service awards remain intact. I would love to individually recognize my Tiger Den Leader with a different knot than my Webelos Den Leader. It's just a nice token of appreciation for all the time and effort they contribute to the pack. Is that too much to ask of the BSA?
Oh, well, maybe they will all go on to earn their William T. Hornaday or Doctorate of Commissioner Science or Distinguished Commissioner Service Award ribbons some day.
Thanks for letting me vent...
Feb 01, 2014 - Nick T.
I only have 1 more year till I earn the Commissioner Key, with all the rest of the requirements finished. I already have the Arrowhead Award and the Trained. My district commissioner states soon it be the green and green knot to hand out. I like the green n white knot. Is there any truth to this.
Feb 02, 2014 - Yukon Jack
@ Nick T. Your district commissioner is incorrect. ALL key awards are the green/white ropes. The green/green ropes is the Scouter's Training Award (which roundtable commissioners may indeed earn...separately from the commissioner's key). If you put in 3 years and did the key requirements, you will get the green/white knot.
There are A LOT of knot changes happening, some real, most rumored. What you were told most likely stemmed from a misunderstanding of these changes. If what you described ever did occur, as you were already 2/3 done with your key, you would be grandfathered in under the old (current) system.
Another RUMORED commissioner knot change is that the Distinguished Commissioner Award and the Commissioner Award of Excellence in Unit Service will be either both retired, merged, or some other change. At present, 100% rumor. If it came true, this still would not effect your Commissioner's Key.
Out of curiosity, which Commissioner's Key are you doing...unit, roundtable, etc?
Feb 03, 2014 - Fil Hudson
I have sent a request to the head council. But it would be nice to have a knot for life guard and wood badge. Does anyone know how to persue this to get done or at least talked about.
Feb 03, 2014 - Yukon Jack
@ Fil. Requests for new square knots go through the National Council. However, if you follow this thread for the last couple of years, the current trend is for National to GET RID of knots, not add more. From 2000-2012 they added something like 12-14 new knots and the 2011 push to 'reduce chest clutter' has already started cutting knots....starting with 5 cub leader knots, the Heroism Award, the Scoutmaster Award of Merit...who knows what's next.
Lifeguard is already a qualification patch, and Wood Badge has the beads originating from B-Ps first 1919 course. With Wood Badge especially, don't expect to see any insignia that is not internationally used, and the BSA's square knots are not international. With the two examples oyu named, there is already ample recognition.
Feb 08, 2014 - Alan Slusser
In 1998,I earned my Doctorate if Commissioner Science Degree,do I have to meet the new requirements for the new knot that was phased out in January of 2014,since I believe I met the requirements for the knot under the Grandfather clause. This site is excellentand thanks from a veteran of 44+ years of consecutive service.
Your's in Scouting,Alan Slusser
Feb 08, 2014 - Yukon Jack
@ Alan. No, old Doctorate holders are grandfathered in. And what is your source that the knot was phased out? I've heard this rumor before, but only once and no one can point to anything concrete issued by National.
Feb 14, 2014 - Ray VanBuren
I am disappointed that there aren't more(read only one) Square Knot Awards for Assistant Scoutmasters.
Feb 14, 2014 - joe wilson
question if you have more then one religious award can you wear more then one knot
Feb 14, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@joe - You should wear just one of a particular knot, even if you've earned it multiple times.
Feb 15, 2014 - Yukon Jack
@ joe wilson. If you look at my post back on Nov. 26th, 2012, the issue of wearing two of the same knot is addressed as there is ONE time in BSA history it can be done. The excerpt is as follows:
"The one time that two of the same knot can be worn is the current (***update, this knot is now discontinued***) blue/gold knot that represents the Cub Scouter Award (CSA). This knot used to be the Den Leader Coach Award (DLCA) from 1975-88. In 1989, a new knot (blue on blue ropes, blue background, blue border...as blue as the Webelos DL Award is yellow and not pictured on this website) was made for the DLCA and the old knot accidentally became the CSA. BSA acknowledged their mistake, and scouters who earned the DLCA from '75-'88 and the CSA from '89-2013 can wear the same knot twice (or could exchange the first one for the 'newer' all blue knot)."
Feb 18, 2014 - Tim Beecher
I am curious as to what qualifies as a "additional supplemental or advanced training event at the council, area, region or national level" when applying for the Scouter's Training Award??
Feb 18, 2014 - Yukon Jack
@ Tim. Attending a University of Scouting event, a day of training, BALOO (cub leaders), OWL (cub leaders), IOLS (boy/varsity leaders), Wood Badge, Powderhorn (venture leaders), Seabadge (sea scout leaders), College of Commissioner Science, National Camping School, Philmont...I've even known some councils to accept taking an NRA instructor class (NRA instructors are co-recognized by the BSA as rifle/shotgun instructors) or a CPR class hosted by the council for this requirement. There's really no limit...if its an in-person training offered by your council it probably counts.
Feb 19, 2014 - JIm Costello
I've been honored with various Scouter awards over some 55 years of service to youth represented in part by the 21 square knots that are on my uniforms. I find that one can carefully trim away the excess material of the knots and then sew the knots together into a patchwork quilt first. Then sew the entire "quilt" to your shirt. The result looks very professional and neat. It does not look at all "cluttered." YIS, Jim Costello, Council Past President & Assistant Council Commissioner, Southern Shores FSC, Ann Arbor/Kalamazoo, MI
Apr 28, 2014 - Joe
I had a question about the Venturing Silver Award. I know that the Eagle scout knot cannot be worn until they become an adult, is this the same for the Venturing Silver? I know Venturing kind of an enigma because awards come in different forms. Just looking to get everyones opinion on this because nothing can really be found online. Thanks!
Apr 29, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Joe - The Venturing Silver Award knot patch is worn by youth and adults.
May 09, 2014 - Maggie Watkins
Has the BSA ever considered creating a knot for Venture scouts that have completed and received their Girl Scout Gold award?
May 09, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Maggie - Since it's not a BSA accomplishment, I don't expect the BSA to have a recognition for it. Square knots are typically worn by adults rather than youth, with only a few exceptions such as Venturing Silver and Arrow of Light.
May 12, 2014 - Joe
@Maggie @Scouter Paul National Suppy does sell a Exploring bar at ScoutStuff.org sells an Explorer recognition award for young adults who have earned the BSA Eagle or GSUSA Gold award. It can be seen here: www.scoutstuff.org/rib-es-gold-awd-bar.html. I read this as a form of acknowledgement that BSA is glad to recognize young ladies for their accomplishment. There are also unoffical knots made that are a light green with the knot and boarder made of gold mylar.
May 14, 2014 - Yukon Jack
@ Maggie & Joe. All true, but I caution anyone about wearing non-BSA knots. There are 2 kinds of approved knots for wear: BSA nationally authorized and locally authorized. The latter must be approved by BSA national. The Girl Scout Gold Award (green and gold described above) is not authorized. There was a brief time when the American Heritage Girls' top award was considered for a knot, but since the BSA/AHG broke ties in May 2013, that will never happen.
Bottom line: don't wear non-authorized knots.
May 14, 2014 - Joe
So just go with the red, white and blue bar to represent the GS Gold award since it is already being producted by the NDC.
Jun 08, 2014 - Tom
I have been a den leader for the past three years and have received the Den Leader Training Award and am working on the Scout Leader's Training Award. I have agreed to take over as Committee Chair and I'm not clear if I can continue working on it. Is the Committee Chair considered an adult "Leader"? And the form requires the signature of the Committee Chair.
Jun 09, 2014 - Joe
@Tom You still would be working for the Scouting Training for Cub Scouts. It's a general Award for Cub Scouts and is not position specific so the progress you've already done would count toward it. You would also still be considered an adult leader even though you don't directly work with youth. Because you are the committee chair you could either get a signature from the Cub Master or your district trainer or commissioner.
Jun 11, 2014 - chris
my husband achieved life in scouting in 1983. what patch is he allowed to wear on his ass't scout master uniform?
Jun 11, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@chris - Adults do not wear youth rank patches.
Jun 11, 2014 - Joe
@Chris Scouter Paul is right, unfortunately for your husband there is nothing for Life scout as the BSA only makes patches for the highest; and even then some are not represented. The only awards that you earn as a youth that are worn as an adult are: Arrow of Light, Youth Religious Awards, Eagle Scout, and Venturing Silver. There are also some awards that both youth and adults can earn like the Hornaday.
One of Scouters biggest regrets is not earning the rank of Eagle, they may have done a lot of work in scouts as a youth but if they didn't earn Eagle there's nothing to show for it.
Jun 20, 2014 - Dan Talpas
I have been an assistant scoutmaster for two years and I have been struggling to get my scouter's training award. I know I did some requirements and the progress record sheet, but I am not sure if my leader knows about them. What should I do? Should I fill out the progress sheet or not? How do you convince other adults at any level to nominate you do get other awards you know you completed requirements for anything? What should I do?
Jun 20, 2014 - Joe
@Dan Talpas You should be keeping record of your progess for awards like the Scouter's Training Award yourself. You collect signatures from the appropriate people; they will not be doing it for you. If you passed something off and they don't know about it, go talk to them and they can sign it off for you; the BSA mostly goes with the honor system but I'd still quiz them to see what they have done.
On nomination only awards, you don't ask or try to convince anyone to nominate you. They are gifts and not really awards; given for hard work and dedication to the level of the award.
Jun 22, 2014 - Dan Talpas
I became scoutmaster somewhere between January and February of 2012. When did the new requirements for the scouter's award changed ?Do I have to follow the old or new requirements for the scouter's training award?
Jun 24, 2014 - Joe
@Dan Talpas They got updated Summer of 2012. Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing awards, knots, and devices were not been changed. Only the requirements have been updated. Leaders who have started to earn these awards may use either set of requirements, but Scouters who have not started to work on an award may only use the new requirements.
The training awards and keys are designed to recognize unit Scouters for tenure, basic and continuing training, and successful performance in their leadership role.
Progress record forms with the new requirements for these awards can be found at www.Scouting.org/training
Jul 16, 2014 - Paul Nichols
My son received the President's Volunteer Service award for spending over 500 hours volunteering in the community. He also received recognition from Federal, State, and County leaders. This was all tied into the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. I have been told that he can wear the President Volunteer Service pin on his uniform but I can't find any regulation that says he can.
After going through this website, I get the feeling that he can't wear it but probably there is specific BSA recognition for his volunteer work. Either the Medal of Merit or Community Organization Award. You can find info on his achievement here:
The two questions are; Can he wear the Presidential pin or should receive BSA specific recognition? Or should his volunteer work be thought of as separate from the Boy Scouts?
Jul 18, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Paul - Since it is a non-BSA award, it should not be worn on the BSA uniform.
You could seek additional recognition through the Medal of Merit path. The Community Organization award is for adult volunteers.
Jul 18, 2014 - Paul Nichols
Thank you for your help.
Aug 13, 2014 - Dan Talpas
I to got the presidential volunteers award for volunteering for 100 hours under my old high school's SITES program where we learn about the community itself and why society is important in the classroom and go out to do community service. I received it two yeas ago, but I thought that it wouldn't count for the community organization award. I received it when I graduated from the high school at the age of 18 as an adult leader. I still have the congratulatory letter. Will the presidential volunteers award count for the community organization award?
Aug 14, 2014 - Joe
@ Dan Talpas Hello Dan, unfortunately it would not. The Community Organization Award/Knot is worn to represent an award given through community groups such as the Masons or Elks.
You can find a list of recognized awards at scouting.org here:
You would receive the award, along with the knot and a device repesenting the award for the knot. Hope that clears things up for you.
Aug 16, 2014 - Dan Talpas
When you apply for the James e west fellowship and pay $1000 is there more that goes with it? Do you need to join the 1910 circle, heritage society, or any other organization to seal your fellowship? For payment I know it has to be in cash, but can you pay in marketing securities like checks, debit cards, etc? Can you make the contribution anytime or in a certain payment period?
Aug 18, 2014 - Joe
@ Dan Talpas It would imagine that it would vary from Council to Council. In the Council that I am in once a year they hold a James E West banquet dinner. You receive a plaque/certificate, your name on the wall of the council and of course the knot (which only represents the award and is not the actual award).
There are different levels of the James E West dependant upon how much to donate to your Council's fund. 1910 society for example is $25,000 or more. You can find more information here: www.scouting.org/filestore/financeimpact/pdf/MajorGiftRecognitionPrograms.pdf
In our Council I know you don't even need to make your donation all up front and can pay it over 4 years. All payment types are accepted. Hope that helps you out!
Aug 19, 2014 - Jeff
I had a question about the Religious knots. I just mentored my son for 5 weeks, and we both completed our God & Me workbooks together. He completed the Student one, and I completed the Mentor one. Our Pastor each week reviewed our work, and has approved our completions of our workbooks. I understand that my son qualifies for the Religous knot (sliver knot on purple), do I qualify for an adult knot, is there such an award? I am a little confused, as I was told by my Pack that I did, but cannot find one. Thanks for your help
Aug 20, 2014 - Joe
@Jeff The God and Me program encompasses a couple different religions. All have the youth awards but all have different adult religious awards if they have one at all.
So the question is what religion are you going through?
Aug 20, 2014 - Jeff
@ Joe - Methodist (Protestant). I know which medals and stuff to order, and the BSA Knot for my son. Because I did the Mentor workbook and mentored my son, do I qualify for the same BSA Knot? I guess that is my confusion. Everything has been approved by the Pastor. BTW, it was an awesome workbook to do with my son, and I am looking forward to doing the rest of them with him and my youngest son. Thanks for your time.
Aug 21, 2014 - Joe
@Jeff There are two different versions of the award depending on if you get it through (either the United Methodist or Protestant). The bottomline though is that you simply do not earn the award from completing tbe Mentor book, there are requirments for eligiblity such as:
1. Have a minimum of 5 years of service to the church.
2. Have a minimum of 5 years of service (be fully trained and exhibit past and present leadership) in the
youth agency (BSA, GSUSA, CFUSA, AHG).
This is also a nomination award on the level of District Award of Merit, where you must be nominated by someone other than yourself or spouse.
You can find more information about it at:
Aug 21, 2014 - Joe
Another thing that I also would point out is that adults cannot earn youth awards, including youth religious awards.
I don't mean to rain on your parade and do hope this information helps!! Best of luck in your Scouting!
Aug 22, 2014 - Jeff
@ Joe - lol, no, you didn't rain on my parade. I was getting conflicting from people that I did or did not qualify for the award. I will not wear an award unless I am properly nominated for it, and I have met or exceeded all the requirements. Yes, thank you for the correct information. I was just happy to go through the journey with my son, and that he will receive an award.
Sep 28, 2014 - Ty
I did not see this anywhere in the discussion, but I have seen silver and gold pins placed on some of the knots. I need to look closer as to which knots they are being placed on, but I can't seem to find any information online about this practice or how they are getting these pins.
Sep 29, 2014 - Joe
@Ty, the pins you are seeing are called devices. They represent families of scouting that the awards was earned in or multipule awards earned. The Scouter's Training award is a great example of this sense it is one of the most commonly earned, I wear a Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Commissioner device to represent that I've earn the award three times in different families.
Keep in mind though that you can only wear three at a time on one knot.
Eagle Palms are a bit different, you wear the combination that was earned.
Oct 08, 2014 - Bruno
Can a person asked to reorganize a previously defunct unit (more than 3 years), qualify for the William D. Boyce award?
Oct 08, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Bruno - No, it is supposed to be a new unit. Rather than resurrecting an inactive unit, you could create a new one.
Oct 20, 2014 - Matt
Is there still an American Legion and scouting
SQUARE KNOT AWARD ? Offered years ago Purple gold knot
Oct 21, 2014 - Joe
@Matt I'm not sure about the seperate knot for it, but The American Legion Scouting Award is incorporated in the Community Organization Award. This award is an umbrella at represents many different awards. See the link above for more information.
Oct 22, 2014 - Chris
@Bruno: YES, that does count. The unit has officially dropped from the rolls and has been that way through one recharter cycle, so it qualifies if you restart it from scratch.
@Scouter Paul: The unit he describes isn't inactive, it's Dropped. That means, if it comes back, it's New.