The knots, they are a-changin’

Cub Scout leaders and volunteers can expect to see some changes to their training awards and insignia beginning next year.

The national training team has received requests and suggestions for simplifying the large number of personal achievement, recognition, training and service awards, commonly called “square knots,” that are available for leaders to earn. Among the changes coming are a consolidation of the Cub Scout Leader training award knots.

To cut down on the sometimes confusing number of different knots available, the Tiger Cub Leader, Den Leader and Webelos Leader knots are being consolidated into a single knot, the Den Leader knot. A device, or pin, is worn on the knot to indicate how it was earned. A leader will still be able to earn the awards at each level as before, except that instead of a different knot to sew on, he or she will receive the Den Leader square knot (a yellow knot on a blue background) initially, along with a device.

Here’s an example: Joe Scouter earns the Tiger Cub Den Leader award. Instead of the yellow, orange and black knot, he’ll get the yellow and blue knot and, presumably, a tiny Tiger Cub device to pin through the knot. Next year, when he earns the Den Leader award, he’ll receive a Cub Scout pin, and finally, upon earning the Webelos Leader award, he’ll get the Webelos pin to wear on the knot.

Similar changes are coming for Cubmasters. Currently, the Cubmaster Award is a blue knot on a yellow background, but next year it will be replaced with the same knot as for the Scoutmaster’s Key – a green and white knot on a tan background, worn with a Cub Scout device pin. When the Cubmaster becomes a Scoutmaster and earns the Scoutmaster’s Key, he or she receives a Boy Scout device to add to the knot.

Pack committee chairs and committee members, and direct leaders with excess tenure beyond that required for their Den Leader or Cubmaster knots, can currently earn the Cub Scouter Award knot, a yellow and blue knot on a blue background. Pack Trainers have a knot to themselves – a yellow and blue striped knot on a yellow background. These insignia will be wrapped into the Scouter’s Training Award, a green knot on a tan background, again worn with the Cub Scout device pin.

Look for changes in the requirements as well, as these are being reviewed by the national training team.  The new knots should be in use sometime in 2012, but Scouters who have already earned their separate knots for each rank can continue to wear them indefinitely, and leaders who receive the award can obtain the current knots as long as supplies are available.

This post first appeared on Bobwhite Blather.
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