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Time to talk of beads, knots and other things...

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madkins007, I would compare the Scouter's Training Award to the Cub Scouter Award, not the Cubmaster Award. I think they are more equivalent and cover any position in their respective unit. I think you need to compare the Cubmaster Award to the Scouter's Key, these awards can only be earned by Cubmasters and Scoutmasters (for troops) respectively.


BS leaders can earn up to 2 knots for positions served in a unit- both requiring some district or council participation.


Actually, BS Scouters can only earn one knot, except for SMs that can earn three. Not sure what "district or council participation" is needed beyond training and attending roundtable. CS Scouters need that too. Your list doesn't show any (I don't consider this necessary with "staff a training event").


CS 'scorecards' are submitted and filled pretty much on the honor system. BS awards are submitted on forms that are analysed by the office before being filled.


I don't understand this. All the awards for CS Scouters require CM or CC approval and district approval. Likewise, all the awards for BS Scouters require SM or CC approval and district approval. What's the difference?


I certainly don't intend a knock down drag out fight! :)

All I really meant was that the basic knots are fairly equivalent. Committee members from both types of units have it about the same, one knot after two years. SMs have it a bit better than CMs, three knots after three years compared to two after four. The real difference is the three knots for the various den leader positions for packs, of which, there is nothing comparable in any other type of unit.


SWScouter(This message has been edited by SWScouter)

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Your beef is with the BSA who has seen fit to recognize leadership with knots to be placed on uniforms, not the people who wear them.

I don't want to fight, either. Like I said, I am now DL for my grandson's tiger den, which means planning weekly meetings, arranging refreshments (and having something stashed in the car trunk . . . just in case the mama who was supposed to bring refreshments didn't, and ANOTHER committee meeting to attend (I am Advancement Chair in our troop.). On the other hand, I now have nine boys who call me "Gran'pa"(Sweet!), eight other parents who HAVE to come to meetings and BE INVOLVED with their son's scouting program (one of the best ideas BSA has ever had), all you cub scouters know the drill.

But I digress. The "adult scouting program" is set up to recognise those parents who get involved in their son's scouting activities at a higher level.

There are, however, some "spoof" knots for scouters. NO, they ain't according to Hoyle, but they can lighten things up a bit. There is an "Order of the Fork" knot for the unit's grand chowhound, the "Scouter Racquenture(sic) Award" knot, a bull in profile with it's tail raised (I actually presented one to a dad who had done everthing and been everywhere). Also "spoof" interpreter strips - "Legalese", "Brooklynese", "Southern Drawl", "Cajun", and "Klingon", etc. Enter "streamwood spoofs" on your search engine. Me? I wear dat "Cajun" on my shirt 'cause I can tawk reel good, cher', I gar-on-tee.


Y'all pass a good time now, my friends,


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SWScouter- Oh, come on- let's fight (like gentlemen, of course!) ;)


I chose the BS Leader's Training Award for my example because to earn the SM Key you have to earn this first. I chose the CM knot randomly, but the Cub knots all have similar requirements.


You can earn a CS knot without leaving your unit other than attending 4 RTs or a single longer supplimental training event.


For the BS award, of the 12 options, 8 of them involve work outside your unit, either in other units or on district, council or national levels. (OK, I'm pushing this a bit by treating the MB Counselor as an 'outside' position and that is not necessarily the case!)


I don't know how they do it in other councils, but in ours, when I worked in the office, the district sign-off part of the CS knots could be signed by the Scouter Services people, or even by the shift manager in the store. A leader could (and still can) bring a form in and walk out with the knot in hand. You cannot do that (here) with the BS awards which have to be processed first. Also, locally, the CS knots can be awarded by the pack or the district, however the unit wants to do it. Last I knew, the BS awards were only done at the district dinner.


Confession time: I can't figure out what the third knot you mention for SMs is, unless you are refering to one of the merit awards.




So, having earned the CM and CS awards, and the Training Award and Key, it is my opinion that the CS awards are a piece of cake and the BS awards are more of a challenge.


HOWEVER- like I said, this is comparing apples to oranges. I think both CM and SM are challenging jobs, neither easier than the other, but they are worlds apart in what they require and what their goals are.


Personally, I think the Cub Scouts are treated a bit shabbily by the BSA in general. I think even a lot of BS leaders look down just a bit on CS leaders and folk, even as they depend on them to produce new Scouts. CS outnumber both BS and Venture almost 2 to 1, bring in more than their fair share of the money, provide the BS with most of its boys and leaders, and still gets treated like the unwelcome little brother too often.


So, I think it is PERFECTLY fair that they get a heap of knots. It is, in many ways, the least the BSA can do for them!



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You said " If I stick it out with the pack through May I will also have earned the Cub scouter award, but that will be three months later. It will also delay any tenure for the boy scout leader training award."


I don't believe this is true. Tenure time within one program (Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, etc) cannot overlap, but tenure time in different program areas can overlap. For example, if you are, say, Pack Committee Chair and Assistant Scoutmaster, you are picking up tenure for both the Cub Scouter Award and the Scouter Training Award. You can't use a year as a DL and a year as a WDL for the Den Leader and Webelos Den Leader Awards and still use that that same time towards the Cub Scouter Award.

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madkins007, interesting discussion about the disparity in district approval between CS knots and BS knots. I never would have guessed. That does seem to be an implementation problem in your district (perhaps in others too).


Yes, for the third knot a SM can earn I was meaning the SM Award of Merit. This is a bit different isn't it. The SM needs to be nominated by the PLC/committee, yet he/she still needs to earn it (maybe qualify is a better term here).


I haven't concerned myself with the BS knots yet so I really can't comment too much on if they're more work or not. Looking at the requirements, I'll treat them the same as how I treat the CS knots. That is, I should make sure that I do what is needed to earn them to help ensure I offer the boys the program they deserve.


Great discussion. Thanks, SWSCouter

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It would be nice if what you say is true, especially since I have been a part of Cub Roundtable Staff and could apply that to the Scouter's training award.


I don't know if I can though, at least for the CS knots. Each of the five CS awards, state: Dates of service used to earn this

award cannot be used to earn another

key or award. To me, that seems fairly explicit.


There does seem room though, for example to work on multiple Scouter's training awards at a time though.


I really have no idea what the real policy is on this though. Anybody?



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Madkins007 - I'm like you. A knock-down-drag-out about knots. I had my say, hopped down off the soapbox and headed for cheapseats. That is what this forum is all about. It gives all of us a chance to see how the scouting movement is moving from others' perspectives. Everybody has parts of the scouting program that is dear to them. Taken as a whole, we seem to cover the field. I see that our troop in our part of the swamp does some things the way units in different parts of the country and councils do things; differences, the same thing. I have picked up on several things that I have presented to the proper people for discussion and implementation.


I figured out when I became active in scouting again when my son (finally, yes, at last!) became old enough to become a tiger, that there is an "adult scouting program", complete with its own recognition program (Knots, Beads, and Other Things) and oppportunites to continue serving the youth even when your son ages out. The focus should remain of delivering the program, and a quality program to the boys (I can hear my beads rattling again!).


But this is so much fun . . . and enlightening.

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"I really have no idea what the real policy is on this though. Anybody?"


Multiple awards may be worked on simultaneously. All the requirements must be completed obviously. Multiple registration might be necessary depending on the specific requirements.


Requirements for all of the awards being discussed here are found in the Leadership Committee Training Guide #34169F. From the book, "Tenure used to earn one key or award cannot be used to earn another key or award." (There is one exception for the SM key award.)


The Cub Scouter award can be earned by any adult leader in the the pack, including positions for which other awards are available such as the DL award. The tenure requirement is 2 years and the same tenure used for another award cannot be used for the Cub Scouter award. Thus it takes 2 years for this award, plus another year for a DL award.


The only way to double up on tenure time is to hold 2 or more registered positions at the same time (which is not recommended anyway).


Tenure for the SM key award is 3 years as a SM, which may include the tenure used for the Scouter's Training award. This is the only tenure double-dipping permitted.


The requirements for several awards have changed. The SM key award no longer requires completion of the Scouter's training award. Troop Committee Challenge training is required, presumably so the SM will learn part of what is NOT his responsibility.


The Scouter's Training award formerly required completion of 5 out of 12 options. 2 new options have been added, 3 were dropped. The new requirement is 7 out of 11.


Interpretation of award requirements is the responsibility of the council training committee. Performance is certified by commissioners unless otherwise noted for a specific award. Final approval is the responsibility of the council training committee. They may authorize others to do this, though I seriously doubt they would give blanket approval for packs to distribute awards.

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Ah - but any of those would require that I take on another "job" within scouting and quite frankly, I don't have the time! I went to WoodBadge last summer and got beaded in May; our troop currently has 100 boys registered; I'm a HAM radio operator, active in the local radio club and ARES; Vice President of a local Disaster Support Organization; involved in ToastMasters (public speaking organization); a volunteer at my church plus I work full time. There's just not enough time in the day/week/year! All of my volunteer activities are important, I can't see dropping any of them at this time but I sure can't add to them.

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FScouter- It does not surprise me that they changes some requirements again- after all, I JUST bought a new SM handbook and it had the stuff I listed in it! Figures that as soon as I upgrade, I'm still behind the curve- it works with my computers, too! ;)


AwHeck- yeah, I sympathize. Some positions get a lot of recognition and hoopla, some don't. I have long suspected that the BS Leader's 'advancement program' was geared largely to get adults involved in the district and council levels.

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I would not say that our council had (and maybe still has?) an 'implimentation problem' with the CS awards. The way they did it kept people happy and I doubt there were very many abuses... especially since the average leader did not know that there was not a lot of checking going on behind the scenes. Besides- the office really had (has?) no way of verifying much of the info on the card. Requirements such as helping with Pinewoods or Sports and Academics, coordinating den activities, taking part in overnighters, etc.- none of this is recorded in any way at the office.


In fact, in the pre-ScoutNet and early 'buggy' phases of the ScoutNet computer system (when I worked there), a LOT of Cub Scouting was not tracked by the office. No official, on-going record was kept of much a pack's activities beyond registations and AOL info. (This stuff was needed for Eagle and other purposes.) There was just SO MUCH of the stuff coming in that no one could keep it up to date.


Even for the Boy Scout awards, there was (is?) less checking than some people might think. It was certainly possible to pull Roundtable records to verify the 6 meetings requirement, or to pull MB records to verify that you counseled 5 youth, but no one did- no one had the time to do it for every candidate for every award. They spot-checked, talked to committee leaders, etc. Other requirements, again, were not recorded in the office in any way. One DE told me, at least partly tongue in cheek, that they don't really do much beyond making sure the form is filled out correctly for some of the knots.


As for YOUR earning the BS knots- good luck, and I hope you have as much fun getting them as I did mine!

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I have to agree with the earlier posting about getting more "credence" at any scout meeting at any level when your uniform has at least some of the "right stuff" on it. It happened to my wife, aka "Cutest BobWhite".


She went through CS and Webelos as an ADL. Five years in and two trainings later, nothing on her shirt to show for it. On to BS. Committee Member with very regular attendance for four years, nothing to show for it. Has been going to RoundTable all this time and she is ignored by guess who(?) - all those who have the "right stuff" on their uniform shirts, training awards, those five CS knots, O.A. flaps and WB beads.


Our son gets elected to the O.A. She had been nominated for O.A. the year before but refused the nomination becasue our son had not been elected. O.K., she gets nominated again and goes through the induction process with our son. The O.A. flap, part of the "right stuff", is on her uniform. Guess what? Suddenly she is beginning to be listened to at RoundTable!


We both begin Wood Badge as members of the same troop but different patrols. As we are finishing our tickets, we go to Philmont for Venture Advisor Training. It isn't long before (golly-gee!) she's got a knot on her shirt. In that interem, we get our beads.


SHAZAM ! ! !


She comments on how she suddenly is being listened to at scout metings of all levels, TC., O. A. chapter meetings, Roundtables, and helping at O.A. induction process weekends. My reply was, "Face it, Sweetheart, you are now M.O.C. (member of the club) in boy scouts."


This is not a rant. It is true that all organizations having uniforms - and some that do not - that have visible recognition programs have those recognitions that are more highly respected and valued than others. The BSA has its recognition programs for both youth and adults. Any scouter who tells you that he/she doesn't give a scouter that he/she has never met a quick once-over to see what's on the uniform is fooling himself. We all do it. Here's the basic checklist:


1.) Wood Badge Beads? yes/no


2.) O.A. lodge flap? yes/no


3.) Leader Training Knot? yes/no


4.) Devices on Training Knot? 1/2/3/4


5.) Arrow of Light Knot? yes/no


6.) If AoL, Eagle Knot? yes/no


7.) Religious Award Knot? yes/no


8.) District Award of Merit? yes/no


9.) anything not seen before? yes/no


I AM NOT DEMEANING ANYONE'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS OR THEIR BEHAVIOR. We do check each other out all the time. It's human nature.


Heck, our son has three knots on his uniform and he's not yet 19, Religious Award, Arrow of Light, and Eagle Scout. Next month he takes Scoutmaster Fundamentals and will get the "Trained" patch for his sleeve, and in time, another knot. And guess who wants to have his WB beads before he turns 21 . . . ? Oh, and don't forget, Philmont Staffer Arrowhead patch that he earned this summer. Betcha he gets O.A. Vigil before the end of '06, too; chapter chief. Yep, he's got the "right stuff" on his uniform shirt.


Tell ya what BSA National needs is the "Parent of an Eagle" knot. A red-white-blue background with a boot superimposed on the red-white-blue background. If you are parent of an Eagle Scout, odds are you had to use that boot at least once in one way or another .


Consider this: When a boy moves on from cub scouts and Webelos to a boy scout troop, he has to take off all of his cub scout recognitions save for the Arrow of Light and start over. Why not have scouters do the same thing, hmmmm? CS and BS are separate programs, you know. (OGE - Duck! - here they come again!)

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