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Compiling List of Scouts Who Have Earned All Merit Badges - Private Issue Knot

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Back when I was a scout I was the youngest of four boys in my family to become an Eagle Scout. But that was not all, three of us earned all the merit badges possible, and the oldest (the one who gave the rest of us the idea) earned over half of them. We have long thought that there should be an official award square knot for this achievement. But the BSA doesn't even keep track of this feat, so we have felt that there would be little attraction for them. So we have designed a private issue knot that should be available mid-June. We are very excited about this knot and are happy with the quality producer we have found to create it for us. Information on this knot as well as an image of what it will look like including a description of the design can be found at www.meritbadgeknot.com.


At the same time we have decided to begin the creation of a registry of scouts, old and new, who have earned all the merit badges available to them as scouts. So far our list is just short of 20 scouts, and this was found through online searches. We are sure that many of you on this forum know of scouts in this elite group (or may be yourselves). In whichever way you feel comfortable, please let us know who these scouts are. You can post information on this forum, e-mail me at troy@meritbadgeknot.com, or simply tell the scout about our website.


We think this listing will be great recognition to those scouts who have earned all the merit badges, and hopefully one day our private issue unofficial knot will become official!


Thank you for your consideration!

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What did your experience in Scouting earning the merit badges teach you about following rules or even more importantly obeying the law?


By whose authority or permission do you make a badge for a uniform you have no legal control of? By what authority do reproduce trademarked properties of the BSA on yor website.


There are legal and proper ways to request that knots be approved by the BSA and there are legal ways to get permission to reproduce the BSA's protected properties and images.


I think people would be far less impressed with the number of merit badge you left scouting with and more impressed with the values that you took with you.


I hope that after some reflection on the copyright laws and and on Scout Law you will remove your web site and reconsider your approach on how you will try to get the resognition adopted by the BSA.







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Bob White - Thank you for your comments (not your diplomacy). I have taken note and modified my website accordingly.

Aquila Calva - Thank you for your support and note that this may be a difficult effort. It is understandable that this achievement is not rewarded as so few people would ever earn it. Expending the resources required (just going forward with new achievers) to do this just would not make sense. So if I do get a letter stating this I will understand already.


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Hey BW,

Fantastic post by the uniform police. I like the way you called it. When I read the original posting my impression was that Troy had learned how to get merit badges signed off but had missed all the core values of scouting. I would not respect the wearing of this knot no matter what they did to earn it. There are reasons to do things the right way and the wrong way. Making your own knots......wrong, petitioning the commission of a knot and letting B.S.A. decide....The right way! Doing things your own way because you are afraid someone will tell you NO is both immature and not the behavior one would expect from a scout. Take pride in what you have done but always remember the scouting ways.

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No uniform police at my house. The wearer of the uniform is hopefully selected based on character and ability. They should be capable of knowing right from wrong and following rules on their own. (as should an Eagle Scout).


Before you start criticizing people who support the correct use of the uniform as "elitists", lets look at a quote from you Troy from your website, as you explain why you see a need for this "knot".


"This group of scouts is definitely the elite of all scouts and could stand to be recognized for their achievements."


You are referring to yourself are you not Troy as one of these elite who deserve this recognition? And because the BSA has not to date agreed with you on this point have taken it upon yourself to create your own award to fete your own accomplishment. Yet you think people who endorse the correct use of the BSA uniform as "over zealous".


Have I pretty much gotten that right?


Yet, you do not see your own attempts to reward yourself as just a tad ego-maniacal?


As far as diplomacy, if you see someone stealing from your neighbor and you holler at him to stop... are you concerned about sounding polite and diplomatic, or do you want him to understand that what he is doing is wrong and he needs to stop.


For diplomacy he should have sought permission before he violated the law.(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Quantity and respect do not necessarily go hand in hand. Way back in 1960, as we prepared for Jamboree, we had three adult leaders (only 3 then). Two were old time Eagles with multiple palms; one had over 60, and the other close to 80. The 3rd adult had never gone beyond tenderfoot. Which one was the favorite of the youth in the troop? You probably surmise correctly, it was the one with no merit badges, but who spent his time involved with the boys, not arguing as to whom was the bigger scouting success.


Lots of quotes in the anthologies that relate to pride and its possible consequences.



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Boy this one has really gotten Bob in an uproar! Don't even think about the Klingon translator patch or the Untrainable one.


Funny thing, I looked at the web site and I didn't see any "BSA property" reproduced.


As for "what right" he has. He has the same right to produce that knot as the guys who make the Untrainable patches or any other patch. The onus is on the purchaser to wear the patch properly.

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Something's missing from this thread...Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind. I'm giving the benfit of the doubt that Troy was unaware that he was using registered trademarks and that BSA permission was required. After all, the BSA just recently started vigorous enforcment of their trademarks. And it's still a free country - private issue badges/knots are prolific. I'm not aware that the square knot has been registered by the BSA yet. The rule is that they can't be worn on the uniform.


A slam dunk with the rule book was uncalled for...yet again.

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If you read Troy's second post you would see that he removed the BSA protected images.


As for "what right" he has. He has the same right to produce that knot as the guys who make the Untrainable patches or any other patch.


Absolutely untrue. Some emblem distributors are licensed by the BSA, and follow strict rules as to what can be produced and what cannot.


Troy is not one of those distributors. he has the same "rights" to make emblems for the uniform as any other unlicensed vendor...none!


Had he been licensed his website would have to have been reviewed and its contents on the patch approved by the BSA liscensing division.

Then he would have displayed his approved supplier logo on the page.


There was nothing in my post that was contrary to the Scout Law. Troy is not a kid. He earned his Eagle over 23 years ago. He is someone who feels according to his own words, to be the elite among us. And he wants an award for his uniform to prove it.

So far the BSA has disagreed, and that decision is not good enough for Troy, so he has decided to make his own award, and is encouraging others to wear it to so that he can have elite company.


I feel no shame in supporting the same rules be applied across the board. Troy, and other scouters who wear improper recognitions, what to break rules for their own grandification. I think there is a big difference between the two behaviors.(This message has been edited by BoB White)

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"He has the same right to produce that knot as the guys who make the Untrainable patches or any other patch."


Not that GW is endorsing the practice, but we see that a lot in society. The other guy is doing the wrong thing, thus it's OK for me to do the wrong thing too! Even worse is the creeping attitude that if everyone is doing the wrong thing, that makes it the "right" thing.

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At this time, I'm not in favor of this idea.

While I'm OK with recognizing the people who have earned the "Top Rank" in a section (Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout). I think the recognition for earning a merit badge is the patch itself and being allowed / able to wear it where it is supposed to be worn.


I personally think that this idea would result in more Troops pushing merit badge programs. Which when they become Troop Programs do get in the way of what I see as real Scouting programs. The Merit Badge should be about an area that holds some interest to the individual Scout.

I'm not saying that the Lad who sets a goal of earning all the MB's is wrong or that this is a bad thing. I'm just happy with the way things are as they are!!


As for a "Private Issue Knot"??

I just don't get it!!

If we start going down that path whats next? Maybe a knot for Scouts who earn all the water based /aquatic merit badges or how about the badges that deal with scouting type outdoor skills? The list could go on and on.

Anyways I not for it.


(This is in no way intended to upset anyone, be unkind, or is not a put down. It is my opinion, this is a forum and I'm happy to discuss my opinion with those who agree or disagree with it.)


Have just visited the web site and read:

" I have taken some heat from over-zealous individuals over the creation of this knot. This is what is called an "unofficial, private issue knot." This means that it is not endorsed by BSA, and if you choose to wear it on your uniform at any time a "uniform policeman" may tell you to remove it. I have discussed this knot with my local commissioner, and he likes the idea. Personally, I will wear it proudly"

I have to say that I find this comment to be out of line!!

There is no such thing as "uniform policeman".

At the end of the day each of us can choose to do what is right and what is wrong.

We choose what sort of example we want to set for the youth we lead.

Local Commissioner?? And he represents??

The "Penalty" for wearing a knot like this is maybe a few raised eye-brows.

I'm not sure what penalty might be incurred for selling it?

But putting down people who want to do the right thing?

Is this in keeping with the Scout Law?

I think not.



(This message has been edited by Eamonn)

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Whether I'm "for" or "against" is not an issue. I can choose not to buy and wear the patch. I did look at the BSA website before I posted, and the square knot design is not listed as a registered trademark. (or maybe I didn;t look in the right place?) Just as the "Scout" badge is not registered, since it is just a generic brown fleur-de-lis which has been in common use for centuries. There are lots of private issue squareknots out there...for BSA Lifeguard, 50 miler, Wood Badge, etc. But I think those who buy them and wear them are egomaniacs. But that's just my opinion and I'm sure they couldn't care less.


Suppose Troy were to follow the law and registered the square knot patch as a trademark...then where would we be, hmmmmm?

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