Jump to content

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

Recommended Posts

How goes your quest to get BSA to authorize the knot for uniform wear? I see on your registry that you are identifying some scouts by first name only. Thank you for respecting the Youth Protection guidelines. I also note a large percentage are from Utah - LDS troops?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 92
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

scoutldr - Thanks for checking out the website. For those scouts where I couldn't verify if they were over 18 I only listed their first name. This was from a great suggestion from one of the members of the forum (I'm sorry, but I forgot who it was!).


The majority of scouts listed have been from general online searches. Probably six or seven have been people passing names to me that I was able to verify through more focused online searches. I currently have two names from e-mails that I have been trying to contact to verify their status. So far, everything has been verified through some sort of publication on the scout's achievement. The concentration of Utah names is partly due to a hard-copy publication listing achievements of LDS scouts that was shared with me by a local scouter (I think I got eight names off that listing, not all of them were from Utah). Otherwise, is primarily a function of what information is available online and what people have sent to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

I realize that this forum hasn't had a reply for a little over a year, but I found this and read through the majority of it. Towards the end, I felt the need to post a reply on here. I hope someone will read this.


Unlike most of you (I think, as I am new to this site and I am just geussing), I'm still a boy scout. I'm 16 and am 2 merit badges away from eagle.


Troy, I think that the decision about the knot has probably been made by now, but I hope they like it.


Now here is an opinion from someone who is currently a scout. I have read many posts arguing about whether or not encouraging kids to earn loads of merit badges is right or wrong. It's somewhat both. Kids should be encourged to earn as many merit badges as they can, as long as they are having fun along the way. For example, right now I am working on a couple; family life, cycling, and theatre. Family life I am only working on because once I EARN it, I will be eagle. But theatre is fun. While working on it, I've met an adult who also shares an intrest in theatre and learned things from him. I've shown people something I like through requirements. And I've thought over my experiences in theatre. But I've had fun. So encouraging scouts to earn badges is good, so that they can do something they like. Another example from my scouting career is astronomy. My first year as a scout I went to a summer camp (which I know work at now). I took astronomy hoping to have fun. Not only did I have fun, but I've learned about the stars and developed an intrest in a new hobby. So for the adult leaders here, tell scouts to earn badges, but don't make them do ones that they might not enjoy. Learning a new skill and earning some badges to earn the rank of star, life or eagle is fine, but I think that there is more to that. Think about it.


Now back to the knot. I have thought about earning every badge before, so one day I sat down and looked through the requirements for certain badges. I found out that there are a lot of badges that seem quite boring. So I made a new goal, to earn as many as I can that intrest me.

But that's my opinion. There are many scouts that would work on a badge just so they can say that they have earned 60 or 90 or 25. and that's their opinion. For the people that have earned all 121 merit badges, they had their own reasons to do so. In the end I believe that they deserve some bragging rights. This is where the knot comes in. It's simple. Convinient. It is something you can display with out having to where 3 sashes. early today I read an article on a boy who earned his 121nd badge 2 days before his 18th birthday. He got to show it off for 2 days and then was not obligated to wear the sash because he is an adult. The knot, whoever, (I think) you can wear even as an adult. And there is the benefit of having a better place to hold your palms.


Now Bob. Not gonna lie, you complain a lot. I'm all for being open minded and fair in regarding the say that you have in this forum. But seriously, we get the point that you're against the fact that you think Troy just wants to be ELITE and ego crazy and maybe even cocky. But you just keep attacking him. Maybe the knot was intended a bit for him, but not 100% for him.Complain at me all you want, but remember to stay friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, and prepared( haha I just wanted to throw that in).


And for those of you who say that Troy is simply making the knot to make money, I highly doubt that.

Link to post
Share on other sites



our troop ran across a young man this summer, while we were camping out of council, who was proudly and very incorrectly, wearing 2 merit badge sashes festooned with 98 merit badges. This 13 year old Eagle Scout was very proud of himself for his accomplishments; yet he never presented himself in a proper Scout uniform throughout the entire week of camp. After some investigation it was determined that prior to joining his current troop he was a "Lone Scout" for the first two years.


Now it would be beneath me as a fellow Eagle Scout to doubt the veracity of this young man's story, however, there seems to be little that passes the makes sense test at least on the surface. To say the very least his current troop leadership is failing him miserably by not showing him the proper methods of scouting now.


So here is a 13 year old that already lays claim to 98 merit badges. Perhaps he should have a special square knot for earning the most badges the quickest. I must agree with the others that have stated that the earning of the badge and the knowledge gained in the process is the "prize" there needs to be no further recognition garnered. I do not wear my palm because I simply find the clasp to be uncomfortable. Perhaps, you could design and market square knots with embroidered palms on them and pitch those to National.

Link to post
Share on other sites



I just continue to love hearing arguments against this concept based on "this scout" or "that scout". Please take the time to think through this idea:


Spend an hour or two and go to my website www.meritbadgeknot.com. Click on the names of the scouts listed to read a little more about each of them. For some of them I have very little information, but for many I have been able to find good information about them. As you read through them, count those who are "undeserving of continued recognition" and those who went significantly above and beyond. Then compare that ratio with the masses of scouts in the general population, most of which don't even earn the rank of Star. And who should we assume got the most benefit from the scouting program?


I have spoken with quite of few of these scouts and/or their parents. One reoccuring piece of feedback I get from them is the fact that they are continually criticized by those around them for their efforts. Frankly, the only real response that I can come up with is that it is simple jealousy. I know this statement will elicit plenty of responses, but I don't know how much I care about it at this point.


Imagine this - if we were to consider your version of the "optimal" scout who has gotten the most of the program you may think that this is a 16 year old Eagle with 25 merit badges (none of the simple ones, of course), years of leadership experience who eventually exits the program with perfect morals, discipline, etc. Does this mean you criticize those who do not fit your "optimal" mold? There is a lot of criticizm for my concept, but why is there very little criticism for the other side of the spectrum referring to the large majority of scouts who don't even make the rank of Eagle, Life, or even Star?


Finally, I will take a moment to make a personal statement to make this issue as clear as possible. In your profile you state that you are a 12 year active service veteran. Why not just say that you are a veteran? Why did you even need to mention in in the first place when the profile asks for "interests" information? I guess you are interested in letting everyone know that you are a "12 year active duty veteran". Obviously this is an important achievement of yours, but what you are telling me with your statements regarding my knot concept is that you should just be happy knowing that you were a 12 year veteran and not feel the need to continue to be recognized for it. (Before anyone attacks me on this let it be known that this is not a statement regarding my personal feelings on the role our veterans have played in the freedoms we enjoy.)


People love pointing fingers at my concept when in reality they fall into the same boat, just in different circumstances. And your statements regarding the "maturing" scout would be like me attempting to discredit your military service by quoting a news story about a similarly-tenured military veteran who has been convicted of some serious crime. How relevant would that be?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have decided to edit my profile and remove the reference to my military experience because it is not germane to this forum. It is only a small part of who I am and I do not need anyone making decision about me based upon their reflections of veterans or non-veterans.


Between 2-and 5% or something like that attain the rank of Eagle in Scouting. First Class has always been the stated goal of Baden-Powell and BSA. I would never willingly assist Bob White (who has seemingly disappeared from this forum) but your idea is simply elitist at best. If only the fewest of the few already earn the highest rank of Eagle and then only a mere handful earn all the merit badges available at any given time that would make them the fewest of the few. So let's give them your knot!


You did not even make a reference to my suggestion of the embroidered palms. So perhaps you are set in your path and not open to any new ideas.


I do not wish to joust with you over your desire to honor your brother or his memory. However, there maybe a better way in which to do this. Perhaps, you could do this in a more local or even personal way and produce a medal or certificate to present, in his name, to those who have achieved this feat of earning all the available merit badges. You could do this on your own while continuing to petition National for a square knot to adorn the uniform of Scouters. But through your current process you, sir are putting the cart before the horse. To suggest that it is proper to place something on the Scout uniform that is unauthorized simply because you think it should be there is truly an elitist concept.


Uniform means uniform. Uniform means the same. To me that means that I should be able to walk up to a Scout or Scouter in New York or California and expect to find the same uniform.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. . .


You appear to be an interesting fellow, although not quite as interesting as Bob White. My stance is my stance, and I won't back down from it because I feel there is a hole (a small hole, that is) in the program that can be resolved.


I had no reason to respond to your comment on a knot with a palm on it as it fills the same purpose I support. It had nothing to do with my elitist ego. If I were to respond to your comment I would have told you that you just don't make sense as you appear to be against the idea and then for the idea. The overriding position of your post was that you were against the idea so I focused on that and the inconsistency of your profile.


And frankly, my comment on your profile was not to suggest you change it. I really don't care what your profile says. It was simply to show you that you indeed feel the same way I do about certain things! You may not like that, but it indeed has been proven to be the case.


(And by the way, in case you think I'm suggesting that I do not appreciate or consider the efforts and role of the US military I think it is great that you are a 12 year active duty veteran.)


At the end of the day, it may be worth your time to thoughtfully read the website. The point is that BSA provides for scouts to continue wearing palms while they are a scouter as a knot device. My stance is that there are some scouts who have too many palms to fit on the knot, hence I am suggesting an alternative.


Unfortunately, this type of issue will always raise itself in forum after forum. One of the more recent iterations in the news is the issue of the capping of executive pay being pushed forward by the democrats. Generally speaking, capping pay will only cause people to work up to their pay and no more. Allowing people to innovate and work hard and get paid for their efforts is the way I feel about this issue. I would guess that most of those who are against a scout being able to continue wearing their achievements that BSA says they can wear would likewise be for capping executive pay. I understand that this is a gross generalization, but probably not too far off.


And finally, "elite" is such an interesting word as it is completely subjective. Based on the percentages quoted, an Eagle Scout would also be considered to be "elite." I'm sure you wouldn't be against anyone earning the elite rank of Eagle. But then again, how often does this board ring of people complaining that troops have too many Eagles! Again, I think there is a jealousy complex involved to a higher degree than anyone is willing to admit.


I personally will admit jealousy in scouting. Take a look at some of the scouts on my website and some of the things they have done. I personally was active in my troop until I was age 18 attending summer camp every year and meetings every week. I always had at least two or three scouting irons in the fire along with school and church activities. But did I accomplish as much as scouts like Travis Cochran who earned the Silver and Bronze Hornaday on top of his Eagle and all of the merit badges? And to think that he had his pick of colleges to go to and that he continues to play football at the collegiate level, and that he will probably have any job and career path he desires because of his upbringing? I'm definitely jealous. And look at some of the Eagle projects of the other scouts. Consider Wes Weaver's Eagle project. I'm definitely jealous that my project wasn't near as involved as his. Plus, his project will stand for years with thousands of people using it every year. Now I can use this jealousy to downplay these scouts' accomplishments or I can use this on a more positive note to encourage my scouts to use them as examples of working hard to learn, achieve, and experience the ideals of scouting. I know which option I pick. You and everyone else likewise will have to take your pick as well. And if you are willing to use them as good examples, why discredit them at the same time?


And just to repeat, the concept is that BSA allows for the wearing of palms as knot devices as adult scouters. If there are too many palms, they just don't fit. I'm simply offering an alternative method to accomplish what BSA already allows.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting initiative. Must regretfully, and respectfully, suggest that I do not understand the need for the knot.


I salute the guys who earned them all...I earned Eagle plus bronze and gold palms. That just about taxed all my capabilities! So my hat's off to those who powered past me.


Two issues: First, it will be tough to prove who actually earned them all. Not that you need to...you can take their word of honor as a scout.


Second, I classify earning all the MBs in the same category as the guy who sold the most candy bars in his council for Scout-o-rama. Great accomplishment, but it's a personal goal. And frankly, the need for several knots to represent MBs and palms strikes me as vanity.


That said, more power to you, I hope it gets approved. National has approved as least 20 knots that require far, far less effort!

Link to post
Share on other sites


I like the registry from a historical perspective. You have done a tremendous amount of work to document a part of BSA history.

I wear the Eagle knot on my uniform, not because I feel the need for recognition but as an example for my Scouts, but that's just me. I wish you good luck but I think it will be a long road.


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...



I can agree with you that an Eagle who earns all merit badges should be recognized. I disagree that it should be a square knot. The original reason for squareknot emblems was to provide an easy to wear recognition in place of medals. This remains largely the case today with a few exceptions. I propose, rather than a new squareknot, a new device to be worn on the Eagle squareknot. Perhaps silver crossed palms, like the bronze crossed palms that go on the Honor Medal in extreme risk cases, to represent this achievement. This would probably be easier and cheaper for the BSA to produce since they would need so few of them.


Fr. Deacon Lance

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that BSA will be very interested in this knot because there will be so few of them. The cost of updating materials and publicizing the existance of a knot for earning all merit badges will cost way more than BSA will ever make selling 36 or so knots.


Allowing a private issue knot would be in BSA's best interest.


I also think that translating 121 merit badges into a simple square knot is very HUMBLE way to display that accomplishment. Very few people will recognize the knot for what it is, and the wearer can decide how much ego to use when he's asked.





Link to post
Share on other sites

Deacon Lance - Very good input. Thank you for this. The best response I have to this is that I did consider the option of a different device. However, the overriding issue in my mind is that I believe there is a natural desire to avoid knot devices by those who earn them simply because they can be a bother to deal with. Taking them on and off again to wash uniforms and the risk of them falling off unexpectedly are my two primary reasons for suggesting the knot rather than the device.


JoeBob - Thank you for your input as well. I appreciate your approach and your support. While I don't think BSA will support the idea of an approved private issue knot it would nonetheless satisfy the issue. Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting thread.

Since palms go hand in hand with earning additional merit badges, how about a new palm? I don't care for the idea of a knot. However, the scout who earns them all have about 139 square knots, each on the back of the sash.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Troy, I read the proposal and you clearly worked hard on getting the facts together in making your case!


Here are my takes on the proposal, in the spirit of giving helpful feedback on the "knot mechanics" in the document. On the "con" side, the proposal's differentiation of "bronze," "gold," and "silver" merit badge knots is a little confusing for "quick visual translation" in that, for example, one could be wearing a "bronze knot" to represent two *silver* palms, or some combination of bronze, gold, and silver. Of course, maybe the knot names are all that need to be changed to address this.


The "red/white/blue" knot's requirement about earning all currently available merit badges is ambiguous, and your own observation on the "achievers" page about the BSA adding and removing merit badges bears this out, so I know I'm not pointing out anything new to you there. However, the BSA's periodic institution of new merit badges could play out badly for scouts when this happens just before their 18th birthday. It could be a week, a month, or even two months before their 18th birthday, some new time-intensive merit badge is introduced, and boom! the scout who formerly had all the merit badges might no longer qualify for the "red/white/blue" knot, through no lack of initiative on his part. Since this kind of requirement is difficult to evaluate uniformly (no cutoff before 18 would completely fix the problem), this is one of the biggest "cons" for the proposal, in my view.


On the "pro" side, I think you make an excellent photographic case that the palm-pin system physically breaks down when more than 4 pins have to be worn on the eagle square knot. But I tend to think it argues for a different device rather than for another knot.


OR, just to stir things up, maybe National should just increase the merit badges required for each palm, thus thinning out the number that would go on the Eagle knot. It happened briefly to the Eagle rank itself in the mid 70's when 24 merit badges were required instead of 21! If the palm requirement on merit badges were doubled to 10 merit badges per palm instead of 5, then one silver palm would represent 30 merit badges beyond Eagle, two would represent 60 beyond, and three silver palms would represent 90 beyond Eagle. 100 extra merit badges, which is, give or take, the most one could earn, would require no more than 4 palms (3 silver and one bronze).


I highly doubt National would ever make that modification to the palm requirements, but it's interesting to consider for completeness alongside the alternative device idea, your knot proposal, and the status quo.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...