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" How many knots do you have Gold"


" I'm gonna guess, based on my "observation" of your posts, and my 'prejudicial interpretation' of those observations . . . that you wear a bunch of knots."


I wear two.(This message has been edited by Gold Winger)

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Well, GW, I stand corrected!


Upon receiving your more definite information, it appears I was wrong. 'Prejudicial interpretation' does not offer reliable results. At best, it offers results that are usually correct.


But, in my judgment, the primary problem with prejudice is that people tend to cling to their prejudicial determined conclusions after they've been determined to be incorrect.


And, it may well be that with time, and a larger sample, I'll discover that my prejudicial judgment concerning knot-wearers is also incorrect. Hopefully, I'll then be willing to correct that judgment as well!



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"I will never understand why scouters get so territorial over awards and how many a person has. In the army I have 3 badges and 14 ribbons (some with multiple oak leaves) and no one gets bent out of shape about it like I see people do in scouting."


Bent out of shape? Which way are they bending? The most bending that I see are by the people who don't think that you ought to wear them.

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Over the last several years, I've developed this theory that knots have some sort of gravitational attraction to each other. After you earn a couple, they just sort of start multiplying when you aren't looking.


I admit that I've become negligent in sewing on all my knots. For the council and district folks whom I see at committee metings and roundtables, rows and rows of knots aren't going to convey much new information about me, my training, or my background. OTOH, for the parents just joining our troop, rows and rows can be somewhat intimidating. I usta have two uniform shirts until one fell apart. That worked well - two different shirts for different Scouting functions ... maybe I'll just have to spring for another shirt.




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This topic is like politics. No matter what you do people are going to criticize you. I am a believer you should were what you earned. For me its been a way to introduce people to the things I have done and show them that they can do the same. I only have 2 rows but people always ask me what they are for or what's a World Jamboree or OA...... I was not one of those kids who had a ton of merit badges but I made eagle and got a palm. Since then I have gone on to serve even while I was deployed in Iraq supporting the Iraqi Scout program. It is unfortunate to have people wearing stuff they didn't earn or as I have seen guys wearing the same knots twice or worse yet that guy who wears every single "dangle" Indianan bead necklace and "hey I showed up and got the badge, pin, or scarf"......oh well what can you do.

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  • 1 month later...

As for me, I wear three knots: Arrow of Light, Youth Religious, and Eagle Scout. Thus far, like wearing my jamboree patch, they have sparked conversations with other scout leaders, but most importantly with the youth I serve. I find it helps frame the "bigger picture" of what scouting is all about. How Scouting's values are carried with you throughout your life. I am a cub scout leader presently, and while I value instant recognition for each boy's achievements, I also want them getting a glimpse of the longer term and cub scouting's highest award - The Arrow of Light - and how even adults get to wear it on their uniform if they earned it as a youth.


The Youth religious knot also has deep meaning. There are many in scouting who back away from wanting to discuss religious things for fear of the reaction they may get from those they are talking with. I want to remind the boys that religion is a deep rooted part of scouting, and achievements related to it are something to be proud of, even in our very secular society.


I suppose the Eagle scout knot is something I wear as a matter of personal pride right now. I mainly interact with cub scouts and cub scout leaders. Even so, it reminds me that most Boy Scouts get their start in the Cub Scout program, and the two are tied together now far more than when I went through both programs in the 70s and 80s as a youth.


Being a bit of a uniform and patch lover, I'm sure I'll wear whatever other knots I may get in the future. Like some others, I may have one of my two class-A shirts with just the three knots mentioned above and wear more knots on just the second shirt for rarer occasions.


Balancing humility and pride is always a challenge, especially when trying to set a good example.



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No Offence to the last post but I will never understand those scouters who equate "humility" and setting a good example to wearing less knots or no knots on there uniform. Maybe its just me because I am military (but have been a scout longer then a soldier) and feel you should wear what you have earned. The majority of posts I have read on this subject in other areas seem to indicate you should not wear everything your authorized because its somehow "showing off" or saying you have a big ego... I simply dont get it. Like military medals, your knots show your experience and training. I dont know why people get so "Catty" about knots.

Nothing against the last poster....I am just venting to the general audience.....i got into a debate over the weekend with a guy who was complaining about the James West knot (yeah I have one) and he had no idea what I had on my shirt...

I feel better.....thanks

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  • 3 weeks later...

What an interesting (and yet disturbing) topic.


I wear a chest full of knots for several reasons:


One - I have earned them.

Two - BSA has provided them as recognition for meeting certain training, tenure and leadership criteria.

Three - The other Scouters whom I have admired over the years had several knots. I appreciate the work that they've done and I wanted to be just like them. The end result was getting knots for achieving those same accomplishments (and as my wife says, becoming horribly over-involved).


I remember when I first got involved in Scouting, I admired those Scouters so much, that I wanted knots too. I bought the fake knots and wore them for a time. As I behaved more like those great Scouters, participated in advanced training opportunities and served my units, I was rewarded in the only way BSA allows an adult to be rewarded - with knots. As more real knots came my way, the fake knots were taken off and thrown in the drawer. The real knots meant so much more to me. I was being honored for going above and beyond to serve the youth around me, for getting advanced training and for helping the youth and adults around me.


When I went to the Philmont Training Center, there were two old Scouters attending who had more knots than I've ever seen on a Scouter - 7 rows each, I believe it was. I remember wondering what could these two old-timers have possibly done to earn that many awards? When I looked up the list of knots and saw what some of them were, I was truly impressed. These two gave back so much more to Scouting than I can ever hope to give. These two were quite, respectful and offered assistance and advice graciously. What fine examples of Scouters to carry on Baden-Powell's dreams.


I find the wearing of a bunch of knots has some interesting effects on those around me. I see a difference of interest from adults and youth regarding the knots.


Very seldom does an adult come up to me as ask about a knot. Sometimes a newly involved Scouter will ask about a specific knot that they've not seen on leaders in their units. I do get asked a lot of questions regarding unit problem-solving, training, the Patrol method, etc. I am by no means an expert, but I answer to the best of my ability or try to steer them in the right direction. Is it because I wear a bunch of knots? probably not. I'd guess it's more because they've seen me around so many Scouting activities.


Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are another story...


I proudly wear the complete BSA uniform whenever I'm at a Scouting function. I am a firm believer in leading by example. Who cares if I'm on my way to a Troop Meeting - I'll wear my uniform into the gas station. I'm happy and proud to be associated with the Boy Scouts of America! How can I expect my Scouts to be properly uniformed if I am not myself?


Scouts are constantly asking me why I wear this knot or that knot; what that white arrowhead is for or what is up with the pretty pink necherchief and beads. Everytime they ask, I have the opportunity to explain the importance of properly wearing the BSA uniform; the importance of being part of a team. I have the opportunity to explain the purposes and rewards for rank advancement as well as setting & reaching goals for the other non-rank awards offered by the BSA. It's like having a mini Scoutmaster Conference each time they ask.


I don't understand the negative attitudes here towards a Scouter who wears a bunch of knots. I've never heard negative comments in my neck of the woods - only here.


Why would you frown upon someone who has shown their willingness to give so much more back to Scouting? Do I consider myself an expert? Of course not. Do I look down upon my fellow Scouters who do not wear a bunch of knots? Certainly not. Do I look for opportunities to nominate those other Scouters to receive these well-deserved honors? You betcha!!! I nominated two Scouters this very day to receive a knot honor.


Would you frown upon a Cub Scout who had a gaggle of arrow points on his shirt, or a belt full of sports and academics loops? Would you think poorly of a Boy Scout who had a sash full of Merit Badges? I would surely hope not.

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"I'll wear my uniform into the gas station. I'm happy and proud to be associated with the Boy Scouts of America! How can I expect my Scouts to be properly uniformed if I am not myself?"


I'm the same way, I know too many Scouters who shed their uniform shirt as soon as the meeting is over. I wear mine until I get home. If I have to go shopping, I go in uniform. It has prompted some great conversations with strangers over the years.


The norm in my district is that adults are in uniform at Roundtable as well as District Committee meetings. I went to some meetings and roundtables in another district and I was the only one in uniform. When I commented on it, I was told that most people came straight from work. So? They couldn't change at the office?



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When I first got back into Scouting, years ago, I was wearing my uniform out and on 3 occasions in 2 weeks, my wife and I were approached by young adults who thanked me for working with scouts. Each of these people (all college age men, if I recall correctly) had been involved in Scouts. None of them were Eagle scouts, but they all commented about how scouting had made a difference in their lives. My wife was quite moved by the encounters.

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Buffalo Skipper,


It is always a good thing when our wives are moved in a positive way about Scouting! My wife attended her first Basic Training today, and I am on the training team. It was nice to share the experience. Having a little better understanding of the program, I sense tonight that she is bit more sympathetic to the time I spend away doing recruiting, meetings, trainings etc. Here's to hoping it lasts!

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