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Where Do Knots Come From, Daddy?

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I admit I wear knots. Some of it has to do with the  "Bananana Republic Generals." Way back in the day, I had some folks who were not very scoutlike because I didn't have rows of knots. I was rather interesting because I could suggest something and be ignored. Yet when a friend of mine, who had his beads and multiple rows of knots, would repeat what i said about something, it was freaking brilliant.

 

 

Depending upon the shirt depends upon which knots and how many. Only shirt that has everything is the commissioner shirt, my "camping" BS shirt has none. Sea Scouts khakis don't have knots, and my whites are officially limited knots to 6, The rest have anywhere from 4 to 8.

 

Now the only time I wore the devices and stars was when I worked for national and had to. They were pain, literally and figuratively.

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I admit I wear knots. Some of it has to do with the  "Bananana Republic Generals." Way back in the day, I had some folks who were not very scoutlike because I didn't have rows of knots. I was rather interesting because I could suggest something and be ignored. Yet when a friend of mine, who had his beads and multiple rows of knots, would repeat what i said about something, it was freaking brilliant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eagle94, this very scenario is what prompted me to have a shirt with my knots, such as they were, but I don't wear it any more.  There are certain scouters than scan your shirt for knots (and WB beads) and then make a value assessment about you, right then and there.    Interesting how many of the people who do the "heavy lifting" in scouting don't have a single knot.

 

I've never wore the gold devices on the knots--you mention they are a pain.   Is it how they are built, or their reliability for staying attached?

Edited by desertrat77

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MGood, good evening, and did you sew those knots on yourself?   Doggone, they are straight as an arrow, with discrete stitches.  Seriously, I'm impressed!

 

Yes, I sewed them myself. Thanks.

I hire someone to hem pants and things like that, but sew my own patches. When I was about 2nd Class or somewhere in there, I mentioned that I didn't have something on my uniform yet because my mom hadn't sewn it on for me yet. An ASM suggested that a Boy Scout should be able to do things for himself and asked why I had to wait on my mom to do it. I thought it was an interesting question, so I gave it a whirl. I've done most of my own patch sewing since then.

 

 

 

I admit I wear knots. Some of it has to do with the  "Bananana Republic Generals." Way back in the day, I had some folks who were not very scoutlike because I didn't have rows of knots. I was rather interesting because I could suggest something and be ignored. Yet when a friend of mine, who had his beads and multiple rows of knots, would repeat what i said about something, it was freaking brilliant.

 

Yep. I became fascinated by the knots when I was an 18 year old ASM.

Some of the really experienced adults had a chest full of knots. Maybe I thought I needed to get some knots so they'd take me seriously. (A hair cut would have probably done me more good, and been quicker. But that would have been like surrendering to the other side.)

Edited by mgood777

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Yes, I sewed them myself. Thanks.

I hire someone to hem pants and things like that, but sew my own patches. When I was about 2nd Class or somewhere in there, I mentioned that I didn't have something on my uniform yet because my mom hadn't sewn it on for me yet. An ASM suggested that a Boy Scout should be able to do things for himself and asked why I had to wait on my mom to do it. I thought it was an interesting question, so I gave it a whirl. I've done most of my own patch sewing since then.

 

I became fascinated by the knots when I was an 18 year old ASM.

Some of the really experienced adults had a chest full of knots. Maybe I thought I needed to get some knots so they'd take me seriously. (A hair cut would have probably done me more good, and been quicker. But that would have been like surrendering to the other side.)

I also hire out hems and other technical work, but try as I might, my patch sewing skill self-arrested many years ago!   They stay on, but there are giant uneven stiches in places and some patches have a slight list.

 

LOL re the haircut--I understand completely--even in an organization with uniforms, we are still individuals.

Edited by desertrat77

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As a woman, wearing my 3 Wood Badge beads (signifying that I have served on Wood Badge staff) seems to work to establish that I'm more than a parent. They came in handy when we did summer camp out of council a few years ago.

 

I'm not a fan of rows of knots, but if you have earned the position or training ones, fill out the paperwork yourself and get it to your training chair or district executive. Many times, no one else is paying attention to what you've earned or whether you want it.

 

I'll put in a plug here for acknowledging your fellow leaders. While someone above mentioned that you can earn District Award of Merit by being hung ho for a few years, someone needs to nominate you and sing your praises. Same goes for Scoutmaster and Cubmaster of the Year. Maybe those leaders are "just doing their job", but doing it well and consistently takes time, effort, and scouting spirit. It's nice to acknowledge that a little more publicly even if there isn't a knot.

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@@desertrat77 I get your solo knot. We have SMs that wear their eagle and aol and that's it. They could wear seven more but they don't. We also experience, rather often, those "generals" looking down on us for lack thereof. The funniest story was when a group of "generals" we're asking for a volunteer for camporee (many years ago) for someone to head up the wilderness survival. One of our SMs stepped up...one knot (Eagle). Everyone else who volunteered had so many knots and beads they looked like a Hobby Lobby outlet. When that group got together they asked for a lead, our guy stepped up. The head grand pooobaah told,him to sit down. Our guy said, "I've got some experience in this area." When asked what experience he "could" have (in a very condescending manner) out guy replied, "Ten years as a Navy Seal (Team 3), current member of Team 17, 12 years as a sniper, 8 years as SEAL instructor, west coast survival instructor and I have an intense interest to pass these skills to others...except sniping." Amusing response, but he was to,d he wouldn't be needed because "BSA teaches things differently". Needless to say we left and begin our our own unit based program.

 

 

@@bethkatz17582, I could see a need for women to wear their knots in my district. Since men without knots are not taken seriously, and since I've seen women out rightly dismissed, I can absolutely see a need locally for women to wear knots to break the good old boy network.

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Training chair? isn't that what they strap new volunteers into until they go away?

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I like when people wear their awards and knots as appropriate. It helps me get a feel for where they've been and what they've done. Not that a raging extrovert like myself is afraid to ask, because that's certainly far from the truth. 

I haven't noticed the good old boys club much. I don't do much outside my unit besides the Eagle Scout Association and now Camp Staff. I imagine the know it all young gun wouldn't be appreciated by the "generals." 

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I have a vivid memory of a Cuboree I attended as a youth in the Atlanta Area Council.  The staff was made up of Scouters who had rows of knots and WB beads and they were the nicest, most helpful "old guys" I had met outside of my Grandpa.  Ever since that day 27 years ago I have wanted to be a Scouter and live up to the legacy of those guys...

 

Personally, I do wear my knots proudly: AoL, youth religious, Scouter's training award, Scoutmaster's Key, W.D. Boyce New-Unit Organizer.  So what?  

 

I did the paperwork for all of them because no one else in my unit even knows what knots are.  So what?

 

If people are around you long enough they know you and know what you bring to the table.  I'm not ashamed to wear the awards I've earned but I know my attitude shows that I'm not a horse's rear end either.   :D   (And, man, I look good in my knee socks and shorts...)

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Everyone has varying degree of need for recognition.  Some more than others.

 

One of the first knots I earned took almost 3 years to get it through council's approval system.  My District Award of Merit is not on  my official records because the DE didn't turn in the paperwork.  My WB beads showed up in the mail.

 

For some reason none of these awards seem to be all that important, thus not important to me either.

 

I was nominated for Silver Beaver this year, and last year and ... well let's just put it this way.  I'm not holding my breath.  Have I gotten my tickets for the annual council banquet?  Nope.  Am I planning on going... nope.  

 

Not being one of the Good Old Boys does have it's advantages.  :)

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I'm glad I'm not in Bad Wolf's district/council.  It sounds like an awful place... ;)

 

Since district does nothing for us we are literally unaffected. Council provides NYLT, camps and a scout shop. We use (and staff) NYLT, use the camps slightly and the shop is okay....but we need paperwork for knots and everything else...even if they know you like "Norm".

 

 

Not being one of the Good Old Boys does have it's advantages.   :)

 

 

Exactly!

Edited by Bad Wolf

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@@desertrat77 I get your solo knot. We have SMs that wear their eagle and aol and that's it. They could wear seven more but they don't. We also experience, rather often, those "generals" looking down on us for lack thereof. The funniest story was when a group of "generals" we're asking for a volunteer for camporee (many years ago) for someone to head up the wilderness survival. One of our SMs stepped up...one knot (Eagle). Everyone else who volunteered had so many knots and beads they looked like a Hobby Lobby outlet. When that group got together they asked for a lead, our guy stepped up. The head grand pooobaah told,him to sit down. Our guy said, "I've got some experience in this area." When asked what experience he "could" have (in a very condescending manner) out guy replied, "Ten years as a Navy Seal (Team 3), current member of Team 17, 12 years as a sniper, 8 years as SEAL instructor, west coast survival instructor and I have an intense interest to pass these skills to others...except sniping." Amusing response, but he was to,d he wouldn't be needed because "BSA teaches things differently". Needless to say we left and begin our our own unit based program.

 

Sounds to me like the guy with one knot probably had way more wilderness survival training than most Scouters could dream of. Most likely some practical experience in that area as well. Best man (or person) for the job is not necessarily the one with the most doo-dads on his uniform.

 

If I were to become a Scoutmaster, the first person I'd ask to be an ASM is my best friend. If I was teaching some Scout training course and needed help, I'd call him. Only knot he's qualified to wear is the Arrow of Light. He topped out at Life in Boy Scouts. In junior high school, he was my Assistant Patrol Leader. He was always the guy I could count on to handle things if I couldn't be there that week. Later he was my Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. He was a 17-yr-old SPL when I was an 18-yr-old ASM. We've made three Philmont treks together and countless campouts. I know his experience and qualifications even if my faith in him is not reflected in knots on his uniform.

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One can be a Wood Badger and have knots whilst NOT being a horse's rear-end, n'est-ce pas?  To answer the original question, no, in my personal opinion I don't think it's self-serving to file the paperwork yourself provided you have no one in your unit committee who is there to do it for you.  Even if you get the knots and put them in your desk drawer at least you have them for posterity. 

 

Wear them if you want to or don't wear them.  But I think bashing those who do and calling them names isn't very nice.  It kind of comes off as high-and-mighty.

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I like when people wear their awards and knots as appropriate. It helps me get a feel for where they've been and what they've done. 

 

Yes, but it does not always mean they know what they're talking about. And since supply does not restrict their purchase in some areas, they may not have even been earned. 

 

Being an extrovert myself I usually find that I can sum up a person through conversation pretty fast, which will also tell me if they're worth all those awards or not (knot, as the case may be). ;)

 

One can be a Wood Badger and have knots whilst NOT being a horse's rear-end, n'est-ce pas?  

 

Of course they can. But the correlation between the number of knots/awards/beads you have and the level of condescension one gives his high.

 

I had to laugh when I saw a scouter wearing his 1973 Jamboree patch in the temporary insignia area on his class A. It's been over 40 years, does he need that much validation of who he is in his life? Frankly, I think as scouters we should wear only those things we earned as scouters (save for Eagle and AOL). I earned tons of awards, medals and patches as a youth (world jambo) but I don't go around sporting it. 

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