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Which square knots to wear and why


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I know, here we go again!  I have one old scout shirt that has nearly every knot that I ever received, bearing 13 knots. This includes everything from my Eagle Scout knot, to my old "Tiger Cub Group Coach" (anyone remember that?) to the Spurgeon Award.  I look at this collection as  a record of my time of my youth in Scouting and the trails that I  took with my 5 children and 1 grandson as they journeyed through Scouting.  I seldom wear this shirt, but I recently had it on during a meeting.   One adult asked me about the current limit and seemed offended that I wasn't complying with the current directive.  As I understand things, "once official, always official" and during the time that was presented with these knots there wasn't even a recommended limit.  Also, I believe,  it is specified that members of the Old Goat patrol are not required to peal knots off of their respective shirts if they are already on there.   I know that this is a sensitive topic for many but I don't care one little bit how many knots someone wears, as long as they are all legitimate.   Anyway, God bless those who don't wear any knots, those who wear one or two knots, or those who wear 15 or 16, and thank you for your service to youth! Goat patrol are not required to peal knots off of their respective shirts if they are already on there.   I know that this is a sensitive topic for many but I don't care one little bit how many knots someone wears, as long as they are all legitimate.   Anyway, God bless those who don't wear any knots, those who wear one or two knots, or those who wear 15 or 16, and thank you for your service to youth!

I know, here we go again!  I have one old scout shirt that has nearly every knot that I ever received, bearing 13 knots. This includes everything from my Eagle Scout knot, to my old "Tiger Cub Group Coach" (anyone remember that?) to the Spurgeon Award.  I look at this collection as  a record of my time of my youth in Scouting and the trails that I  took with my 5 children and 1 grandson as they journeyed through Scouting.  I seldom wear this shirt, but I recently had it on during a meeting.   One adult asked me about the current limit and seemed offended that I wasn't complying with the current directive.  As I understand things, "once official, always official" and during the time that was presented with these knots there wasn't even a recommended limit.  Also, I believe,  it is specified that members of the Old Goat patrol are not required to peal knots off of their respective shirts if they are already on there.   I know that this is a sensitive topic for many but I don't care one little bit how many knots someone wears, as long as they are all legitimate.   Anyway, God bless those who don't wear any knots, those who wear one or two knots, or those who wear 15 or 16, and thank you for your service to youth!

 

Edited by MattR
We went again too many times
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There is no formal order of precedence of square knot awards, but mine are starting to accrue in an unattractive way.  It got me thinking about how to sort and rank them for the purpose of shaving the

Kind of what I say every time I am asked by an over enthusiastic Wood Badge staff member "Don't you want to go to Wood Badge?", without bothering to look closely enough to see the 3 beads I am wearing

I've noticed that all the Scouters with more knots than I have are braggarts and know-it-alls. The Scouters with fewer are greenhorns who can't really tell me much. The Scouters with the same number u

All fixed.

I'd say wear the knots you'd like. I don't even know if there are any rules. I've heard suggestions before. 

At this point in time, I don't understand why disagreements should get past just that. Some people like lots of rows and some don't. End of discussion.

Edited by MattR
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Regarding old uniforms, if the shirt you have all the knots on predates the new requirement, it's is legit. I mentioned in a previous post that when I returned to work at the Scout Shop, my manager allowed me to wear my WSJ insignia and knots. Part of that was because it was obvious where my regional patch was worn because it's outline remained.

 

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2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Regarding old uniforms, if the shirt you have all the knots on predates the new requirement, it's is legit

 

Thank goodness!  I have a good friend who has nearly 70 years in scouting. Hasn't missed a national Jambo since 1950 something.  He wears 21 knots on his shirt. He has more at home in a box.  I would not like to be the patch policeman who tried to correct him.  Might be entertaining to watch from a safe distance though.

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If you've earned it, you can wear it.  Doesn't matter how old your shirt is.  The BSA recommendation is to limit it to 3 rows of 3, to avoid looking like a North Korean General.  Wear a Jambo patch it you actually attended as a registered attendee.  But only one at a time.  Had a young Scout ask me once why I was wearing a rare, original, pre-FDL OA flap...because it was the one awarded me at my Ordeal in 1968.

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Self-appointed insignia dork (c.f. this link for first use of the term) typing ...

Mike Walton's site has a couple of examples of how it was once done. The operative word in all uniforming is "neat appearance."

If those rows are crowding out your World Crest and your Messengers of Peace wreath, it's time to shuck a few knots. Otherwise, look sharp and keep on scouting.

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It's a volunteer activity - uniforms can be a fun way for a volunteer to share something of their story.

If someone wears 0 knots, 3 knots, or 20 knots - I don't see the harm.

I say - if you've got the knot, wear it if you want.  We should not be making people feel guilty about wearing their knots and sharing a little about their journey.

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Boy, I feel as if I have covered this topic SO MANY TIMES over the past few years ... but suffice it to say, I think that to ask "what's the harm?" is to ask the wrong question. The better question is to ask "what message am I sending to the youth and to other leaders by the way I wear my uniform and its insignia?" 

When I see somebody with enough knots to make a third-world general blush, I don't feel any sense of awe, nor admiration; nor am I ever curious to know the "stories and experiences" that they feel I should be eager to hear with reverent ears. All I can think to myself is "a Scouter with this much supposed experience should know better. A Scouter with this much supposed experience should, one would think, be aware of current uniforming standards, and be modest enough or humble enough to abide by them."

A Scout, and Scouter, I hope, is obedient, even when it pertains to such "trivial" details as complying with present-day uniform expectations. So, yes, I agree that wearing an excess of insignia does share something of our journey - but sometimes, it may share parts of that journey that may not necessarily reflect the best or wisest paths that we have trod. 

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7 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

Boy, I feel as if I have covered this topic SO MANY TIMES over the past few years ... but suffice it to say, I think that to ask "what's the harm?" is to ask the wrong question. The better question is to ask "what message am I sending to the youth and to other leaders by the way I wear my uniform and its insignia?" 

When I see somebody with enough knots to make a third-world general blush, I don't feel any sense of awe, nor admiration; nor am I ever curious to know the "stories and experiences" that they feel I should be eager to hear with reverent ears. All I can think to myself is "a Scouter with this much supposed experience should know better. A Scouter with this much supposed experience should, one would think, be aware of current uniforming standards, and be modest enough or humble enough to abide by them."

A Scout, and Scouter, I hope, is obedient, even when it pertains to such "trivial" details as complying with present-day uniform expectations. So, yes, I agree that wearing an excess of insignia does share something of our journey - but sometimes, it may share parts of that journey that may not necessarily reflect the best or wisest paths that we have trod. 

I don't know Latin Scot, I've watch a lot of scouts ask adults about their knots with a real curiosity. You may be offended with the appearance, but a lot of folks are very passionate about their scouting experiences and express it different ways. I agree with qwaze that when folks push the guidelines, "neat appearance" should be the overall guideline.

I once watched a one legged scouter at the Council Scout Show, show off his wooden peg leg that had dozens of scout camp brands and signatures all over it. If a scout asked kindly, he might even let them sign it. He was very popular with the scouts. I don't remember what his uniform looked like.😂

Barry

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50 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I don't know Latin Scot, I've watch a lot of scouts ask adults about their knots with a real curiosity. You may be offended with the appearance  (...)

In truth I wouldn't articulate my sentiments as being offended as such (it takes far, far more than this kind of thing to offend me, if indeed anything can these days), but I am ... well, I suppose disappointed is the best way to describe my feelings in such cases, although some Scouters get so defensive about their preciously-perceived privilege to put on airs that I do sometimes find myself feeling embarrassed for their sakes, or even indignant. But not offended. The policy is articulated plainly enough in the latest Guide to Awards and Insignia; thus, those who choose to ignore it make their attitude towards the standards and expectations of the BSA perfectly clear. My job is neither to correct nor concern myself with such.

Offence is a feeling in which I chose long ago not to indulge, for the which I am perpetually grateful. We get ourselves into a lot of trouble when we allow matters of propriety and taste to become matters of personal honor, and a topic like this, I have learned, is ripe with individuals waiting to lash out at all those whose feelings on the matter may be different from, or even actively oppose, their own. So I will, this time, try to remain cordially passive about the subject, intense though my own feelings on the matter may be.   🕊️

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10 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

. The better question is to ask "what message am I sending to the youth and to other leaders by the way I wear my uniform and its insignia?"

What message indeed.  But if you step back and look at the individual wearing the uniform.  If the leader is grossly overweight, but has three knots, is that any better or worse than leader who follows the Scout oath to keep himself physically strong but is wearing 15?  What is the more important message that the scout should be getting from the leader?  And what is the message that the is really being sent to the scout.  Performance, leadership, living up to the Scout oath and law should always trump a minor uniform infraction.

 

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The first question I ask myself, is "is this my business?"  In most cases, the answer is NO.  I chose to wear my uniform fully and correctly, which is what I did since earning my Bobcat pin in 1963, and would line up my insignia using that guide on the inside covers of the Handbook.  We once had a District Advancement Chairman who wore TWO Scouter Key knots...with no devices.  I never said anything to him...not my business.  We are all just volunteers trying to deliver the program.

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1 hour ago, Navybone said:

What message indeed.  But if you step back and look at the individual wearing the uniform.  If the leader is grossly overweight, but has three knots, is that any better or worse than leader who follows the Scout oath to keep himself physically strong but is wearing 15?  What is the more important message that the scout should be getting from the leader?  And what is the message that the is really being sent to the scout.  Performance, leadership, living up to the Scout oath and law should always trump a minor uniform infraction.

 

Wow! Let's see; long hair, ear-ring, nose ring, tattoos, body odor, bad breath.

I guess we like to talk inclusion, but when it gets down to it,........

I think this discussion took a left turn into somewhere scary. 

Barry

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