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District Award of Merit - more information about its history?


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As part of my "thank you" to my district for awarding me the DofM this past weekend, I have been going through our district website and cleaning up a lot of old junk while refining much of the information put there a long time ago by Scouters who didn't seem to quite know what they were doing with the information they had. Part of this is adding new little blurbs about each of the awards adults can achieve on our awards page, but sadly I have yet found but very little history about the DofM itself.  So far all I have written is this: 

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The District Award of Merit is presented to registered Scouters who have rendered noteworthy service to youth either inside or outside of Scouting (or both). It recognizes outstanding contributions to youth in the community at the district level, and is awarded and presented in the same manner as the Silver Beaver Award. The overhand knot carries with it a symbology unique in Scouting - those familiar with how a square knot is made recognize that the overhand knot is only part of a complete square knot, just as a district is but a part of its local Council. Ergo, the emblem of the District Award of Merit is an overhand knot in acknowledgement of the fact that all districts are only parts of the whole that is their local council, and the District Award of Merit honors those whose contributions add to the success of that part of the whole. 

Does anybody have any more information I can add to this? The year the award was created? The meaning behind the blue and the silver colors? The reason we don't have a cute little animal mascot? I do want to keep the description short and concise, so I don't want to add TOO much, but any particularly relevant history that anybody can add would be great. As always, any and all contributions are much appreciated; thank you for whatever help you can offer!

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I can’t remember when it was rolled out.

There’s this bit of discussion with just a little snark from yours truly ...

 

Edited by qwazse
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Unfortunately our council is too large and too cheap to makes plaques viable I guess. I got the certificate and small medal in the shape of our council (they have been awarding these for a long time). Nothing too fancy, though I like being able to wear the medal with my uniform, something I couldn't do with the plaque. ☺️

District-Award-of-Merit-Medal.png

Edited by The Latin Scot
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6 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

something I couldn't do with the plaque.

Well, you could make a bolo or neckerchief slide out of the plaque. 

I like that they added the medal in your council.

I read somewhere originally that it was connected to Cub Scouts and that is why the background is blue. It was then expanded to all district volunteers. That supposed history doesn't make much sense as the adult uniform for Cubs wasn't blue AFAIK. 

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I read somewhere that the square knot was first issued around 1971 and at that time, the background of the commissioner patches was blue and that's why they picked blue.  I've seen some councils that have lists of awardees prior to 1971, so the award itself may predate the issue of the knot.

Congratulations TLS on your award.  I was totally blindsided myself a couple of years ago to be given the award. 

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1 minute ago, KYScouter said:

1971 and at that time, the background of the commissioner patches was blue and that's why they picked blue.  I

That makes more sense. It seems that up until 1972 the commissioner color was blue instead of red.

Unit7.jpgDC1.jpg

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So this site has a rather convoluted explanation of the award's symbolism that I don't entirely understand, but among other things, it claims 

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The dark blue background represents the dark blue of the local Council’s flag and refers to the fact that it is awarded at the local Council — District — level.

Not sure how accurate this is, and there is a notable lack of reference material and source information, but it's interesting nonetheless. I have never heard of dark blue council flags before. 

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19 minutes ago, The Latin Scot said:

So this site has a rather convoluted explanation of the award's symbolism that I don't entirely understand, but among other things, it claims 

Not sure how accurate this is, and there is a notable lack of reference material and source information, but it's interesting nonetheless. I have never heard of dark blue council flags before. 

Yeah, Council flags are Blue.  I have seen them.  We have a big parade every year at the captitol so the flags come out.

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10 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

So this site has a rather convoluted explanation of the award's symbolism that I don't entirely understand, but among other things, it claims 

Not sure how accurate this is, and there is a notable lack of reference material and source information, but it's interesting nonetheless. I have never heard of dark blue council flags before. 

Thanks for the additional information.  I had not seen that particular website before, so I appreciate the additional info.

For those interested, this is what the council and district flags look like:

https://www.scoutshop.org/custom-districtcouncilcamp-fringed-flag-3x5-653799.html

 

 

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12 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

That makes more sense. It seems that up until 1972 the commissioner color was blue instead of red.

Unit7.jpgDC1.jpg

Historically, Commissioners had a blue insignia and Professionals had red. 

Now we both wear a red patch, but if you look closely at the current commissioner patch, it still has a blue fleur de lis

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Naughty knotty

Our District decided (somebody decided) some years ago we needed some more awards so as to recognize  more worthy folks for their efforts.  So besides the "usual" . . . .  

District Award of Merit:  An over hand knot. Simple, necessary for the completion of every other SQUARE knot.  Nominated by the District Committee, officially awarded by the Council.  

and we have    :::

Bowline: For Scouters that "hold things up"  unit Leaders that keep Scouting going for their units (decided by Unit Committee)

Sheetbend:  For Scouters that "hold things together"  active in District events, training, etc.  District Key Three decided)

Oak Tree: award to the UNIT  for supporting and doing . . .

Sparkplug :  To anyone who is just a go getter at the District and/or unit level. Decided by District committee and/or Unit committee.

Acorn:  Awarded to the SCOUT (Cub or BSA) who exemplifies the Scout Promise and Law in his Unit and Community. Nominated by Unit Committee and decided by District. 

Key Three award:   Decided by the DCom,  DChair, and DE,  as a thank you to one person.  

Yes, it can be a looong District dinner.... 

 

 

Edited by SSScout
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9 hours ago, Protoclete said:

I don't have any info but would like to see your website as I'm going to be doing something similar with mine soon. Mind sharing the link?

Sure, here is the page so far. It's a work in progress, but you should have seen it before I started repairing it. 😵

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