Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Thu, 1 Dec 1994 19:29:19 CST
"Terry M. Slade" <TMSLADE@PCAD-ML.ACTX.EDU> writes:
> It seemed like such a simple question as to which Knot I was in the
>process of earning. I am concerned with the amount of mis-information
>that is out there. I don't think that it would be so hard for the
>people on the National level to correct problems that surface on
>subjects like Knots and all the posts lately on the Religious Knots.
What people on the National level, Terry? *hehehe*
Seriously, your question speaks volumes on what little most of us
REALLY know about the adult awards and the square knots that those
awards represent. I would think that folks need to remember that
that's EXACTLY what the deal is there....the award is the medal, the
plaque, the large patch, the certificate....the "outward symbol" is
that small patch of cloth with differing colored strands of rope.
(I know that there are many on here that have read these words before,
so I won't repeat what I've stated before about this....) The main
problem is that there's a reluctance not to do TOO MUCH publizing
about how to earn every award because it tends to make people want to
have every award, whether or not it is good for the kids involved in
the program. The side bar to this is that for several of the awards,
the Scouters' Key and Scouters' Training Award in particular, the
award can be earned in a series of positions, and therefore there may
be some confusion as to what award is appropriate for which Scouter.
Asking your professional may be a crap shoot. Most of them only know
what was taught to them at NEI (what's the new name for NEI? I forgot
it) and that was "have the volunteer to look in (several publications)
and if he or she has any other questions, to write us here and we'll
answer them." Those that know more than that, are either former
volunteers or are experienced in looking and finding from several
sources what you need to do to earn the award and more importantly,
what you cannot do in connection with earning the award.
>So much time has been spent on the boy awards (as it should, as this
>is the BOY scouts) that the adult awards have kind of taken a back
>seat. The problem is that we can't have a strong boy program without
>the adult leaders to guide them. We have one adult in our council
>that must be working on his 12th knot and the colors on his chest
>make him look like a mexican general.
Then don't have ME to come to your District, Terry...because with my
15+ (depending on shirt worn), I must look to you like the Mexican
General's General!! *broad smile*. I have to be reminded of what
someone said on here a while back, however, when we talked about the
merits/demerits of those "knots". He said, after explaining what he
wears on his Scout shirt, "I am more proud of the three or four knots
that I have on my shirt as you would be with those 12 or 15 or so.
For I know that they were given to me because of the service and
training I have done to benefit the BOYS, and not me." I use that a
lot when I have been to Councils to talk to volunteers during
Don't worry about the number of knots or pins or badges you have. When
everything comes down to it, it is your EXPERIENCE that will win over
the other volunteers/professionals and the youth you come in contact
with, not the "brightly shining badges and insignia".
I do have to say, Terry, that those knots sure "knocks them on the
head" and gets their attention, if for only a brief period.
>Most leaders are those that are
>in for 2 to 4 years and disappear, but some of us are scouts for life
>and the knots become important to us. Somebody up top might want to
>take a look at all the problems us experianced leaders are having on
>the subject and help out a little.
But National *has* been looking at this from time to time, Terry...the
recent INCREASE in the number of square knots (from 12 in 1975 to the
present 34) has been greatest the past ten years, after the BSA did a
survey and realized that the average Scouter drops from Scouting in a
mere 2.5 years. All of the Cub Scouting awards were first redesigned
and recreated with an average 2.5 years of tenure needed to earn an
award....and for the first time, recognized that PARENTS may want to
earn an award, called the Cub Scouter Award. Next, they took a look
at the major awards that were previously just awarded with a
certificate or plaque and added a knot (for instance, the Spurgeon
Award, which was previously only a nice-looking trophy or a plaque and
now comes with a square knot; the Hornaday Award, which I've
personally lobbied for a knot for...was finally given one; and a
square knot for the holders of the Whitney Young Jr. Rural/Intercity
Award). Finally, they added the Scoutmaster Award of Merit and the
Comissioner Award of Merit as awards to recognize the importance of
those two roles in the program.
Now, after two years of service in ANY volunteer role, a volunteer is
eligible for a training award and after three to five years, they are
eligible for a training key. After five or so years of service
Commissioners are eligible for a service award and after ten or so
years, most volunteers end up with a Silver Beaver or something else
that a local Council can now award (including the religious service
awards). This is a BIG difference from the earlier days, whereby
most Scouters got a training award after three years, a key after five
or seven and if they were LUCKY (or had a few hundred bucks laying
around) or almost to death, they got a service award.
But all of these awards is NOT what's going to keep volunteers
involved in the program for longer periods...it is the content, the
flexibility and the desire of the National organization and it's local
affiaiates, to MAKE THE PROGRAM WORK in every community. This takes
more than awards, it takes training and coaching and an emphasis on
PROGRAM as opposed to FINANCING the program.
> While I have your ear, Has anybody started teaching the new and
>improved Cub Basic training course? How they (the Van Patten Family)
>expect us on the training team to teach everything you ever wanted to
>know about being a cub leader of about 12 hours in 4 hours is crazy.
>It was hard enough to teach in the 8 hour format. What gives?
But that's what MANY of the volunteers said that those attending the
training wanted!! They want a fast, quick-paced "this is the stuff
you need", without much of the razzle-dazzle that Cub Scout training
was in the past. This is a hard thing to deal with....we talked about
it briefly before, but how about it....can we take a look at the
training once more?
> My last request for information on Knots was so well received
>that this cub basic question should really raise some eyebrows. I
>hope to find out tonight at my cub roundtable what our DE's know
>about Knots and the like. Only 4 weeks on the i-net and I am already in
Glad you're getting the best from the list as you can, Terry! Have a
great time at Roundtable, and don't forget to share us all with those
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services ___)_
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