This past month's edition of "Scouting Magazine," had a wonderful article on Adult Leadership Knots and Knots scouts can earn for accomplishing various requirements above and beyond the call of duty (meaning that these awards are not required for rank advancement and do not determine the final outcome of one aspiring to reach Eagle Scout), and recently I read a blog about leaders commenting on how they view these knots on a leader's uniform as appearing like nothing more than a patchwork quilt.
Others look upon these awards as badges of honor and dedication to the scouting movement and wear these knots with pride and respect towards the program.
I, for one, have several knots on my uniform and there have been times that I did wish to not have any for the disparaging comments made from those that choose not to take the time to earn these knots.
I have been referred to as a, "Knot Nazi," or a leader in it to massage my own ego and most the do know me would tell you that, that is further from the truth.
I do not actively go looking to earn another knot nor do I really change how I present the program to get knots.
If you lead by proper example and believe in the scout oath and law and present that to the scouts then knots usually come your way.
Within the past year, I was awarded the Wm D, Boyce Knot for helping start a unit in an area that had no scout troop. They people had been hoping a unit would magically appear from thin air for the past 20 yrs and no one bothered to help them get one started.
I was asked to talk about scouts and earning their religious awards and through that talk I was asked about how one starts a unit up.
5 meetings later, low and behold, a new Troop formed and because I got credit for doing the legwork and getting them on board; I received the Wm. D. Boyce knot.
I didn't even know that one existed unit my DE, at that time, made me fill out the paperwork to receive the honor.
I have been a Tiger Coach, Den Leader, Webelos Den Leader, Cubmaster, Committee member and now a Commissioner and the knots that I have on my uniform have come from hard work and I wear them with pride and honor.
The reason is simple:
1. To show other leaders and scouts that adults do receive awards for doing work within the program.
2. To show that parents of the scouts that I am a dedicated leader to the program and will not give the boys a substandard program.
Now there are leaders that do not have any knots that provide a quality program and I do applaud everything that they do but I do wish that they would take the time to put the knots on their uniform.
Parents not only look at the awards the scouts receive but they do look for some validation on the leaders uniforms to prove what the leader says is true.
So when leaders wearing knots on their uniforms walk past, take the time to stop and ask what each knot means and what it takes to earn that knot.
You will find that we knot wearers are not on an ego trip.
More than likely you will find a leader willing to share his wisdom to better the program for you too.