Scouting Awards and Recognitions

Square Knots

This knot represents the Arrow of Light award--the highest award in Cub Scouts, and the only Cub Scout award with an associated square knot. Only adult leaders wear the square knot.

The youth award is a patch worn below the left pocket. It is the only Cub Scout award that can be worn on the Boy Scout uniform. There is also a metal pin version, but I don't know how it is to be worn.

This knot represents the Youth Religious award. This is an interesting one in Scouting, because the religious awards are not Scout awards. They are awarded by a religious group, and each church has their own version with their own award. But the BSA recognizes these awards and allows youth and adults who have earned the award to wear this square knot. Many churches have different religious awards for different age groups. These can be represented by miniature pins worn on the square knot. I think I have seen only one other person actually wear these pins.

You'll notice I have two miniature pins here. One for Cub Scouts, the other for Boy Scouts.

As a Cub Scout I earned the Faith in God award. I think the Church doesn't do this one anymore.

As a Boy Scout I earned the On My Honor award. This is one award my young men can (and should) still earn.

I also, as a young man, earned the Duty to God award. This one is not longer available to our young men in this form--the program has changed a couple times since then. I'm not entirely certain it was ever recognized by the BSA as part of their religious emblems program so I never got a third pin to wear on my square knot.

This square knot represents the Eagle Scout award. I could, as I understand, wear my gold eagle palm on the square knot in the same way I wear the miniature pins on  my youth religious knot. I don't, however, mostly because I only have the one and never took the time to go buy another one.

I could also "upgrade" this knot to a similar one which represents my lifetime membership to the National Eagle Scout Association. The knot is the same but has a silver border. Maybe some day.

This knot represents the Venturing Leader's Training award. Each scouting program has a similar award that uses the same medal and square knot, so the specific award can be represented by a miniature pin, indicating the program in which it was earned.

I'm told that very few people actually earn this award, which, in some ways, is really surprising to me. It requires two years of tenure along with certain training and performance requirements. (Complete requirements can be found here.) The way I see it, if you are doing what you should be, by the time your two years are up you should have very nearly completed the other requirements anyway. Every Venturing leader with two years of tenure should have earned this. Maybe they just don't know about it.

This knot represents the Adult Religious award. For The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that is the On My Honor award. While very similar to the award available for youth, the adult version is a ribbon worn around the neck rather than a pin-on medal. 

 The requirements for this are actually quite easy. Essentially consisting of basic training, three years tenure, and a worthiness interview. I heard someone once say that if you've had a scout leader for three years who has not earned this award you should get rid of them.     

Other Awards and Recognitions

This is the Heart of Scouting award. The Heart of Scouting program was developed by the Utah National Parks council to encourage young men and leaders to "put the first duty first." (The first duty being duty to God).

This pin is not the only award available in the Heart of Scouting program, but it is the only one leaders can earn.

More information about this program can be found here.

This is one I am especially pleased with. It is, of course, my Wood Badge. (Or as my young men call them "beads of wisdom.") I attended in 2009 (WE7-591-12-09) and finished my ticket in June of 2010. Of all the things I have done in Scouting, this was perhaps the most meaningful to me. And I think it, more than anything else, helped me make more of a difference for my young men.

Oh, and "I used to be a bear...."

I earned a third bead by serving on staff.

Wood Badge Staff - 2011 (W2-591-11-10) - Troop Guide
Wood Badge Staff - 2012 (W2-591-12-7) - Troop Guide
Wood Badge Staff - 2013 (W2-591-13-  ) - Assistant Scoutmaster--Troop Guides