Boy Scouts of America

30 years of experiences

My Scouting Story
From Cub to Eagle

My years in Scouting began at the age of 8 and continued off and on for 31 years. Though no longer active today, it has been a major part and influence on my life.

A man in a boy scout uniform standing at attention.
Square Knots
Squareknots represent a Scouter's awards and achievements in the Scouting Program

There are dozens of possible knots which an adult Scouter can earn through the course of their Scouting experience. Generally, the bottom row is the first series of awards and they stack upward over time as the individual continues to earn the different awards.

What follows are the details of the squareknots I have earned.

Arrow of Light
This is the highest award earned in Cub Scouting.

The Arrow of Light is the highest rank in Cub Scouting. It is the one of the only two awards a Scout can wear on their adult uniform The Eagle Scout Award is the highest rank in the Boy Scout Program. The latter awards are adult awards.

Eagle Scout Award
The Eagle Scout Award, the highest award to be achieved in the Boy Scout Program

The Eagle Scout Award is probably the most famous award a youth can earn. It is highly respected and coveted. It shows a youth's abitlity for planning, leadership, completion of tasks as well as a long list of other skills and achievements. Only about 5-10% of the boys in the Scouting Program will go on to earn this award.

The silver trim around the knot denotes a Lifetime Member of the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA),

Scouter's Training Award
This is the first award a Scout leader usually earns

The Scouter's Training Award begins the adult leader's legacy in the program.

Scouter's Key Award
This is the second award a Scout Leader will earn

Once the Training Award is earned, the next step in Leader Training is the Scouter's Key. This has more outdoor skills and unit building training.

Cub Scouter Award
Adult award for Cub Scout Leaders

This is a basic award for adult leaders having fulfilled the requirements for basic leadership in the Cub Scout Program.

Religious Award
Religious Award for Adult Leaders

The Adult religious award is for adults who are selected by the appropriate religious committee according to their faith and participation. It is the reverse colors (purple on silver) of the youth award, (silver on purple). A small pin attached to the knot would denote the faith and religious committee from which the award was given. In this case it is a Shofar, from the Jewish Committee on Scouting.

Alumni Award
The Scouter's Alumni Award

This award is earned by alumni of Scouting by completing specific goals. There is no corresponding medal or ribbon, only a square knot. What is shown is my 30 years of service pin.

James E. West Award
James E. West Award

This award is given for participation in the local council's Endowment Program.

Medal of Merit
Given for meritorious action.

The Merit Medal honors Scouts, Venturers and Scouters that have performed an act of meritorious service above and beyond what is normally expected of a youth or adult member of the Boy Scouts of America.

This act should demonstrate exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.
The action does not necessarily need to involve rescue or saving life, but must demonstrate some aspect of Scouting ideals or skills.

The Woodbadge
Woodbadge Beads

Woodbadge is an advanced adult training program consisting of outdoor skills, leadership, team building, group management, problem solving, task completion and a number of other skills. It is a very highly respected award. It is signified by a set of beads, a tan neckerchief with a McLaren tarten on the back. It is tied with what is called a woggle, made of leather.

Two beads are awarded for the initial completion of the course. A third bead is awarded for participation in the course as an instructor. The Gilwell shoulder strip represents the first Woodbadge course held at Camp Gilwell in England. Each Woodbadge patrol is assigned an animal logo or "critter" to represent that patrol For me, I am an Owl, which connects me to all others who went through the program in the Owl patrols.

Commissioner Service
Assorted awards for serving in the Scouting Commissioner Corps.

There are a number of different commissioner roles. Unit Commissioners assist and advise unit leaders as needed and are a vital resource for the units.

District and Assistant District Commissioners recruit Unit Commisioners and help to coordinate the units and the Scouting Program according to the District's goals.

The Arrowhead is for continued successful service as a Commissioner.

District Committee
Participation in the District's Committee

A Scout Council is broken into areas called districts. Each district has a committee with different positions for adult volunteers. Their duties are to direct the Scouting Program for that district, including fund raising, camping, activities, awards, participation by the Scouts and the units.

The Religious Emblems Coordinator is one of those many positions in the District Committee helping encourage participation in the Religious Emblems Program by the youth according to each ones' indivudual faith.

Junior Leader Training (JLT)

Advanced training in leadership and outdoor skills became emphasized beginning in the youth course called at that time "Junior Leader Training" (JLT). Then as an adult, the Woodbadge is the culmination of all the trainings. JLT is now known as NYLT & ISLT

Additional training
Here is a list of other training programs completed. Click on the link for more details.