Why Knot

Why Knot

Unofficial Why Knot

The "Why Knot" ("Why not?") was a "joke patch" which eventually became the prototype for the Scoutmaster Award of Merit. It was said that during a visit to a local Council in the Northeast Region early during his new tenure as Chief Scout Executive, Ben Love talked with several uniformed Scouters. All of the Scouters were wearing this strange-looking square knot and when Love asked "what's the knot for?", his staff members nor the Council Executive could answer. So, Love asked the Scouters. The Scouters explained that new Scouters were sometimes "put off" by older, more senior Scouters that seem to have "rows of those things" on their shirts. So, in their District, they decided to include those new Scouters that have "stuck around" for 18 months after being trained with a "why knot". When asked about the name, a Scouter responded "why not? We have knots for everything else, why don't we recognize the relatively new Scouter?" Love took this back to National, and later when discussions were being made about the NESA Scoutmaster Award, he related the visit to that Council and asked "Why don't we recognize EVERY Scoutmaster that have achieved a certain level early in their tenure? It seems that they had the right idea, even if it was 'just a joke.'"

The difference between the "Why Knot" and the Scoutmaster Award of Merit is the color of the background and border color (this is a off-white background, and the Scoutmaster Award of Merit is on a tan background and border, the standard background and border of most Scout knots.

Credits: Text and scan of the knot provided by Mike Walton.

Page updated on: May 23, 2014

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