Beginning in 1966 with the Eagle and Silver Beaver square knots, BSA began making square knots with dark green backgrounds to match the Explorer uniform. Shortly after, they also included with the dark green backgrounds, the Scouter's Key and Scouter's Training Award knots. These knots were in addition to the khaki background knots that they continued to make. They made these four knots with this background until 1979. BSA also had been making square knots with a navy blue and a white background for the Sea Scout uniforms for a number of years. They also discontinued these in 1979. It is worth noting here that all four of these awards could be earned in each of the various scouting programs. However, regardless of how you earned the award, you could wear a uniform matching knot.
Venturing Knots for Sale
If you are interested in knots with a Venturing green background, please contact me from my contact page.
When the Venturing program begin in 1998, there was a big demand for knots with dark green backgrounds and a knot for the Ranger Award. However, BSA chose not to make them.
If BSA had issued knots with dark green backgrounds, the common knots they make with tan backgrounds would look like the follow:
The two knots BSA has issued for the Venturing program are for the Venturing Silver Award and the Venturing Leadership Award.
Fully Embroidered Designs
Scouting has had several fully embroidered knots over the years. They include the Venturing Leadership Award, William D. Boyce Award and the Explorer Silver II (also used for the Exploring GOLD & Young American Award). It seems that most times they found a new manufacturer when issuing a new knot so there was inconsistency in styles and certainly a difference from their traditional knots.
If BSA had been consistent, the designs might appear as (a mouse over will give you the name of the knot):
District Award of Merit
A recognition that many scouters receive who have contributed to their districts is the District Award of Merit. The traditional background for this knot is dark blue. (My best guess for the color is that in the early 1970's the commissioner patches had a dark blue background and that color was chosen when the knot was introduced. This award may have evolved from the Silver Bear introduced by Golden Empire Council.)
Today, the original reason for the background is lost but a number of Venturing scouters prefer a dark green background. If it came with a dark green background, the optional background would look like:
Many Venturing leaders are taking Sea Badge in order to better understand Sea Scouting which was the first senior scout program. BSA has issued a knot for completing the course but it is oversized. If BSA did issue a proper size knot and also made one for Venturing, the two knots would look like:
Girl Scout Gold Award
Because there are a good number of young ladies from Girl Scouts that have joined Venturing, a request was made to BSA to issue a Gold Award knot for any girl who earned the award in Girl Scouts. BSA chose not to issue a knot but allowed girls to wear some identification for the award on the Venturing uniform. Many have chosen to wear the knot to the right which represents the highest award in Girl Scouts even though it is not an official BSA knot. However, there has been spirited debate as to whether it is within uniform code to wear anything but the official Gold Award pin. In any case, if you are interested in this knot, you are welcome to contact me at through my contact page (can't respond unless you do).
It has come to my attention that ScoutStuff.org sells an Explorer recognition award for young adults who have earned the BSA Eagle or GSUSA Gold award. It can be seen here: www.scoutstuff.org/rib-es-gold-awd-bar.html. I read this as a form of acknowledgement that BSA is glad to recognize young ladies for their accomplishment.
This is a brief summary of square knot information. If you are have more interest in history, please visit "Illustrated History of BSA Square Knot Evolution and Private Issues." If you have any question, please feel free to e-mail Craig Murray, TheHiker@SageVenture.com. I promptly respond to all questions.
This is not an official site of the Boy Scouts of America. The information is from research I have done and may not align with current BSA policy.