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.
Square Knots for Sale
If you are interested in square knots in general and in particular knots with a Venturing green background, please contact me from my contact page. I have plenty of Venturing knots and some others.
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.
The original Ranger award square knot was made from 1950-51. BSA's tradition is to only make a knot for the highest award in a program so they will not be reissuing a Ranger knot for today's Venturing program. For more information on the original Ranger award, please visit "Scouting's First Ranger Award."
If BSA had issued knots with dark green backgrounds, the common knots they make with tan backgrounds would look like the following:
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 BSA 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):
A small number of the Silver/Summit knots have been privately made with the knot itself being stitched in silver Mylar. It would be a great gift for anyone earning either award. If you are interested in this knot, you are welcome to contact me through my contact page.
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:
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 (this is referenced page 3 of www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/Venturing_Insignia.pdf). 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 through my contact page (can't respond unless you do).
It has come to my attention that ScoutShop.org sells an Explorer recognition award for young adults who have earned the BSA Eagle or GSUSA Gold award. It can be seen here: scoutshop.org/catalog/product/view/id/758. I read this as a form of acknowledgement that BSA is glad to recognize young ladies for their accomplishment.
Several years ago, I received an email about the wearing of the GSUSA Gold award. I recently found what I kept and this is how it read: The Girl Scout Gold Award knot has no history, is unofficial and is only included to recognize girl's who have earned that award and are involved in today's Venturing program. However, I received this statement in an e-mail: "I have some good news for you. I did what you said about getting permission from my Scout Executive before wearing an unofficial knot on the uniform. The knot in question is the Girl Scout Gold Award Knot. My Scout Executive told me he could not give me permission to wear it, but he would take it to national and see what their take on it was. I am happy to say that National gave approval to the wearing of the Girl Scout Gold Award Knot." I doubled checked with the Scout Executive and he confirmed the story. That definitely was a surprise.
Religious Square Knots
If you have earned the youth religious award either through Boy Scouting or Girl Scouting, you can certainly obtain the square knot from BSA. With all do respects, BSA is not concerned with quality so if you are you would like to obtain a regulation size square knot of top quality, you are welcome to contact me through my contact page. Also available are few adult religious award knots.
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." orderform.xls
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.