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> updated 10/6/22
George Meany Award
George Meany Award

This is the official, BSA-issued version of this square knot insignia. Most of the ones which were purchased by holders of the Award with the background colors reversed have been returned to the Relationships Division to be destroyed. Of course, there's several memorabilia dealers and patch collectors who have both versions in their personal collections!

"Square knot" insignia

All Insignia Left Front Council-approved knots

Local Council-approved "square knots"

These awards were created or used by local Councils to recognize their membership in areas consistent with National programs. Wearing of these "knot emblems should be done after consulting with YOUR Council Scout Executive. These are NOT official BSA knots, and are shown here only as illustration of what your Council may do to recognize Scouts, Venturers and Scouters in ways that are in line with National programming or options.

If you have a rare Scouting award that you would like to share with the rest of the world, please send a scanned copy of the insignia along with requirements or outlines for the presentation of the award to me. I'll post it here and give you and/or your Council credit for the contribution.

(In the future, I will add a separate page for "cloth knot emblems" produced by or under the direction of Scouting Associations outside of the BSA. Generally, the following rule applies:

"Scouts and Scouters who earn or receive awards from other nation's Scouting associations may wear them on the official BSA field uniform only when members from that nation are present at the activity or event; or when the wearing of such insignia furthers the World Brotherhood of Scouting. Otherwise, they are not routinely worn with BSA uniforms." (Scout Executive Manual, 27-17 "Wearing of Other Scouting Insignia")

This includes the Silver and Bronze Fox Awards and the Iraqi Scouting Service Award)

ALL of this insignia are unauthorized for wear on the official Scouting field uniforms unless a Council Scout Executive approves it. (ONLY the Council's Scout Executive can approve the wearing; he or she cannot delegate to a District Executive, a Field Director, or even the Associate Scout Executive. BSA policy!)

Unofficial Girl Scout Gold Award Square Knot Girl Scouts of the USA Gold Award 2
Unofficial Girl Scout Gold Award square knot

Emblem Description: gold square knot representing the Girl Scout Gold Award (the highest award available in that movement) on a middle green background with a silver border (left). There is also a version which has a mylar gold border (right).

Girl Scouts of the USA Gold Award
Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) Gold Award (lapel) Pin, the highest award in Girl Scouting (equal to BSA's Eagle Award)

Background/Justification: Between 2009 and 2014, fourteen local Council Scout Executives in various parts of the nation APPROVED this unofficial insignia to be worn by Gold Award holders (or who previously earned the Girl Scout First Class Award) who are currently registered as Venturers, Venturing leaders or Boy Scouters. The BSA approved the wearing of the small Girl Scout Gold Award pin to be worn centered on the left pocket of the Venturing field uniform in 2009; with the new Venturing award placement starting in 2014, the Gold Award pin may be worn centered on the left pocket flap between the button and the top edge of the pocket flap.

District Scouter of the Year
District Scouter of the Year, Gamehaven Council

Information provided by Gamehaven Council, Rochester, Minnesota.

Worn by: Male and Female Scouters

Emblem Description:

The Gamehaven Scouter of the Year "knot" has a scout emblem encircled in red along with the emblem of the Council also encircled in red.


The Gamehaven Council's "Scouter of the Year" recognition is presented to outstanding unit Scouters and Unit Commissioners, voted on by their peers. Each Scouter of the Year receives a plaque and is eligible to purchase and wear this special "knot emblem".

The "Scouter of the Year" recognition is intended to recognize outstanding service to Scouting while serving as a unit volunteer or as a unit-serving commissioner. It is not intended to be awarded based on popularity. Unit Scouters can recommend other Scouters in their units once a year; the award is presented during District events or during a special portion of the unit's recognition ceremony or dinner.

Bighorn District Scouter of the Year
Bighorn District Scouter of the Year

Information provided by Craig Quist.

Worn by: Male and Female Scouters

Emblem Description:

The Bighorn District Scouter of the Year knot has a gray "figure eight" knot on a tan background with a red border (district colors are red, gray and tan).


The Bighorn District "Scouter of the Year" recognition was initially started as part of the Las Vegas Strip Kiwanis "Scouter of the Month" recognition program during 1992 thru 1996. The recipients of this award were selected by the Bighorn District - Commissioner Staff based on service to Scouting within the Bighorn District.

Based on the need to continue recognizing outstanding adult Scouters, the Bighorn District Committee has decided to re-initiate this recognition program, with those receiving the award to be selected by vote (one per unit) at the District Dinner. Along with a plaque, the recipients will also receive a patch that can be worn on the uniform, indicating that recipient was previously selected for this honor.

The Bighorn District "Scouter of the Year" recognition is intended to recognize outstanding service to Scouting in the Bighorn District, either by younger or older Scouters, and is not intended to be awarded based on popularity. As this recognition is not as prestigious as the "Award of Merit" recognition, it will be awarded before the "Award of Merit" presentation at the annual district dinner.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Silver Jackalope Award
Silver Jackalope Award

Information provided by Arapahoe District, Denver Area Council.

Worn by: Male and Female Scouters, Male and Female Venturers

Emblem Description:

The square knot and border appears white; both turn dark blue when exposed to "black light" or darkened areas in much the same way that many "ghost" Order of the Arrow flaps reveal their colors.


The Silver Jackalope Award was created to recognize individuals outside the District or outside the Denver Area Council for their contributions toward the success of the Arapahoe District. They have provided special tools, instruction, coaching or resources toward making the District one of the Denver Area Council's Quality Districts. The Award was meant to keep Scouters from nominating individuals for District-level awards, thereby keeping those awards for the volunteers within the District to receive.

The Award consists of a LARGE silver jackalope medallion suspended from a medium blue ribbon; a certificate; and a special square knot with thread that "glows" in the dark after being subjected to constant light. The square knot and border both turn dark blue when exposed to "black light" or darkened areas in much the same way that many "ghost" Order of the Arrow flaps reveal their colors.

The District discontinued these awards in 2006.

Youth Leadership In America Award
Youth Leadership in America Award

Worn by: Male and Female Scouters and Venturing leaders

A separate page addresses this award in detail.

Tippey Award
Tippey Award

Information provided by Tippey Reynolds.

Worn by: Male and Female Scouters

Emblem Description: black square knot on a orange background and border.


The knot is for adult leaders... (she didn't have any set requirements for the award; from the description, it appears that it's just a gag thing to give to new Scouters in her District)

Silver Aligator Award (Troop)
Silver Alligator (Troop) Award

Information provided by Mark Nusekabel, SM Troop 339 .

Worn by: Male and Female Scouters

Emblem Description: The knot emblem is a triple sheet bend in white on a lime green background.


The formal decoration is a silver medal suspended from a green neck ribbon. The medal has a picture of the troop mascot imposed on it. The Silver Alligator Award, the highest award that Troop 339 of Tampa, FL gives to an adult for outstanding service.

Silver Anchor Award square knot
Silver Anchor Award (Sea Scout Ship 90 Award)

Worn by: Male and Female Sea Scouts, Male and Female Scouters

Emblem Description:


The Silver Anchor may be awarded to any Sea Scout or adult leader with at least year of membership who is determined to be the most outstanding and active in the Ship each year. A gold star may be affixed to the medal ribbon in exceptional cases. The award is approved by the Skipper, Mates, and Committee Chairman. (October 1968)

The square knot features a red and blue rope, with the red worn to the right, on either a white or navy blue background. (Designed by Third Mate Kevin Johnson) (February 1974) Additional information provided through Sea Scout Ship 90

Traditional Sea Badge emblem (unofficial)
Traditional Sea Badge Emblem (unofficial)

Emblem Description: a white trident on a dark blue background and dark blue border.

Worn by: Male and Female Sea Exploring Leaders and Scouters


Until 1992, there existed NO official Sea Badge "square knot" for holders of this special training recognition; however, there has been several local creations of the Sea Badge "uniform emblem" for wear alongside other square knots. The holders of the Sea Badge had no way to wear the Sea Badge officially on the field uniform and has continuously sought to get the BSA's Uniform and Insignia Committee to adopt a design. In 1992, the Committee finally did accept the trident award design which has been used for years in unofficial versions of the award.

The only problem was that the "uniform emblem" they created does not conform to the size or height of other square knots, and while the symbolism (a blue trident on a grey (silver) background and border) was notable, many Sea Badge holders have opted to wearing the unofficial version (which is available in Sea Exploring blue as shown here; on white for the Sea Exploring whites; and on tan for the tan Scouters' field uniform) instead of the "official emblem" simply because it looks much better than the "something that looks like a trident" official version.

(The Sea Badge will be worn by all Scouters who have attained the Badge; the BSA official cloth square "knot" emblem was retired in 2009. More information on how to wear the Sea Badge).

Wood Badge emblem (unofficial)
Wood Badge emblem (unofficial)

Worn by: Male and Female (Sea Scouting) Wood Badgers

Emblem Description: Brown wood badge beads (there is also a three and four-bead version of this insignia)


Because wearing any necklace-type device is potentially dangerous on the water, several Sea Exploring leaders created the Wood badge emblem to be worn informally on the Sea Scouting whites, blues and khahi/tan. This knot emblem comes in three forms, which correspond to the two-bead, three-bead and four-bead necklaces worn by Wood Badgers traditionally on the tan field uniform. Because the Wood Badge training recognition IS the Wood Badge necklace, the National Uniform and Insignia Committee has steadfastly denied repeated requests by the Sea Scouting community to create an official version of this "knot"; however, local Councils do have the authority to authorize it's wear (as with other local Council awards) by Sea Scouting or other leaders on the tan uniform.

Silver Scouter Award (College
Silver Scouter (College Scouter) Award
Version 1

Silver Scouter Award (College
Silver Scouter (College Scouter) Award
Version 2

Silver Scouter Award (College
Silver Scouter (College Scouter) Award
Current version

Worn by: Male and Female Scouters

Emblem Description: The original knot design was taken from the from the Scoutmaster Award of Merit knot with the square knot being silver instead of white. (personal note: there's nothing wrong with your browser, I was only able to get part of the knot scanned.) The second and final versions of the knot emblem feature a maroon and white knot emblem on a fully embrordered tan background (version 2) and a nicer emblem on the generic "khaki-tan" background (current version, version 3).


Used at three colleges to recognize individuals for Scouting-like service to the campus community or to Scouting in general between 1980 and 1998.

The Silver Scouter Award was shared between Eastern Kentucky, Boise State and Purdue Universities. Purdue called their award the "College Scouter" award. The actual award consists of a university medallion (or the BSA generic silver award medallion) suspended from a narrow maroon, white and maroon ribbon along with a certificate. Purdue used a different ribbon color combination but retained the knot emblem. One award was to be presented yearly to a member of one of the on-campus Exploring units; another award to be presented to an adult (21 or older) for their service to Scouting (not neccessarily on-campus) and a third award would be presented to a campus leader whose service reflects that of similar type service attained by Scouting members or volunteers. Only one "set" of awards could be presented yearly during Scouting Anniversary Month.

I have been told that this knot emblem is no longer available through Eastern Kentucky University, which is where I received the first two versions of the knot from as the Silver Scouter program there along with the Explorer Post has been inactive since 1998. When I inquired if they started up the program again in 2005, I was sent a small packet of knot emblems along with a note stating that the University was clearing out all of their old Exploring stuff and since the BSA did away with "college Scouter reserve" Exploring units and they did not transition to the Venturing program, I was welcome to the knots. I asked for one of the extra medallions as well and was told that there were none left.

 'Why Knot' (local Council adaptation)
Why Knot" (local Council adaptation)

Worn by: Male and Female Scouters

Emblem Description:


The "Why Knot" ("Why not?") was a "joke patch" which eventually became the prototype for the Scoutmaster Award of Merit (now called the "Unit Leader 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 knot emblems.

 'Troop 107 'Why Knot'
Troop 107 "Why Knot", Wiesbaden, Germany (Tranatlantic Council)

Worn by: Male and Female Scouters

Emblem Description:

Background/Justification: Square knot emblem created with black and red ropes, with a red border on a khaki background. Red and black are the colors of Troop 107's neckerchief.

This square knot was developed to recognize the challenges and service of Scouters of Troop 107. It has not been officially approved by the Transatlantic Council as of the date of this posting.

(The following information was provided by the Troop):

Started by Scoutmaster Jeff Stone around 2005.

Since Jeff had no experience whatsoever as a Scouter before his son joined the Troop in 2003, the only square knot insignia new then-Assistant Scoutmaster and career Life Scout Jeff could wear was his Arrow of Light square knot from his long-ago tenure as a WEBELOS Cub Scout. Scoutmaster Tom Wood told him if we became the adult quartermaster and took care of the gear, he could wear the Quartermaster square knot insignia. Jeff looked it up and found the Quartermaster square knot insignia wasn't for unit Quartermasters at all, but a Sea Scout award. Jeff still worked on getting the Troop's gear in shape, as the Troop was made up of the sons of 1st Armored Division Soldiers who were deployed to war as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Troop hadn't camped in a year; at one point, 13 of 18 of the dads were off to Iraq!

During Jeff's research on the Quartermaster knot, he discovered the website http://www.mninter.net/~blkeagle/knoindex.htm (the old version of this Badge and Uniform Site), and he read about the "Why knot" (above). When he took over as Scoutmaster, Jeff wanted to recognize Scouters that were keeping the Troop going despite the numerous deployments of military parents. With the seniority required for the Scouters' Training Award (two years), Jeff decided to produce a knot emblem that could be awarded quickly and informally to new leaderss who have completed the required training, gone camping with the unit, and owned a Scout shirt. Tom Wood, the former Scoutmaster was then working in Iraq, and had a couple dozen embrordered at the local tailor ("we can embroider anything you want anywhere you want stands").

The current square knot insignia is produced by the BSA Insignia company and carries the BSA seal on the backside.

The square knot insignia recognizes the challenge and service of the Scouters of Troop 107, Wiesbaden Germany, to keep the spirit of Scouting alive despite the challenges of being located in a military community overseas. The square knot insignia has also been awarded to Scouters from other Troops who have gone out of their way to assist Troop 107.

The square knot insignia has NOT been approved by the local Council because the Troop never asked and it's so much more fun being a little bit "out" there.

Silver Squirrel Award
Silver Squirrel Award, Troop 923 Chicago Area Council

Information provided by Troop 923, Chicago Area Council.

Worn by: Male and Female Scouters

Emblem Description:

The Silver Squirrel Award features a double carrick bend ("figure 8 knot") in the Troop's colors of gold and green. These are the two colors found on the necklace ribbon of the award.


The Silver Squirrel Award was developed to recognize Scouters in a Chicago Boy Scout Troop who had given of their time and effort over the years, providing the support needed to keep troop program functioning smoothly. Since these Scouters had devoted all their efforts at the unit level rather than the district or council level, there was little chance that they would ever be nominated for the District Award of Merit, or the Silver Beaver. The troop committee felt that these individuals should be recognized in a manner consistent with recognition at higher levels, and decided to institute the Silver Squirrel Award. The Silver Squirrel was first awarded in 2005.

The Silver Squirrel Award is being made available to any unit that wishes to recognize their own Scouters in a manner consistent with the history of the award. It has been awarded to Scouters in Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Venturing Crews, and Sea Scout Ships. The Silver Squirrel has been awarded by camp staff to Camp Rangers as well. Here is a copy of the Silver Squirrel Award application and instructions including the mailing address to send the application.

Unofficial NYLT Staff Award Square Knot
Unofficial National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) Staff Award square knot

Emblem Description: silver square knot on a black background with a silver border (left). No idea on why the colors were chosen.

Background/Justification: This is auhorized for wear by those youth and Scouters who have successfully completed NYLT (National Youth Leadership Training) staff development and have staffed a Mount Baker Council NYLT course. For more information on this knot, contact the current Mount Baker Council NYLT Scoutmaster. This has not been approved by the BSA's leadership development task force but a way that this Council promotes staffing and participation in the training course.

Unofficial Vigil Honor Square Knot
Unofficial Vigil Honor square knot (provided by Scouter Steve T. Earley)

Emblem Description: knot emblem is composed of red and white intertwined ropes tied in a square knot on a khaki background with a red border. The knot emblem is worn with the two red tips to the viewer's left (the wearer's right). Red and white are colors traditionally associated with the BSA's Order of the Arrow.

Background/Justification: The justification for the emblem was that since Order of the Arrow (OA) Lodges are no longer allowed to design distinctive Vigil Honor flaps to be worn by the special holders of the Vigil Honor, that the knot would be used by adults and youth members to recognize the achievement.

ALL Order of the Arrow insignia, must first be approved by the National Council of Chiefs representing the youth membership of the Order of the Arrow and by the National Director of the Order of the Arrow on behalf of the Chief Scout Executive. It was sent to the Council of Chiefs for their consideration in 2008 and was disapproved. The disapproval was signed by the then National OA Advisor who stated that "there already exists suitable recognition for those Vigil Honor members. In addition to the Vigil sash, there is also the Vigil Honor pin which should be worn attached to the OA ribbon pin (what I call a "dangle") or the Founders' Award ribbon pin ("dangle")."

Therefore the BSA's national Uniform and Insignia Committee disapproved the request. That did not stop, the local Council from approving the insignia to be worn only within HIS COUNCIL. I think this is how the knot emblem was distributed and some were worn. This knot emblem remains NOT a national insignia recognition.

Fishawacks Finest Award cloth emblem
Fishawacks Finest Award cloth emblem (provided by Scouter Adam Sonzogni)

Emblem Description: emblem is composed of an outline of a fish in yellow (gold) on a green background. The "eye" of the fish is worn at the top left as shown (top right as worn on the official field uniform shirt).

Background/Justification: Recognizes Scouters of merit in the Fishawack District of Patriots' Path Council, BSA

Bowline Commissioner Service Award
Bowline Commissioner Service Award

Emblem Description: emblem is of a Mylar silver bowline on a tan background and border. In some local Councils, the Commissioner device is centered on the knot emblem.

Background/Justification: The Blue Ridge, Sequoyah, Palmetto, Great Smoky Mountains, Indian Waters, and Daniel Boone Councils have adopted this single, common locally authorized "knot" emblem for those who staffed a College of Commissioner Science in their Council or who have participated in at least three College of Commissioner Science courses. The silver Mylar bowline is emblematic of the unit lifesaving function of the commissioner staff. Since 2002, the knot emblem is stocked by Streamwood.


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