Square Knot Devices
Square Knot Devices
There is a separate page
which explains how the program devices are used on the
Youth Religious emblem square knot; however, that is not the most
common usage of the small devices shown below.
These program devices were originally designed to be
placed on the Scouters' Key Award and Scouters' Training Award medals and
their corresponding knot emblems representing those two awards. The Boy Scout device is also known as the "Universal Device".
Edward B. Davis wrote and
In your section on devices on square knots, there is nothing
about the devices for the Scouters Training Award which can be
awarded to several positions.
I had thought that I covered it, but I have failed to do so, Ed,
which is why I've created this page.
The original reason why the program devices were designed was so
they could be attached to either the Scouters' Key Award (for the
primary Scouter - the Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Advisor, Skipper and
later Commissioners, Coaches and volunteers serving on the District
level) or the Scouters' Training Award (for the Scouters assisting
the primary Scouter).
Scouters' Key Award medal (left) and
Scouters' Training Award medal (right). Program device pins are attached to
the ribbon of these medals to denote which program(s) the award was earned
Scouters' Key Award knot emblem (left) and
Scouters' Training Award knot emblem (right). Program device pins are attached to
the square knot emblem to denote which program(s) the award was earned
By attaching the device to the ribbon of the Scouters' Key Award
or Scouters' Training Award medal, the award becomes the Scoutmaster
Key Award, or the Skipper's Key or the Scouters' Training Award as
a Boy Scouter...
Shown above is a Scouters' Training Award knot emblem with devices
denoting that this Scouter has received the Scouters' Key as a Boy Scout volunteer
("Universal" or Boy Scout device), Exploring volunteer (Explorer device) and as a Roundtable
staff member (Commissioner device. See note at bottom about Commissioners).
Here is a summary of how to wear the devices on the Scouters' Training
Award and Scouters' Key Award medals and on the knot emblems representing
The Cubmaster Key was awarded to Cubmasters until 1978. Those Cubmasters who
earned the Key may wear the small Cub Scout program device centered on the
ribbon of the medal and on the Key knot emblem. Cubmasters earning the present
Cubmaster (Training) Award, do NOT wear any device on the Cubmaster
(Training) Award knot emblem.
Shown above is a Scouters' Key Award knot emblem with devices denoting that this Scouter has received the Scouters' Key as a Cubmaster (prior to 1979) (Cub Scout device) and as a Unit Commissioner (Commissioner device).
The Cub Scouter's Training Award was awarded to Cub Scouting volunteers until
1978. Those volunteers earning the old Cub Scouters' Training Award may wear
the small Cub Scout program device centered on the ribbon of the medal and on
the Training Award knot emblem. Cub Scouters earning the present Cub Scouter
(Training) Award do NOT wear a device at all on the present Cub Scouter (Training) Award knot emblem.
Scoutmasters since 1931 who have earned the Scoutmaster's Key Award, may wear
the small Boy Scout program device centered on the Scouters' Key Award medal
ribbon and on the Scouters' Key Award square knot emblem.
Shown above is a Scouters' Key Award knot emblem with device
denoting that this Scouter has received the Scouters' Key as a Scoutmaster.
Devices do not have to be worn but only ONE knot, regardless of the number of
times the Scouter has earned the Key or Training Award, may be worn on the field
Assistant Scoutmasters and other volunteer Scouters at the Boy Scout unit level
who have earned the Scouters' Training Award since 1931 may wear the small Boy Scout program device centered on the Scouters' Training Award medal ribbon and centered on the Scouters' Training Award knot emblem.
The program device is also worn centered on the Unit Leaders' Award of Merit knot emblem since it may also now be earned by Cubmasters, Varsity Team Coaches, Venturing Advisors and Sea Scout Skippers.
Since 1989, Varsity Team Coaches wear the small Varsity emblem centered on the Scouters' Key Award if they have earned the Key; Assistant Team Coaches and other volunteer Varsity leaders may wear the Varsity device centered on the Scouters' Training Award medal and/or the knot emblem upon earning the Training Award. The small Varsity emblem is also worn centered on the Unit Leaders' Award of Merit knot emblem.
Before the Contemporary Exploring program, Explorer Advisors of Posts
and Squadrons also placed their program devices on the various training
awards as well. When the Contemporary Exploring program came into life,
the medals were replaced with lapel pins for the Exploring Advisor Key
and the Exploring Leaders' Training Award. Exploring leaders could
still wear the square knot emblem on the field uniform.
Shown above are the Exploring Leaders' Training Award and Advisors'/Skipper's Key
which were available for Contemporary Exploring leaders to earn.
With the elimination of Exploring and it's replacement with Venturing,
the Venturing Advisor wears the Venturing device centered on the Training
Award, the Unit Leaders' Award of Merit, and Advisors' Key Award knot emblem
in a similar manner as those previous Exploring leaders wore the Exploring device centered on the Key or Award knot emblems.
Sea Scouting (and before that, Sea Exploring) leaders wear the Skippers' Key
Award and the Sea Scouter Training Award with the small Sea Exploring/Sea Scouting device in a similar manner to the Scouters' Key and Scouters' Training Award listed above in the Scoutmaster category. Those few Skippers earning the old Skippers' Key (the same Key emblem but with a dark blue ribbon) and were given the opportunity to wear a dark blue and white Skippers' Key knot emblem representing the old Skippers' Key Award do NOT wear a device with that knot emblem, since only Skippers may earn the old Skippers' Key Award. The knot emblem does not exist any more.
District Volunteers and Commissioners:
District volunteers and Commissioners earning the Training Award or the
Key in their roles may wear either the District Volunteer device or the
Commissioner device centered on the ribbon of the medal and on the square knot
emblem as outlined for other roles above.
What is the device for those who earned it as a member of the Cub Scout
Roundtable Staff? Would this be a commissioners device or what?
Depends on your Council, Ed.
Some Councils STILL consider Roundtable Staff members as Commissioners;
the BSA has quietly tried to remove the word "Commissioner" from Boy Scout,
Cub Scout and Venturing Roundtable Commissioner Staffs. They've been half
successful. This is also the reason why in some Councils, the Wreath of Service
normally used to denote Commissioners are removed in the case of the Roundtable Staff members.
If your Council STILL consider you as part of your District's Cub Scout
Roundtable Commissioner's Staff, then you should wear the small
Commissioner device with the Scouters' Training Award to indicate you have
received the Award as a Commissioner.
If your Council NO LONGER consider you as a Commissioner and recognizes
everyone as "Cub Scout Roundtable Staff members", then you should wear
the Committee device (the small device with the first class emblem in the center
of a disk...it looks like a Commissioners' emblem without the wreath) on the
Scouters' Training Award to indicate you have received the Award as a Staff
The same device worn on the medal should be worn on the square knot emblem as
No device is worn on the Commissioner Award of Merit knot emblem.
Scoutmasters, Varsity Team Coaches, Venturing Crew Advisors and Sea Scout
Skippers may wear the small Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Venturing or Sea Scouting
program device representing their program on the center of the white Award of Merit knot
Shown above (top) is the old Leader Award of Merit knot emblem with device denoting that this Scouter has received this award as a Venturing Advisor. If he or she had earned the Award as a Scoutmaster, the Boy Scout program device would be worn on the center of the knot emblem, as shown in the above (below) Unit Leader Award of Merit knot emblem.
Those individuals who have contributed to their local Council in larger amounts are entitled to wear special devices on the James West Fellowship Award knot emblem as shown below.
Professionals who earned the old Professional Circle and the current Chief Scout
Executive Award wear the small Boy Scout program device centered on the
Professional Training Award knot emblem.
Those Scouters who have organized more than one new unit may wear a small program device for the second and subsequent types of units organized on the Boyce New Unit Award square knot emblem.
All other uses of program devices to denote a second or subsequent award of a particular TRAINING award is NOT OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED by the Boy Scouts of America while it may make sense for some Scouters to wear the small Universal (the Boy Scout) program device to denote a second award of the District/Division Award of Merit, for instance.
Thanks, Ed, for bringing this to my attention and for helping out a lot of
Scouters by asking your question!!
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