The purpose of the Knotmaster Program is to encourage scouts to learn the uses, classifications, and how to tie knots commonly used in scouting. The scout earns a colored rope to signify his mastery of the knots required at a particular level. To earn a rope, the scout must be "tested", (see description of the test below), by a Troop Knotmaster or Scout Knotmaster. Every scout begins the testing to earn his pink rope. Then, only ONE level can be advanced per scout meeting or event. On campouts, a scout can advance ONE level per day.The Test
To advance to the next level, a scout must request to be tested by a Knotmaster. For each knot tied, the scout must be able to tie the knot within two attempts, state the type of knot, (i.e. joining, slip, rescue, etc.), and give one or more examples of how the knot should be used. The knots are not useful unless the scout knows how to use them.Display of the Rope
The rope is part of the scout uniform for his troop. It is to be worn at all times during scout activities. Pink and yellow ropes are worn wrapped around the waist, tied in a square knot. All other colors may be tied or coiled and clipped to a carabineer hanging from the belt.Lost or Forgotten Ropes
If a scout forgets to wear his rope to a meeting or other scouting activity, he will be given a pink rope to wear for that scout event. The pink rope group might be assigned "special duties" for the event, such as clean up detail, latrine duty, etc. If a scout loses his rope, it may be replaced for a $1.50 fee, but only after the scout has tied all the knots for his level.The Challenge
A scout can be challenged by any other scout at the same level or
above. Only the Knotmaster and Knotmaster Mentor levels are exempt from the challenge. When a challenge is issued, the challenger must pick a Knotmaster to judge the challenge. From that point, the following procedure is used:
- The challenger must name the knot to be tied by the challenged.
- The challenged scout has up to two opportunities to tie the knot.
- The judge will inspect the knot and decide if it was tied correctly.
- If the challenged scout fails to tie the knot correctly, his rope will be taken and replaced with a pink rope.*
- The challenger must also be able to tie the knot and steps 3 and 4 are followed for the challenger as well.*
* At the next opportunity for testing, a scout who failed a challenge, may test up to the level of rope he previously lost. If successful, he would exchange his pink rope for the rope lost in the challenge.
Knots of Choice from the Pioneering Merit Badge Book
|Level ||Rope Color ||Knots/Lashings/Splices Required |
|1 ||Pink ||Square Knot, Overhand Knot |
|2 ||Yellow ||All knot required for level 1 plus: Two half hitches, Taut-line Hitch |
|3 ||Green ||All knot required for level 2 plus: Figure eight knot, Timber hitch, Clove hitch, Bowline |
|4 ||Orange ||All knot required for level 3 plus: Sheet bend, Sheep Shank, Square lashing, Diagonal Lashing, Sheer lashing |
|White ||All knot required for level 4 plus: Bowline on a bite, Draw hitch, Butterfly, End splice, Eye splice, Short splice, |
and two knots of choice from the Pioneering Knotmaster merit badge handbook.
|Blue ||All knots required for Scout Knotmaster level plus: Five knots of choice from the Pioneering Knotmaster merit badge handbook. |
(for a total of seven knots of choice from the Pioneering merit badge book).
|Purple ||All knots required for Troop Knotmaster level plus: All knots from the Pioneering Knotmaster merit badge handbook |
and introduce two unique knots to other knotmasters.
| Double sheet bend || Rolling hitch || Carrick bend || Constrictor |
| Water Knot || Pipe hitch || Cat's Paw || Fisherman's Knot |
| Honda || Masthead (jury knot) || Prusik || Barrel hitch |
| Figure eight follow through || Figure eight on a bite || || |