Why Knot program

The Why Knot? Program encourages scouts to learn the uses, classifications and how to tie knots commonly used in scouting.  The scout earns a colored rope to signify their mastery of the knots required at a particular level.  To earn a rope, the scout must be “tested” by a Troop Knotmaster or Scout Knotmaster.  Every scout begins by testing to earn their 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 troop 39.  It is to be worn at all times during scout activities.  Ropes may be tied or coiled and clipped to a carabineer hanging from the belt.

The Challenge

A scout can be challenged by any other scout at the same level or above to tie any knot required for their level.  Only the Scout Knotmaster and Knotmaster Mentor levels are exempt from challenge.  When a challenge is issued, the challenger must pick a Knotmaster to judge the challenge.  From that point, the following procedure is used:

1.The challenger names the knot to be tied by the challenger.
2.The challenged scout has up to two opportunities to tie the knot.
3.The judge will inspect the knot and decide if it was tied correctly.
4.If the challenged scout fails to tie the knot correctly, his rope will be taken and replaced with a pink rope*.
5.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 change knot may test up to the level of rope that they had previously lost.  If successful, they would exchange his pink rope for the rope lost in the challenge.

Level Knots for this level
1.  Learner Square knot
2.  Knotter Overhand Knot
Slip Knot
Whip a rope
Larks Head
Half Hitch

Fuse a rope

3.  Hitcher


Taut Line Hitch

Clove Hitch

Two Half Hitches
Timber Hitch
4.  Lasher

Sheet Bend
One-handed Bowline

Diagonal Lashing

Sheep Shank
Square Lashing

Sheer Lashing

5.  ScoutKnotmaster Bowline on a Bight Butterfly Loop
Highwayman’s Hitch2 knots of choice
6.  Troop Knotmaster Back Splice Eye Splice
Short Splice
5 more knots of choice
7.  Knotmaster Mentor All knots from choice list.  Introduce two unique knots to other Knotmasters.
Knots of Choice: Double Sheet Bend; Carrick Bend; Masthead Knot; Pipe Hitch; Fisher- man’s knot; Cat’s Paw; Prusik Knot; Round Turn and Two Half Hitches; Rolling Hitch; Constrictor Knot; Water Knot; Honda Knot; Barrel Hitch.
Lost or Forgotten Ropes: If a scout forgets to wear his rope to a meeting or other scouting activity, they 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 fee $1, but only after the scout has tied all of the knots for his level.