So, I got a response awhile ago from the Boy Scouts of America’s National Office about my Cubscout Knot email that I sent them. I also posted this question in a Linkedin Forum and got a lot great feedback/history as to why this is happening. It’s all very good. Main thing is that my voice was heard at National and explained in great terms. I know that there are reasons behind this and it’s good that a panel of Scouter’s thought about it. Here is the reply from National.
I am not identifying the person who sent it, since I don’t want to have his inbox flooded
The awards committee took a look at all of the awards in the BSA. There was nearly a year of discussion (and a lot of angst) over this. I am a Cub Scouter and served in the Cub Scout division in the early days of the knots, but the conversation made sense even to me. Let me share some of the thoughts. Not in an attempt to convince you, but to give you some of the key thoughts that led to the decision by our committees. And keep in mind, the awards are not going away, just the separate knots.
• The Scouter’s Key is one of the oldest and most prestigious adult training/performance awards in the BSA. For the last 25 years Cubmasters have been the only top leaders excluded from earning that award and knot. It was felt that they should.
• There are more den leaders than any position other than unit committee, the den leader knot is one of the oldest knots, and arguably, along with Scoutmasters, den leaders are the most important position in Scouting. So that knot was retained. However, except in councils with a large military presence, active den leaders and pack committee members told us that the knots are not an incentive. The certificate however and public recognition are! (Many of the Den Leader and Cub Scouter knots are “earned” by former Cub Scout leaders, not current leaders.)
• There are some (including me), but only a few Cubmasters become Scoutmasters. While the majority of Tiger Cub den leaders do serve as Wolf and Bear den leaders, a minority of Cub Scout den leaders become Webelos den leaders. Most people will only earn one Scouter’s Key and one Den Leader Award.
• Very few Cub Scouter and Pack Trainer knots are awarded each year.
• The awards and uniform committee recommends that Scouters wear, at the most, two or three rows of knots. They have not formally restricted it to that because there is a group to whom knots are important. But for those that do follow that recommendation, with the use of devices they can wear the recognition for more earned awards. In reality most Scouters do not wear the devices. They are there for the group that wants to.
• The decision was made that Scouters that have earned the Cub Scouting knots in the past will continue to be able to wear them. It will be moving forward that the old knots will not be presented for those awards.