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Knot Master Prgm

Boy Scout Troop 256
(Overland Park, Kansas)
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"Every Scout should be able to tie a knot. To tie a knot seems to be a simple thing, and yet there are right and wrong ways of doing it, and Scouts ought to know the right way. Very often it may happen that lives depend on a knot being properly tied."


Lord Baden-Powell



 Knot Master Program

Knots are a skill taught at every level of scouting. The Knot Master Program is designed to provide each scout an opportunity to learn essential knots as well as other fun and useful knots that you will use for the rest of your life.

To start the knot master program a scout or adult must go to a Mr. Bergendoff to test on the first level. Once completing the first level, the scout or adult will receive a caribeener and a white rope. They must carry this as a part of the uniform to all scout activities.

To move up in rope levels, the scout or adult must prove the knowledge of how to tie all the knots in that level and any proceeding it. Also they must know what the use of the knot is for. This must be done in front of a Mr. Bergendoff to earn the level being tested on. When the next level is earned, the rope for that level will be added to the caribeener with the rope(s) already earned. A scout or adult may only move up one level per day.

Once a scout or adult has moved through all the ranks and earned the black rope they will be declared a "knot master".

Most of the knots in this program are in the scout handbook. Many are even required for rank advancement. Others may need to be found in a knot book, internet, or some other source (such as another scout). The troop has a knot book availible to be used to learn these knots. Contact Mr. Bergendoff to be able to use this book.


With Mr. Bergendoff overseeing the challange, a scout or adult can challange another scout or adult on two knots that are within the group(s) of knots from the level they have reached. Whether or not the challanged individual can pass, the challenger must also be tested on 2 knots that are within the group(s) of knots from the level they have reached. The knots that are used in the challange are selected by the challanger and then by the one originally challanged. If either party is unable to pass the challange, they lose the rope level (and any following levels) that the knot is in.

If a level is lost, it may be retested and earned again but must be on a different day than the challange. A scout or adult may only be challanged once a day. A scout may challange another scout or an adult but, an adult may only challange an adult.


When a scout is challanged he must complete the challange. If the scout passes he will keep the levels of rope he has already earned. In addition, the scout will earn a bead showing he has passed. The bead will be hung on the white rope to show he earned it. If the scout loses the challange, not only loses the rope that he was challanged on but also loses a bead (if he does not have a bead then he just loses the rope). The scout that iniciated the challange must also be challanged to keep his rope level. However he does not earn a bead, but can lose a bead if he fails.

Beads will be counted and used on an individual and patrol basis. Example, if any scouts have 5 or more beads the they may be first in line for dinner tonight, or, the patrol with the most beads combined with get to eat dessert with the adults.

Definitions common to ropes and knots

Rope – A large stout cord usually made of strands of fibers (or yarns) twisted or braided together.

Strand – Usually one of three or four individual cords (made of twisted yarns which are made out of fibers) that are twisted together to make a rope.

Standing part – This is the part of the rope that is generally not used in knot tying, either because it is fastened to another rope or spar, or because it is too long to be used conveniently.

Working end – The running or tag end of a rope. This is the part that you whip, splice or use to tie the knots or hitches

Knot – a combination of bights, bends and hitches.

Bight – This is the part of a rope that is doubled back on itself, or crossed over to make a loop.

Bend – A knot used to join two ropes.

Hitch – A knot used for fastening a rope to another rope or something else, such as a spar or ring.

Eye – The opening in the center of a loop or bight.

Spar - A pole or staff intended for use to make a structure, such as a tripod.

Wrap - A turn made around two spars to hold them together tightly.

Frap - A turn made between the spars around the wraps to pull wraps tightly together.

Knot Levels and Colors-

Starters - White:

Whipping / Fusing

Daisey (Simple) Chain

Larks Head

Square Knot

Clove Hitch

Two Half Hitches

Intermdiate - Red:



Figure 8

Sheet Bend


Timber Hitch

Trucker's Hitch

Splices - Blue:

Short Splice

Long Splice

Back Splice

Eye Splice

Lashings - Yellow:

Square Lashing

Diagonal Lashing

Tripod Lashing

Shear Lashing

Round Lashing

Floor Lashing

Fishing - Green:

Improved Clinch Knot

Palomar Knot

Blood Knot

Fisherman's Knot

Surgeon's Knot

Climbing - Orange:

Alpine Butterfly

Pusik Knot

Figure 8 on a Bight

Figure 8 Followthrough

Water Knot

Master - Black:

Jug Knot

Turks Head

Monkey Fist