About a month ago we discussed in this space the National
Eagle Scout Association. We were introducing you to the new NESA Life
Membership Award. You remember, of course.
What we didn’t tell you then is that when NESA first started
in 1972, another knot was available for leaders: the NESA Scoutmaster Award.
Eligibility applied to only one Scoutmaster per year in each BSA area. Also,
recipients had to be members of NESA—and therefore Eagle Scouts—to earn the
That changed in 1987. The award was replaced with the
Scoutmaster Award of Merit and its Venturing equivalent, the Venturing Advisor
Award of Merit. Unlike their predecessor, these knots recognize all
Scoutmasters and Advisors, not just NESA members.
It makes sense. After all, there too many great Scoutmasters
and Advisors in a particular area to honor just one per year. But hold on just
a second, Scoutmasters and Advisors.
The knot can be earned by more of you each year than before,
which doesn’t mean you’ll get it for nothing. You have to earn it. Follow the jump for the requirements.
- Serve as a Scoutmaster/Advisor for at least 18 months.
- Earn the Quality Unit Award for your troop/crew at least
once during your tenure.
- Complete the appropriate training for your position.
- Develop and train your youth leaders.
- Work closely with your chartered organization.
OK, so you’ve done all that. Now what? Relax, because it’s
out of your hands. Your committee chairperson will nominate you.
After that happens, your unit or district commissioner,
council Scout executive, and council commissioner should add their signatures
to your nomination form (click here for Boy Scouts or here for Venturing).
The all-white knot will look great on either the tan Boy
Scout uniform or the green Venturing button-up. But you won’t just look great.
You’ll also feel great knowing that you’ve guided your troop or crew with
responsible, effective leadership. Well done!