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Knot Tying: The Best Resources to Learn How

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Cub Scout Knot Tying

Knot tying is an essential skill for many outdoor activities. If they're going to participate in them, every Cub Scout or Boy Scout needs to know how to tie knots.

But knots aren't just for the outdoors. We usually don't think about how we use knots at home. We tie our shoes, we tie a package, and the boys tie their own neckties. We can't forget that for some folks, knot tying is a hobby.

In the Cub Scout program, Wolves, Bears, and Arrow of Light ranks have knot tying in their required adventures. This post will help you find great resources to help teach the Scouts how to tie knots.

Cub Scout Knot Tying Requirements

Wolf AdventureCall of the Wild 5:  Show how to tie an overhand knot and a square knot.

Bear AdventureBear Necessities 5:  Demonstrate how to tie two half hitches and explain what the hitch is used for.

Arrow of Light Adventure – Outdoorsman Option A 5 and Option B 3:  Show how to tie a bowline. Explain when this knot should be used and why.

Arrow of Light AdventureScouting Adventure 5a:  Show how to tie a square knot, two half hitches, and a taut-line hitch. Explain how each knot is used.



I have to admit that I'm not very good at tying knots. So, I was pretty intimidated when I had to teach the kids in my den. Fortunately, there are some great resources online!

Online Knot Tying Resources

My absolute favorite resource is Animated Knots by Grog. What I love about this site is that while you play the video, you can stop on any step. Simply click on the number of the step in the bottom left corner of the video.

To always have this resource with you, download the iPhone app or the iPad app through my affiliate links. Google Play has an Android app too. These apps are about $5 each, but they are well worth the money.

Another good online resource is Boys' Life. The video demonstrations can be slowed down to help you follow along.

For a great Cub Scout knot tying handout, check this one out. A printed “how to tie knots” pdf can be helpful for the boys.

Knot Tying Practice

The best way for our Cub Scouts to learn how to tie knots is by practicing them over and over. In fact, knot tying is a great gathering activity. It's also a quick filler if your planned activity doesn't take as long as you thought.

I bought clothesline rope and cut it into 6′ pieces–one for every kid.  The Scouts can then whip or fuse the rope, which is an Arrow of Light requirement.

Arrow of Light Adventure – Scouting Adventure 5b:  Show the proper care of a rope by learning how to whip and fuse the ends of different kinds of rope.

Keep the rope in your den bucket so you'll have it at every meeting. I put the rope in a zip top bag with copies of the “how to tie knots” pdf. That way,  we had what we needed to tie knots at any den meeting.

Do you need to spice up your Scouts' knot tying practice? Think Fun has an awesome game called Knot So Fast. Kids (and adults) will love the 40 challenges in this knot tying race game. What better way to practice your knot tying skills than with a fun game?

What ideas do have for teaching the skill of knot tying to your Cub Scouts?

Yours in Scouting,
Sherry

P.S. If you liked this Cub Scout activity, sign up below for more fun pack meeting and den meeting ideas!

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Tuesday 14th of May 2019

[…] a knot-tying class – Ask Boy Scouts to come and teach the Cub Scouts how to tie knots. Use these resources to study up before the […]

Cyndi Chappel

Sunday 17th of December 2017

Let be the idea of keeping knot bags in the Den basket for each week! And the Knot's So Fun Game looks cool! Thank you for the fantastic ideas!

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Thursday 16th of November 2017

[…] compiled a list of knot tying resources that you can use as you’re teaching the […]

Old Time Cub Scouter

Sunday 26th of February 2017

I totally agree in that the best way for the boys to learn is by doing, and so we practiced tying knots often. Back in the day, I believe there was either a Bear or Webelos I rank activity involving ropes and knots where we made our own rope, whipped the ends, practiced throwing the rope to a target (my den supply box), and to learn how to tie a few knots. We found our knot tying diagrams in the Cub Scout and Boy Scout handbooks. About every 6-8 weeks since that den meeting, my Den Chief would lead the Cubs in knot tying or rope tossing during gathering time while I checked handbooks for completed achievements/electives. I ramped up the knot tying during gathering time (once a month) when my Cubs were Webelos II’s, because they needed to know how to tie several knots (square knot, bowline, taut line hitch, and others) for the Arrow of Light award. We also played a relay race game similar to the Bobcat Badge Relay Race (on this website), where the Cubs were quizzed on the Boy Scout joining requirements, which also included knowing how to tie certain knots.

[email protected] Hour Kit

Thursday 23rd of May 2013

This is very helpful Sherry! Yes, I agree that every Cub scout needs to know how to tie various kinds of knots. The two resources you have given are also informative. It is good that we teach our children young knot tying that is also helpful for survival. Thanks for this! Keep Posting!