Over the years, I have taught many different scouting skills to Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts between 9 to 18 years old.  One of my favorite subjects to teach is knot tying.

One of the main reasons knot tying is my favorite, is because once someone learns the basics, they will be able to tie more difficult knots based on the foundations they’ve already learned.

The square knot is one of those classics that every scout learns first.

The knots based on the half hitch are:

  • Clove Hitch
  • Two-half hitches
  • Taut-line hitch

The timberline hitch is one of those knots that is simple once the knot tyer gets the hang of it, then they use a half hitch to keep the knot taught.

Probably, one of the most complex knots I teach is the bowline.  Instructors have different methods of how to teach this knot.  Some like to teach it where the rope is around the person.  Others like to have the student learn when it’s not around the persons body.  When I teach this knot I explain that it’s a rescue knot & why it’s important to tie it correctly.  I also take the time to teach them how to tie it both ways around their body & around someone elses body.  Hopefully, if they ever have to use it, it would be to rescue someone else.

Another interesting thing I have come across when teaching knots has been if someone is left-handed.  They usually tie it upside down.  To most instructors, they sometimes get frustrated because the student isn’t getting it the way the instructor is teaching it.  But when I see the student having difficulty, the first thing I ask them is whether they’re left or right handed.  I have been gifted with being left handed, but I learned how to do everything with my right hand.  So, I’m kind of ambidextrous.  I adjust the lesson toward their understanding and then they get it.

I think probably the most rewarding part of teaching knots is when the student has an epiphany and have learned a skill for life.  I love to see it when the lights go on 🙂

Till next time,  I’ll be teaching this skill for life