If you are going to work on outdoor skills, knots are a great place to start. You can do them any time of the year, or use them when you have to fill in 10 minutes of a meeting. Girls at any level can begin learning knots, and the more they do outdoors, the more they will use them. For our knot program, I purchased cheap rope at the Dollar Store and cut it into lengths 2 to 3 feet long. Burning the ends with a lighter to prevent unraveling. I wanted something that was not going to be rough on the girls’ hands and did not want to spend a lot of rope that was just going to be cut into bits. Because it is so cheap I will let girls take a length home to practice. I also keep chopsticks to use for lashing practice.
There are so many resources online to learn how to tie knots. A google search can find loads of examples, just keep looking till one makes sense to you.
This site also offers apps for your phone so you can download and actually show the girls at a meeting, or they can download onto their own phones.
At meetings the girls work in pairs, allowing them to help each other I find makes it go much faster. I also think 1 night at a time is best so they don’t become confused. It also ensures that they really know it. We do talk about how each knot is used and specifically which ones we will use when camping. I use a CHECKLIST of the knots my girls learn. Once a girl has mastered the knots at her level, she receives a rocker for her vest. I purchase them through Joycrest.
Once the girls have some basic knots down, have a little fun with it. Plus you can use them for various badge requirements
Learn how to make a PARACORD BRACELET for emergencies.
Make swaps from the different knots you have learned.
Make a knot board with all the knots they learned and give it to the Service Unit so other Troops can learn them as well.
Everyone should know how to TIE A NECKTIE and here are a few videos for various ones.
HANDKERCHIEF DOLLS are an easy, old-fashioned toy.
If you are going to fish, knots are needed for TYING THE LURES.
If you are feeling really industrious try MACRAME.
TIE & RUN
Supplies: 15 feet of rope for each team
Everyone is holding onto the rope and at no time can it touch the ground. Only 1 person may let go of the rope at a time. On the signal, the first person ties an overhand knot i the rope by where she is standing. This continues for every player in line. The first team to tie all their knots wins.
SQUARE KNOT RELAY
Supplies: Each player must have 1 yard of rope.
Girls forma circle. Form more than 1 for a competition. On the signal, each player in each circle will hold the rope behind her back. She will tie the RIGHT end of her rope to the LEFT end of the rope being held by the person next to her, using a SQUARE KNOT. When all the ropes are joined forming a complete circle, each person leans her weight on the knot she tied. If it is tied correctly the knot will. If not the girl will fall and they must repair the rope.
ALL KNOTS RELAY
Supplies:2 or more pieces of rope 14″ long. 2 or more bowls/bags with the names of the knots the girls have learned.
The girls form a line and the first person will run up and grab a slip of paper and proceeds to try and tie that knot. If successful according to the judge the paper is thrown away. If unsuccessful it goes back in the bowl for another person. Make sure the knots are not tight or they will be difficult to untie.
Supplies: A 12″ piece of rope for each girl.
Place lengths of rope in front of each girl, and they must put their hands behind their back. Call out a knot and the girls see who can do the knot the fastest and correctly.
Ultimately the goal is to have learned useful sills and have fun at the same time. So progress at the speed your girls are ready for and have fun.