How to Tie Girl Scout Knots

by Cindy Paterson

Girl Scouts must learn various skills to earn badges in their particular group. Many of the skills they learn prepare them for life in the "real world," and one that comes in particularly handy is learning to tie some of the 20 plus knots listed in the Girl Scout manuals. Learning three of the most basic Girl Scout knots will further your required knowledge from the organization.

Square knot

  1. Hold one piece of a 5-inch rope in each hand and hold your hands together so that the two pieces of rope touch each other. Cross the middle of the piece in the right hand over the middle of the piece in the left hand.

  2. Bring the piece from the left hand under the piece in the right hand. Wrap it around the right hand piece and pull it up. Bring the right hand end up and over the end of the left hand piece; then tuck the right hand end around the left hand end, forming a loop.

  3. Pull the ends at the same time so that the knot forms tightly. You have just made a square knot.

  4. Inspect the knot carefully to make sure that it has a square shape. If not, loosen the knot with your fingers and repeat the process starting at the beginning.


  1. Hold a 6-inch piece of rope in your right hand. Make a loose loop near the bottom of the rope by wrapping one end around the other.

  2. Pull the end of the rope through the inner part of the loop. Bring the end around the back of the piece that is dangling and not looped. Then pull it around the front of the loop and insert the end into the front of the loop.

  3. Pull the end of the inserted piece so that the knot is formed and is tightly wound. A bowline should look similar to a slip knot, which is basically a loop at the end of a length of string or rope.

  4. Inspect the loop. If it does not have the correct shape, untie your rope and start again at the first step.

Clove Hitch

  1. Bring one end of a 7-inch piece of rope around the chair leg or flagpole you are using to tie this knot. The rope should now be in the shape of the letter "U."

  2. Take one end and and cross it over the other end. Continue wrapping it around the chair leg and through the top of the rope piece that is wrapped around the leg.

  3. Pull down the first end and make it taut. Pull the end that is longer tightly around the object you are using. The knot should look like pretzel with the pole or chair leg in the middle.

  4. Inspect the loop. If the knot is not pretzel-shaped, untie your rope and start again at the first step.

Items you will need

  • Rope
  • Chair leg or flagpole


  • Keep extra bits of thread, yarn and rope around to practice tying different types of rope.


  • Never tie anything around a person. If you need such practice, use a doll.

About the Author

Based in Santa Rosa, Calif., Cindy Paterson has been writing articles on travel and lifestyle since 1991. Her work has appeared on ForbesTraveler.com and MSNBC.com. Paterson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing from Columbia University in New York.

Photo Credits

  • Casey Miller Photo.com/Demand Media