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"Active" for Eagle Palms

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It's been stated here that BSA will, on appeal, say that a boy is "active" if he is registered, for purposes of rank. Is this true for Eagle Palms? In my son's troop, there are a couple of boys who earned Eagle last spring with enough MBs for at least one palm--but they haven't reappeared.

It would be my idea, if they do appear to ask for a palm, to say, "Great! We'll do that after you've been active for another three months." While there can be all sorts of issues about what level of activity is enough for other ranks, isn't one of the purposes of the Palm to keep the scout involved after he has received his Eagle?

Has anybody encountered this issue?

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Hi Hunt,


Seems that would be an issue for the board of review for the Eagle Palm to consider. As I expect you already know, one of the purposes of the board of review is to check to see what kind of experience the boy is having in his patrol and troop. If there has been no experience because he has disappeared from the program, that then becomes an issue for the board.


I understand you frsutration and concern, sounds like another episode of Eagle-ing out mentality.


Yours Truly in Scouting,


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Hunt, I believe you would be well within your rights to say that. A better method, however, is to set the expectation BEFORE they earn Eagle. In your SM Conference for Eagle, talk about what you want them to do with the troop after they become Eagle. Talk about how they can be a great mentor and example, the types of roles/positions they can fill, etc. Then, you have a stronger leg to stand on if they disappear.

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The meaning of "active" has been debated ad infinitum on this forum. Second only to the issue of the "troop bylaws" issue I share the following to inflame all.


In our Boy Scout troop we share the following with the parents and Scouts. I welcome all comments.



Participation is essential to advancement and the requirements are clearly defined in the Boy Scout Handbook for the ranks of Tenderfoot through First Class Scout. Participation requirements for Star, Life, and Eagle are listed, but not as specifically defined. The requirements for these ranks are as follows:


Tenderfoot: Spend at least one night on a patrol or troop campout. Sleep in a tent you have helped pitch on a ground bed you have prepared.

Second Class: Since joining, have participated in five separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), two of which included camping overnight.

First Class: Since joining, have participated in ten separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), three of which included camping overnight.

Star: Be active in your troop and patrol for at least 4 months as a First Class Scout.

Life: Be active in your troop and patrol for at least 6 months as a Star Scout.

Eagle: Be active in your troop and patrol for at least 6 months as a Life Scout.


For the ranks of Star, Life, and Eagle a requirement of be active exists. What does be active mean? It goes beyond just being registered. It means that you are an active, contributing member of your Patrol and Troop. This requirement is explained in The Boy Scout Handbook, pg 169 as TO GAIN FULL ADVANTAGE of all Scouting has to offer, you need to be present when things are happening. Take part in meetings, in planning activities, and in the fun of adventures. If youre there, you can do your part to make your patrol and troop a success. However, it does not state specific attendance levels.


Maybe you are very active in the Order of the Arrow, attending all functions and even serving in a leadership capacity. Your Scoutmaster may not accept that as meeting the participation requirement. Likewise, you may be serving on camp staff all summer and busy during the fall with the start of school, sports, and/or a job. But, if you are not being a participating member, leader and example in your patrol and troop, your Scoutmaster may not accept your performance for this requirement.


So what do you do if life has you running a hundred miles an hour? Talk to your Scoutmaster. To avoid disappointment, find out what he sees as acceptable performance before you start working on these ranks. If necessary, use those leadership skills you're developing to negotiate an acceptable arrangement. You'll be glad you did!


Generally, to advance, you should participate as follows for the designated 4 or 6 month period:

Weekly Meetings: you should participate in more than half of the weekly troop meetings.

Campouts: you should participate in more than half of the campouts/outings.

Other Troop Activities (parades, fundraisers, service projects, PLC meetings, etc.): you should participate in at least half of these activities.


Again, if you cannot meet these participation requirements, for your own benefit, discuss your situation with the Scoutmaster before, not after the fact.


Now, we don't address participation for Eagle palms but I suspect we would treat it the same as the Eagle participation requirement except for changing the six months to three months. Again, I entertain your comments.

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Another Palm requirement is to make an effort to demonstrate leadership, or words to that effect. Impossible to do if you're not there in the first place. I agree with EagleinKy -- you have to lay out expectations ahead of time, and (and this is a big "and") during that three month period, if the SM doesn't believe the Scout is meeting the requirements, to give real-time feedback to that effect.



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